"(Mountain-climbing) may have been hard, but it was a lot of fun. I want to experience more of these feelings. Lots more."
I was eager to watch the second season after seeing the first season which consist of three-minute episodes. It was great that in this second season the episodes are longer, which leaves for more story and definitely development in the characters. If you'd watched it already, you should know that Aoi at first didn't like mountain climbing. But with the help of Hinata, and along with two more girls, Kaede and Kokona, she got to learn more about it and she had a lot
of fun with them.
In the second season, it continues in with almost the same idea, but also some episodes do offer some surprises. There are some more mountain-climbing adventures in the story which not only entertain you with cute girls but you can also learn something, whether it's the mountain or Japanese culture. Education isn't the main focus in the story but it's great that at least there is something to know, from the characters' knowledge to us viewers. At times when they aren't climbing, there is a small story, whether it involves the four girls or individual. It's good as well for such smaller stories that we can get to know more about the girls well and perhaps seeing some development.
The story has a lot of cute and funny moments from the characters' interaction. My emphasis goes on cuteness because I swear, the pandering is real on this anime. Every episode, you will never miss your dose of cuteness. Although this does not have any effect to the story, they are there to brighten your watching experience, and maybe your day when you're feeling down. It also has a few dramatic moments which, luckily, doesn't go overboard and nothing tragic happened for a light-hearted anime.
You may have seen tons of slice of life anime, and whether they have a story or not does not really matter now. But whether it tries to make the audience feel satisfied or enjoy is a much important factor, and Yama no Susume does not fail in this. Indeed, the story may not be too perfect, but it is definitely special in many people's hearts, including mine. Also, you probably seen tons of them being school-themed. However, this anime focuses on nature instead, one of the less-used themes, and it was great that it did their utmost best to glorify this theme. All references said in the anime are real, including the attractions and legends. With some knowledge learnt, you will have a different experience that you never felt before in your anime watching.
It is nice to see a small cast, especially for a slice of life anime. This also leaves more story and development in most of each character. You already have met four girls, Aoi, Hinata, Kaede and Kokona. They have a special bond together like as if their friendships will last forever. Also, if you looked at the poster, you would see a new character, which is Honoka. She is introduced in the last few episodes and despite not having enough time to know more about her, she is a good addition to the group. Calm as always, smiles once a while too.
Aoi and Hinata has one of the best friendships I've seen. It's well-developed and despite their differences and small fights in-between, they still stick close together since young. Hinata is always out there to reach Aoi and help her along the way whenever she is stuck in a difficult situation. That also means Hinata has learnt about Aoi one step at a time and so she knows Aoi and herself more.
The girls have a nice dynamic character with different set of emotions once in a while. They are aware of their thoughts and know what to do to make themselves better. Overall, they all have developed throughout the whole story, and I'm impressed to see that. But not only just them, but also a few characters that are introduced later in the story which changed their mindset over thanks to the girls.
For a light-hearted anime, expect everything cute. Back to the point, the art for this anime is almost similar to any kind of slice of life anime, but it stands out the most for its spectacular sceneries depicting mountains, skies and buildings. The details look refined and almost real. I love the nature drawn such as the sun-rise and the flowing river. The atmosphere is lively with background people around interacting one another. The character designs are absolutely cute and nicely-detailed and a bit real. The facial expressions are well-done, that show how does the character feel.
There are two opening and three ending songs in total. One of the ending song is reused from the first season, but it's a nice touch to relive the memories of the first season as well. Overall, all of them are sweet and lovely to hear. They may not stand out with the rest in the two seasons, but honestly, I love all of them so much. I must give special mention of the animation that went along with these songs, because they have this unique art style that reminded me of the first opening in Bakemonogatari. The background music isn't really memorable but I think it's done well. The voice acting is great too.
