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Encouragement of Climb | The Miso Review

Short anime with a running time of only a few minutes have become more and more frequent in recent years. They can be a great solution for a busy fan and make a perfect watch for work breaks. But it’s hard to believe something with such little screen time can be worth it. In this Miso Review, we’ll be taking a look at one of these shorts and see how high a peak Encouragement of Climb can reach.

Encouragement of Climb

Cover art of Encouragement of Climb, shows the four main girls camping out on the mountainside.

Encouragement of Climb follows the journey of a shy girl named Aoi Yukimura. As a child Aoi was enchanted by the mountains and the idea of climbing them to see all the beautiful views mother nature could provide. However, an incident on the playground left her with a broken arm and a fear of heights to boot. Since then she’d turned to other activities, most indoors, all solo. But upon entering her first year of high school that small comfort zone is broken.

When her friendly and high-spirited childhood friend arrives in Aoi’s class one day, she is insistent that Aoi joins her in climbing once more! Clearly she is reluctant at first…but being with Hinata brings back fond memories. That includes one of a sunrise that would make anyone fall for the mountains as well as an important promise:

“Let’s come here together again someday.”

Two hands holding onto each other, a sunrise in the backdrop. (Screencap from Encouragement of Climb)

My Thoughts

Encouragement of Climb is by no means a complex story. Nevertheless it is an endearing one. It explores a theme of holding back because of fear. Fears are no doubt something that tend to be more abundant with age. It’s an odd contrast to the invincible character held by adults in the eyes of a child. Most importantly however, it explores the theme of conquering it.

The girls holding hands as they descend a tree littered mountain path. (Screencap from Encouragement of Climb)

Watching Aoi slowly begin to indulge in the adventure too often lost to growing up is nothing short of heartwarming. The mountain climbing journeys themselves are fun and make you want to join them. The same is to be said for Aoi learning to enjoy sending time with others. While the other characters are, like the story, not very complex they are pleasant enough company for the road.

A signpost at the entrance of Mt. Tenran (Screencap from Encouragement of Climb)

The animation and sound is nothing of much note. The soundtrack and voice actors serve their job well, never seeming out of place. Environment is likely where Encouragement of Climb shines the most in this department. The scenery is well drawn and inviting and along with the cute characters, provides the show with a soft look.

In the end Encouragement of Climb does undeniably land in the simple category of “cute girls doing cute things” but its execution lets it climb above an average moe, fluff piece.

Miso Rating: 3/5 Soups

Enjoy a more relaxed watching experience like Encouragement of Climb? Check out our Top 3 Slice of Life picks!

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