The Outdoor Activities Club, Aka, the Outclub has 3 members. In the countryside of Yamanashi Prefecture, there’s a high school named Motosu High School. Go even further to one of the school buildings and you’ll find a very laid-back outdoor club that uses one corner of the classroom as their club room. Kagamihara Nadeshiko finally wants to kill some time in their club room, but then Ohgaki Chiaki and Inuyama Aoi suddenly announce that they’re all going on a trip. The girls enjoy the various local treats as they travel around, but where in the world is the end destination for this trip?!
This is C-Station’s 2020 spin-off series from their successful and popular camping show “Laid Back Camp” (2018). It consists of twelve episodes each four minutes long. As of the spring of 2022 Crunchyroll have this bundled with a twelve-minute episode that was originally a DVD special called “Room Camp: Sauna to Gohan to Sanrin Bike” ("Sauna, Food, and a Three-Wheeler"). If you loved the 2018 show then you know what you are in for. The short episode format makes it hard to convey too much story but the producers manage to shoe-horn quite a lot into each slot. Most of the season spins out the tale of Nadeshiko, Chiaki and Aoi going out on a stamp rally across Yamanashi Prefecture. Rin gets a look in too although she seems more incidental a character in this show. Like the original show it is all set to the background of Mount Fuji and plays out like a tourist information film. It retains all the exuberant joy of “Laid Back Camp”. It is charming, cute, occasionally witty and beautiful to watch. Short shows are easy to digest so if you need your fix of the girls then this will hit the spot.
I'm trying to comprehend Room Camp (Heyacamp), but not due to a complex story design. The story is simplicity in itself. But Room Camp, which came out in the year between the two Laid-Back Camp seasons (2020), seems to have taken a cue from Yama no Susume (Encouragement of Climb) which began with two seasons of shorts. Each episode of Room Camp lasts 3 minutes, 30 seconds. This is rather smart on C-Station's part. The plodding pace of a usual Laid-Back Camp episode can be death for the drowsy, but such a short time span for Room Camp gets the job done without a snooze alert. Really, the agonizingly slow pace is the only knock I have on the Laid-Back Camp concept. The twelve episodes deal with a stamp rally Nadeshiko, Aki, and Aoi take. Visit a spot, find the stamp pad, and fill the twelve places in your travel booklet to receive a prize. In the meantime, Rin and Ena do cameo work helping the trekkers when Nadeshiko characteristically loses the stamp booklet half-way through the adventure. The rest is finding the point of interest and talk up the features of the region around Mt. Fuji. In the end, the stamp rally really was Aoi and Aki's scheme to acquaint Nadeshiko with her new prefecture. Nadeshiko comes back with her own plan to tour the area ... super massive stamp rally. And for the viewer, a cute story was enjoyed. The animation follows that used in the Laid-Back series without change (unlike the 2022 movie where Nadeshiko experiments with shorter hair), but that is using a proven design. The gentle iyashikei is promoted by a closing theme which blends the genre of country music (I know that wasn't Reva McEntyre, but ...) with the comradery of girls who support each other. Still, those ever-present scarves. Won't these girls do any summer activities? We can only hope for the up-coming movie.
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