Posted by SuperMario on 1 April 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Reviews by SuperMario

I admit that I underestimated Yuru Camp back in its first few episodes. I took it as a standard, run-on-the-mill slice of life show and I fully expected to give it 3 episodes at max before throwing it into the deep sea of forgotten anime. But as time pass, I can certainly see many good strengths about this little show and it becomes one of the show that I enjoyed the most this season. In fact, Yuru Camp’s appeal never really goes beyond its genre offering but as far as slice-of-life genre goes, it certainly offers more than enough to be a solid recommendation. Structure-wise, Yuru Camp is a show made up (mostly) of two half: one with the fluffy pink cupcake that is Nadeshiko and her camping experience with her Outclub’s members, and the other is Rin’s solo camp. Looking at each part, not only individually they are above your average cute-girls shows with distinctive, warm atmosphere and delightful chemistry from the cast, these two segments also complement each other well.

I’ll say it now, Rin’s solo not-quite-as-bizarre adventures make up for best parts of Yuru Camp. Usually, cute-girls shows elaborate the theme of happily spending time together with friends as their selling point (and as the natural way of life, apparently), and while Yuru Camp certainly has that aspect, the show also respects Rin’s little personal space. Maybe it resonates with me more than most people, but I’m always in the camp who believe that you’re truly happy when you can appreciate moments of nothingness. They’re moments when you can truly let go of all the burdens, connections of life that tie you tightly and just enjoy that exact point in time as it is. THE BEST HEALING METHOD IT IS. I get that same feeling while watching Rin sitting in her chair, late at night, totally alone, in the middle of camp site (If you want to see what I mean without bothering to watch the show, check out its ED). Rin is a loner, but she isn’t the type of loner who secretly looks for friends. She enjoys her time by herself and all little moments from her solo trip: from talking with a dog in a passing car, making conversations with other strangers, or quietly observing the place and – my favorite – finding obstacles along the way (block road, no water, etc) and managing to go through them and lastly, eating yummy foods are all rewarding in their own way and certainly make her trips a real treasure to watch. Moreover, Yuru Camp never frames her preference as being anti-social. Through the course of its run eventually Rin discovers the fun of camping together with friends, yes, but in essence she’s the same person who always enjoy camping alone. And the show and the girls all respect her little solitude space.

Outside of Rin’s solo camps, the show still has a lot to offer. All the characters are a delight to watch, Nadeshiko is a big teddy bear to hug and while you could argue their characters’ traits have been done to death, it’s the chemistry those girls share together that makes it all ticked. Their banters (and there were tons of it) feel exactly like conversations you have with your best mates, with easy-going attitude but weirdly sharp and fun at the same time. Their time spent together on the camping trips sing well too, with ahem… laidback tone and nice sceneries all around, which isn’t that surprising when the settings are mainly surround the Mount Fuji. The foods they make, contributes a huge parts to the success of this show. Just like how Rin comments about Nadeshiko: “look at her happy eating face makes the food itself looks tasty”, it’s the feeling that I get too (consider my hesitation on food-centric shows, this comes a rare recommendation). In addition, the fact that the show is set mostly in winter makes it a surprisingly appropriate show to watch this season and further makes camping-during-winter premise such a nice ring to it.

Yuru Camp is not without its issues, however. The cartoon tips about camping and getting the right camping materials distract the flow of the anime and I believe it’d be much better if they cut them entirely. Being a slice-of-show also mean that there’s no real character development and there’s minimum conflict whatsoever and where are the male species? It’s hard to fault the show for those, but it also means that apart from the strong atmosphere, many beautiful scenic backgrounds and delightful characters, there isn’t much else to offer. The score is pretty good as I can recall some of its score vividly and the night time in winter never look more appealing than this, so the background arts are a winner. Overall, Yuru Camp has all its ingredients for a solid slice of life show, and they pull it off. I will remember these girls’ banters, and most of all, the peace of being alone, rather fondly, but it’s also clear that people who don’t like the genre won’t have much to revel in here.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Firechick says:

    I really liked this show! I was going to dismiss it myself, but then I sat down and watched it out of nowhere and found that I really liked it! But I do agree with many of your points, though I was never bothered by the narrated camping tips.

    I take it you’re not fond of shows that don’t show any male characters at all, even when many prominent characters are girls? Just curious.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      Quite the opposite, Firechick. I’m a hardcore who would prefer to exclude all the unneccessary males characters in service for more of my girls’ screentimes. At the same time I’m well aware of my unhealthy one-sided obsession with girls so as writing a review I can’t let my own bias get the better of me.

      • Avatar Firechick says:

        I see. That makes sense. My philosophy is that as long as the characters in any form of media do have purpose and contribute to the show in some way, they’re perfectly fine.

        And yes, Nadeshiko is definitely a fluffy pink cupcake, only her cheeriness isn’t annoying unlike SOME characters I know (Looking at you, Megumi Aino from Happiness Charge Precure).

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