We continue our final sprint towards the end of Laid Back Camp’s second season, which will be a sad day. But thankfully, the Manga has suggested a third season in the future. If you haven’t watched the previous eleven episodes and then this one, I would highly recommend that you do. Because spoilers are ahead. Let us start.
So before the opening begins, our episode starts with a flashback of Nadeshiko shortly before she leaves Hamamatsu (and before she meets Rin on that fateful curry noodled solo camp). Obviously, she’s upset about leaving everything behind, including her best friend Ayano (who we were introduced to in this season’s third episode at Nadeshiko’s granny’s house). It is a touching scene that perhaps foretells everything that would eventually happen – It was Ayano who said, “You’ll make new friends in no time”, and suggested that she tries something new when she gets there. We can only take a wild guess on what that something is.
After the opening, we end up at a cafe in the morning, where Nadeshiko complains about Rin going out on her own in the morning, with Rin being blunt – “You were asleep, and I was bored.” To which we are introduced to a word that could appear in the dictionary eventually…Rinfreshed – which will probably be the definition of somebody who rejuvenates by doing something alone while part of a group…better keep that one for future reference.
After enjoying the Seafood salad, the Girls go to investigate Geospot number eight: Dougashima. A view of numerous islands that were formed by volcanic ash. Followed by Geospot number nine: Sanshiroujima. An island that can be walked to when the tide is low. However, Aoi is in a bit of trouble. As a professional liar/prankster, she convinced her younger sister Akari that a dish known as the Sanshiroujima Tombolo existed a few episodes ago. With this in mind, Chiaki and Akari are deliberately given amusing running animations towards the island while the others struggle with the loose rocks. Leading to Nadeshiko having one of the most ‘Moe’ scenes in the entire show. Seriously, you felt for her in that moment.
While crossing at the low tide, Ena notices someone carrying their dog across. Giving her a desire to bring Chikuwa at that moment. A future reference for when she gets her driver’s licence. Then afterwards, Akari receives the disappointing payoff…that the Tombolo was simply the road they walked to the island. They continue walking for a bit before turning back, in case the high tide came in and delayed their departure.
After this, they shop for ingredients that will eventually be used for tonight’s dinner. Aoi gets Akari a snack as an apology for lying. Rin asks if she can ride her moped ahead of the minivan, to which Toba-sensei agrees, but then warns her not to get distracted by the Scenery then lose control. This leads to a journey that allows us to appreciate the Scenery in a beautiful and quiet moment in the show. Before Chiaki gives us a humourous haiku to bring back back to reality.
Nadeshiko receives delight, as the Mount Drama Highland (Geospot number ten) also includes Mount Fuji in the view. They stare at the volcanic site before them as Rin contemplates how seeing Mount Fuji makes her feel like she is close to home. Afterwards, they arrive at the campsite, where everybody but Nadeshiko and Aoi decide it would be a good idea to start cooking dinner a few hours early. With this happening, Akari decides to take them to the Baths. And, thankfully they decided to do that right there and then, as Toba-sensei was just about to pour her first beer of the day! They go to Cape Mihama (Geospot number eleven), where Akari watches them like a hawk (even though she was told to appear casual). It is at this moment when she realises…Aoi and Nadeshiko already knew that they were having a surprise party.
After they get a message getting dinner’s ready, they return to the camp to find it decorated for the celebration. It may have no longer been a surprise party, but what did surprise me was when they sang the Happy Birthday song. Not because they sang it in English (Which I know is something they do in Japan), but the fact that they sang it at all, because even though the song technically returned to the public domain in 2015, it’s only the lyrics that have done so. I also like that they used ‘Inushiko’ as the combined name for Aoi and Nadeshiko in the song. They also received their presents – which I recall guessing were something to do with a chair and a gaslight. But in actuality, they were the wooden cookware they saw at the other, larger Caribou at Lake Yamanaka (Episode five). The kind to be used to hold hot food (This is a throwback to season one when Chiaki tried to make a glazed wooden salad bowl suitable for soup…and resulted in it become a cactus pot instead).
After a group photo with the cake, they tuck into the Shrimp and Tomato Risotto and enjoy themselves, during which we receive a downtime moment with Toba-Sensei, who is breaking her fast from alcohol but hasn’t gotten drunk (yet). She has a phone call from her sister Ryouka, who we find out has taken Toba’s car to go on a solo camp (with a good view of Mount Fuji). We learn a few things here. Despite being a renowned alcoholic throughout the series (and Amazing Drift Racer), Toba-sensei is…looking to cut back. She also indicated that despite not liking the idea of being an advisor (as it takes up a lot of free time), seeing the girls grow up has made it a tremendous experience. We then end the episode with the gang going to Mount Drauma (minus Akari, who was too tired and wanted to continue sleeping, and Toba-sensei, who keeps an eye on her). Rin and Nadeshiko are already at the top, where they are making Spiny Lobster Miso Soup (using the lobster for the second time. Nothing wasted). They have a chat – including how Rin found out about her family being bikers and how Nadeshiko can get a third seeing out of the lobster. The rest of the gang arrives (Chiaki is still the most unfit of the bunch) to partake in the miso before thanking Rin with a bow for saving them during their fiasco in Lake Yamanaka. They then agree to visit the Sake Shop to give a personal thank you to the family who kept them for dinner that night. After which, the sun rose.
So we’re coming to an end. Hard to believe, but it’s inevitable. In the next episode, the gang start to go home. Continuing the geo spot touring around Izu, visiting the Sake Shop, and then watching Capybaras bathing in hot springs. I’m not sure if it will be in that order. I’ll see you then.