Laid-Back Camp Ep. 3 Review

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Yep. Me too, Nadeshiko.

I think this week’s episode has pushed me into thinking that Laid-Back Camp is something really special, for a few reasons.

This episode gives us some really fuzzy moments of the blossoming friendship between Rin and Nadeshiko, two people that are passionate about the same things but have vastly different personalities. It’s refreshing to see two foils of each other play out on screen in a well executed, genuine, and honest way. The more Rin gets to know Nadeshiko, the more she is able to see into her heart and past her goofy, over-enthusiastic exterior and accept her as a person and a new friend rather than some sort of a hindrance on her valuable “me” time at the camp grounds every weekend.

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As the two sit around the fire and share a spicy hot pot, Rin apologizes to Nadeshiko for being so standoffish as she comes to realize she didn’t have to be. Nadeshiko even admitted to coming on a little strong, and this heart to heart moment was small but very special. I would have hated if the show kept the two of them at an awkward arms length and constantly made Nadeshiko a source of annoyance for Rin to try and make for funny moments. I’m kind of over that What About Bob? style comedic trope and I’m glad this show has decided to go in a more genuine direction.

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But speaking of “funny”, might I just take a minute to point out how honestly hilarious this show is. In a season where Pop Team Epic is going to be crowned the seasonal comedic king and will likely go down in history for it, following in the royal bloodline of Nichijou, Laid-Back Camp is a completely different style of comedy but still manages for some honestly laugh-out-loud moments. This exchange between Nadeshiko and her sister, for example, was so simple and silly but made me cackle:

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And this one.

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Maybe I’m too easy to please, but slice-of-life anime comedy rarely lands for me and to find something that actually makes me laugh really stands out. There’s also some decent gag comedy and a touch of slapstick that always lands and brings out a small chuckle each time.

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The show remains relentlessly fluffy but it’s such an honest and pure good time that I can truly say I’m enthralled and can’t wait to experience more. If they keep it up with the small character moments and stay on it with the fantastic soundtrack, relaxing visuals, and rewarding comedy, this might be a new iyashikei genre favorite for me, right up there with Barakamon. I’m looking forward to what antics are going to invade Rin’s camping life next when Nadeshiko gets her involved with the other two air-heads from the Outdoors Activities Club.

Laid-Back Camp is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and VRV on Thursdays.

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