The Winter 2021 Preview Guide
Laid-Back Camp Season 2
How would you rate episode 1 of
Laid-Back Camp (TV 2) ?
What is this?
Rin, Nadeshiko, Ena, Chiaki, and Aoi continue their laid-back adventures camping around Yamanashi prefecture, whether together, in pairs, or enjoying their own solitude.
How was the first episode?
Although I had a positive impression of the first episode of the first Laid-Back Camp series back in 2018, I did not end up following it at the time because it seemed too low-key for my tastes. However, I did spend the last few days before the Preview Guide getting caught up on it and found it to be a pleasant, occasionally very funny viewing experience. I originally described the series as both “cute girls do camping” and “cute girls do scenery porn” and never felt that the series strayed from that, although the series also never quite goes for the uber-moe appeal that would be expected of “cute girls” titles. (A recent interview with the director explains that this was a deliberate effort.) It made sure that the focus firmly remained on both the experience of camping and on the story about the girls coming together as a group, and that made for a good balance.
Director Shōichi Hotta also stated in the aforementioned interview that the focus for this season would shift more to the individual camping experiences of the girls, but any such shift is hard to tell from this first episode since it does more or less the same things that the first season did. Its first half flashes back to Rin's first camping experience a couple of years earlier, which is cute; we get to see her fumbling around with things she very competently does now, and I have to applaud her father for supporting her daughter's interest. The second half of the episode shifts back to a few days after the last series ended, with a look at what the girls are all doing for New Year's. (Short version? Work and family plans are keeping them split up.) The episode ends with Rin planning for, and setting out for, another solo camping trip and meeting Nadeshiko by chance along the way.
That's all that happens, but anyone who watched the first season probably was not expecting any more than this. The series continues to operate at its own pace, emphasizing both the relationships between the girls and camping as an experience and working in bits of humor along the way. Nothing in this episode was quite as funny as the better moments in the first season, but the scenery porn and attention to detail on camping paraphernalia are still fully evident, as is the low-key music. Basically, the first episode hits all of the notes that it needs to for assuring that fans of the first season will still enjoy the second.
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