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Welcome to the Outdoors Club!

"The stars spread out. Light flows.
Once our hearts are embraced by the gentle scenery…
Let’s put out the lights and fall asleep side by side
As we talk about the simplest things."
Ending Theme by Eri Sasaki
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Rin Shima is fond of camping alone and frequently visits campsites that allow her to take in views of Mount Fuji. She encounters Nadeshiko Kagamihara during one of her camping trips: Nadeshiko had recently moved to the area and longed to see Mount Fuji. To this end, she cycles to find a viewpoint from which she can enjoy Mount Fuji's majesty. After this happenstance encounter, Nadeshiko takes an interest in camping and joins her school's Outdoor Activities Club, where she meets Chiaki Oogaki and Aoi Inuyama, as well as Ena Saitou, Rin's friend. Sometimes camping alone and sometimes camping together, the girls begin sharing in their camping trips and experiences to enjoy some truly unique moments in the wilderness surrounding Mount Fuji.

Laid-Back Camp (Yurucamp△, or ゆるキャン△) is a manga that is authored by Afro, who previously worked on Puella Magi Homura Tamura, and has been serialised in Manga Time Kirara Forward since July 2015. The manga has been licensed in North America by Yen Press. An anime adaptation, produced by C-Station, began airing in January 2018, and episodes are available for watching at Crunchyroll. Besides the twelve episodes, there are also three OVAs that show the girls' time spent together outside of their camping trips. A Japanese live-action drama and short series Room Camp (Heya Camp, or へやキャン△), both aired in January 2020. A second season began airing in January 2021, and an animated movie has also been announced.

