Laid-Back Camp (Season 2) – Ep. 8

Note: I am watching Laid-Back Camp (Season 2) blind. Please refrain from posting spoilers in the comments.

It feels a little silly how long it has taken for Nadeshiko to camp solo but maybe it feels that way because Laid-Back Camp technically had Nadeshiko camp solo already in Season 1’s ending. Regardless, Nadeshiko’s trip finally begins in earnest with this episode having her arrive at her campsite, Fujikawa Health Ryokuchi Park in Fujinomiya. I got to say, Nadeshiko sure did her homework. The weather seems nice. The bathrooms are apparently clean. Campfires aren’t allowed but the park does have a designated are for cooking. All these perks are things Rin recommended for Nadeshiko to look for online and it seems like the latter really did take the advice to heart. The only thing Nadeshiko seems to have overlooked is the internet reception, which becomes a relevant detail later in the episode.

Season 1’s ending was brief so this episode provides a more earnest take at how Nadeshiko would camp on her own. This episode certainly makes more use of Nadeshiko’s clumsiness. She falls over, she stubs her foot with one of her tent’s poles, she accidentally bends one of her pegs (though, she is able to fix it). The only clumsy act Nadeshiko does in Season 1’s ending was hit herself with a rock (though to be fair, that is in-character of her to do). Also fitting of Nadeshiko to do is experimenting with cooking ingredients to pass the time. The girl loves food after all and she also loves sharing that joy with her friends so this checks out. I did expect her experimenting to bit more, well, experimental. All Nadeshiko does is just warm individual vegetables up to see how well they taste when cooked. It makes sense; I just imagined things to get whackier.

Nadeshiko is not the only one camping at the park. Also present is an unnamed man, his son Hiroto, and his daughter Haruka. The three of them are camping while the mother is away hanging out with her friends. Initially, neither Hiroto nor Haruka are particularly enthusiastic about the trip, with Haruka relying on her laptop to past the time. Things soon change when Nadeshiko enters the picture. With how bored they are, it makes sense that they’d grow curious about this older girl who is having a lot of fun camping, even by her lonesome.

The kids formally meet Nadeshiko when they see her experimenting with her cooking. Nadeshiko invites them to try her experiments with her and the whole experience brings a positive change of pace to the kids’ time at the park. Haruka in particular becomes inspired to try cooking for her family the next time they go camping. I really like that Nadeshiko’s first solo trip involves her spreading the joy of camping to other people. However intentional it may be, it feels reminiscent to how Nadeshiko fell in love with camping thanks to her first trip with Rin. Someone inspired Nadeshiko and now, here is she is inspiring someone else. Even if that isn’t what the story is going for, it’s fitting that Nadeshiko’s enthusiasm for camping to spread onto others.

Parallel to Nadeshiko’s trip, we see Rin traveling some more towards her campsite and Sakura heading back home. After the last episode, I thought Rin and Sakura would stop worrying about Nadeshiko but evidently, I’m wrong as they grow worried when Nadeshiko doesn’t send them a new message and they can’t contact her due to the park’s poor internet reception. As a result, Rin and Sakura scrap their plans and head straight to Fujikawa Health Ryokuchi Park. There’s a fun bit of contrast where Sakura is calmly and silently pondering if Nadeshiko is okay and, meanwhile, Rin is a bit more frantic and is overimagining things. Both characters are pretty similar in personality but it makes sense for Sakura act more maturely given that she’s older than Rin.

Of course, their worries are quickly assuaged once they get there. I appreciate the fact that both Rin and Sakura decide to not reveal themselves to Nadeshiko. The whole point of this trip is for Nadeshiko to camp solo. I don’t think Nadeshiko would mind if her sister and her best friend joined but I understand the desire to keep the trip as intended. What is dumb is Rin and Sakura wanting to check the view together before heading back. That increases the risk of Nadeshiko finding them and sure enough, the show indulges in that possibility by having Nadeshiko heading over there. How fortunate for Rin and Sakura that they have very good stealth skills…

After evading Nadeshiko, Rin and Sakura drive back home though the two soon decide to hang out together on one last detour. I was hoping for something like this happen in the last episode so I’m happy to see it teased here. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen off screen and between episodes. As for Nadeshiko, she ends the night by heading uphill so that she can admire the view before falling asleep. I understand Nadeshiko wanting to hit the hay like that, the view is really nice, but this does amuse me as it means Nadeshiko ultimately doesn’t use her tent this entire trip. I figured she’d at least use it after all the trouble she went through with setting it up.

After the ED, we’re treated with another installment of “Inu Inu Inko-san” so that this episode isn’t devoid of Chiaki, Aoi, and Ena. While I should take the canonicity of this scene with a grain of salt, it is interesting to see Ena tagging along at an Outclub meeting. The three girls discuss Caribou, the mascot character of the store of the same name. We previously saw each of them give the guy a hug during their trip to Lake Yamanaka. Chiaki mentions that you can actually buy the statue which excites Aoi, only for the poor girl to get dejected when she learns how expensive it is. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am however a little surprised that Aoi is the one who wants to buy it, considering that Chiaki is the one who hugged the mascot twice.

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

Read my Laid-Back Camp reviews

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