Note: I am watching Laid-Back Camp (Season 2) blind. Please refrain from posting spoilers in the comments.
Oddly enough, the penultimate episode of Laid-Back Camp Season 2 begins with a flashback scene showing Nadeshiko bidding Ayano farewell before she moves to Yamanashi. Both girls promise to see each other again for New Year’s (lining up with the events of Episode 3) and Ayano suggests that Nadeshiko should pick up a new hobby at her new home (leading into her picking up camping during the events of Season 1). This scene kind of ties into Nadeshiko and Ena’s conversation at the end of the last episode; there’s a couple of lines where they remark how much things have changed ever since Nadeshiko moved into town. With these scenes combined, the overall takeaway is how well things have turned out for Nadeshiko despite her initial anxiety over her situation. Other than that connection, it is rather random to have this scene. It really doesn’t have anything to do with current events.
Honestly, seeing Ayano again makes me realize how small her role is in Season 2. I know that can’t be helped. She lives in a completely different town as our five main characters and the show would have to get creative in order for her to tag along with their adventures. Still, I thought for sure she’d have more involvement in this season than disappearing for nine episodes and coming back for a cameo. I’m not that far into the manga but maybe Ayano has shown up again. I doubt Season 2 will get to that however, what with there being one episode left to go.
After the OP, we return to the present. Rin reunites with everyone for lunch and the gang travels to some more geospots. Prominently featured are the islands of Sanshiroujima, which can be traveled by foot on a tombolo during a certain period of the day. This is actually the locale featured in the key visual I’m currently using for my episode reviews’ archive page. In a very cheeky move, the show has Toba-sensei take a picture of the girls walking through the tombolo and the picture is exactly the same as the key visual.
Something that I forgot to mention in the past two episode reviews is that Akari initially has no clue what a tombolo is. Being the troll that she is, Aoi decides to trick her little sister into thinking a tombolo is a type of pork jowl. In Episode 10, Chiaki thinks Akari is pretending that she doesn’t know what a tombolo is. By now however, it becomes apparent that the little girl legitimately doesn’t have the word in her vocabulary (which I imagine is the more likely situation). Honestly, I’m impressed with how committed Aoi is to the bit. I mean, she kept it up across multiple episodes. And even when the Outclub is at the actual islands and tombolo, Aoi still convinces Akari of the lie by elaborating that people sell the pork jowls in stalls on the islands. The only way Aoi could be even more dedicated is if she actually paid people off to run a stall for her. Suffice to say, Akari feels extremely betrayed once the cat is finally out of the bag. Aoi initially gives a half-hearted apology though she later ends up buying a pork jowl for her little sister. Considering that costs money, I think Akari got the last laugh here.
Following the visit to Sanshiroujima, the gang heads to their second campsite. Rin, Chiaki, and Ena are in charge of dinner this time around and seeing as how the trip coincides with Nadeshiko and Aoi’s birthday, the three are also planning to throw a birthday party for them. After getting Akari to help and physically restraining Toba-sensei from drinking, the three successfully shoo Nadeshiko and Aoi away so that they can get everything set up. Akari is really adorable in this scene as she assumes that she has important job of keeping the party a secret, only to then find out that Nadeshiko and Aoi already know about it and that she’s overthinking things.
The birthday party goes without a hitch. While I think Nadeshiko and Aoi did fancier cooking last episode, it seems that Rin, Chiaki, and Ena have done well in their own right. The birthday girls seem to enjoy the risotto their friends made and that’s what matters the most. Rin, Chiaki, and Ena also give their friends wooden cookware as gifts. It’s a fitting gift given that all five girls are fellow campers though I chuckled when Ena specifies that the cookware can handle hot drinks. That’s most likely Chiaki’s idea. I guess she still hasn’t let go of that failed experiment from Season 1. She really hasn’t let go of that failed bowl from Season 1.
During the party, Toba-sensei gets a phone call from her younger sister Ryouko (Sachi Kokuryu). While on the phone, Toba-sensei talks about how reluctant she was about being the Outclub’s advisor and that she’s grown fond of the club as time goes on. I’ve said it in a previous post but it’s been nice seeing Toba-sensei’s character develop this season. It feels more “complete” than her role in Season 1. As funny as it was to see her drunk and passed out, I’m glad that she’s been taking her job more seriously and that she’s been developing a stronger and more caring rapport with her students.
At the end of the episode, the Outclub begins their third and final day of their in Izu. Before visiting Iida Liquors and seeing the long-awaited capybaras, our five main characters take a morning hike up Mt. Daruma to see the sunrise. I probably sound like a broken record at this point but I swear, this type of scene might never get old for me.
Watch Laid-Back Camp on Crunchyroll and VRV (via Crunchyroll)