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Laid-Back Camp provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: The fourth episode of Room Camp switches the focus from the Outdoor Activities Club to Rin, describing a Saturday when she does not camp.
  • Adventurous Irish Violins: Irish Fiddles provide some of the motifs in this series, providing a soundtrack that invites exploring the majesty and splendor of the outdoors.
  • Apology Gift: Sakura gives Rin a bag of kiwis as thanks for looking after Nadeshiko and to apologise for having disrupted Rin’s evening at Lake Motosu.
  • Art Shift: The characters periodically shift into Super-Deformed designs similar to their phone avatars, usually whenever they're acting particularly smug or goofy. Rin has it happen to her the most frequently.
  • Beach Episode: The OVA released for the third BD volume had Nadeshiko and the others stranded on a tropical island, where they make use of the island's resources to survive and have a camping trip of sorts here.
  • Big Ball of Violence:
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    • Chiaki, Aoi and Nadeshiko have a very short-lived, but dusty fight while debating what Christmas gifts to get one another, after Aoi suggests that the high-grade meat she's bringing along can be considered her gift to the others.
    • In episode nine, Chiaki and Nadeshiko spar via Pop-Up Texting over what Rin should have for lunch when the latter stopped at a hot spring en route to the campsite, and in the aftermath, their avatars have Instant Bandages.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Aoi's eyebrows are very prominent compared to the other characters.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Nadeshiko attempts to purchase Orio sandwich cookies in the fourth episode, with the Nabisco triangle visible on the packaging.
    • The Zebra supermarket that Rin and Nadeshiko visited in the sixth episode is based on the Selva Food Garden store in Minobu.
    • The Caribou store that Nadeshiko, Aoi and Chikai visit in episode eight is based on a Casa-SVEN store from Hamamatsu.
    • The lantern that Nadeshiko lights in Caribou is made by Goalman (Coleman).
  • Book-Ends: The anime opened with Rin cycling up to Koan Campground and setting up her gear before settling down, and concludes with Nadeshiko biking along the same route, setting up similar gear and settling down the same way Rin had.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The girls appear to be able to hear the narrator's commentary while they prepare their camping implements. In episode seven, the narrator remarks that tents with a short set-up time are pricier, and Nadeshiko's mood sours with this knowledge.
  • Brick Joke: In episode eight, Nadeshiko shares a photograph of a strange-looking vehicle on her way back home from school with her friends. This turns out to have been a Google Street View camera car, and in the episode's post-credits, Rin finds a surprised Nadeshiko standing at the intersection.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The elderly gentleman Chiaki runs into while scouting a camp area during the sixth episode turns out to be Rin's grandfather. Her mother ends up calling him, and mentions that his love of camping was passed onto Rin.
    • Rin and Nadeshiko run into two campers, an intoxicated lady and her partner who helped them to start fire for their grill. The former is Minami Toba, a new instructor at Nadeshiko and the others' high school who becomes the Outdoor Activities Club's advisor, while the latter is later revealed to be her sister.
  • Club Stub: The Outdoor Activities Club is assigned a small clubroom because Chiaki and Aoi are its only two members. Their status also limits their funding, but the two are unconcerned with the arrangements; they reason that they don't spend much time in their clubroom, and later take on part-time jobs to provide the money for their activities.
  • Cranial Eruption: In the first episode, Sakura strikes Nadeshiko for having left her cell phone behind and getting lost, resulting in three lumps stacked on top of each other.
  • Diegetic Switch: Rin and Nadeshiko listen to the ending song on a cell phone while camping.
  • Distant Finale: In the first season finale, Nadeshiko imagines camping together with everyone again after ten years have elapsed.
  • Edutainment: The series provides detailed explanations and advice on camping implements and the equipment involved for new campers.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The Room Camp series of anime shorts involves Nadeshiko going on the Yamanashi Stamp Rally with Aoi and Aki. In the last episode, it turns out that the rally was something that the other girls made up.
  • Energetic and Soft-Spoken Duo: Nadeshiko is an excitable Genki Girl who often shouts, while the taciturn Rin is much quieter and more reserved.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • Rin's gradual warming up to Nadeshiko can be seen in the first season's opening credits, through her messages with Nadeshiko. From episodes one to seven, Rin's reply is "No". Episode eight to eleven has her respond "I'll consider it", and in the finale, she answers, "sure".
    • In Room Camp, the credits show the stamp book with all the current stamps (and after Nadeshiko briefly loses it, the notebook she uses to collect the stamps).
  • Fancy Camping: In one of the manga omakes, the girls discuss the merits of camping with more creature comforts. Chiaki vehemently decries the idea, seeing it as a diminished form of camping, but then remarks that if she could afford it, she'd do it every weekend.
  • Food Porn: From grilling meat over a portable stove, to onsen fried eggs, nabe and campfire curry, food in is rendered with great detail. The food evidently tastes as good as it looks, given the characters' enjoyment of their meals.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Nadeshiko is an energetic ditz, while her sister Sakura is a taciturn Cool Big Sis.
  • Foreshadowing: In the Room Camp anime shorts, there's a bit of foreshadowing regarding the ending.
    • Aki and Aoi always find the stamp stations before Nadeshiko does, and in the third episode, they discourage Nadeshiko from going on ahead to get to the stamp station. One would assume that it's because they know the area better, but they actually have to hurry ahead and set up the stamps. Unbeknownst to them, Nadeshiko actually caught them in the act, but went along with it.
    • Episode eight shows that Aoi sometimes enjoys making up stories for the fun of it. She and Aki made up the story about the stamp rally.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: In Room Camp, Rin drops the impressive-sounding Latin term "simulacrum" into a conversation, but what she describes isn't actually a simulacrum. A simulacrum is a copy of something that's too shallow or vulgar to capture the transcendent nature of the original—basically, a synonym for The Theme Park Version. What she meant was "pareidolia", seeing patterns in meaningless visual stimuli.
  • Harsh Word Impact: Yen signs stab into Nadeshiko when she reads about the price of higher-end camping gear.
  • How We Got Here: The first episode began with Nadeshiko and her friends roasting marshmallows over a campfire. It turns out this was a part of their Christmas camping trip, seen in episodes eleven and twelve.
  • Human Mail: The Outdoor Exploration Club girls attempt to devise an inexpensive means of insulating their sleeping bags for winter camping. After layering several methods including bubble wrap and a cardboard box, Chiaki (the one who's in the bag) wonders "Am I being shipped somewhere?"
  • Idiot Ball: In episode ten, experienced camper Rin fails to anchor her tent to the ground in high winds just so the narrator can lecture the audience on how important it is, over scenes of Rin chasing her flyaway camp gear.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Ena is skilled at styling hair into a variety of objects including a bear's head, a pagoda and saguaro cactus.
