Yama no Susume Review

Studio: 8-Bit
Publisher: Earth Star Entertainment
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Slice of Life
Release: S1 (2013) OVA (2013), S2 (2014)

Yama no Susume (lit. Encouragement of Climb) is a 13-episode heart-warming slice-of-life anime about a bubbly girl who became reclusive and anti-social due to a traumatic experience, and a friend who helps her get over it by forcing her out of her shell. One episode lasts around three to four minutes each so basically, it’s more or less going to be a short 40-minute marathon if you decide to watch one season. Surprisingly, I felt like I’ve watched a whole half-season since they’ve made really good use with the time allotted, and all the elements that comprise a full season are there. A must-watch!

Plot: On her first day of high school, Aoi Yukimura turns down an invite for tea from her fellow female classmates and concludes it’s because she isn’t good with interacting with people. She actually has already decided plans for the day, but it’s only for hobbies she could enjoy alone.

Well, until her classmate from elementary school, Hinata, whom she doesn’t remember, shows up.

Hinata reminds her that they went mountain climbing back then, and that Aoi was really psyched about it.

In her childhood, Aoi was usually just as hyper-active as Hinata, perhaps even more, until that fateful incident where she fell off the monkey bars and got injured. Ever since then, she feared heights and became a totally indoor person, making her interact with outside people less.

She says having fewer friends didn’t bother her, but subconsciously, it did. If she really was annoyed with Hinata and didn’t want to go with her, she could have just rejected her out front. But she didn’t. Turning down the invites of classmates was probably a defense mechanism for her loneliness, and she wanted to be with someone who could go pass that and literally drag her around, which is what Hinata did exactly.

Then there’s Hinata’s confession…I’ll let the screens talk for themselves. Man-tears. >.<

And just like that, Aoi remembers her past and more jolly self, as well as that unforgettable feeling she had when they saw that sunrise together.

That comprises the first two episodes, more or less. I’m really impressed how in just six minutes, this anime gets me to a teary man-tearing mood, and to the rest or the episodes, a fuwa-fuwa fluffy feeling of hugging human warmth. Anyway, witness Aoi and Hinata, and in the future, with their friends, make their climb up to the top with Yama no Susume! 🙂

RATING: 8.3/10


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