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Kokou no Hito  
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On his first day of transferring to a new high school, a loner named Mori Buntarou, is cajoled by a classmate into climbing the school building. Despite knowing that one misstep could send him spiraling to his death, he moves forward, and upon finally reaching the top, Mori experiences a sense of fulfillment. That feeling, which seems to be telling him, "You're alive!" gives birth to an adrenaline for rock-climbing.

Note: Sakamoto Shinichi did both the story and the art from Volume 4 onwards.


Related Series

Associated Names
Koko no Hito
The Climber

Groups Scanlating
Easy Going Scans
Franky-Family Scanlations
New Evol Team

Latest Release(s)
v.17 c.163-170 (v2) by Easy Going Scans over 5 years ago
v.17 c.163-170 (end) by Easy Going Scans over 5 years ago
v.16 c.159-162 by Easy Going Scans over 5 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
17 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews


User Rating
Average: 8.6 / 10.0 (570 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.49 / 10.0
 32% (183 votes)
 27% (153 votes)
 23% (129 votes)
 9% (49 votes)
 4% (24 votes)
 2% (10 votes)
 1% (5 votes)
 1% (6 votes)
 0% (2 votes)
 2% (9 votes)

Last Updated
October 5th 2017, 1:11pm PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Shuukan Young Jump (Shueisha)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #562 increased(+41)
Monthly Pos #893 decreased(-22)
3 Month Pos #1038 decreased(-36)
6 Month Pos #1021 decreased(-29)
Year Pos #1003 decreased(-55)

List Stats
On 1223 reading lists
On 1048 wish lists
On 1009 completed lists
On 84 unfinished lists
On 370 custom lists

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Forum Posts
The real Katou Buntaro's biography! over 6 years ago
Lastest chapter discussion over 7 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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Starts off as a shounen but develops into something much more   
Rating: N/A
by emkat
November 27th, 2010, 9:46pm
In the beginning it seems like a typical oblivious and carefree yet highly gifted character angering a hardworking flawed rival. The first chapters WILL seem like the typical - hey I'm so lonely, oh I've found something in life, oh ive angered someone but we're still friends and will help each other grow, enter an ambiguous love interest, club activities where we have fun and grow close together! type story. You know, the type of shounen where all of the other people keep ragging on how gifted and talented and amazing the main character is and the main character is just oblivious about the praise and wants to do his own thing...

But it turns into something much more.

Without giving too much away, keep reading until the time lapse. The story turns from a "I will get better" shounen story to something that becomes much deeper. It becomes a rich story that explores aspects of the human condition.

The protagonist is constantly mentioned as being odd or strange by the other characters, but he is the most relatable to us out of all of them - perhaps revealing a little bit of him in us in the process. He's someone who's had much pain in his life, someone who is innocently good but is constantly thrusted into situations where it is easy to blame him. He didn't ask for someone to commit suicide in front of him - but he is blamed because he could not stop him. He didn't ask for his rival to go nuts because of jealousy - but he is blamed because he elicits these responses in others. He had good intentions in saving the girl, and did something incredibly noble - yet the newspaper journal blows it out of proportion very maliciously and everyone, including the girl, ends up blaming him - the girl blaming him for who she has become. In all these instances we see someone so fragile but well meaning, due to no fault of his own, cause a series of events that turn him into a target of blame. For this reason he is pushed away from society constantly, and as he lacks the social intelligence to understand the situation, he believes their words and further alienates himself.

This alienation allows him to push himself over a passion - climbing - that reminds you of something more like an obsession. He focuses mainly in relying on himself and wanting to be alone in nature, something free of life's complications. However, ironically, this obsession over this solitary pursuit forces him to interact with a team to be able to climb the daunting K2.

During this climb he steps outside of his box and becomes more assertive, telling his friend to abort the mission to be safe, even if it would jeopardize their expedition. He is not given a typical response, but instead is treated surprisingly harshly and is forced to bear a punishment.

However, when you view the situation later you begin to realize that the climb leader is a bit psychotic - he doesn't care about his team, he only cares about climbing. This reveals another ironic situation because the protagonist, someone who you were led to believe should be callous towards his fellow humans due to his sole passion for climbing, is the one that made the judgment call to keep his friend safe despite risking the opportunity to eventually climb K2, his dream. In all circumstances his actions would be noble. Yet due to the situation created by others, he is ostracized.

One must wonder if climbing is a meanless distraction from life's responsibilities, or something that is truly worth doing for him. I guess we'll find out.