  • In Medias Res: The first episode opens with all the girls camping together and transitions to the events that lead Nadeshiko and Rin to meet.
  • Irony: After Rin tells Nadeshiko of a spectral bull that is rumoured to appear by nightfall at Lake Shibire, she follows up by reassuring Nadeshiko that nothing of the sort will appear. However, when Rin returns from the facilities later that night, she runs into what looks to be the bull and bolts in terror; she ends up spending the evening sleeping in Nadeshiko's tent, and the "ghost" turns out to be the drunken lady they met earlier, who was having a Vomit Discretion Shot at the time.
  • Iyashikei: The combination of wilderness adventures and friendship create an immensely cathartic atmosphere.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Both Nadeshiko and Rin are surprised to learn that Minami's partner at Lake Shibire was her sister, and she admits that with the way her sister acts, it's not hard to make that mistake.
  • Location Theme Naming: All characters' surnames are based off the names of Japanese cities, and this is briefly mentioned in episode ten.
  • Loophole Abuse: When camping at Lake Shibire, Toba's sister worries about the likelihood of Toba drinking beer during lunchtime. Toba considers drinking non-alcoholic beer at school instead, but her sister retorts that it's still unacceptable.
  • Lost in Translation: Both Yen Press and Crunchyroll gives Chiaki's Outdoors Activity group as a "Club", but it was originally a "Circle", as it had not satisfied the school's requirements to be a club.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The delta symbol at the end of the title is a tent, and it is retained in the cover of Yen Press's translation as the "a" in "Camp."
  • Motorcycle on the Coast Road: Rin in Season 2, episode 2, riding her scooter along an ocean road. It being winter, she complains about the cold wind.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: In the tenth episode, Nadeshiko exclaims in Engrish, "One for all, hole in one!"
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • In episode nine, Chiaki decides to cook houto noodles for Nadeshiko, who had a cold. When her parents show up and ask Chiaki to cook for them an authentic Yamanashi houto, the pressure on Chiaki becomes visible in her expression.
    • When Rin oversleeps at the restaurant on her way to her campsite, she is shocked that it's late enough that the sun has set.
    • When Nadeshiko tells Rin at Hamamatsu that they're having eel for lunch, Rin is in constant shock for awhile, since she certainly doesn't have the money to pay for it. Turns out that lunch is on Nadeshiko's family.
  • Pop-Up Texting: The girls' communiques are frequently shown on-screen. In their messages, the girls share their pictures, conversations and experiences as high school girls are wont.
  • Product Placement: Kikyo Shingen Mochi, discussed in the second episode's Stinger, is considered one of the most well-known gifts from Yamanashi. However, that name is a registered trademark, with the trademark owner Kikyoya showing up in that episode's credits.
  • Puni Plush: The art style is very rounded. The best indicator is in volume five, when Nadeshiko's Childhood Friend Ayano showed Rin some photos back when Nadeshiko was fat. To the reader she wasn't that much fatter that how she currently is, the shock from Rin notwithstanding.
  • Real-Place Background: The series is set in and around the Minobu area of Yamanashi, and the camps the girls visit are real-world locations.
  • Running Gag: Whenever somebody brings attention to pinecones for use as a fire-starter, the cones usually let out a cutely-voiced response, whether it's replying with "hello" or screaming "ouch" when set on fire.
  • Scenery Porn: The landscapes surrounding Mount Fuji are intricately and beautifully rendered, bringing the natural surroundings that Rin and her friends frequent to life.
  • Schoolgirl Series: Laid-Back Camp follows in the adventures of Rin and her friends both in the wilderness, as well as their everyday lives as high school students.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Chiaki wonders whether the Cool Old Guy camper "looks straight out of a coffee commercial"; she refers to Tommy Lee Jones's series of Japandering coffee commercials from the 1990s.
    • When Chiaki explains what outdoor film viewing is, the familiar faces of Marty McFly and Doc Brown appear in the film shown.
    • The "Blankie Monster" Running Gag is a nod to old-school Kamen Rider; the phrase Rin uses ("There you are, Blanket Monster!") would commonly be used by Riders when they encountered the Monster of the Week, while "Secret Society BLANKET" is a play off of Shocker, the evil organisation from the original series.
    • When the Outdoor Activities Club girls buy color-coded sleeping bags, they give themselves Super Sentai-style code-names, such as the "Mushroom Rangers" and "Santaclangers". There's also a brief shot of some "Mushroom Rangers" in the ninth episode.
    • In manga's tenth volume, Nadeshiko is shown performing Yoga Flame, complete with the button combination, in a between-chapter illustration.
  • Slice of Life: Laid-Back Camp divides its time between Rin's excursions into the mountains and the Outdoors Activity Club's experiences, focusing on the girls as they make the most of their travels.
  • Start My Own: The Outdoor Activities Club was born of Chiaki and Aoi's desire to experience the outdoors at a much more relaxed pace than the athletically-focused Hiking Club.
  • The Stinger: The "Room Camp" segments after anime's ending sequence are light-hearted humor about the cast, adapted from the manga's bonus materials.
  • Super-Deformed: The cast is drawn in this style when they appear as smartphone app avatars.
  • Suspicious Missed Messages: Downplayed when Nadeshiko goes on her first solo camping trip. When Nadeshiko stops answering her text messages, Rin cannot stop worrying about her, and goes out of her way to check on her friend...only to discover that Nadeshiko's older sister Sakura had the same idea. While Rin and Sakura's fears aren't completely unfounded — Nadeshiko can be very foolish on occasion — she was never in danger and her lack of communication really is due to the poor reception in the mountains.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In episode three, the anime's ending theme is played on the radio. Rin and Nadeshiko listen to it over a music stream via smartphone.
  • Title Drop: Room Camp #46 (published in Volume Six) has Chiaki bring up the subject of low-stress camping, AKA "laid-back camp". Aoi responds "I feel like I've heard that somewhere before..."
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Instant Curry Ramen for the characters of the show.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The fourth and fifth episodes (corresponding with chapters six to eight of the manga) sees Rin and the Outdoors Activity Club camping at different locations. They keep in touch by means of text messages and share their experiences with one another.
  • The 'Verse: The author has another series about an university photography club, Mono, that is set in the same universe as this series. For example, the Kagamigahara family won a Mega Meal Challenge in that series.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The first half Season 2 Episode 1 in the anime is primarily dedicated to showing the very first time Rin went camping. It ends on showing Nadeshiko during her time biking to lose weight, transitioning to the present day while she's riding.

When camping...

Always mind the campsite and facility rules. Don't forget to take care of fires and your trash!
It gets cold during the winter. Stay warm and be well prepared!
— Outdoor Activities Club

Alternative Title(s): Yurucamp, Room Camp

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