Yep, I decided to cover Laid-Back Camp after all. I tried watching it as Filler but the truth is that there is still a fair amount to talk about. The tricky part is finding the time; this semester is keeping me busy and I already have enough anime on my plate. I’m unsure if I’ll be able to cover everything about this show on a timely manner so for now, I ask that you’ll bear with me here.
Anyway, I can’t help but feel that the story of Laid-Back Camp is awfully more outlined compared to other CGDCT anime. There are certainly hijinks to be found here but continuity seems a lot tighter in this show. Not once, does it feel like the usual anthology of antics that adhere to a loose sense of continuity. All the cute moments naturally occur as the characters take camping trips and there is a clearer sense of time passing in the story than you’d think. I feel like that works to Laid-Back Camp‘s benefit; it suits the methodical aspect of camping and it also helps you buy into the growing friendship between these characters.
Something that has seriously cracked me up in Laid-Back Camp is the apparent gap in funds and resources between Rin and everyone at the Outdoor Activities Club. Seriously, why is this club so stinking broke? You know they’re desperate to save money when they considered makeshift sleeping bags only to accept that it’s more practical to buy them. Rin, meanwhile, just seems loaded with cash. Is she that good at saving money or is the bookstore she works at pays that well? She not only has all the essential gear on hand, she’s able to indulge in even more fancy equipment and luxurious cafe items. She even gets a motorcycle at one point. A MOTORCYCLE. When did she even get a license to drive one?
Frankly, Aki and Aoi seem awfully sidelined in this plot. Episodes 4 and 5 do give them so much needed screentime but when you get to Episode 6, it’s back to Nadeshiko and Rin again. These two do get their moments though. I seriously lost it when the two tried hitchhiking just to get uphill faster. It’s funny because you can picture a camper hitchhiking a ride but also the fact that they’re just tired of walking and only need to walk a little bit more for a couple of minutes.
At its core, Laid-Back Camp hinges a lot more on the friendship between Nadeshiko and Rin. It has been interesting how Rin hasn’t budged too much from her solo camping preference. In any other CGDCT show, the logical course of action would be to have the lone wolf cave in and join the club. And while Rin probably will tag along, the change has been a lot more gradual than I realized. It is really nice of Nadeshiko to be so accepting of Rin’s choice. She neither upset nor saddened by this fact and she seems quite content with alternating between the club and camping with Rin.
One thing I really like is how these two still grow close whether or not they’re together on screen. The most telling example is when Nadeshiko and Rin text each other at night and share pictures of the night sky. That was a particularly powerful scene, especially with how the direction juxtaposes Rin and Nadeshiko’s positions in the frame together before showing them together in the same shot. It offers a really strong message too; teaching the viewer that friendship can go stronger even if it isn’t within proximity.
Of course, it is nice to see the two together onscreen again in Episode 6. I like how hesitant Rin originally is with handing her gift to Nadeshiko but when she does, there’s a subtle smile on her face. On top of that, the two are camping together again and with Rin’s fancy new grill no less (seriously, why does she have all the money?).
I’m looking forward to that trip…just don’t expect me to talk about it on time.
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!
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