Laid-Back Camp – Ep. 7

So yes, the old man is actually Rin’s grandfather. I probably made it sound like a bigger deal in the last episode review than it actually is. The man is largely just there. Then again, the lack of screen time is kind of funny when you compare to how often Akio Otsuka narrates in this show. Apart from that, it is worth bringing this character up as it’s revealed that Rin’s interest in camping was inspired by her grandfather’s. That’s a nice touch. Even better is if we had a flashback of a younger Rin camping with him; maybe we’ll get that someday.

In this episode, Rin and Nadeshiko’s third trip together begins in earnest. This time, they’re camping near Lake Shibire. There’s also another duo camping nearby, one of whom is super drunk while the other is her sister who has to put up with her shenanigans. While the drunk one isn’t really that involved in this episode, she is actually a character worth keeping an eye on. In one scene, she and her sister talk about her upcoming job as a substitute teacher and ponder if Rin and Nadeshiko are students at the school she’ll be working at. I don’t think it’s a spoiler that this lady being a teacher is going to come into play later (especially when we have a school club at the center of this story).

We of course get to see Nadeshiko and Rin try out the latter’s compact grill though it’s not without its setbacks. Thing is, the type of charcoal they have to use is different from what Rin is used to using so both girls are at a loss when they’re not burning the way they want them to. Fortunately, Nadeshiko is able to ask one of the neighboring campers (the sober one specifically) for help. That Rin struggles in this one instance is refreshing. As experienced as she is as a camper, there surely must be something new for her. For once, her and Nadeshiko are effectively on the same page with their camping knowledge.

Bookending the episode is a myth surrounding a ghost that wanders around Lake Shibire late at night. This initially puts Nadeshiko on edge so the less superstitious Rin puts her mind at ease by suggesting they sleep in early. Even so, when it’s finally time to go to sleep, Nadeshiko gets nervous again and tries to convince Rin in vain to let her sleep in the same tent. Ironically, it’s Rin who ends up having a meeting with the paranormal (or rather, that’s what she thinks as the ghost is actually the silhouette of the drunk lady). Frightened, she heads into Nadeshiko’s tent to sleep soundly, thereby essentially doing what she rejected to do earlier. I love Nadeshiko’s reaction when she finds out about this in the morning. Though certainly amused, she just leaves the situation at that. If anything, she’s touched that Rin sought her company to feel safe.

Some other moments I want to bring up. The first is when Grandpa Shima narrates the difference between the Rin’s clip-based tent as opposed to the pole-based one the Outclub uses and Nadeshiko actually breaks the fourth wall and reacts to this information. Even better is when the narrator disheartens her by pointing out that the clip-based tent is expensive (of course Rin has the fancier tent). Being the only time the fourth wall is ever broken, the joke feels out of place. And yet, because it’s so odd, the joke works to great effect. It’s one of my favorite moments in Season 1. I suppose it’s implied that Rin is actually the one explaining things to Nadeshiko as the latter later asks if another thing the former has is also expensive. If that’s the case though, why is Rin impersonating her grandpa and why is her impersonation so good?

The other and last moment to bring up is when Nadeshiko wraps a blanket around herself and offers another one for Rin, the narrator dubbing the two, “Secret Society BLANKET”. It’s one of the cutest moments in the season. What else is there to say?

Thanks for reading!

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