Laid-Back Camp – Ep. 6

Before leaving home for school, Rin is informed by her mother that she has received a package in the mail. Taking the package with her, Rin later opens it afterschool and finds a compact grill that she ordered before her trip in the last two episodes. I got curious and tried looking up the real life price of this item on Amazon Japan. Some of the models available didn’t seem too expensive (the cheapest I saw was 1,799 yen). Still, the fact that Rin ordered this, went on another trip on a scooter, and still had money to burn for a fancy lunch bemuses me. Maye that bookstore really does pay well. How fitting that Rin is the one who gets the compact grill too. The disparity between her and everyone else in terms of equipment is only getting wider.

Another item in Rin’s bag is the souvenir she got for Nadeshiko: a box of manju. That Rin got something for Nadeshiko says a lot about their friendship though her socially awkward side does show through as she’s indecisive on how to hand the gift over. Ena suggests doing so during an Outclub meeting though Rin’s reluctant to go that route as she doesn’t know Chiaki and Aoi that well. She then tries asking Ena to deliver the gift for her but Ena makes the right call and tells her it’s best to deliver it herself. Fortunately for Rin, Nadeshiko pays her a visit (I love that she falls asleep while waiting for Rin to finish her conversation with Ena) so the transaction goes smoothly, While it would be nice for Rin to muster the courage, it’s rather fitting for Nadeshiko to spare her the trouble. The last thing Nadeshiko wants is to have her friend force herself to do something.

While eating the manju with Rin, Nadeshiko notices the compact grill her friend bought. Rin then offers to hang out with her to try grill out which Nadeshiko interprets as an invitation to go camping together. While not exactly what she has in mind (and despite finals apparently on the horizon), Rin complies with the plan. At this point, she knows to go with the flow whenever Nadeshiko has a plan and she did promise to invite her someday. Even those aside, her willingness is a sure sign that she’s opening up a bit on the idea of camping with a friend.

For the next trip, Rin and Nadeshiko has Sakura drive them to the next campsite. I didn’t bring this up before but Sakura is a fun supporting character. Her cooler and more mature personality is a fitting contrast to Nadeshiko’s airheaded energy. And while she seems to have little patience for some of her sister’s antics, she nevertheless lends a helping hand during these trips. At one point in this episode, Nadeshiko mentions that Sakura really enjoys driving and for some reason, that always stuck out to me. It’d be really cool to one day see Sakura drive the whole gang on a camping road trip. Maybe have her camp as well; there’s a moment in this episode where she sticks around at the campsite for a bit, showing that she too has an appreciation for the great outdoors.

Before going to the next campsite, Rin and Nadeshiko stops by a supermarket to buy some meat that they can cook on the compact grill. Unfortunately for them, the types of meat they’re looking for isn’t available so they have to make do with substitutes. The scene lets us see another one of Rin’s comical mood swings, starting off fired up only to get depressed that her shopping list has been compromised. As I’ve said in the last review, Rin has a far more dynamic personality than she lets on. Once the two check out their items, they bump into Aoi who is actually working at the supermarket as a clerk. I like that Rin wishes Aoi good luck on the job. As brief as that exchange is, it shows that Rin could be friends with Aoi and it’s simply her social awkwardness that gets in the way.

One final thing to bring up is this random but amusing scene where Chiaki scouts a location and meets an old man who, judging by his gear, appears to be a camping veteran. If the man’s voice sounds familiar, that’s because he’s voiced by Akio Otsuka who voices Laid-Back Camp‘s narrator (I suppose the man and the narrator could be one and the same). While that alone would make for a fun Easter egg, I will go ahead and say that the more amusing detail is who the guy actually is.

Thanks for reading!

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