First Impressions – Yama no Susume

Get in, loser, we’re going mountain climbing.

Yama no Susume is a cute, 3-minute episode long show that’s easy to fit into a busy schedule. My schedule, for example, is usually really busy. I imagine most students feel the same! I inevitably find myself falling behind on anime, so I quite like shorts as long as they’re decent. Just because it’s not as long doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not as good.

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“…So…how do we get down?”

The entire concept of the show is quickly and efficiently set up within the first episode. We meet the two main ladies – Hinata and Aoi – and get to know their basic relationship status through a short, flashback-filled conversation. They fit a rather typical duo mold where one is shy and socially awkward while the other one is determined to convert their friend to the same level of peppy extraversion that they possess. Hinata, being the rambunctious one, does all of the dragging. Literally. If you wondering how anyone was going to convince a girl who is terrified of heights to even set foot on a ladder let alone a mountain, the answer is a strong grip and an inability to feel guilt. Their interactions are extremely simplistic at the moment, mostly because Hinata doesn’t actually respond to what Aoi says. It’s like asking someone for the time and then they respond by telling you all about how their morning went, because they’d really just rather talk about themselves as much as possible. As it stands, Hinata is kind of a jerk.

Aoi is a bit more promising since she’s more normal, and therefore more easy to relate to. I’m also pretty scared of heights, although it’s not from climbing on a jungle gym and slipping off because the majesty of the sunset blinded me. Funny how she managed to scale a mountain as a kid (with no adults anywhere in the vicinity for some reason…) yet it’s a playground structure that does her in. By the end of the series, I imagine she will somehow overcome her fear and scale a mountain with her friend. How will she get over it? Maybe it will be sweet and touching, but at this rate Hinata will just engage in (highly ineffective) shock therapy by forcing her into it full-throttle.

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At 3 minutes, it’s hard to get a real feel for if this will be good or great. I can at least tell that it’s not bad. Yama no Susume is a harmless little slice of life show about girls climbing mountains. The comedic moments are alright (although not enough to make me laugh), and it seems like a good show to just chill out and watch without using any brain cells. As the actual mountain climbing starts the tone might shift slightly into more drama about conquering fears and friendship (and all that nonsense). For now, it’s just a fluffy show that reminds me a bit of Tamayura. If anything, I might do a series-end summary since each episode is so gosh-darned short. We’ll see how the mountain climbing progresses!

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“For starters, let’s climb Mt. Everest!”  “…St-Starters???”


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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22 Responses to “First Impressions – Yama no Susume”

  1. Jrow says:

    Of all these short-type animes I’ve seen, this might be the first one that I actually came away thinking, “this was pretty alright. I might watch another.” Most, if not all of the other short shows are comedy-filled jamming too many “jokes” into a small timeslot, so I like that YnS was more relaxed in setting up characters and the story.

    • Overcooled says:

      For this season? Yeah, definitely. It’s not amazing, but I like how it gets stuff done quickly without actually trying to cram content in.

  2. Highway says:

    Yeah, I thought this was about the best one of these. Ishida and Asakura was not bad either, but quite odd. Mangirl! was really busy and frenetic, and Ai Mai Mi was… really forgettable. Something about an embarrassing notebook?

    I haven’t watched Senyu yet.

    • Tofu says:

      Senyu is a comedy and emrbaces how ridiculous it is which made it quite enjoyable. ^^ Out of all the 5 minute shorts, I’m watching Yama no Susume and Senyu.

      So sad I realized it was only 5 minutes right at the end T_T Felt like I was trolled.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Senyu is awesome! I wish it was longer…

    • Overcooled says:

      There are a lot of shorts this season! Unfortunately they’re not all that great for the most part :< I would love for more awesome shorts like Fireball Charming to come about.

  3. PrimeHector says:

    Same here. I’m going to be watching this show to the end. It’s only three minutes.

    • Overcooled says:

      Why not, right? Unless it suddenly starts to suck, it’s a pretty good show and not a huge time sink.

  4. Foshizzel says:

    I was so sad to see this series was only three minutes?! I will just let the episodes pile up and spam watch them all <3

    • Overcooled says:

      That’s a good plan. Unfortunately, I can’t wait that long (yes, I’m that impatient) so I’ll probably watch them as they come out. I always end up with a giant backlog at the end of each season anyways so I don’t want to make it worse @[email protected]

  5. BlackBriar says:

    These short length animes are becoming frequent. The concept of the show is established but I wish it was a bit longer so one can get an actual idea of what the story is about. However, the characters are cute though the animation was a bit sketchy. As the camera was going through the classroom, the students looked so detached from the scenery that it was almost looking like a Paper Mario game.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’ll take more than one episode for anyone to get a real reading on it. It’s hard to judge a show after 3 minutes.

      I had issues with that opening scene too. It was a clever idea, but with the low budget it just looked janky.

  6. CarVac says:

    Surprisingly good. Fun characters.

  7. skylion says:

    Yep, so many shorts this season, it’s staring to look like Spring. Bad jokes aside, this is the pick of the bunch. Jokes are easy to do on a short scale, but this one looks like it wants to make some narrative impact; which will be quite the feat for it’s time-frame.

    • Highway says:

      I agree, the narrative aspect of Yama no Susume is a lot stronger than any short I’ve seen so far. The second episode was pretty nice as well.

      I watched Senyu also, and it’s more typical of the genre, a bit easier to understand than the more frenetic ones, but still feels like it’s pressed for time. The “nisepanda” is amusing, tho.

      • Overcooled says:

        It’s impressive to actually tell a decent story within such a short timeframe without feeling rushed or boxed in. Yama no Susume manages to pull it off! Impressive. It’s mainly slice of slice with comedy only second, which seems like a big difference from most of the shorts I’ve seen (such as…yeah, Senyu. Which I also liked, but it’s a very typical approach for shorts)

  8. akagami says:

    The animation is really shoddy (you can tell it’s really low budget, at the beginning I thought it was just stills, they were just standing around her and not blinking, and then the left one moves a little…); but it turned out to be decent. Well for 5 minutes, I could do a lot worse – like some of the full length shows that have disappointed (AMNESIA and Tamako). I mean, D.C. III was more to my liking than Tamako, how did that happen?!?

    (For reference K-ON really grew on me and I ended up really liking it… Chuunibyou on the other hand had me watching in the hopes of turning out better… but it didn’t).

    Of the shorts so far, Puchimas > Yama no Susme > Mangirl. Haven’t watched Senyuu yet.

    • Overcooled says:

      The animation is actually fairly okay for everything else aside from that horrible opening part. It always seems a bit sad when these puny, 3 minute things do better than full length shows. It makes them seem even worse! Although to be fair, I actually liked Tamako Market.

      I haven’t even seen some of these shorts…There really are a lot. Senyu is actually good if you get around to watching it!

      • akagami says:

        Yeah, from the online comments seems people like it. Just not my type I guess.

      • akagami says:

        Above comment was @ Tamako.

        Been catching up on first episode testing from my winter list; Senyuu isn’t bad (Shimono Hiro’s Yoshii Akihisa voice! Reminds me how much I miss Baka Test). That giraffe haha. Giraffe > bird.

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