Anime Review: Yuru Camp Season 1 (2018)

TL;DR – Rin Shima is slightly unusual for a girl her age. She likes going camping by herself and soaking up the tranquility at various camping sites near Mount Fuji. When a small group of girls set up a camping club at the school Rin attends, she unexpectedly receives attention in helping the club get off the ground and in the process creating new friendships.

Review (warning: spoilers)

Rin is a soft-spoken, quiet girl that loves camping out in winter at various grounds near the base of Mount Fuji. Along the way she meets other girls who become interested in camping also. That is pretty much the entire story, but the basic premise of slice-of-life animes is generally simple.

I have yet to figure out what makes a slice-of-life anime work over other slice-of-life animes. Personal taste obviously comes into play, but certain animes are more effective than others. What I found quite curious about Yuru Camp is that I am not a big camper myself. In fact, if I am on holiday, I much prefer the comforts of a rental house or a hotel than the idea of sleeping on the ground. But Yuru Camp somehow makes me want to buy a sleeping bag and tent and go find some isolated place in the woods or by a lake and be one with nature.

Elements that made this slice-of-life better than others include:

  • Camping locations are based on real ones in Japan
  • The scenery during the day and night is beautifully captured
  • They capture the joys of cooking in the great outdoors and make every meal look delicious
  • The characters are funny in their obsession to go camping and working part-time jobs to afford better equipment
  • It demonstrates the use of actual camping equipment and the many varieties

All of the above combined make for a series that had me smiling. More subtly, it shows how some of the greatest joys are the smallest ones. For example, cooking curry ramen over a campfire; staring as the sun rises over Mount Fuji; exploring new places; riding a scooter; soaking in a hot spring; the company of friends. It also contains the message that life should be savoured and there is nothing wrong with slowing down especially when we live in a world where it feels like we should be cramming in as much as possible.

Since the airing of season one, there has been an increase in tourism in the campgrounds depicted in the anime, this shows the positive influence Yuru Camp has had. There is a serenity in Yuru Camp that will lift your spirits. And that’s the most important element I could receive from a slice-of-life.

10 out of 10

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