Anime fans and camping fans alike were pleasantly brought together by the premiere of Yuru Camp when it bounced onto the scene. The show was a colorful, fun, and relaxed show that wasn’t there to inspire drama or bring the viewer to tears. It was a relaxed show revolving around a group of friends that were wanting a laid back adventure.
The show was so popular, in fact, that Crunchyroll listed it as one of the best anime of the decade. That’s pretty powerful for something that’s described as a comfy slice of life. But the show deserves its accolades, as one of the best shows around due to excellent writing, fantastic dialogue, and incredible scenery.
For anyone that was waiting or hoping for a relaxed vacation in the Japanese countryside the show was a perfect escape. Even for those who are most comfortable inside, the show has something for everybody. With dreamy landscapes and drool-worthy meals, Yuru Camp was made for the coziest of campers.
Rin Finds Friendship Through Mt. Fuji and Beyond
The show follows Rin Shima, a quiet girl who is often alone. But her solitude isn’t something to pity, as she enjoys quiet landscapes all to herself. An avid camper, she enjoys searching and finding immense and gorgeous landscapes that showcase how powerful solo camping can be.
Watching Rin camp by herself is never seen in a pitiful light. In fact, as viewers we envy her. Moments of utter quiet only punctuated by her thoughts and her amazing looking cooking. But all this comes to a bit of a screeching halt when she meets bubbly and unassuming Nadeshiko.
After traveling to find the famous mountain featured on the 1000 yen bill (that’s Mt. Fuji, if you’re really wondering), Nadeshiko tires quickly and falls asleep on her journey. The person who comes to her rescue is Rin, albeit slightly hesitant. It’s a hasty introduction between the two, mostly spurred by Rin overwhelmed at the sudden company and Nadeshiko excited at the prospect.
It’s a cold night the two spend together but it doesn’t come across as unpleasant. And that’s how the rest of their adventures go. The two are a fantastic pair for one another, playing off each other’s strengths and weaknesses. The duo are so pleasant to watch together, with Nadeshiko bright and curious and Rin solid as a rock and just as stoic.
It doesn’t remain a duo for long as we are introduced to the outdoor activities club at school, complete with Chiaki Ōgaki, the president and Aoi Inuyama, a cheerful member of the club. Soon the camping trips go from two people to four and it’s never completely easy.
Rin has to adapt to not being completely alone in these trips, but Nadeshiko also has to learn to occasionally dial things back a bit. The dynamic set in place by these two plays so nicely with the addition of the outdoor activities club that each trip or interaction is something to be enjoyed.
Throughout the show it also feels incredibly rooted in reality. It’s not even so much the girls interacting with each other, but them interacting with their environment. We still get to experience highschool through their eyes, but it doesn’t have any of the melodrama we often see.
It’s tiring, boring, even forgettable at times. Much like school can often be. Beyond academia, the girls are also trying to juggle having an activities club through the school and how to make the best of it. They go through planning, shopping, how best to utilize their time and space.
But even with something so average, it never feels boring. The drama that does occur never feels exploitative or ramped up for any sort of shock value. Again, it’s something anyone might be familiar with.
And it is pleasant to watch. Anxieties are never running high, but it’s never boring either. Much of that is in part due to the girls’ interactions with one another, as it is a genuine joy to watch. But even more so is that it’s never seen as something unpleasant.
Much of the show’s humor as well never comes across as mean spirited or malicious. Instead of cracks taken at the girls’ expense, they often utilize visual gags and quirky moments to elicit laughs. One such is the secret blanket society, a group we should all aspire to join.
One of the biggest and best parts about the show is Nadeshiko herself. She’s silly, forgetful, and the life of the camping trip. However, no matter how playful she gets, she fully understands what camping means to those around her and herself, and takes it seriously to an extent. Never does the show place her as troublesome or a burden.
Part of why the show resonated so much with people was the girls genuine enjoyment of both camping and each other. While they learn about each other they also learn about camping. The show takes great pains into showing how their equipment works, why it works for them, and how the girls can best utilize it.
An educational moment that doesn’t read as such is hard to pull off, but the show does it with ease. Combined with the easygoing and natural flow of the relationships between the girls it makes perfect sense the show would get a second season.
Gearing up for a Cozier Season 2
The show is slated to return for its second season in January of 2021. Recently new visuals were released, showing the cast and the beautiful landscapes we grew accustomed to in the first season. Not much else is known about what is going to take place.
As excited as everyone is for a second season, 2021 is far off. But to make things a bit easier, fans of the show were treated with Heya Camp, a spin-off of the show. The series features the same characters, but with the episodes in bite size format.
It’s enough to get fans of the show to make it to January of next year, waiting patiently for the return of their favorite ensemble tackling more stunning imagery and delicious food. Until then, however, we can return to watch season one streaming on Crunchyroll, or even delve into the manga.