Laid-Back Camp – OVA 1

The Season 1 episode re-reviews aren’t over just yet. There’s still three OVA episodes to cover. None of these episodes are available on streaming here in the U.S. and who the hell knows if there’ll ever be a Blu-ray/DVD release here either. I’m not one to encourage piracy but in this case, the only options are third-party websites and torrents. I originally covered all three OVAs in one post and to be fair, these episodes are shorter than an episode of the main show, ranging at 5 to 12 minutes. Blogging about these episodes would be short anyway. Nevertheless, these re-reviews are one episode at a time and I did cover each episode Room Camp individually so I might as well give the same treatment to these OVAs.

Speaking of which, this OVA is titled “Episode 0” of Room Camp. Back then, I assumed this means it’s the prologue to the “Room Camp” segments of the mainline show. However, it’s now treated by the producers as an episode of Room Camp the TV show. It’s entirely possible this is a backdoor pilot made to gauge interest in the more fully fledged version we ultimately got. At the same time though, the designation is rather strange because if you’ve seen TV Room Camp, then you’ll know that this episode’s story has no direct connection to it.

Regardless, this episode is indeed a prequel of sorts as it shows the Outclub’s early days, right down to Chiaki and Aoi visiting the storage closet for the first time. You even get to learn about how these two got interested in camping in the first place. Chiaki was apparently inspired by some family trips she partook in as a kid and she later got Aoi interested in camping as well.

To pass the time, Chiaki and Aoi checks out a catalog they got from the library, only to get discourage by the prices of the equipment listed. They then decide to think of ways to save money though the ideas get increasingly impractical and depressing. The magnum opus of their creativity is a proposed makeshift tent comprised of curtains, umbrellas, deflated basketballs, and a disco ball. While the hypothetical image alone is hilarious, what really gets me is how dead inside Aoi looks and how the wind then blows everything over, including the girls. This is honestly the saddest instance of the characters’ financial woes and that’s saying something (though I’m also all for it).

Thanks for reading!

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