... Last updated on November 27th, 2010, 9:54pm
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Psychology with sports as battleground   
Rating: N/A
by Mizura
September 1st, 2013, 12:41am
This series has one of the best depictions of an introvert (albeit an extreme case, most aren't That extreme. Some are though) that I have yet read. I guess it will be hard for extroverts to relate to the main character, but that is really how many of us introverts are like:
- To outsiders, introverts seem quiet and aloof, but in fact their mind is constantly filled with thoughts: past, future, possibilities and imagination all mix together and distract from the present. For those of you who are confused by the images that pop up while Mori is climbing, those are actually depictions of his inner thoughts and conflicts as he challenges the mountains. For extreme introverts, such images can be just as vivid and tangible as the present outside world.
- Interactions with others drain their batteries like no tomorrow. Social interaction is a source of great anxiety. They don't know how to respond to them, they don't know how to deal with outside demands. Mori's interactions with that creepy girl and his teammates are all depicted in ways I can empathize with.
- Despite being afraid of social interactions, introverts do seek intimacy, not the shallow, "scary" interactions with total strangers, but someone "safe" who understands them and will support them no matter what, and be a part of their small, inner universe. Introverts value such bonds dearly, though may often have trouble expressing their feelings.
All this and more was portrayed in this manga, in a way I feel is much more realistic and relatable (to other introverts at least) than well... most series.

Ultimately this series is not just about mountain climbing. The mountains become Mori's means of escaping the people and reality underneath, but they invariably catch up to him, and his climbs become a battleground of both nature and inner thoughts. Yet they force him to confront aspects of himself that ultimately leads him to slowly mature as an individual. He starts caring more about safety. He learns to speak up for himself. He learns responsibility. And ultimately, he learns that he doesn't want to be alone after all. With that, step by step, he gets a job then gets a family.

Ultimately you could argue that he didn't grow that much, but you'd be forgetting where he was coming from. Mori is still heading for the mountains, but now he has something just as important waiting for him at the ground. (there are differences with the real person that the character was inspired from, but this was never meant to be an autobiography anyway)

Some people have complained about the way the side characters are used, by the way. I didn't have any problem with it. Real life isn't like a Shounen manga, where characters magically show up and become lifetime rivals and where nature cuts everybody slack. Mori's friend in high school, for example, was in the end just a trouble-maker with big dreams, but lacked the courage to pursue his dreams, and became one of many drop-outs out there.

... Last updated on September 1st, 2013, 1:13am
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Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by Phooeyish
August 5th, 2011, 5:36pm
I just finished reading all the scanlated chapters, and WOW, there's so much to talk about that I don't know where to begin. Kokou no Hito is a manga that's definitely in a league of it's own. The art is breathtaking and the storyline intense, as it focuses not only on the physical difficulties that Mori encounters when he climbs, but also the psychological horrors.

I did have my doubts at first, as the story does start off as a seemingly typical shonen sports manga, but was pleasantly surprised by the maturity and depth that soon developed. And then when it began to progress into more darker themes and Mori began to sink into his loner depression, I thought that it might end up as one of those stories where the protagonist goes mental and psychotic and the manga ends up as one big overwhelming mess of insanity. However, it did eventually take a turn for the better when it settled down and established a lighter tone in the story.

All I can really say, I guess, is that this manga is truly one of a kind. Even though I found myself horrified and disturbed by a lot of what happens in the middle of the story and really just wanted to put the manga down, I was simply unable to stop myself from reading. I got hooked and couldn't let go.

I think the best part of the manga is that the mangaka does a great job in making this much more then a typical sports manga, by accurately portraying the consequences of what happens when humans are pushed into life-and-death situations (where your survival is literally dependent on your teammates' deaths) as well as the insanity that can also happen as a result. I would definitely recommend this to people that enjoy realistic, action-packed, and intense stories.

... Last updated on November 14th, 2011, 4:47pm
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My current favorite   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Roflkopt3r
February 2nd, 2011, 9:16am
Kokou no Hito currently is my #1 favorite and a clean 10/10. It exceeds most other Seinen in depth of storytelling and characters by far and combines it with brilliant arts which make it also enjoyable to look at and re-read.

It contains so much symbolism and complex storytelling in different time lines as well of insertion of symbols/dreams/imaginations at a time, and yet remains neatly arranged and not too difficult to follow each line of action. The protagonist's character developement is good and doesn't follow the typical flat patterns of allmost all Shonen and many Seinen, yet remains perfectly comprehensible while keeping the reader constantly thinking.
The story is dark and dramatic, and yet giving glimmers of light at the right times. I love how it never turns too far to one side - it's neither becoming absolutely depressive nor a put-on good mood everything will be fine-lollypop story (ok, actually it's keeping really far away from that side).

