What’s the show? Yuru Camp (2018).
Oh, I remember you mentioning this show! Yeah, in the Food Wars review you had a bitch because it’s called ‘Laid Back Camp’ in the West. It will always be Yuru Camp to me.
So what’s it about anyway? It’s about a bunch of high school girls who like camping!
And are they lesbians? W—what?
Doesn’t Yuru mean ‘girls love’? No! It means… ‘laid back’… Okay okay, I get the point your making! But I still persist that Yuru Camp is a better name.
Sure, sure. So it’s about something other than camping right? Usually in these kinds of reviews, I’m all like, ‘haha yeah of course’ and give you the full rundown on the show but, uh… no it is literally just about camping and the things one does before, during and after camping that is directly related to the activity of camping.
Oh… okay—so is it good? It’s so good.
‘Cute girls doing cute things’ and all that? Don’t be so reductive, I mean sure it ‘technically’ falls into that category, but I don’t think I’ve ever watched an anime where I’ve felt so asexual.
Begyourpardon? I mean, I’m not asexual, I’m just saying as far as these types of shows go, there wasn’t a single moment where I ever thought of any of them as anything remotely sexual.
“Too pure”? No, it’s not even that, it’s… it’s hard to put into words. It’s like, watching this show is meditation, and for the record I’ve never meditated so what I’m about to say could be total BS, but here goes, when I watch this show I kind of just ‘chill’ and all worldly notions go out the window, I’m not watching ‘cute girls doing cute things’ I’m observing ‘human shapes communing with nature’ I’m ‘at one with the world and everything that’s good in it’.
Sounds like some boring hippy shit if you ask me! Well I didn’t ask you, you’re the one asking me!
Way to get defensive! I’m sorry, it’s just watching this show through the start of 2018 was like my one purely ‘Zen’ experiences of the Winter 2018 anime season. I’m a little defensive of it, plus a little sad that it’s over…
That’s fair enough, but you know this is a review, we have to speak to it with at least a bit of objectivity, what didn’t you like about it? I was talking to Irina, who watched every episode of the season too, though somewhat against her will as she was doing it for blogging purposes and her take on the characters is interesting. She said that all the characters more or less fall into a ‘nice girl’ trope, specifically that “good girls smile, are always happy, never complain, are never mean, petty or reproachable in any way”. And she’s absolutely right, these girls are nice to a fault, but where usually I’m all about characterisation and having memorable and unique and interesting characters in my anime, here it didn’t matter as much, because the show was more about the feeling it imparted than how it applied to reality.
So these ‘characters’ then, dull are they? I don’t think so! I mean Nadeshiko, is kind of our protagonist, but only because her loud and enthusiastic personality commands the audiences attention, Rin probably has the most screen time and that’s probably why the show feels so ‘low-key chill’ because she’s a lone wolf in that she likes solo camping and dislikes having to ‘deal’ with other people.
And does she go through some sort of change of heart? Well, kind of, she’ll always be that lone wolf on her moped, ogling doggos as she drives but she at least comes to understand that camping can be fun with other people too!
It all sounds very slight. Where you been? I never said it was anything other than the most light-hearted and relaxed of anime experiences! It’s not like I ever sat week-to-week wondering what the thrilling conclusion to the cliffhanger moment of ‘will they arrive at the camp and eat food?’
Food, eh? So it’s a food anime too? It starts simple enough with a curry Cup Noodle and somehow escalates to sukiyaki and A5 wagyu beef by the end! But yes, food plays a big part in this anime, like even more so than some actual anime that are apparently solely about food!
Well I think I’ve gotten a fair idea what this show is about, anything else to add? I want to go camping. And I hate the outdoors.
H—how can you hate the outdoors? Oh right, Mr. Sports Hater, M.D. I sometimes forget you’re a recluse. I’m a doctor now?—And a spider?!
Final score and recommendation! This is a hard one to quantify, like, don’t go in expecting anything resembling a story, not even by slice of life standards, nor is this an anime that has the sort of character growth that makes up for said deficiencies in story, what this is, for those who can appreciate the mindset is nothing less than a religious experience! It defies rating and review, it is peacefulness incarnate even if it’s little else, and for me that’s all I want amidst this turbulent world. 89 out of 100.