I usually watch at least one CGDCT anime per season and in my Season Preview for Winter 2018, I said that Laid-Back Camp was most likely to fulfill that niche. I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read of the manga and I think the relaxing activity of camping suits the iyashikei/slice of life template extremely well. And after watching this premiere, I’d say Laid-Back Camp is even more likely to make the cut on the watch list now.
One thing is for sure, Laid-Back Camp is quite upfront about it being a relaxing show about camping. The first episode largely centers around just one of its five main characters, Rin Shima (Nao Touyama), as she sets up camp near Mt. Fuji. The simple plot and the slow pacing is certainly an acquired taste so I can’t blame anyone if it’s a turn-off for them. Personally, I quite like how methodical and calm this show feels, often even letting silence, scenery, and/or action play things out. Just seeing Rin camp says a lot about her character; the fact that she’s camping by herself makes it apparent that she’s a self-sufficient and experienced camper. Exposition is largely saved for the more technical details regarding camping and that’s largely given to us by a narrator. Most of Rin’s dialogue emphasize what she finds comforting and cathartic about camping with a fire nearby.
Occasionally, Rin takes a trip to the public restroom and she sees a girl, Nadeshiko Kagamihara (Yumiri Hanamori), sleeping nearby. I really love how this is how the show introduces its second main character. Just the fact that she’s sleeping in broad daylight near the toilets is a strange sight by default but it also suggests her ditzy personality and it contrasts with Rin’s self-sufficiency. Eventually, Nadeshiko wakes up and realizes that she’s stranded. Things get a little bit more lively as Nadeshiko accidentally jump scares Rin, realizes she’s without her phone, and takes refuge at Rin’s camp. I really like how these two interact with Nadeshiko just being energetic and friendly while Rin is understandably confused over the former but still willing to help her stay safe. Rin also shows Nadeshiko what can make camping a wonderful experience: a gorgeous, picturesque nighttime view of Mt. Fuji.
I really like how this show looks visually. There’s an interesting synergy between the moe looking cast and the more photo-realistic backgrounds. The characters are able to look cute at all times while the scenery is as serene and pretty as it ought to be given the camping premise. I was afraid that the combination might be jarring but it surprisingly doesn’t since the coloring on the character designs are a little muted and thus blend pretty well with the backgrounds. I’m also digging this show’s soundtrack; it’s an ambient and folkish tone and the occasional use of whistling suits this show perfectly.
With some more CGDCT anime on the way, it’ll be interesting to see how Laid-Back Camp stacks up against the competition. Regardless, I’m really enjoying these characters and this chilled premise and tone so I plan on checking out more of this show.
Thanks for reading!
Laid-Back Camp is officially available on Crunchyroll.
For all of my Episode Reviews for Laid-Back Camp, check out the show’s archive page!
Consider supporting my blog via: