Yuru Camp — First Impressions

A girl goes solo camping at the foot of Mount Fuji and could’ve saved herself a lot of trouble had she woken up this idiot the first time she saw her sleeping at the toilet building:

Yuru Camp: do not let sleeping girls lie

The plot is simple: Shima Rin is a short, quiet high school girl who likes to go on solo camping expeditions around the region she lives in, near Mount Fuji. After a short prologue/flashforward, we follow Rin as she bikes to the camp ground while the opening credits roll. Afterwards she sets up camp, gathers fire wood –during which I learned that pine cones make great fire starters — and settles in for the day. The main appeal of this first half of the show is watching the competence with which Rin accomplishes her tasks, not to mention the scenery porn. I was less sure about the educational voice over during the firewood gathering segment, having a male narrator explaining everything, rather than Rin herself.

The second half of the episode shifts into comedy, as Rin rescues Kagamihara Nadeshiko, the girl she saw sleeping at the toilet building when she arrived at the camp site. Nadeshiko overslept, now found it too dark to bike back home and to make things worse forget her mobile phone; nor could she remember her own phone number when Rin offered her own phone to use. Worse, she’s so hungry her stomach rumbles, which Rin solves with instant ramen. What follows is a ramen eating scene that should make the creative staff behind Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san wonder why they even bothered. The animation in general is fluid and graceful, a step above expectations for a series like this. Combined with Sora yori mo Tooi Basho, this seems a strong season for slice of moe shows.

Yuru Camp: Nadeshiko and Rin

Character wise, Rin as the quietly competent, stoic one and Nadeshiko as the outgoing, cheerful, slightly goofy one are familiar archetypes familiar from dozens of other slice of moe series, but the difference is in the execution. As with the animation, there’s attention to detail paid that make Rin and Nadeshiko into their own characters, rather than stereotypes. They mesh well together, Nadeshiko drawing Rin out a bit more while the latter is amused by Nadeshiko’s exuberance. So far, this is a series that hits all my buttons for a slice of moe show: interesting characters, an interesting setting and concept to build the show around (rather than just some nebulous school club), all done better than it needed to be.

(Video above courtesy of Sakugabooru.)

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