- Mangaka : Mintarou
- Publisher : Ichijinsha (Comic Yuri Hime)
- Genre : School, Shoujo Ai, Sports
- Published : February 2020 – Ongoing
Pocha Climb! Introduction (No Spoilers)
The story begins with Fuudou Tsugumi, a highschool girl who loves to eat, reunites with her childhood best friend Shirakabe Aria, who is in the middle of bouldering in the school gym. The two girls renew their friendship and find a common interest in overcoming obstacles - and not just the ones of a physical nature.
Hey, you. Have you ever thought of trying out bouldering? Oh, don’t worry about the danger of it, that’s is why we’re going to teach you the basics and things you need for this activity. Come! Let’s work on those upper body strength and those thighs, shall we?
Nothing beats a wholesome reunion between characters who had known each other since childhood. In this case, by warmth, we’re talking about love, love love. From the beginning of the chapter, there is a clear indication of how Aria feels toward Tsugumi, and her expressions are adorable.
Let’s not talk about a regular attack of cuteness and look into the critical hits from Tsugumi with the way she reacts and shows her interests at bouldering lessons and equipment which will be discussed in the other section.
The interactions between the main characters felt natural in childhood friends and high school settings, with bouldering as a medium for Shoujo Ai. Aria ponders quite a lot of when it comes to how she talks or approaches to Tsugumi while maintaining her composure. Good job, Aria. Tsugumi is a happy-go-lucky kind of character, keens to learn new things, and her determination to improve is admirable.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a bouldering club if we have a total of four members, right? Meet Oniyama Nanokoto and Washiya Shuu. In terms of bouldering experience, they are Tsugumi’s seniors. Let’s say they have their share of experience based on their actions.
The manga includes lessons on equipment, apparels and techniques when it comes to rock climbing. We’re talking about types of shoes. Do you want a slipper, Velcro or lace-up types? Downturned, flat-lasted, straight, turn-in? Which ones suit your style? Choosing the right size for safety purposes.
As for chalks, do you prefer chalk ball, powdered chalk, chalk blocks, chunky chalk, or liquid chalk? It is essential to apply them to your fingers and palms to make sure you have enough grip to hold onto boulders. Most importantly, buy a weird but cute chalk bag for style because why not? There is no specific set of apparels for rock climbing; wear what is the most comfortable for you. It goes without saying, but cover enough skin to decency and respect others around you.
One must learn and understand the techniques to all things in life so they could progress smoothly. The manga mentioned of how climbers should practice and hone their techniques with the concept of route through colour-coding. You must follow and focus on one colour only for a specific path. Or you can make use of everything around you if you want to have fun. There are a few techniques that could prove useful to your future attempts to rock climbing as well.
The character designs are cute and make you feel the urge of protecting them. There weren’t many presences on the surroundings unless they do matter, which is probably what the author wanted: focusing on the characters’ interactions and expressions to the development of their life.
The scenes during rock climbing is a mixture of fun and serious depending on which climbers. There were some scenes where sentences keep repeating in our minds of “Don’t fall!” or “You’re almost there!” But then, not too intense or something life-threatening due to the nature of the manga.
Hear us out. We were surprised that not many people noticed the existence of this manga. To us, it is surprisingly good and educational if you want to learn more about indoor rock climbing. The characters, interactions and development are adorable and wholesome. The thought process of how they choose their paths while taking note of their sense of balance of their foothold and whatever strength they had in their upper body.
The artwork of the surrounding characters aren’t overwhelming and provides us, readers, some space to focus more on the characters and appreciate how they feel and their expression on situations. We should also cheer on to Aria for all the emotions she had been building up in her lately. You can do it, Aria!
So overall, if you want to learn more about rock climbing through manga with a spice of Shoujo Ai put into the mix, give this manga a go. This manga is like finding a needle in a haystack.