Lippert can even direct anime girls from the grave, how amazing!
I usually wait for the first three episodes of an anime series to do a first impressions, but due to time costraints i won’t this time (by the time i wrote and edited this, the second episode is out already, but i can’t afford to delay the post), just talking about the first episode and how it presents the series.
This just also happens to be the only new anime this season i care about, i simply struggle to catch up to older series i wanted to cover (so my retrospective on Panty And Stocking is still in the air, i missed the timing for its 10th year anniversary), let alone keep the pace with anime series i never properly started. Or cared about to begin with.
So yeah, last year we had girls “muscling” (not too much as to not offset the lusty main target audience, who is mostly put off by ripped girls, the cowards), and fishing, so this time they will practice the art of ancient movie padding, with the sports variant of rock climbing as the chosen subject. At least, that’s what it’s officially for.
I mean, series like this are usually made primarly to show anime girls’ bodies with a lot of focus on the chesticular and coccix area, the subject could be paintball or wrestling or yak herding, it has to be about something to justify itself barely so it can fan service itself dry. Sometimes we get “galaxy brainstormed” series like Keijo, who just made up a female-only sport (played in swimsuits, of course) about chest and butt slamming.
With a talking arse.
BUT this doesn’t seem to be the case, at least judging from this first episode. I was fully expecting to see the director indulge in endless pervy angles, but it really doesn’t to any noticeable degree, it’s more concerned about the experience of sportive rock climbing as a challenge, which the main character, Konomi, conceptualizes as a puzzle videogame (with Puyo Puyo chains and such), as she was a very competitive gamer, but had to faze her obsession out to avoid not becoming a NEET.
This isn’t random, but actually translates to her having developed a good approach to problem-solving and pattern recognition. Also, she has a puzzle hairpin, in the case the title of the episode (“Rock Puzzle”) and the explaination above (enhanced by a flashback) didn’t fully sink in.
The premise is a fairly typical slice of life set-up, with Konomi Kasahara, a first year student that isn’t sure to what club invested themselves into, stumbles upon the Climbing Club, looks interested and she’s basically dragged by one of the members to try it out for herself. She does and discovers it to be fun, that she might be into it, but the hardcore climbing nut, Jun, will let Konomi join only if she beats her at a challenge.
Obviously, this doesn’t go exactly as Jun wanted, so she joins the club, and thing develop from there… i guess to the point she’s competing on a national scale, since the series starts in media res with Konomi doing just that.
Regardless, it’s fairly entertaining even if you don’t really know anything about rock climbing, like me, and i guess a lot of people.
Overall, it’s a fairly decent-to-good looking first episode, the animation isn’t half-bad, the camera angles aren’t really pervy (the serie’s ending has more of that, btw), like at all, but i’m not taken with some of the faces or the designs of the girls. Not that the designs look bad, mind you, they’re fine, but not great either. I’m not gonna comment on the personalities, because…. this is the first episode, and you get an idea of what these girls are like, not much else, like you should.
And i don’t immediatly hate them or anything like that.
So yeah, if you wanted unrepenting trash, this isn’t that as far as the first episode goes. Not a bad opening, nothing that will wow you, but it’s better than i was expecting. I’ll keep watching it, as in i’ve seen so much worse, and i want to get some use out of my Crunchyroll subscription.