I never had this time when I dislike an episode, and I was always power-hungry for more. This anime never failed to disappoint me, so this had to be one of the best anime I have watched since the start. I'm glad to find this anime from the first season, and I really hope to see more of cute girls climbing mountains in the future. It's regrettable to see that this anime does not pick up enough hype. So I consider a miracle if I met a random stranger and he said he had watched this anime. I really hoped a lot more people can watch this.
Hence, please watch the two seasons. They will never disappoint you, trust me.
This review is just going to be how Yama no Susume Second Season is to me.
I started out watching Yama no Susume out of curiosity (well that actually applies to most of us huh) only knowing that it's about mountain climbing. In little time Yama no Susume captured my eyes and heart to the show showing the beauty of mountain climbing but not without the challenges and suffering (and moe).
As where I'm from has no mountains so before I watched the show I had no real idea and interest in mountains not to say climbing it but this show just does it so well
in portraying to the audiences about the beauty that lies ahead upon climbing mountains. It sure did for me, after watching the Mt. Fuji arc I was inspired I was hyped to climb Mt. Fuji someday and sure as hell did I climb it on July 7th to 8th 2015 when I was in Japan (for goraiko like what the girls did in the anime).
It was like what the anime showed me it is tiring, you question yourself why are you here but in the end when you get to the top your rewards are wonders, you meet people upon climbing everyone's nice. If it wasn't for this show I wouldn't have climbed Mt. Fuji, I wouldn't have saw the beauty at the summit and during the climb, I wouldn't have experienced the feeling of being above and among the clouds. I wouldn't have experienced this once in a life time event. I am just really in love with this show they don't just show you the beauty they show you what it takes to get there as well that's why I was prepared for the suffering it had to take to get to the summit.
All and all, this show is wonderful in my opinion it's moe, realistic and inspirational an 8/10 for me.
Honestly, I happened to come by this anime purely by chance. An anime about girls climbing mountains? As soon as I read the summary, I gave it a try. What the summary anticipated was a journey, and a long one at that.
The four main characters go through many hardships and turns, and it made me want to cheer them on. Aspects of their experiences are often relatable in some way, too, like being unsure if you're able to do something, or simply an argument with your closest friend.
With art comparable to the easygoing nature scenes of Non Non Biyori's, Yama no Susume manages to
fascinate me greatly. The detail and effort put into every scene is incredible and inspiring, and the accuracy with each feature of mountain climbing as a whole is amazing. It definitely feels like the studio behind it actually went and climbed a mountain themselves, giving the animation a very genuine 'mountain aura'.
Overall, I enjoyed both seasons of Yama no Susume, although it's unfortunate that the episodes in both seasons weren't full length, but the second season made a big difference to the three-minute (?) shorts of the first season. It's an enjoyable ride, for sure.
Now, I shall begin my review that probably has nothing metaphorical to do with cars. No car brands and car models whatsoever.
Yama no Susume (Encouragement of Climb) began its season 1 as a 3-minute-per-episode moeblob, the “anime shorts” as some calls it. After watching the whole season 1 in an hour less, I thought that that was the end. And no farther stretching of stories will be made, unless the producers and staff will be making fillers. Perhaps another slice-of-life on high school grounds rather than mountains?
Instead, the writer(s) of season 2 went around (or researched) their Land of the Rising Sun to find mountains
to showcase: the episodes progress to more trekking and mountain-climbing as high as Mt. Fuji even. That itself is proper, impressive, and cultural-friendly. Animators were able to impressively showcase some of Japan’s highpoints where kawaii-moes ought to climb without parenteral guidance. I mean, just imagine: three high-schoolers and one middle-schooler are climbing Mt. Fuji on their own. How parent-wracking is that? But this is CGDCT goodness.
On the surface, that’s as plain as you get: kawaii-moes climbing mountains. Anime fans and otakus moved on with their lives to pursue bishies, panty-shot fanservices and the particular mainstream anime; they all did but I didn’t. Instead, I imagined myself on top a mountain, and went ‘hmmm…this is one remarkable, inspiring story’.
