I am not certain what starts a trend, but there is some trigger. Usually, one company does a particularly themed show, it really takes off and then everyone else rushes to produce a show in that area or sub-genre. I had this with a ton of biking shows a couple of years ago and now, I am seeing it with outdoor shows. I ran into a short pull series about girls who hike up mountains and now, I am given “Yuru Camp”(“Laid-Back Camp”).
We start off with Rin Shima (her of the big bun, second from left). She likes camping alone and in the wintertime. She goes to a campsite opposite Mount Fuji, but sees a girl there, sleeping near the restrooms. This girl is Nadeshiko Kagamihara (red in the center) who got herself lost, as she just moved to the area. Rin tends to her until Big Sister Sakura retrieves her.
Nadeshiko checks out the Outdoor Activities Club at her new school, which only has two members, Aoi Inuyama and Chiaki Ohgaki (spots four and five). Their ‘club room’ is an impossible storage area, but any room for a club, right? Ena Saitou (far left with dog) who is a friend of Rin, lets them know she attends this selfsame school (imagine that!)
The series tries to do two things: one, show the interesting things that happen when camping and two, the girls’ attempts to get Rin to join the Club. She really is a lone wolf and prefers the solitude that winter camping offers, either not knowing or not caring about the camaraderie of group camping. We are there for all of the camping missteps and how to camp best on a limited budget.
One funny episode involves Minami Toba, whom they kind of blackmail into being the Teacher Advisor for the club. She is a bit over the top. In a broad sense, they are all over the top in one form or another. As cool and collected as Rin is, Nadeshiko is bubbly and frothy and all over the place. And Minami, when in her cups, is a total train wreck.
This show does give you an idea of the sights to be seen away from the hustle and bustle of the metroburbia. It is certainly more than merely setting up camp and gobbling down a meal and going to bed. It is also the sights and sounds and the stories and legends that accompany the locales.
Yes, one could honestly argue against a solo girl, at a remote campsite, in the dead of winter and the problems that portends in our world. But this is their world and the worst that happens is that you misread a map. Pffffft!
The struggles to get Rin to join are comedic, but I do not see the real introspection for Rin. I do not know why she camps alone, and understand less why she STILL camps alone. And this show also had those annoying ‘Safety Messages’.
I am of the belief that most folks who watch anime are not going to decide to go camping on the Asagiri Plateau just from seeing this, but you can’t take any chances. “Always mind the campsite and facility rules. Don’t forget to take care of your fires and your trash. It gets cold during the winter. Stay warm and be well-prepared.” Got it? Good, as there will be a short test next period.
It was a nice change of pace, even though it was an estrogen-heavy show. Although this is not on the ‘Must See Now” list, you should make room for it.
Or binge it all. Yes, this show can take it on, as we do have two separate story lines and we can see the growth and development of all involved. It doesn’t feel like it is cloying or playing things for laughs, but you see the constant emotional development of all involved.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (What’s with the eyes?)
Plot 7 (Rather typical)
Pacing 7 (Almost too languid in the camping parts)
Effectiveness 8 (They really try their hardest in all aspects)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Bingeability 9 (It’s game if you are)
Overall 7 (Some level of connection was missing)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. What a view!