My original review for Episode 3 was part of a Lightning Round, a post where I quickly went over episodes of different shows I’m currently watching. It was two paragraphs long so I feel confident in saying this re-review is going to considerably more expansive.
This episode starts off by showing Nadeshiko’s point of view during the second camping trip, rummaging through her family’s belongings for a tent (because getting her own would cost money) before receiving Ena’s text message. After Sakura drives her to the campsite, Nadeshiko explores some of the same places Rin visited in the last episode. It would’ve been easy to not show any of this at all and just continue where the second episode left off but I actually really enjoy this cold opening. There’s something amusing with how casually Nadeshiko passes by all of them after the leisurely tour Rin gave us last episode. Seeing these places again also makes them feel less throwaway and more like a real space that these characters are visiting and temporarily occupying. That’s further backed by the episode cutting to these places a couple more times as the day goes by, giving a great sense of time and breathing more life into the setting.
From there, the episode is squarely about Rin and now Nadeshiko spending the rest of the trip together. For dinner, Nadeshiko prepares a hotpot for the two of them. That’s certainly an upgrade from the cup ramen in the first episode and once more, you see how Nadeshiko’s presence and appetite is able to enhance the mood. You also have some fun banter that plays along the way. Rin offers some heat pads so that Nadeshiko can stay and the latter briefly hesitates to accept them, afraid Rin will ask for a price again as a joke (the episode even established she forgot to bring money again). When the food’s ready, Nadeshiko playfully acts like a supermarket employee handing free samples and then a grandmother serving food to her grandkids, much to Rin’s bewilderment. Between the food and the banter, Rin gets a sense of how much fun it can be to camp with a friend and have a change of pace to what she’s used to.
Eventually, Rin decides to apologize to Nadeshiko for how rudely she acted at school. Unsurprisingly, Nadeshiko isn’t the least bit upset and if anything, she feels bad for coming across as presumptuous. I love how understanding and considerate Nadeshiko is here. She gets that Rin prefers to camp alone and takes no issue with it at all. All she asks if for Rin to camp with her again whenever she feels like it, completely leaving the choice up to her from here on out.
After Rin and Nadeshiko let bygones be bygones, the two enjoy the scenic view of Mt. Fuji together. You have the ED playing from Rin’s phone which is a really nice touch and a very appropriate song for this scene. At one point, the two debate over waking up early to see the mountain during the sunrise. While Rin opts to sleep in, Nadeshiko makes the effort to wake up early (and by that I mean, she has her sister wake her up). That the latter is more ardent is fitting, not just given her general personality but also the fact that she’s new to camping and would therefore want to try as many new things as possible.
I love that there’s build up to the sunrise. You have Nadeshiko groggily walking back to Rin’s tent with a blanket in tow and the sky gradually getting brighter. Just as she turns to adjust her seat, the sun fully rises, giving both Nadeshiko and the viewer a stunning sight to behold. It’s further enhanced by the music, starting off quietly and gradually getting louder until it blasts you with its sound at just the right moment. The best part of the scene however is that after putting this much effort, Nadeshiko decides it’s too bright outside and goes inside Rin’s tent to sleep some more. It kills the mood so quickly but it’s also so realistic and within Nadeshiko’s character to do that I can’t help but find it funny.
The ending serves as one last check in on Rin and Nadeshiko’s bond. By now, it’s all but confirmed that Rin sees Nadeshiko as her friend. That much is implied when she starts calling Nadeshiko by her first name and when she scrolls her pictures and pauses at a selfie the two of them took together. You also have Rin meeting up with Ena again to talk about the trip. Ena sounds happy that her little plan all worked out though there’s the amusing consequence of Rin acting more guarded around her. It’s not really anything permanent but it does make for a good laugh.
One last thing to bring up is that nearly midway through, you get a brief scene where Chiaki applies for a part-time job while Aoi does the same offscreen. As simple as it looks, this is actually an important development as having income means the Outclub can finally start going on an actual camping trip. Finally, the club’s budget is improving! Bear in mind though, the improvement is only going to be marginally so.
Thanks for reading!
Watch Laid-Back Camp on Crunchyroll