Thursday, December 21, 2017

Eight times Encouragement of Climb was my aesthetic

So Encouragement of Climb season 2 came out a couple of years ago but I only saw it last summer and I put the title for this post away in my drafts lists for the 12 days of anime 2017. 

And then I was so busy that I didn't realize that Crunchyroll had taken down all of the second season episodes until earlier this week.

So, hopefully I'll have a better version of this post next year. Frankly I just didn't have enough time to torrent the show to find the right screenshots, but here's the gist of what I was planning to write:

I don't see a lot of shows, merch, art, you name it, which match my style. While I certainly think that the cute-cute, cute-and-slightly-creepy, and cute-but-also-punk styles of art (encompassing all kinds of art mediums) are cute, none of them match what feels like my brand of "pretty."

I say "pretty" not "cute" since I feel like that's what it is; the styles I dream of buying aren't so much cute as they are slightly more "neutral" but certainly more attractive (and not really butch either, in some ways it'd be easier to dress nicely if I fell solidly into one or the other of those categories). In some ways, I blame my mom for buying lots of Lands End and LL Bean clothes when I was growing up, one because it means I now have high standards for the clothes I buy as an adult and these higher quality clothes cost more but also because that's what I aspire to. I want clothes that look cool, well-cut, well-fitted, pretty, and also like I could go on at least a mild adventure in them. I mean, you are reading the words of a person who is not joking when she says she can break into a run in every pair of shoes she owns! (yes even the heels, when you're trying to catch the metro on the weekend you're running no matter WHAT you have on!)

Encouragement of Climb feels like the first story to "get" the kind of look I'm going for. The girls are mountain climbing but still in an anime so their outfits are a nice mixture of pretty (nice colors, everything fits well etc) but with practical (jackets, boots, hairstyles etc). The one girl who dress a little fancier even dresses in the Mori Girl style which is a style I like quite a bit, even if I can't quite emulate it myself (you need super-specifically cut clothes to achieve that drape and honestly probably an even flatter and skinnier figure that even I've got). Hell I straight up want their clothes for my outdoor adventures!

There were a number of specific moments in the second season that also tickled me, like the scenes with the girls getting hand-me-down jackets (hand-me-downs were a big thing in my life until I was a teenager) or the scenes with the girls shopping, evoking memories of all the times I would wander around REI and admire all the adventuring gear that I'd love to use myself some day. I felt like this show was my kind of feminity: the kind that never needs to be stated or remarked on, it's simply there and needs no dressing up.