STORY = 10
To put it simply in CGDCT terms, Aoi and Hinata, who were the MCs of the short season 1, wanted to reach on top of mountains they were planning to climb all for the sake of watching the sunrise. Now, you may have heard of phrases like “move the mountain or die trying”, “the going gets tough, the tough gets going”, “it gets harder by each step”, among other variations of mountain-related cliché quotes of whatnot, and even the great Stratovarius does have their solemn metal ballad “Move the Mountain”. All in all, the message means the same: ‘encouragement’. Yes, the title itself says it.
On the surface, it’s a CGDCT moerrific anime and all things cute, but the story metaphorically tells you of encouragement in life. Life itself is putting mountains on proverbs to symbolize the arduous trek. There are failures, disappointments, and hurdles big and small. They pretty much are metaphors from the mountain’s trails, flat grounds, steep angles, rocks, grasses, and all of us have climbed throughout our lives of our own symbolic mountain until we breathe our last.
Then, as you reach the peak of the mountain, which metaphorically-means your closing path to success, you only grasp a moment of it, all for the take of watching the sunrise. You then realized that every path you took was all hard work for a glimpse of that morning sun. Sounds familiarly comprehensible? Good. This anime showed just that, like telling you all those encouragement things the moe-way.
It’s tricky but if you’re able to get past the moe-surface barrier, you’d realize what I’m talking about. Aoi and Hinata’s experiences are sugarcoated with cutesy, but you do relate to this when you find yourself in a situation where you “give up” and are sulking, or when a “friend helped you”, or when you want to overcome your fears. And yes, I’m not spoiling you on anything. It’s all just there, and again in a moe-way no doubt.
ART = 10
It’s all fluid-ish and pleasing to the eyes. What’s more, it’s not the character design that the art has nailed, but the accuracy of the Japan’s showcase of mountainous sceneries themselves. Like I said, the animators made a culture-friendly take of showcasing some of Japan’s magnificent mountains. The details were made for inviting mountain-climbing.
There’s just one thing though: it seems that most audiences generally are anime-fans and otakus who pursue bishies and panties, not tourism. And that’s a bad thing because all efforts are pretty much undermined here, next to being wasted. Yes, there are CGDCT-lovers, but that’s just a percent, a fraction of the most anime fans. Still, art-wise, the level of details is just staggering.
CHARACTER = 9
Needless to pry on this as this is CGDCT, and that’s entirely good to put characters that are easy on the heart and mind. All moe, all cutesy, all Hinata, Aoi, Kokona and Kaede.
SOUND = 10
Aoi, Hinata, Kokona and Kaede are voiced by Yuka Iguchi, Kana Asumi, Yui Ogura and Yoko Hikasa respectively. The chemistry is already there, maybe not as bonding as K-On! but these seiyuus know CGDCT and slice-of-life as if they lived it themselves. I’m impressed just by the simple and natural flow of voices and that’s very good.
ENJOYMENT = 8
There are a few niggles, particularly that climbing mountains one after the other is going to make things predictable. Though, this is CGDCT at best, and the criteria fits as much as it is seen. One thing that comes to mind was maybe because the “CGDCT formula” needs to be in the special places of houses and classrooms for it to truly work. Going around Japan with this formula may not be its strongpoint, but like I said, these are just some few niggles, and enjoying Yama no Susume was still impressive as the number 8 itself.
OVERALL = 8
You may be surprised why I rated it as eight (8), but here’s the thing: it’s absolutely moe, absolutely CGDCT, absolutely all elements come into play, and that’s why it’s an 8. Somehow, there's still something amiss...I could not put it into words but if we take a look at Non Non Biyori, the characterization seems top-notch compared to Yama no Susume. However, as these are just few niggles presented, the remark went to a fine 8. Don’t get me wrong, I like the sound of the number itself, that’s CGDCT-territory for me in fluffy clouds and beautiful mountains.