The CGDCT Show to rule them all.
Yurucamp, AKA Laid-Back Camp is my personal Anime of the Season for Winter 2018, and for good reason. When starting this season I was mostly excited for all of the pure trash airing. Lord knows I love ranting about schlock and dull hogwash, but more than that I always love it when an anime really takes my expectations and turns them around, totally surprising me.
The surprising thing about Yurucamp isn't some big plot twist. It isn't a major theme that hasn't been explored before, it didn't try anything that a typical anime fan or even a fan of TV or Movies would find incredible or weird. This anime came up with a simple concept and executed it to the fullest it could have possibly been fulfilled. The surprising thing is how well it sticks to its concept and rounds it out so damn well without going off course or becoming stale. It's just straight up good.
Yurucamp is about cute girls camping. Now I know what you'd think from that synopsis, this is a stupid Cute Girls Do Cute Things show with no effort put into it, made to pander to "basement neckbeards" and "lolicons" right? Absolutely not. For the first time in what seems like a long while, this show seems like it's interested in only one thing, showing the audience people's joy for camping. That's all it needed to do, and that's exactly what it did.
From episode ONE, no, from the first second of episode one there's camping. No BS, no "oh man we should go camping nanodesu ne" shit, just straight up, hardcore, head-to-the-sleeping-bag tents-out campfire-cooking bundled-up outdoors-stargazing comfy-as-fuck camping with friends. Later on they go through the true-to-life process of learning how to set up their tent (which is narrated in detail) camp cooking and cookware (also narrated in exquisite detail) and they explore pretty much every other part of camping you can think of. Exploring tent options, sleeping bags and mats, clubs, getting more friends to camp with, and locations.
Speaking of locations, I'll be talking about those now. Passionately. Growing up in a similar climate to what is explored often in this show, being at outdoor late parties and going lake fishing early mornings gave me plenty of nostalgia fuel for this show to cash in on. Those wooden party gazebos surrounded by dewy autumn grass, the sublte beauty accompanied by perfect celtic and country-ish music when appropriate, gives the show a perfect atmosphere so much that you just want to jump into the screen and hang out with everybody. It's some hardcore immersion shit. The animation itself is extremely quality, surprising for an anime like this, but it's the backgrounds and scenery porn that sells it.
This shit happens during the most happy frickin celtic flute music you've ever heard in your life. I almost cried.
I'm giving the music a 10/10 score because of the perfect atmosphere and the FANTASTIC OP SONG THAT SOUNDS LIKE A JACKSON 5 SONG, but there are a few other aspects of this anime that you can't specifically rate on these reviews, and because they aren't always made correctly at all: The atmosphere is a 10/10. Hardly ever do I feel like I'm right there with the characters than I do in this show. The other thing i'm giving a 10/10 to is the show's personality and identity. The characters and humor work together to give it a unique feel that most anime don't have as solidly.
"Ah, yes. The elusive Top Hat Double Ham Bear. The greatest threat to any outdoors-man." -randomredneck
The story has ok progression but it's not important. The locations they choose and the camping stuff explored relates directly to the characters' relationships. Nadeshiko is the center of it all, an adorable girl who just loves camping. Most protagonists have dreams about being the world's greatest something, but she only dreams of having fun camping, and the audience does it with her. She learns a lot and gains a lot of friends to camp with along the way, such as Rin, an introverted, lonely camping enthusiest who mostly camped alone. Chiaki is a quirky character who also joins them with Aoi, and the two add a lot to the more outward comic relief of this comfy show.
There's also Minami, who's a total meme, her character trait is getting drunk AF. It's perfect and I don't think the characters could have been better, making this simple show even more well-rounded.
I won't rate the story low just because there isn't a lot of story progression, there's just enough for this show.
Overall it's a great, comfy, perfect watching experience with some hardcore camping and adorable girls. I reccomend boiling some hot chocolate, getting the most comfortable chair and blanket you can find, and just marathoning this on a big screen for a weekend.
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