Climbing is used so well as a mirror of psyche and humanity, and yet remains awesome for itself, too, especially due to the brilliant arts and detailled drawings of mountains, weather and characters with their clothing and tools. It also seemed absolutely convincing to me in the authors' deep knowledge of climbing and mountaineering.
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Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by hkanz
August 31st, 2014, 10:54pm
I really enjoyed this one. I'm not a climber, but a solo long distance backpacker, so it was awesome to see appearances from Platy, Golite, Snickers and other familiar pieces of gear. Mori well embodies the love for nature and lust for isolation that form the core of my sport.

Personal bias aside, the art is gorgeous and the story is well-structured. The only genuine gripes I have with this manga are: 1) How everything is too easy for the MC in the first few volumes, and 2) Most of the characters being stereotypical (this improves later on)/exaggerated in personality and morality. You have a group of 'good guys', who are kind, honest and understanding, and then a group of 'bad guys', who are liars, bullies and thieves. About 80% of the cast is bad guys and they exist almost solely to make life difficult for the good guys. Naturally, they also cheat when climbing mountains.

How attractive would this story be to the average reader? Since it's so up my alley, I have no idea. But as others have said, I recommend reading at least up until the MC leaves school, since the story and characterization improve at that point.
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by RoxFlowz
December 13th, 2013, 11:31am
This one really left a deep impression on me. I find myself thinking about it sometimes even now, when I've finished this quite some time ago. I'd put it on hold after the first volume cause I found it to be a bit too Shounen and the mc was difficult to relate to (and I'm an introvert myself).

All that changed after the story left the school setting behind. The author does an incredible job at depicting the mc's state of mind, the imagery he used sometimes even reminded me of myself. While the manga is of course about mountain climbing, it's even more about the mc's growth and the challenges someone, who's bad at expressing himself, has to overcome.

It really may be difficult for some people to relate to the mc, but don't give up after the first volume. It gets a lot better.
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Absolutely amazing but Characters are unrealistic.   
Rating: N/A
by addnine
February 24th, 2012, 10:12am
I love this manga. Not many sports/outdoorsman manga can capture the surreal beauty of nature on black and white comics. The mangaka's drawings are very capturing and allows you to feel what each character is going through. Although it's art is great, many parts of the story are unrealistic. The main things that get me is the characters. I don't understand the main character's old high school friends turned out the way they did. There is no way someone changes that much for no reason. They definitely had many options to choose. I think the author just wanted to exaggerate the trait of the main character where he says "I make everything worse, where ever I go and thats why I should be alone". To me, thats the only thing that I won't accept.
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Rating: N/A
by PepperPia
April 10th, 2011, 2:34pm
I only started recently but have been reading it constantly, and its amazing but horrible at the same time. The main character is really good and I like the way it started with his school and then the whole manga changes and gets alot darker. It's so strong and really sad, but in a way that just makes me speechless really. EDIT: I actually stopped reading this for a while cause it just made me really sad and I would keep on thinking about it, so I don't try to read it one go now, just take it slowly.

... Last updated on October 3rd, 2011, 1:47pm
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This is awesome   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by zaliasberniukas
July 27th, 2010, 2:19am
This is without a doubt a masterpiece because this manga have everything. It is a perfect and very original drama art is great and this manga is also very informative about climbing . I really was stunned by how interesting manga about mountain climbers can be . I think the reason why it is so good because the story is very deep its not just about climbing its also about how some people are just not meant to live in modern society how they cant find happiness in daily life no meter what they do . I like everything about this manga and i have never seen a protagonist of a manga like him before he is very unique . Oh and i gave 9.5 just because i never give 10 before manga is finished . Oh and yes i agree with yuno19 the begining was lil slow and not all that special but later on it just keeps on getting better

... Last updated on July 27th, 2010, 2:21am
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unique yet strange   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by dieend
January 11th, 2011, 9:41am
This manga is really on his own world, I think.
The art, no doubt really a great one.
The story, it's not so focused yet so blur, and it is really walk on his own path. When I think the story go to make the main character keep walking straight the light and struggling all of the obstacles. But he instead went back to darkness. And the darkness that needed by the light, maybe. The biggest minus point I think is, it is kind of hard to differ which one is hallucination and which one is the realita. So I am a kind of missing some story of what is going on.

But the art is really good
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