Laid-Back Camp (Yuru Camp) was not originally on my list of things to check out. But after reading A Nerdy Perspective’s Post, Camping, Cup Noodles and Cosiness (Yuru Camp First Impressions), I figured it couldn’t hurt to at least see what it is about. The truth is that I love anime that focuses on pure relaxation with no complicated plots, or dramatic characters. It helps me to kick back and unwind after watching a lot of heavier serials that I tend to gravitate towards. Naturally, when I read that this was such a show, I had to test it out. It is produced by C-Station and directed by Yoshiaki Kyōgoku.
Laid-Back Camp is about a small group of girls who come together to form a school club relating to outdoor activities, such as camping! In the first episode, we meet Rin, who is a girl that enjoys camping by herself. She is just beginning a short camping trip in Yamanashi, on a beach that has the most breath-taking view of Mount Fuji. During her stay here, she stumbles into a sleeping Nadeshiko, who has recently moved to the area. Later when they interact, Rin sees that Nadeshiko is starving and does not have a means of getting back home, Rin offers her some curry ramen noodles as they sit by her small fire.
This is an adorable show and not at all what I was expecting. To be honest, I figured it would be some sort of self-help, educational type series that would discuss in detail all the technicalities of camping; an activity I am not too keen on. While it does offer titbits of information on how to start a basic campfire, it was done within a minute or two, and the rest of the time the focus was on the characters and their first interactions. I loved that.
The way that Rin and Nadeshiko interact is nothing special or unique. It is mildly comical, but mostly genuine. I am very much a person who could fall asleep about anywhere if I felt safe, and I could relate to that part of Nadeshiko’s personality quite well. Yet, I am also like Rin in regard to being quiet and timid, which allowed me to empathise with her as she sat across from this strange and boisterous young person. It made me smile, it made me chuckle, and it made me feel really relaxed.
Other aspects that I found pleasant consists of the animation style. As a whole, it is regular and uneventful, but the soft and cute nature of the character designs, as well as the beautifully rendered scenery makes it aesthetically amiable. The music is comprised of a delightful combination of string and wing instruments that create a wonderful balance to complement the easy-going and charming vibe that veils the episode.
Overall, I enjoyed episode one of Laid-Back Camp quite a bit more than originally predicted. It surprised me, and I actually look forward to continuing onwards and seeing where these girls will end up on their outdoor adventures.
You can watch Laid-Back Camp on CrunchyRoll on Thursdays!