Welcome to the Imouri Anime Review, where people vote for an anime that the Imouri team will review. The anime will be reviewed using these four criteria; Story, Animation, Character Development, and World-Building. Each category will be given of score (1-10), and then an overall score will be determined.
It's November and Fall is in full swing. The users from the Secret Anime Club voted for three feel good anime. By a near landslide, Yuru Camp or Laid Back Camp as it is also called was the anime chosen for the November review.
Yuru Camp or Laid-Back Camp is the story of new beginnings, new experiences, and new friendships. Nadeshiko Kagamihara moved from Shizuoka to Yamanashi. She decided to see Mt. Fuju as it appears on the 1000 yen bill. She only makes it part ways, and she eventually falls asleep near a restroom. Rin Shima, a lone camper camping at the grounds near the area, comes across Nadeshiko and saves her from the cold and starvation. This encounter becomes the start of a new friendship and a new adventure for both Rin and Nadeshiko.
I enjoyed the simple and realistic story of Yuru Camp. Yuru Camp shows the audience many things that may not be apparent off the bat. Throughout the season, we see the characters grow, the passage of time as the story progresses, and opportunity. Remember, Nadeshiko moved away from her old life to enter a new life. Many people who do move away, leaving their old life behind, allows us to see what it's like to discover something new and that if you have a positive outlook on things, everything will be fine. Of course, I may be reading too much into that one factor.
At its core, Yuru Camp is about relaxing and exploring. The main characters explore new camping locations in their way as they dive into the camping hobby. The Outdoor Activities Club explores camping as a group and what it takes for an inexperienced camper to get into the hobby. Rin's side of the story explores what it's like to be a camping hobbyist and shows the audience the experience she has accumulated over time. The story also teaches the audience camping techniques, the do's and don'ts of camping, and how to start getting into the camping hobby. Yuru Camp is a great educational source.
The only thing I wanted to see more of story-wise was more content on Rin's Grandfather, the person who got Rin into camping. I would have also liked to see more back story on the Outdoor Activities Club members and Nadeshiko herself. Season 2 has already been announced and is expecting to air in 2021. Maybe we will get more information on those backstories, but overall, I think the story is great, and there is a lot of room for interpretation based on the audience's feelings and preferences.
Story Score: 9/10
Have you ever heard of Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, and Martin Johnson Heade? If not, they are some of the most famous nature painters in the world. If you look at some of their paintings and then look at the many background scenes of Yuru Camp, you can see the close resemblance. The animation of Yuru Camp is one of the star attractions of the series.
The background scenes are beautifully animated. Those scenes look like one of those previously mentioned artists' paintings. As the campers explore the area, you are treated with beautifully artistic backgrounds that give the audience an idea of how rewarding it can be.
Another piece of animation I want to give major props to is the food. The food looks so delicious in this series. When Rin says that Nadeshiko makes eating look so good, Yuru Camp makes camp food look amazing. Now I have camped countless times, and sometimes the food can be great; other times, the food can come up short. Yuru Camp, on the other hand, delivers on the camping food animation all the time.
Overall, the lovely background scenery and the delicious food animation are top-notch and add to the series's relaxing vibes.
Animation Score: 10/10
In my opinion, character development is some of the best I have seen in a hyper-realistic anime. Rin starts as a loner wolf camper, but after meeting Nadeshiko, she slowly opens herself up to Nadeshiko and the rest of the Outdoor Activities Club. She does get help from her best friend Ena Saito when she gives Nadeshiko some of Rin's camping information. Rin grows as a camper, such as when she tries new camping food and even decides to group camp with the Outdoor Activities Club. Rin starts to see how camping can be enjoyed with a group as well as by herself.
Nadeshiko has some excellent character development as well. First, she does move away from one town to another, which is a feat on its own. But also, she discovers the joys of camping through Rin. She also starts to build her experience with camping thanks to the Outdoor Activity club members; Aoi Inuyama and Chiaki Ogaki. Nadeshiko finds something wonderful in camping and even adds her own skills and love of food into the mix to make camping more enjoyable. Her appreciation for food and the newly found love of camping is what brings everyone else together.
The Outdoor Activity Club members also grow throughout the series. Both Aoi and Chiaki get new jobs to help fund their club as there is not enough money to buy the equipment needed to do all the activities. This act shows us personal growth, responsibilities, and the level of commitment that both girls have to make their club and camping activities fun. They also grow much closer to Nadeshiko and Rin as they continue to do outdoor activities together. Overall, all the main characters grow through their camping experience.
Character Development Score: 10/10
For anyone who has never been to Japan's countryside, Japan itself, Yuru Camp nails it with World-Building. The campsites are real camp. It's so inspiring that some people have visited the grounds from the series and wrote about it. If your a camping enthusiast and love anime, this is a great way to get an idea of Japan's countryside's camping locations and conditions, especially near Mt. Fuji.
I love when animation studios and authors bring real-world references to their work because you can easily get a sense of what it's like to be there. After all, the places are real. Watching Yuru Camp and seeing the actual campsites give me that urge to travel to Japan's countryside for camping. I can only say so much about the world-building aspect of Yuru Camp, and I believe you have to experience this anime first hand to know more.
World Building Score: 10/10
Yuru Camp has brought me back to my camping roots. After watching this series the first time, I immediately got my old camping gear and took my son out camping to experience camping. This show has brought something else out of me as well, and that is hiking. I hike a lot more now after watching this show to experience nature's beauty. Yuru Camp has influenced me in many ways that other anime couldn't have. I know a season 2 is in the works, and I am so excited to see where Yuru Camp goes from here.
*All images are from the My Anime List website. We do not own any of these images. Credit to all artists of the images.