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Encouragement Of Climb: Next Summit Release Date, Characters, Plot - What We Know So Far

If you can't get enough of the cozy, outdoor vibes delivered by anime like "Laid Back Camp," then you may want to look into a similarly wholesome show, "Encouragement of Climb." Based on the 2011 manga by author Shiro, "Encouragement of Climb" is an ode to mountaineering, and the benefits of tackling the wilderness with your friends. The series received its first anime adaptation in 2013, with a follow-up season in 2014. The show's third, and most recent, season debuted in 2018, all of which were simulcast by Crunchyroll (via Anime News Network).

However, it's been three years since fans have seen anything from "Encouragement of Climb." Thankfully, recent news has revealed another entry in the series is well on its way. With a set release window and a new addition to the show's cast of characters, "Encouragement of Climb: Next Summit" plans to bring more comfort through its slice-of-life storytelling. Here is what we know about the show so far.

When will Encouragement of Climb: Next Summit be released?

According to Anime News Network, the manga's original publisher, "Comic Earth Star" magazine, first teased the project in 2019. The official title and premise for the show, however, would not be revealed until March 2021. On September 5, anime distributor Kadokawa released a promotional video for "Next Summit" on YouTube, simultaneously revealing a 2022 release window for the upcoming project. Unfortunately, Kadokawa did not specify any further on the anime's release date.

The company also did not mention when or how the series will be broadcast internationally, though it would be safe to assume that "Next Summit" will receive the same treatment as its predecessors and be simulcast through Crunchyroll. Additionally, "Next Summit" is not likely to receive an English dub, as the series' previous seasons were only broadcast in Japanese. This may not be great news for some, but one can hardly complain too much when the series' fans are receiving a translation almost immediately after the show's initial release.

Who are the characters in Encouragement of Climb: Next Summit?

At first, "Encouragement of Climb" primarily focused on the adventures of two middle school girls, Aoi Yukimura and Hinata Kuraue. These two girls, played by Yuka Iguchi and Kana Asumi respectively, form a bond over their shared love of mountaineering. Eventually, more girls from their school get roped into the habit, adding to the show's overall cast of characters. Aoi and Hinata's other companions include Kaede Saito (Yoko Hikasa), Kokona Aoba (Yui Ogura), and Honoka Kurosaki (Nao Toyama).

All of these characters are set to make an appearance in "Next Summit," along with the addition of a brand new girl named Koharu (via Anime News Network). As president of the school's mountaineering club, Koharu loves climbing Japan's mountains as much as anyone else in a show solely dedicated to the act of climbing mountains with one's friends. She is played by actress Emiri Iwai.

What is the plot of Encouragement of Climb: Next Summit?

The original season of "Encouragement of Climb" focused primarily on the relationship between its two main girls, Aoi and Hinata, as the former learns to rediscover her lost love of the outdoors following an accident that left her with a fear of heights. From then on, the series follows the two's adventures climbing mountains, meeting new friends, and dealing with their problems in the most wholesome ways possible.

Much the same can likely be said for "Next Summit," which doesn't seem to be making any big changes in the series' formula. Apart from the addition of Koharu, "Next Summit" will still be more about enjoying a lighthearted adventure than anything else. That being said, Koharu's presence does potentially breathe in some new life and a sense of variety to such a long-running slice-of-life series.

Unfortunately, we don't know what exactly Koharu will add to the series just yet. Though the show's staff has shared promotional art of the character, they have actually revealed very little about what her backstory is and how that will affect Aoi and Hinata. We will learn, however, when "Encouragement of Climb: Next Summit" releases in 2022.