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Laid-Back Camp Producer Details How They Avoided Making the Anime 'Too Moe'

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Don't make them say 'You're cute' and don't let them get touchy-feely so easily

Business Insider interviewed Laid-Back Camp producer Shōichi Hotta, where he shared some of the secrets behind the hit anime. He said that although the manga is published in Manga Time Kirara, which tends to be associated with slice-of-life stories that emphasize cute girls, Laid-Back Camp has some slightly different nuances to its appeal, and he wanted to ensure that this was captured by the anime. Specifically, there were two things that he set out to avoid:

  1. When a character praises another one of the other girls, don't make them say "You're cute."
  2. Don't let them get touchy-feely so easily.

He explained that doing so would pigeon-hole the genre, and also that these kinds of depictions weren't in the original manga to begin with. Although the anime does include new lines of dialogue and other additions, these were done to better capture the essence of the work in an animated medium.

"A layman might carelessly include elements that don't actually jive with the feeling of the original work. I made sure to ban it myself," he explained. "Instead, we tried to work with the dialogue and pauses to give birth to something that felt characteristic of Laid-Back Camp. A prime example of this is in episode 3 of the first season with the line, 'Nadeshiko, wake up.' With that, I think that we were able to depict raw-like human relationships."

Hotta, who has been following the manga of Laid-Back Camp since its first chapter, said that the appeal of series is in how "it doesn't just adhere to 'moe.'" It also portrays camping through the point of view of a beginner. Because of the fine balance between the different elements in the manga, Hotta said that the anime staff always had to struggle with the temptation to emphasize the elements that they are personally fond of. This applied just as much to the camping part of the series as it does to the "cute girl" factor. Hotta always strove for a 50:50 balance between the story and camping. The camping, he explained, is a plot device that develops the relationships between the characters.

The interview also touches on what to expect from the second season of the anime. If the first season was about bringing the girls together, the second season will emphasize more of what they experience as individuals apart from each other. He said that although the girls will "part ways," it is not in the sense that they have a fight. "It will be a time for each of them to think about what they want for themselves," he said.

The tagline of the second season translates to: "It's lonely, but also fun. It's fun, but also lonely."

Business Insider plans to publish the second part of the interview with Hotta in early January.

The first anime based on Afro's Laid-Back Camp manga premiered in January 2018. The ROOM CAMP (Heya Camp) short anime spinoff premiered on January 6. The second season of the anime will premiere on January 7.

Source: Business Insider (Kei Yoshikawa) via Otakomu

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