Aoi's childhood dream of climbing the tallest mountains in the world was destroyed when the girl fell off a jungle gym, developing a crippling fear of heights in the process. Now in high school, the teen enjoys more mundane activities like knitting and sitting quietly, and has absolutely no interest in risking her life in the wilderness. But Aoi's sheltered life is shattered with the reappearance of Hinata, her boisterous childhood friend who's determined to pull the girl out of her shell and scale some mountains! Together, the two learn about climbing gear and try to face their fears, all while becoming the best of friends!
Anything but Mountains!
Let's Go Together
Mountain Climbing Is Dangerous!?
Showdown! Mountain Cooking!?
What's a Schlafsack?
I'm The One Deciding!?
Which Daypack Do You Want?
Let's Climb Mt. Takao!
A Forest Girl in the Forest!?
The Climb Isn't Over Until You Descend!?
Tomorrow is Outdoors!
To The Next Landscape
Really, this is a cute, short anime about a -- believe it or not-- highschool girl named Aoi who's afraid of heights and how she overcomes that fear due to her meeting a childhood friend, Hinata, who loves climbing mountains. At least, that's what I got from the first episode. Turns out, the story is more about Aoi changing as a person and... the two girls climbing mountains together. Well, let's get on with this review! Story: 10/20 This anime gets a somewhat bad score from me when it comes to the story because the plot just goes in loops! The story usually pans out in this sequence: The girls (mostly Hinata) plan to climb a mountain Aoi refuses to do so they climb the mountain anyway Aoi realizes something about the world/herself they may or may not meet a new character along the way And... that's about it. I enjoyed watching them, but it got monotonous at times because I already knew what would happen. Nonetheless, it's a cute and light-hearted story. Animation/Art: 8/10 To be completely honest, I thought the best part of this anime was its animation. The design is very light, soft, and looks somewhat like it's watercolored (well... it gives off that kind of feeling). It suits the gentle atmosphere of the story quite nicely and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Animation is extremely smooth and flows well~ **I've got a bone to pick with the character design, but I don't know whether I should rant about it here or in the character section. I suppose I'll just leave it in the character section for now** Sound: 7/10 The ending of this anime is absolutely adorable and suited the "feel" of the story very, very well. I thoroughly enjoyed it! The characters' voices were kind of too "cute" sometimes and I'm the type of person who isn't too fond those voices, so a point or two were docked off for that. Sounds of cicadas, the wind, and other parts of nature were very soothing and calming; it's definitely a plus on that point! Nothing else really stood out about the "sounds" of this anime. Characters: 4/10 **Rant** Guess what? When I first saw a promotional picture of this show, I thought, "How cute! A story about two gradeschoolers who want to climb mountains." Boy, was I wrong. They are highschoolers. Oops? One thing about anime that urks me is when characters don't look their age... without a really good reason. I completely understand if it's the "style" of the anime (ex: Lucky Star, Haruhi-chan Suzumiya, etc.), but these girls... they can hardly pass as kindergarteners! I was half expecting them to be wobbly on their feet and wrapped up in diapers on the first episode! Sure, it was cute, but there has got to be a limit to how young high schoolers can look! Moving on to the characters' personalities... Aoi's character development felt just a bit forced, as if the creators were trying really hard to make her mature. But... honestly, there are limits to how much one can develop a character in twelve, basically two-minutes-long, episodes. I'll give them some slack for that. As for the other characters... They didn't change at all. Hinata stayed exactly the same throughout the entire series, meaning she was the damn bright sun that wouldn't stop shining throughout the whole thing. Kokona was adorable, but she was clumsy and shy as hell from her debut to the final episode. Kaede... I forgot she even existed until the final episode, when she suddenly popped up out of nowhere. These three characters were somewhat a disappointment. Overall: 5.8/10 (How did I calculate that? Well, 10+8+7+4=29. 29/50= 58/100= 5.8/10) This is a pretty good show if you're looking to relax or to watch something that'll make your heart melt from cuteness. If you're looking for something with a serious plot and/or great character development, please move on and don't look back. I personally enjoyed watching this show (to some extent) because I was concurrently watching some other anime with very intense plots. It helped me relax and fall asleep with ease (not because it's boring). Do watch if you're looking for extreme cuteness!
When I began watching Encouragement of Climb (Yama no Susume), I appreciated the contents of the two reviews that came before mine. First, the thorough and engaging precise examination of goodycandy741 and then the concise report of Efinate who nailed the two things that impress you the most about E of C, it's cute and it's short. Twelve episodes of three and a half minutes, doses of how to get into mountaineering as you see one particular girl grow up to transcend her previous shortcomings. I am speaking of the character of Aoi, a first year high school student who is a shy and withdrawn indoor girl hampered by a fall from the monkey bars while in elementary school. She runs into her total opposite, Hinata, a free and easy outdoor type who interests Aoi in a climb of a local hill to catch the view. This makes up the first of two ascents in season one, the last one being Mt. Takao, a combination nature trail, shrine, and tourist trap. On the way through all these adventures, the girls meet new friends. Kaede is an older student at their high school, a curvaceous girl who is totally committed to taking on mountain hikes, even though she looks so much like the typical Science Club geek. Appearances fool as she gets a quick lesson on the superiority of down fill sleeping bags versus synthetic fiber from a completely clueless Aoi. Then Aoi and Hinata find Kokona, a middle school girl from their town, in serious shoe distress on their descent from Mt. Takao. They help her out and discover a kindred spirit, a neat blend of shy Aoi and adventuresome Hinata. The animation of Yama no Susume resembles a softer tone one meets in watching the rustic scenery of Non Non Biyori. But the developing friendship of Aoi and Hinata seems to hijack the story, and the beautiful scenes of mountain trails and flying squirrels take a back seat. This may change in the following seasons. For now, get used to short and cute for now. As for the sounds and songs, cute continues to win the day. But the main tune is heard with the closing theme as the show begins with a quick intro to premise. For example, Aoi is oblivious about hiking equipment. Flash to snatch of an opening motif leading to footsteps to tile Encouragement to Climb. Then off to the mountaineer shop to get that appropriate backpack. Then a truly perky closer ending with Mata Ashita. Yahhoo. (see you tomorrow ... yahoo). Should one see the next seasons? Yama no Susume strives to offer a primer for the budding trail hiker/rock climber. Things will have to get dicier for timid Aoi. Just watching her grow to be less fidgety would be time well spent.
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