Laid-Back Camp Movie

Alt title: Yuru Camp Movie

Movie (1 ep x 120 min)
4.149 out of 5 from 554 votes
Rank #442

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Laid-Back Camp Movie is one of the better reunion pieces I've seen in my time at A-P.  You get to catch up with the five camping crazy girls who've taught so many aspects of roughing it in the wilds ... even in the dead of winter (always, it seemed, in the dead of winter). The character design was a trick to show a more mature girl just acquainted with the age of twenty years, give or take.  Some of these character adjustments were as simple as removing the hair-bun or slightly adjusting the hairstyle.  But be sure to preserve the core personality, from reserved Rin to exuberant Nadeshiko. The first task in the catching up process is meeting each girl at her new background.  All five are gainfully employed.  Nadeshiko is a clerk at an outdoors store (and extremely accomplished at it).  Aoi is a teacher, though one having a hard time getting the kids to call her sensei (heck, she enjoys interacting with kids to insist on that).  Chiaki has left the liquor store where she was working to return to her hometown to play the part of public official (but not before adopting Toba-sensei's habit of hitting the sake bottle).  Ena is a dog-groomer, and her puppy from the series now has become an old dog who can still pull tricks ... not new ones, though.  But the key character is Rin.  She works for a publishing company, first in marketing, but now taking on big responsibilities in the editorial department.  As the movie begins, you wonder if Rin enjoys this 'promotion.' Then comes the event that brings the five together, and in the most natural of means.  Chiaki's town has an old nature center that has fallen into disuse.  Chiaki sees the site has 'campground' written all over it.  And so, she bands her high school camping buddies together to whip the place into shape.  And any good project has to have its complications, such as scheduling time to devote to maintaining the grounds, or finding uses for the debris left behind.  Then the finding of ancient pottery closes the site to archeologists.  Can melding the camp concept with historically important landmarks work together?  Finally, a simple lack of signage can harm opening day. The Laid-Back Camp series always had an instructional feature, and the 'narrator' slipped in from time to time to offer tidbits of camp-construction lore.  Now I realize the many facets a campground can explore, plus know how best to use a sickle and pruning saw. But the animation knocked the ball out of the park!  Impressive backgrounds (usually centered around Mt. Fuji) with vivid shades of green and glorious skies and shimmering lakes.  Tight CGI segments involving transportation in action, from Rin’s motorcycle, basic vehicles, and great vantage scenery from passing trains.  All contained in that soft pastel shading that accented Nadeshiko's hair (as well as all that winterwear.  Well, those work cover-alls might not be an improvement). Laid-Back Camp Movie was an adventure of a year, moving us through spring and summer for the autumn opening of the campsite.  Yes, there was time to see the frosty breath of those girls that never let the cold get them down.  But sakara petals and cicada thrums got to strut their stuff in this two-hour tribute to those hearty girls who won't let the fact that they grew up to be 'working girls' ruin their friendship.

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