It’s always nice to watch more Laid-Back Camp. It’s the kind of anime that makes me really appreciate the slice of life genre — a charming cast of characters; strong, methodical pacing ; a cathartic atmosphere; and clear passion towards its subject matter. Blogging about the show was fun too, even in spite of my horribly inconsistent output during college.
I’m still holding hope for a second season (the disc sales look promising) but until there’s official confirmation, I’ll make do with these three OVA specials. Let’s take a look, shall we?
#1: Room Camp Episode 0
I somehow neglected to comment this back when I was covering the main show but I love the Room Camp (Heya Camp) segments. They were a great excuse to give some screen time to the Outdoor Activities Club and a good reminder that its members are horribly broke (always amusing). That we have a prequel to this mini series though is pretty silly. Are we really missing some hidden Laid-Back Camp lore? With or without this special, I figured Aki and Aoi were always dealing with poor budgets.
Out of all the specials, I’d say this is the most “traditional” one though I hardly mean that as a bad thing. It’s still fun watching these girls come up with ways to save money, only for the ideas to get increasingly impractical. The highlight and the magnum opus to the girls’ “creativity” is a makeshift tent made out of all sorts of things: curtains, umbrellas, and disco balls (because why not?). The image is even funnier because of how deadpan Aki and Aoi are when the wind blows them over. Bonus points for discreetly having Aoi cry over the accident. Overall, this a fun special that fits nicely within the Room Camp canon(?).
#2: Horror Camp
This title threw me off a bit and that this is a not a Halloween-themed episode wounds me. I’d pay so much to see that.
What you have instead is a lot of characters trolling Nadeshiko like crazy. First, you have an extension to a then one-off joke where Aoi tells Nadeshiko an elaborate lie about soba udon. That joke itself was pretty good due to its absurdity but it gets taken up a notch in this special as Aoi gets her younger sister, Akari, in on the lie. A shame that we never got to see more of Aoi’s lying streak or those eyes (they are actually pretty freaky). I wouldn’t have minded seeing this joke repeated once or twice in the main show.
The second gag falls a bit flat as there is no way Nadeshiko is that gullible with all the Rin doppelgangers. For crying out loud, she sees it through the ruse at first only to somehow fall for it and later, she actually texts the real Rin for confirmation. I refuse to believe this girl is that dumb. In her defense though, people posing as Rin would be a problem. I mean, there can only one Best Girl per anime. Any more and this world would implode.
#3: Survival Camp
Wow…this went places. It’s hilarious and it’s probably my favorite special of the three but still…wow.
So after the gang jump out of plane (you see what I mean?), they find themselves stranded on a deserted island. What transpires is a very slice of life look at how these campers would deal with living on an island. Being the veteran that she is, Rin adjusts pretty well as she takes on fishing duties and catches some big fishes. Nadeshiko and Aki meanwhile go insane. Nadeshiko hallucinates that she’s eating a banana, Aki then finds some real ones, then the two of them start wearing tribal gear and play Frisbee…I just…what?
It says something that the obligatory swimsuit fanservice made the most sense. Considering that there’s a beach, these girls might as well enjoy it. Part of me actually finds it even more superfluous as Laid-Back Camp flaunted some slightly more risque hot spring fanservice in its main body of work. That said, it is maybe worth it to see Aki surf on some bark. Again, this special goes places and I love it because it does.
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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