I see what you’re trying to do, you tricky anime people. You’re going to try and use this show to trick otaku into going outside. Well, I can tell you, it’s not going to work! You can’t make me! (crawls back into my cave like a disgusting rat).
Laid-Back Camp is an anime adaptation of the 2015 manga written and illustrated by artist Afro and produced by studio C-Station, a spinoff of studio Bee Train. The story begins begins with a young girl named Rin, braving the brisk weather to set up camp by the lakeside to get a peaceful view of the nearby Mt. Fuji. She lives in the small town of Yamanashi and as a local remarks, it’s off season when it comes to camping.
Rin sets up her tent, collects her firewood, and settles in with a nice book. Later that evening, she has a run-in with the ditsy, desperate, and disheveled Nadeshiko, a girl who passed out in front of a public bathroom on her way to see Mt. Fuji by bike.
Rin helps her get her bearings, get some food, and calls her older sister to come rescue her. Nadeshiko is amazed to finally see Mt. Fuji in the full moon light and gains a twinkle in her eye for this whole camping thing. When her sister retrieves her, the two exchange phone numbers and part ways, for now.
This show thoroughly lives up to its name already. The bulk of the episode revolves around Rin setting up camp and enjoying the beauty of spending quality time in the outdoors. The show even throws in a few helpful camping tips via title cards and narration. I think it’s clear that this series is going to be the Koufuku Graffiti of camping; a series intended to show the beauty of enjoying simple pleasures in the company of friends.
The series’ attention to detail in mirroring real-life locales is impressive. The show takes its time to showcase environments and allows you time to really take in the space through wide shots and a well designed soundscape. I noticed a spritely and dreamy quality in the soundtrack, including one track that I felt was a touch reminiscent of Concerning Hobbits in instrument choice. Also, it’s definitely worth noting that the opening song, SHINY DAYS by Asaka, is totally not at all similar to I Want You Back by The Jackson 5. Not one bit.
I’m hoping to enjoy this series a lot. While I typically gravitate towards shows that are a bit more bombastic, I have a huge soft spot in my heart for the iyashikei genre and if this one keeps it chill, I’ll definitely be back with a smile on my face every week. See you next camp time!