Excuse me, I’m about to overdose on sweetness. Encouragement of Climb is the anime you show your young girls to get them excited about the outdoors, specifically peak bagging. Moe piled upon moe. Overload of cuteness. Each ep. is a whopping 3 minutes long plus 30 sec. for the closing, all 12 of them. Cute Girls Climbing Cute Mountains.
Probably not one a lot of boys would be interested in. This is young shoujo at its shoujo-est.
Aoi and Hinata were grade school friends. Both were fascinated by mountains after seeing the sunrise from the top of Mt. Tanigawa. But alas… Aoi falls from a jungle gym and breaks her leg. After this, she develops a fear of heights, starts becoming a social isolate and loses confidence.
At the beginning of high school, they are reunited in the same class. Hinata literally grabs Aoi and gets her to hike up a local hill. This gives a reboot to Aoi’s life as she develops more confidence and makes new friends. Hinta becomes her Mentor and their arcs begin to progress.
Kaede is a year ahead of them. Aoi meets her at the local mountain shop, stressing over which sleeping bag to buy for a backpacking trip. She suggests that Kaede buy the better one rather than risk regretting the cheap one. Later she contacts Kaede to find an easy local mountain to hike up.
Going up this mountain Aoi and Hinata take the heavily commercialized main route and then the relatively unused dirt trail down. Hiking up this new mountain Aoi and Hinata encounter Kokona, whose shoe sole is falling off. They do a temporary fix with wire and hike the rest of the way down with her. Kokona is still in middle school a year behind them. And now we have the fundamental hiking group that we’ll see later in the series.
Some of these episodes are virtual instructional guides for beginning hikers. I don’t mind. I love watching the kids learn. How to cook outdoors. How to put up a tent. Even how you shouldn’t hold hands while traversing tricky terrain. Will only three minutes per episode the instructions are done masterfully and quickly.
Aoi and Hinata are written and drawn a bit young for high school first years. They look like middle schoolers. They act and sound even younger.
Season 2… wait? What the fresh hell is this? Crunchyroll had season one and three but no longer has season 2????? Well screw this! I am off to my usual search engines. After a long hard Google, I found it.
Now that I have it, on to season 2!