The third season of ヤマノススメ [Yama no Susume, literally Mountain Girls, translated as Encouragement of a Climb] is airing this summer. I watched the first episode and only then realized I have not watched the preceding special! Not that there was any development in the OVA. My biggest hurdle is not remembering the second season well enough, since I had finished it 3.5 years ago. I’m serious—the second season aired in 2014.
Back to last year’s OVA, one interesting snippet of information is that the two short stories are not adapted from the manga. They are anime-originals. The script was written by the man, who wrote the script to the anime adaptation of Girls’ Last Tour, Fudeyasu Kazuyuki. And that was a job well done.
ここなの8/31 | Kokona’s 31/8
The first, roughly 11-minute story focuses on Kokona. Kokona and her mother planned to spend the last day of August together, possibly hiking. Unfortunately Mom was called into work and Kokona will be spending the day alone.
Her mother left for work at dusk, so she breakfasts alone.
She goes to the place, where she usually meets up with Hinata and Aoi, but they’re not there. She follows a kitten along an path unknown to her to its mother.
She thinks of her mother and decides to take a short walk following her mother’s and her own footsteps. She goes to a shrine they once visited together, where Kokona prayed to be able to stay with her mother forever. She visits the Second Mt. Tenran, a smaller hill across the town from the original Mt. Tenran. She walks by the library and sees Kaede being dragged off by a friend to study, although she would rather to hiking in the mountains. Walks over a bridge over the river where she played with her mother. She helps a lost girl find her mother, recalling a time when she herself got lost. But she found her way back to her mother.
Every steps she takes, she if reminded of her mother, who is working hard that day. In the end Kokona spent the whole day with her in mind, remembering old outings.
At one point she stops by a botanical garden of sorts and sees these beautiful flowers. I tried googling them. Let me know if my guesses are correct.
ひなたの10/28 | Hinata’s 28/10
The second story is also about memories. Aoi and Hinata remember the time they were separated, when Hinata’s family moved out of Hannō due to family reasons. Back then they gave each other acorn creations and promises that they’ll never forget each other.
The whole story is Hinata trying to remember the past. She looks through an old album with Aoi and talks to her father.
In the end she does recall the day they collected the acorns.
And so, they go collect more acorns with Aoi and make acorn bracelets. Although the CG is awful. (But I’m biased in that aspect.)
Overall, as you might have noticed, I found Kokona’s story much more interesting. The way the stories complete each other is nice—Kokona appearing in the girls’ memory and the girls visiting the same spot. I don’t like how the backgrounds are visibly adapted from photographs, but it would be nice to walk around Hannō and retrace Kokona’s steps.
The animation is the same as always. Kokona’s story is beautiful. The second story is actually titular, Omoide Present meaning a gift of memories. I love that it addresses the fact that Aoi forgot Hinata altogether, not just her gift, and develops their relationship further. Even so, it was okay, I suppose? Rating 6/10 aka fine.