Laid-Back Camp – Anime Preview
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Synopsis: Nadeshiko, a high school student who had moved from Shizuoka to Yamanashi, decides to see the famous, 1000 yen-bill-featured Mount Fuji. Even though she manages to bike all the way to Motosu, she’s forced to turn back because of worsening weather. Unable to set her eyes on her goal, she faints partway to her destination. When she wakes up, it’s night, in a place she’s never been before, with no way of knowing how to get home. Nadeshiko is saved when she encounters Rin, a girl who is out camping by herself. This outdoorsy girls story begins with this first encounter between Nadeshiko and Rin. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Almost every season or so, there comes a show that just mellows you out with its tone, colours and vibe. Laid-Back Camp seems to be that show for Winter 2018. Everything about its first episode seems designed to soothe and unwind the viewer, from its beautiful nature artwork, the chill vibe of its music, the depiction of solo camping and the solitude and peace that can entail. Although there’s already a couple shots of iffy animation, making us worry about quality dips going forward.
Tom: Laid-Back Camp was terribly mislabeled as a seinen comedy on some of the anime tracking websites. While comedy does feature in a couple segments, the show is so much more that kind of laid back, soothing anime. Cute Girls Doing Cute Things basically. It’s especially true in the first ten minutes as we follow Rin Shima, a quiet girl, who’s out for camping during the off-season. The show is slow, atmospheric and generally relaxing. It’s only as Nadeshiko Kagamihara, our airhead for the series, pops in that a sprinkling of comedy breaks up the otherwise slower, calming elements.
Linny: When the episode is focused on showing Rin set up her solo camp, Laid-Back Camp becomes almost like an introductory/instructional video for beginners about camping. You get all these basic instructions and tidbits about what camping entails, going so far as to even tell you the price of firewood in Japan. Once we move past those scenes though, the show doesn’t employ the instructional narration again but I wouldn’t be surprised if it continues to try and drop camping knowledge in consequent episodes as well.
Tom: As characters go we don’t get too much in this first episode, which seems far more concerned with setting tone than anything else. Rin is a very chill, subdued character, one of those classic ‘doesn’t talk much’ anime heroines who almost approaches cold in her demeanor. Nadeshiko is the polar opposite, a classic choice, as she’s much more boisterous, lively, and silly. It’s a classic pairing, which is fine, but hardly brings anything unique to the table.
Linny: Is Laid-Back Camp for you? Yes, it is if you love watching anime that has a zen feel, cute girls learning/enjoying a new activity, plus decent animation and music to boot. However, if you are particularly finicky about animation quality or aren’t a fan of the cute girls doing cute things genre of anime, you may find issues that keep you from really embracing this show.
Tom: Laid-Back Camp is going to be great for fans of Cute Girls Doing Cute Things, or anyone who wants a more laid-back anime to unwind with after a hard day in class or at work. It’s not terribly original at the moment, or funny, making it kind of a disappointing watch if you’re looking for pure comedy. The show teases a couple extra characters towards the end (who also appeared in the show’s opening moments and are pictured above) so perhaps it’s just taking time to get the comedy going. For now though Laid-Back Camp is best for slice of life fans and while not terribly unique with its characters, has a fun enough atmosphere to keep this first episode engaging.
Laid-Back Camp is available for streaming via Crunchyroll