Laid-Back Camp (Season 2) – Ep. 4

Goodness, these girls talked a lot about their wallets in this episode and seeing as how this is Laid-Back Camp, that’s saying something. The discourse isn’t surprising though. We started Season 2 with everyone working part-time so sooner or later, their paychecks would come rolling in and they’d be clamoring over what they can use their money for. Each of the girls’ decision is very on point. Nadeshiko can finally afford her long-awaited Lamp senpai (which she does in this very episode). Chiaki and Aoi are looking to (finally) upgrade their stuff. Rin is thinking of saving because big surprise: she’s content with what she has. Ena’s decision is easily the funniest as she pours her funds into a fancy tent for Chikuwa, fancier than even the girls’ own tents. Of course Ena would get something so luxurious for her dog. And hey, if this means more Chikuwa, I’m all for it.

For the first time in a while, you have the Outclub doing their club activities out on the school yard. It’s nice to know that despite their improved budget opening up opportunities for them, this gang is still doing this same, old tradition. Then again, they have faculty’s permission so why not? What’s funny is that Chiaki wants to show the club to practice setting up a new tent she has, only for her to then realize she forgot to bring the poles needed for the tent to stay up. Thus, we have Nadeshiko keeping the tent up as a makeshift pole, kind of like how Chiaki and Aoi made her act as Mt. Fuji in one of the “Room Camp” segments. The very image alone is great but I especially love the blank face Nadeshiko looks, portraying both her determination to do her part and later her annoyance at how long she has to do it. Her eventually lowering the tent on Chiaki and Aoi is just priceless.

There’s some substantial character development for Nadeshiko this episode. Evidently, Rin’s statement about solo camping last episode has stricken a chord in Nadeshiko as she ponders of those words while waiting for her train ride home. While Season 1’s ending has presumably been retconned, it’s looking like Nadeshiko is coming along that same path, albeit we’re actually seeing her come to that conclusion as opposed to it happening offscreen. Like I said in my Season 1 reviews, both old and new, it’s a great inverse to the dynamic between Nadeshiko and Rin. Much like how Nadeshiko helps Rin open up to camping in a group, Rin inspires her to consider camping solo. Nadeshiko isn’t even that particular about camping either but it works in that the change of thought suits her curiosity and passion. I love the direction of this scene too. There’s no music, just ambient sound effects. Most of the shots have a huge emphasis on empty space and barely have Nadeshiko in the center of the frame. She’s very much alone in this scene and that’s exactly the right kind of place she should be in as she begins to understand what Rin meant about how being alone can be cathartic in a way.

The second half of the episode has Nadeshiko looking for new part-time work. I suppose she just wants more money in general, who doesn’t, though I presume this is connected to her planned solo trip. Without Chiaki and Aoi to help pool money together (which is saying something), she’s surely going to need a sizable budget this time around. Sakura eventually points her towards a restaurant that’s recently started hiring. As a thank you present, Nadeshiko uses the money she has left over from buying the lamp to get her sister a reusable handwarmer, something she figured her sister could greatly use after hearing about her sensitivity to the cold weather in Yamanashi.

The whole sequence of events does a great job depicting the sisterhood between these two characters. You have Sakura treat Nadeshiko to dinner and pretending to ask her to cover the bill with her recently earned paycheck before showing her the job listing. It goes to show that as strict and serious as Sakura is, she’s very affectionate towards her little sister. Meanwhile, Nadeshiko buying a present for her older sister is simply heartwarming. Some of the money she had left could’ve been for her solo trip and we’ve seen how conservative she is with money. And yet, she goes through with the plan anyway. The fact that she sneaks the present into Sakura’s car in the middle of the night says a lot too as Nadeshiko isn’t a morning person and likes to sleep in. But because Nadeshiko is being a bit atypical here, she shows how appreciative she is of her sister’s help and how much she loves her in general.


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