I am not a fan of the slice of life genre. Many of them seem to be a thinly veiled attempt to show cute anime girls doing cute things. Not much substance to speak of. Give me an enthralling story and intense action and I’m a happy guy. Despite my reservations about the genre, occasionally I’ll dip my toes in. Yuru Camp caught my attention as it didn’t seem like the usual slice of life anime. Instead of cute girls doing cute things, we get cute girls doing camping things. Yuru Camp follows the exploits of the Outdoor Activities Circle as they go out camping. The girls are very energetic and adorable, except for the reserved Rin, who is cute in her own way. Rin loves to camp alone but happens across the energetic cinnamon bun Nadeshiko on one of her trips. The two eat together by the fire until Nadeshiko’s sister finally picks her up. Nadeshiko becomes obsessed with camping and hopes to go with Rin again. With this new obsession, Nadeshiko joins a club focused on camping. What ensues is one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve had with anime. The beautiful visuals with the acoustic guitar sounds had me in a trance. Seeing the girls cooking and eating such delicious looking food made my mouth water and gave me the munchies.
Yuru Camp manages to establish the perfect atmosphere for the camping aesthetic. The anime takes place in the Fall. Autumn allows for so many beautiful colors to be displayed on screen. Mount Fuji can often be seen in the background. The girls go camping near mountainsides and lakes. Yuru Camp has so many excellent shots that give us a fantastic view of the gorgeous visuals. A slice of life anime doesn’t require vigorous movement, meaning more effort and attention can be given to the artwork. Yuru Camp overwhelmingly succeeds in this area. Complementing the stunning visuals is a soundtrack of mostly acoustic guitar songs, with a bluesy country sound. I couldn’t tell you how many times I drifted off staring at the screen, and I mean that as a complement. Yuru Camp is so relaxing that I often get lost in it. After a long day at work, this is the perfect anime to throw on an episode on and simmer down.
You can’t go camping without a little cooking. Make sure you don’t watch this show on an empty stomach. Your mouth will be watering, and you’ll want to reach for something tasty. Anime has a knack for making food look way more delicious than it actually does IRL.
Yuru Camp became one of my favorite slice of life series and was a standout of the Winter 2018 season. It made me want to leave the house for a change and go camping in the mountains. You will get lost in the gorgeous countryside. C-Station is not a studio I’m familiar with, but Yuru Camp was certainly impressive. The anime set out to make a relaxing slice of life series about camping and succeeds in spades. It has the perfect English translated title in Laid Back Camp. That sums it up accurately. Cute girls, camping, and great food, what more could a guy ask for?