Season Aired: Winter 2018
Number of Episodes: 12
Genres: Slice-of-Life, Comedy
Thoughts: The premise of Yuru Camp is as simple as it could be – it’s about girls who enjoy camping as a hobby. The story gently and gracefully conveys the joy of being in tune with both nature and the people around you. As I watched the group of friends share hot food in cold-weather, laugh during their conversations, and huddle up inside their warm tents, I thought, “I want to be there with them”! I haven’t had any memorable camping experiences to speak of, but this anime has inspired me to try to go and make some. A show that allows you to experience a bit of what their characters do conveys a whole ‘nother level of enjoyment.
As with most slice-of-life anime, the series is episodic and the plot isn’t complex. The attraction lies with the characters and the situations they find themselves in. Yuru Camp pulls you into the lives of five girls – their relationships, their everyday challenges, and their individual quirks or preferences. The focus is mainly on two of the girls – Rin and Nadeshiko – who appear to be complete opposites. Rin is laid back, quiet, and independent. On the other hand, Nadeshiko is incredibly lively, chatty, always hungry, and a bit absent-minded. To watch them become close friends is enjoyable as there are always comical and cute moments between the two of them. Every character in the story is unique and you feel like they are people you know of already, or if not, perhaps someone you’d like to meet. They are ultimate squad goals!
I found that I relate to Rin the most. To be able to spend time alone and connect with yourself is just as important, if not more, than spending time with other people. Initially, Rin spent a lot of time camping by herself. She would pack up her bags, get on her moped, and drive off to some scenic location. Just how free is her outlook on life!? I was able to admire the primal nature of camping as Rin sets up her tent, gathers firewood, and cooks dinner while reading a book on her folding chair. That sounds heavenly to an introverted, nature-lover like me. But when Rin finally joins the Outdoor Activities Club, she begins to realize that having friends can be just as soothing and fun. We see this while Rin is camping with Nadeshiko: they enjoy viewing Mount Fuji and eating some hot-pot delicacies together. They both influence each other for the better: Nadeshiko wouldn’t have started camping if she hadn’t met Rin and Rin wouldn’t have made more friends through camping if not for Nadeshiko. That’s when Rin starts to find joy in sharing her interest with others: it’s exciting to exchange photos of beautiful scenes, dip into hot springs with others, and fall asleep while planning more adventures.
Overall: Life is about finding a balance between enjoying sufficient human interaction and solitude. We, as a social species, are wired to co-exist with others that are like us and Yuru Camp highlights the beauty of this. If I had to describe this anime in one word, I would choose ‘relaxing.’ Everything from the soft art palette to the flute and guitar background music, is designed to melt away your stress and see how beautiful life can be. The opening song, “Shiny Days”, is the perfect embodiment of the “feel good, let’s go explore” theme. This series doesn’t require much concentration to follow along and there are no dramatic cat fights. Just get comfy, slip yourself under your covers, and let Yuru Camp give you the therapy you didn’t know you needed.
Fair warning: the food displayed in this anime is mouth-watering so I recommend watching with some snacks at hand.
The anime will be rated based on the anime rating system used by Japanese anime critics. There are 5 categories, each with the top score of 10, and then a final multiplier of 2.
Voice Acting: 8
FINAL SCORE: 82