Sep 24, 2018
MarisaTheCube (All reviews)
Yama no Susume: Season 3 continues the story and aesthetics of the previous two seasons, following Aoi Yukimura, Hinata Kuraue, and their friends as they go hiking and enjoy life together. It does not manage to reach the heights of the supremely well-done Season Two, but still manages to be an enjoyable slice-of-life.

Story and Character (7/10): The story is largely episodic and follows a similar structure to previous seasons, but has a rather different tone and focus. While Seasons 1 and 2 focused largely on hiking with some minor character development on the side, Season 3 switches these and focuses more on character interactions. Some episodes involve Aoi overcoming personal struggles, while many others reveal how she and Hinata question their friendship and worry about what they think of each other. These events do provide some interesting developments and are occasionally heartwarming, but the drama can get irritating at times and the relative lack of hiking compared to S1 and S2 was disappointing. I would have liked to see a better balance between these elements, as was found in Season Two.

Without spoiling anything, it is worth noting that the story does not fully conclude at the end, instead leaving itself open for future seasons. This is unfortunate, but considering the show’s length, it is not unexpected.

The cast of supporting characters was serviceable but mostly pushed to the side. Kokona and Kaede both return relatively unchanged, but Kokona did not make any major contributions to the story and Kaede in particular was notably absent for a large majority of the series. However, Honoka (who was introduced in Season Two) did have a good presence in several episodes.

Art and Sound (7/10): There isn’t much to discuss here. Backgrounds and scenery are still very pretty and well-drawn, but character design is much simpler than in previous seasons. Faces are sometimes only illustrated with simple lines and dots from a distance, which is noticeably low-quality.

The soundtrack isn’t very memorable aside from the opening and closing, which are both catchy and a pleasure to listen to. I especially liked “Chiheisen Stride”, the opening.

Overall (7): Yama no Susume: Season 3 was an enjoyable but decidedly different series when compared to the seasons before it. Its relative lack of climbing, unfinished story, and inclusion of drama make it a weaker overall piece, but for those who enjoyed previous seasons, it is still worth a watch.