Laid-Back Camp (Season 2) – Ep. 7

It’s been…a “minute” since I last blogged about Laid-Back Camp. Sorry about that. Time for another post or else I have to consider restarting again. Also, I have heard about a certain official announcement regarding the show. I’m really happy with the news but I definitely need to finish catching up now…

To recap, last episode had Chiaki, Aoi, and Ena having a near-death experience camping trip going south. Thankfully, Rin caught onto their mistake and called Toba-sensei in to help theme so all is well that ends well. Episode 7 has a scene at the beginning where Ena shares her experience with Nadeshiko after school and despite the big mishap, she seems to already look back on the trip positively. There’s a funny bit here where Nadeshiko and Ena thank Rin for all her help by dropping money into Rin’s mini-grill, referring to an old joke where they thought it was an offertory box. I’m not sure why it’s out in the school library (the first time around made sense since it was Rin checking her mail) but the gag has come full circle so I’ll give it a pass. The only thing that would’ve made it funnier is if Nadeshiko and Ena tried to grab the money back.

Interestingly, the Outclub isn’t meeting for the time being, due to Chiaki and Aoi apparently being busy with work. Come to think about it, Nadeshiko has yet to camp with them this season. Admittedly, the three of them camped together a ton in Season 1 so shaking things up is to be expected but I do kind of miss the arrangement. Nadeshiko tries to have an impromptu meeting with de facto part-timers Rin and Ena though the plan falls flat in its face when Ena taps out. You’d think Ena is once again attending the going home club but we later learn in this episode that she has recently started working part-time. I presume this means Ena is getting more into camping and that she’s saving up for some new gear. I’m not sure however if this means she’ll finally move to full time with the Outclub. Also, I don’t know why Ena keeps her job a secret. Is she running a funeral parlor or something? Why the secrecy?

Following the trip to Lake Yamanaka, Toba-sensei manages to find the Iida family’s shop online as well as the liquor they sell. Omachi-sensei recognizes it as a local brand in Izu and recommends the area to Toba-sensei as a potential camping spot. The weather is better there compared to the last campsite, the gang would get to meet the Iida family again, and Toba-sensei would get her booze. It’d be a win-win for everyone. This is presumably the next campsite for the Outclub, once all its members are free to travel together.

The trip to Izu will have to wait however. After teasing us for the past couple of episodes, Laid-Back Camp finally has Nadeshiko embarking on her first solo trip. I suppose there’s an asterisk to that, considering Season 1’s ending, but I suppose this new trip counts as the first one chronologically. Before going on the trip, Nadeshiko asks Rin for some advice. A lot of input Rin offers is stuff that we can either infer or have learned previously on the show such as informing friends and family where you’re going and checking the weather ahead of time (stuff that the Outclub recently learned the hard way). It is redundant but considering the educational aspect of the series, it is the responsible and worthwhile thing to repeat so I don’t mind. As always, having some fun graphics and Akio Otsuka’s narration helps.

I was a little afraid that Nadeshiko would somehow go into things impulsively. This is Nadeshiko after all. In particular, I got afraid when Nadeshiko tells Rin that she might refrain from telling Sakura about her trip. I understand that Sakura can be scary and might disapprove of the trip but as the saying goes, it’s better safe than sorry. Plus, who knows how Sakura would react if she found out after the fact. Fortunately, Nadeshiko does her due diligence and follows Rin’s advice to the letter. She even tells her family about the trip, including her older sister (who does install a tracker on Nadeshiko’s phone but honestly, I can’t say I blame her). Nadeshiko following through with the prep certainly demonstrates how serious she is about giving solo camping a try. It’s also a far cry from how Nadeshiko started off in this show, bicycling all the way to Lake Motosuko without her phone and needing to piggyback off of Rin and Sakura.

Nadeshiko doesn’t reach her destination, even by the end of the episode, but it is already interesting watching her out of her own. One likely outcome I had imagined is that Nadeshiko might find the general experience to not be her cup of tea (but she’d still be glad that she gave it a whirl) but so far, she seems to really enjoy it. I have some guesses as to why. The first is that it is a change of pace. There’s some innate excitement to it. The second is the exclusivity. This trip is entirely Nadeshiko’s. Everything she pulls off is thanks to her self-sufficiency and everything she experiences is for her to witness and share to her friends and family. Having the trip all to herself may have some appeal to Nadeshiko.

Having Nadeshiko by her lonesome does mean that she doesn’t have anyone to bounce off of. No Outclub. No Rin. It’s just Nadeshiko. To the show’s credit however, it does prove that Nadeshiko can carry her scenes on their own. This girl is just so happy and excited, it’s infectious. She still gets into her usual antics such as her obsession for good food and her struggle to resist some of it. I kind of miss the banter but this also works.

Parallel to Nadeshiko’s solo trip, the show has Rin and Sakura traveling solo in separate trips. It’s a little surprising to actually see Sakura traveling. The show has mentioned in the past that she likes to tour in her car but this episode marks the first time that hobby is formally depicted. At first, I thought Sakura might be following Nadeshiko to keep an eye on her. Overprotective I know, but it would follow up on the whole tracker bit. As it turns out however, Sakura is traveling in the same area as Rin. And by coincidence, the two bump into each other.

The chance encounter is a fun one as Rin realizes that she’s never actually talked to Sakura without Nadeshiko being around as well. So while these two are pretty similar in personality, Rin initially has no clue on how to converse with the older Kagamihara. Most amusing is when Rin brings up Sakura’s favorite show, resulting in the latter revealing an enthusiastic side that neither Rin nor the viewer has seen before. At the same time, this meeting serves as a nice check up on how these two are feeling about Nadeshiko’s solo trip. Sakura can’t help but worry for her younger sister and Rin feels responsible since she inspired Nadeshiko in the first place. Having the two simultaneously receive the same text from Nadeshiko and collectively realize they shouldn’t worry is a nice touch.

Considering that they’re in the same area, I thought Rin and Sakura might combine their trips and travel together. I just think it’d be fun to see these two interact more. Ultimately, the two part ways and continue on their individual travels. Maybe someday, the show will treat us with Rin and Sakura road trip special.

Watch Laid-Back Camp on Crunchyroll and VRV (via Crunchyroll)

Read my Laid-Back Camp reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s