Laid-Back Camp: Will You Camp With Me?

I’m a person that believes in balance. If I watch one kind of show then I need a different show for balance. If I watch some kind of high octane show that just goes all in with its explosive animation and dramatic story telling, then I want something a lot smaller and comfy to balance it out. It’s something that I have to do in order to bring myself back to a normal, functioning state of being. There you go, there’s some backstory in what I do. Laid-Back Camp is what I am using to balance out the crazy drama of Saint Seiya this week! All of which works in the context of this atmospheric recovery, because Laid-Back Camp is one of a few shows that I watched while watching that death march of a good time. Lays down with a blanket covering me Not a bad way to live. ZZZZZZ.

This is where I would have a spoiler warning, but spoiling things wouldn’t actually hurt anything in this show for people who want massive story telling. It’s a very laid-back show

Rin

Sudden wake up Oh, we were talking about anime. Laid-Back Camp was it? Yeah, that was it. The story starts when one protagonist meets another at a camp ground around Lake Motosu in Japan. You know, a camp ground that you can see Mount Fuji just right. Well, that is what our protagonist thinks. On her camping tripRin Shima notices a pink haired girl Nadeshiko sleeping just outside of the camp ground in a comfy, but cold place. Being somewhat social, Rin invites Nadeshiko to join her for a little bit including a meal of instant ramen on her camp ground. That’s where we learn the real story on why our pink haired friend is there. Nadeshiko is new to the area and got lost on her way to see Mount Fuji. Picked up by her sister, Nadeshiko starts her own journey around camping too.

The first episode is the spark for the start of Nadeshiko’s love of camping. The show splits into two narratives. Most of the time we spend time with Rin going on solo camp adventures which are fun and full of cute moments. At the same time, we follow Nadeshiki as she joins the outdoors club, which comes with a fun duo, and learns more about camping. She sees the equipment and prices of all the materials involved. It’s kind of perfect in the way that it explains to you how much these things cost when you camp while also discussing what camp grounds while seeing it in action. It’s also awesome to see in a very character focused way too. These are people, not encyclopedias. Each person thinks and teaches in different ways.

For a show about camping and camping all the time, it’s great to have some characters you can really relate to going on their journey with you. Each one of our girls (in which there is five) are simple characters that feel like real people. Sometimes being simple works better than having a complex backstory and motivation. In this, these girls just want to go camping. Rin is the central main character of Laid-Back Camp. She is a seemingly introverted sort of character who keeps to herself a lot, but you get doses of her fun sense of humor in her texts and other things she does to get people’s attention. Seeing more that come more into fruition in the series was great. Especially with the constant jokes of dogs appearing around her. I love dogs and that improved the enjoyment I was already having.

Pink Haired Nadeshiko is the secondary main character and she can be described as a human Labrador. Nadeshiko is constantly excited about things, fetching things, constantly excited to learn, and is more focused on things in front of her without planning. Very puppy like. At the same time, she is a very kind person that wants to enjoy life and camp too. She wants to camp with Rin and possibly get Rin camp with the members of the Outdoors Activities Club too. Speaking of the Outdoors Activities Club, you have Aoi with the fang tooth who is the more laidback and thoughtful member of the club who thinks before moving and Chiaki with the glasses who says bold things and then realizes she stepped too far for her own good and has to actually perform what she said. Made me laugh every time. There is also Rin’s lazy friend Ena who Rin contacts on the phone. She’s cool, sleeps a lot, and just naturally becomes friends with everyone.

So yes, Laid-Back Camp is all about camping. It’s the lowest stakes series that you can probably create because nothing that happens is really death defying besides Rin driving around Japan’s highways on a motor scooter. Nothing too serious though. That one major plot concept “Will Rin camp with the rest of the Outdoor Activities Club? Will she break outside of her shell to do it?” Just sit back or lay back on your couch or wherever wrapped up in your blanket and just enjoy it. It’s very entertaining watching people work so hard to achieve a small, reachable dream like that. Just like how it’s fun to see people go about their passions. No matter what the scenario is, it’s interesting to watch for one reason or another.

I think that the visuals of Laid-Back Camp aren’t that great honestly. I mean yes, the character designs are actually unique despite being moe character designs because the clothes and faces they wear are actually allow them to tell the difference between characters easily. That’s fine. It’s also not like the show needed to capture them moving a lot because camping doesn’t require a lot of movement. My problem is trees. I do love the camp grounds, views, and things, but the trees never felt like they had any sort of dimension to them. They took me completely out of the experience of the show every time they became a focus. Same with Rin and her cg scooter I suppose. Those the smoke and fire effects were pretty great. I guess I’m just trying to nitpick here.

I think I said most of what I had to say, so you know that I really like it. So that means a solid rating honestly. It’s very warm and comfy with likeable characters doing things that they like. That thing just happens to be camping. It’s good and there is a chance that you’ve watched it already because I just watched it recently like a lame person. That’s ok, I’ve embraced the Secret Blanket Society now.


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15 thoughts on “Laid-Back Camp: Will You Camp With Me?

  1. Ha! I did something similar when I watched Ergo Proxy. I’d watch 3 or four episodes at a time and then watch a couple of episodes of Maken-ki. I’ve not seen Laid Back Camp, but keep it in mind the next time I’m I to something gritty.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Absolutely love this series. It is the perfect way to wind down after a stressful day. The characters, backgrounds and soundtrack are all amazing to experience. I have listened to the soundtrack on my music player on days I needed to relax. It’s that good. All the characters are great but Rin resonated with me the most as I can appreciate her desire to enjoy things on their own. I liked how why the other characters wanted to include her in their adventures, they also didn’t give her crap for going solo which is a nice message. I also thought it was cool to learn more about Japan’s natural beauty with the camp sites. So glad a second full season was announced. While Room Camp was a lot of fun, I needed that full episode fix.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Room Camp is great. Episodes are only about 3 minutes long but still a lot of fun to watch. I wish they were longer in length but they are a great holdover until the proper season 2 comes out.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “Yuru Camp” was really good. I was glad that camping alone wasn’t treated as a problem that Rin had to overcome. To be comfortable with yourself when you are alone – and to even enjoy being alone – is not the standard approach to teenage girls in anime.

    Like grandfather, like, granddaughter.

    “Heya Camp” is kind of an odd duck. It is a minor continuation of “Yuru Camp” but without the camping.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. YuruCamp was more fun than I expected a CGDCT anime to be – I originally picked it to balance out an abnormally boy-heavy season (plus look out for a talking pinecone…which seems to never appear again, sadly enough), but got wrapped up (no pun intended for the Secret Society) in the other stuff too. The pinnacle of this experience was that I managed to find an ad for it in a tourist store near one of the lakes when I went to Japan(!)

    Heya Camp is a bit disappointing, though – YuruCamp – Rin + 3 min. runtime = a substantially worse off show. This is just based on 1 ep., but other comments are agreeing here so I thought I’d say it too.

    Liked by 1 person

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