"(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.