Laid-Back Camp is not a story I go to for twists so imagine my surprise when it’s revealed that the stamp rally is an elaborate ruse orchestrated by Chiaki and Aoi. I would’ve liked for this to be better foreshadowed. The stamp station looking the exact same is a clever hint but at the same time, the show does the cheap move of now showing snippets of Aoi and Chiaki hastily setting up a stamping station and Nadeshiko even catching them in the act. You also kind of have to suspend your disbelief over Chiaki and Aoi not only carrying most, if not all, all those materials around but also that they had the budget to pull this ruse off. Still, I like what the twist says about the characters. Chiaki and Aoi care that much about Nadeshiko that they went out of their way to create a fun adventure for her as well as a memento to go along with it.
This twist also justify the choice of locations we’ve had in this show. No wonder some places were tourist worthy and some were flat out plain. The rally wasn’t professionally organized, it was just Chiaki and Aoi picking places they knew about, either personally or offhand. Some spots were probably picked simply to meet the 12 stamp quota. For crying out loud, one of the last spots was a playground. Those two clearly ran out of ideas by the end of their planning. I think I’d prefer to see more legitimate attractions in Yamanashi but I’m fine with the excuse the show came up with and I can’t deny that I’ve enjoyed all of it so far.
With the rally ending at the penultimate episode, what’s in store for the finale? I wouldn’t have minded if the show had just ended right there. Having Nadeshiko say the gang should go camping again perfectly transitions back to mainline Laid-Back Camp. Even better is if we got an announcement for when Season 2 premieres. Maybe the gang will indeed be camping for the last episode though my bet is they’ll be “camping” in the storage closet, thus bringing Room Camp back to its titular room. The girls’ wallets must be pretty empty after this stamp rally anyway, especially when two of them created it themselves.
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