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Laid-Back Camp Episode #08 Anime Review

4 min read

A very laid back episode about gathering the right equipment for a camping expedition after exams are over. And, of course, how you manage the food on the trip.

What They Say:
Episode 08: “Exams, Caribou, Steamed Buns, Yum!”

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Every episode of Laid-Back Camp basically is like the image of Nadeshiko smiling dumbly at the gas-powered lantern in the outdoor goods store: a bright and warming light to ease your cares away. I could end the review for this episode there, but you might be curious as to what they got up to this episode and why this show is just so fun to watch.

Outdoor dining in style…sort of

It starts with concerns that are normal enough for a slice of life show starring high schoolers: exams are coming up. If you love tests, then you will love the Japanese educational system, which clearly believes that testing is the way forward for teaching young minds what they will need to know in order to navigate the adult world later. Aoi has her head on straight as she cares about studying properly. It’s Aki that we might have to worry about for a bit, as she seems much more interested in planning a way to look like you’re dining luxuriously while camping without spending too much money on fancy equipment. Thus, she purchases wooden inexpensive items that would make for a nice camping scene: wooden bowls and utensils, a makeshift table made from a dish rack and a native-print cloth, and a metal skillet. The skillet is well-enough chosen, but the bowls…aren’t meant for hot foods and have to be cleaned and altered a bit for such use.

So much for going home and studying.

This show being what it is, of course we don’t waste any time on the actual exams, though we’re given a quick rundown of how the girls did (Aoi, quite well; Nadeshiko, surprisingly mediocre; Aki…barely making it). So, it must be time…to go off to an outdoor equipment store. In what doubles as a tourism ad for Manibou, the girls go to that town and visit the store Caribou, the sports equipment store. There, we see Nadeshiko smiling dumbly at that lantern.

Not too much happens this episode, as it’s largely a time to set the table for the next round of adventure and also to provide a peek at a future character. The girls have decided that they will do a quick camping excursion during the Christmas break before everyone will have to go off with their families for whatever their usual New Year’s ritual might be. It seems that Rin’s friend Saitou might even be along for this trip, though no sign of Rin being involved (yet). The future character referred to is the new substitute teacher for history, Toba-sensei, who on the surface appears very pretty and professional, but seems to be hiding something underneath as Aki notes that Toba-sensei comes into the local liquor store (where Aki works part-time) every week to get a six-pack of beer. The store staff even has a nickname for her: “Miss Chug.” Nadeshiko wonders if she has seen Toba-sensei somewhere before…and of course you have. As have we.

Miss…umm…Chug??

What I like, though, is that this show does exposition about its pet subject right: we have some camping gear explanations during the show and they’re divided up between Aoi and Aki explaining things and our usual voiceover explanations from Rin’s grandfather, our Narrator. This kind of variety and balance is important for keeping the exposition segments from become too repetitive and boring.

And clearly, Nadeshiko is the reincarnation of a Golden Retriever, if you believe in the transmigration of souls and such.

I expect more time in the great outdoors next week.

In Summary:
After dealing with exams, the girls go on a trip to an outdoor sports equipment store and they are getting things ready for their next camping excursion, which will be during the short break after Christmas and before New Year’s. Aki’s plans for fine dining outdoors…have mixed results. The comedy, however, and gentle fun of this series continue to amuse and delight.

Grade: A

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Apple iMac with 12GB RAM, Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra

So very warm and comforting
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