As I mentioned in my January update; Reviews of Youtube Channels are becoming “Wild Card” Reviews that appear out of nowhere like random Pokemon battles on the original Gameboy. And instead, the prestigious time slot will be dedicated to Anime and has become the Thursday At Six Anime Review (or TASAR!). I also mentioned that this will be the first show/episode/movie that I would be covering, so here goes.
I will also mention that these episode reviews will have spoilers. So, if you can stop reading and go watch it first, you’ll be doing a good thing. Here goes.
Laid Back Camp Season Two Episode One is split into two different stories: Both revolve primarily around Rin, but they are different points in her life. The first ten minutes are Rin’s Prologue (Or Origin Story…where she receives the superpower of Camping and realises the great responsibility that comes with it when she refused to tell her Dad about the Kuma), she would be about eleven, twelve or thirteen I would say. Hard to narrow down, since she has been mistaken for a middle schooler before in Season One. She comes home from school to find that her Grandpa had sent her a gift…His old camping equipment. And for the next ten minutes, we experience her first camping trip.
The second story, the other ten minutes or so of the episode, we continue where we left off from Season One. Christmas Camp is over, and everybody is at work over the Winter Break: Rin still works in the Book Shop, Chiaki still works at the Off-License/Liquor Store, Aoi still works in the Supermarket, Ena works in the Post Office, and Nadeshiko (with Ena’s help) is now a Post-Girl, delivering Letters on her bicycle. Everybody’s working hard, but not everybody gets off at the same time (To Chiaki’s dismay). Rin gets the most time off, and decides to plan a trip – by going to another Dog Shrine, different to the one she saw in Season One. She leaves early in the morning and while at Traffic Lights, Nadeshiko spots her and crosses the road after her “Rin-Chan” call. After finding out that Rin is traveling, we experience a moment that brings us back to the very first episode – Nadeshiko giving Rin a Pot of Instant Curry Noodles as the sun rises.
Now to talk more about the building blocks (so far)
If I told you that they managed to up the art style in Season Two, you might be skeptical. Season One was absolutely beautiful…But Season Two looks like it could be even better! The trees look better here, as are the other textures – more detailed. The character line work is more crisp, the light and shadows are better, and the animation is slightly smoother (and even more expressive).
Season Two also has new music on top of what is already there, and while it sounds a little different, it definitely fits with the tone of the show. The opening theme, Seize The Day, is quite different to Shiny Days – less Jackson Five and more J-Pop in sound. The End theme is more like the original End theme in style, providing that light-hearted and cozy tone.
The Two stories told here are great, and both provide an air of honesty and discovery. For one thing, we see Rin’s Dad (outside of a special episode), who appears in both stories, but didn’t appear in Season One – which, at the time, gave some of us the impression that Rin only lived with her Mum and overly-adventurous Grandpa who cooks legendary steak and picks up stamp cards from the side of the road (see Room Camp). The first story, Rin’s Prologue, is big on the deja vu element. Because here, Rin visits the camping spot where she met Nadeshiko for the first time. But it is clear that the ‘Rin: Camping Expert’, was not born a master at this. She accidentally damages a tent peg, struggles to light a fire (before getting help), and ends up burning her rice while it was boiling – leading to a Mum-being-Mum moment, and another story element…The Emergency Ration of Instant Curry Noodles. What I loved about this part of the episode, was the example that Rin sets. Though she messes (seemingly) everything up on her first go, we know how good and well prepared she gets in a few years time. ‘Fail Early’. Teach it in schools. Write it on the blackboards of every Classroom or Class Zoom Meeting in the world. Let us be fearless in our learning.
I am already recommending Season Two Of Yuru Camp at this point, as everything about this first episode has stayed true to its own overall character and source material. It is clear that the Artists, Staff and Crew working on it have gotten better at their roles, and it is leading to an excellent experience. And because of this, I’m looking forward to next Thursday’s episode.