Saturday, June 28, 2014

Anime Review No. 82 (Yama no Susume)

Yama no Susume
Initial Airing: January 2-March 20 2013
Director: Yusuke Yamamoto (B Gata H Kei, Walkure Romanze)
Creator: Shiro (mangaka)
Studio: 8-Bit (Busou Shinki, Infinite Stratos, Tokyo Ravens, Walkure Romanze)

So, hi there this is the Eclectic Dude and today is my birthday. Also, this is the last review I am doing at my parents’ place. Suffice to say, I am to be gainfully employed starting next month and will be moving out finally on my own. So, I am taking a look at a short series from early last year, one that was somewhat overlooked, that being Yama no Susume.

Yama no Susume, or Encouragement of Climb, is about a gang of four high school girls and their adventures doing mountain ‘climbing’,  though its about hiking and camping in the outdoors. Not sure if thats a translation error or something but then again I suppose hiking is one way of climbing a mountain. The main reason I picked up this show was that hiking was a big part of my growing-up, as I was in the Cub and later Boy Scouts and lived at least nearby an area where the outdoors was still somewhat undisturbed. So watching this show was rather nostalgic for me. Of course, I go on the occasional hike or walk outside, but nothing to the extent I did back in the day. I am glad to be moving out to a place where perhaps I can pick up doing that on a more regular basis. Anyway, tangent done.
(L-R): Hinata, Yukimura, Kokona
Now onto the characters, which is your somewhat typical moe girl stereotypes, but have enough dimension to at least be distinguishable. First there’s Yukimura Aoi, the shy and cute one who was once into hiking but a childhood incident scarred her for life and she developed acrophobia. Fortunately, Hinata the genki girl and old friend of Aoi from grade school, helps her out of her fear of heights and to grow an appreciation for the outdoors again. In the course of the show, the two meet two other girls: Kaede Saito, a megane babe who’s a big time camper and Kokona, the young and ditzy cutie of the group.
At least she didnt take a arrow to no not going to finish that xD
This leads into the story, which is one of the strong points of the show. Granted, each episode is 3 minutes with 30 sec ending song (episode 12 has an extra minute). In other words, it took me just under an hour to watch the entire series. So, one would expect a short series to be just random stuff with no cohesion, right? Not so with Yama no Susume, as there is a semblance of a overarching storyline over the series of shortened length episodes. The whole show is rather economical, at least in terms of character and plot.

The animation is cheap and adequate enough for a short series. There exists some quite Impressive background art work of the outdoors and the full-on mountain vistas.
Ooooh pretty backdrop
But you know what, that’s alright, because it was a nice breeze to watch. Its a good-natured, light-hearted, soothing slightly educational SoL (slice of life) show. Also, I am highlighting  this show in preparation of the second season, coming out in July 9. And the good news-its 24 episodes long, each episode being 15 minutes. That fact alone soothes my soul and I can’t wait for the second season. Let the climb continue!
Yesh the Internet, our grand saviour!!!
Yama no Susume is available (legally) through Crunchyroll, not only for free but with no ads woot. Here’s the link for it: CR Link to Encouragement of Climb Watch it and enjoy!

I shall be doing a blip for the tip jar page around 4th of July weekend and then resume with reviews starting August 3rd. See you then!