Yuru Camp – by relatively young and unknown studio C-Station – is one of this season’s (Winter 2018) Slice of Life shows, very possibly a contender for the best in its class. Only one word comes to mind: camping. We all love camping, well… l love camping; it was something our family did when I was very young, and hopefully something I can return to one day. Through the seemingly mundane act of camping, Yuru camp not only manages to convey the subtle beauty there is in camping, and how it connects a person to nature, but also the ways in which these situations can be shared, enjoyed amongst friends – how they can be used to make new friends!
The premise of Yuru Camp really couldn’t be more simple, it can be summed up in precisely three words:
Camping – Girls – Fun
Often the best things, are the least complex. Of course, there is anime out there that makes you think, that question a person’s set of beliefs – I’ve seen plenty of it, and I like it no less than I like shows like Yuru Camp. However, to appreciate those kinds of shows, you have to be attentive, to be watching with the majority of your attention. Yuru Camp on the other hand, can be enjoyed at any time; it can be taken in fully without having had eight hours sleep. And, at the moment, this is a big benefit for a person like myself…
Though, this is not to say Yuru Camp isn’t nuanced in any way. Sure, there is no deep plot to speak of, there really isn’t any plot at all. But, this is the same with most Slice of Life shows. Slice of Life are not necessarily watched because of their plots; though some do have great stories to follow and be immersed within. Mostly, Slice of Life is watched because of the characters, and the situations the characters get themselves in. This is where Yuru Camp excels. In its ability to draw us into the lives of the characters, into their inner workings, and the ways in which they live their lives. Because, ultimately, we find other people naturally interesting. Even more so, we find fictional characters that much more attractive in this sense. They are people we could know, people we would love to know. And, in some ways, they are more real than the people we do know.
Learning to Enjoy Company
As someone who enjoys their own company, I can fully see the appeal of camping alone. And yet – as much as I sometimes don’t feel like admitting – everyone needs to spend time with other people; everyone needs time interacting to some degree. That’s just a facet of human existence, something which cannot be ignored without incurring potential repercussions in the long-term. Yuru Camp enlightens on this issue.
Rin is a solitary person, I identify with her in this sense. After all, I think being able to be alone – getting enjoyment from being alone – is as important as spending time with other people. As Rin joins the Outdoor Activities Circle, in its tiny club room full of books, and warm-heartedness, she begins to see the possibility that having friends – with interests in similar things – will bring her comfort. This is evident when she wakes up next to Nadeshiko in the tent, after an evening looking at Mount Fuji, and feasting on mildly-hot-hot-pot. Rin realises she doesn’t have to do things alone, that there are always other people to have fun with; who enjoy the same things you do. Yet, just because she has friends, it doesn’t always mean they must take part in everything she does.
The Element of Fun
Fun is a powerful thing. Not only because of the effect it has on the person experiencing it, but also the effect it has on those around them, and how this creates a culture in which fun propagates fun. This contributes to the tone of Yuru Camp, creating an atmosphere of lightheartedness which helps you fall in love with all that Yuru Camp is.
Yuru Camp is bursting at the seams with fun! This comes from its characters: Rin, Nadeshiko, Aoi, and Ena. On a more intrinsic level Rin’s personality clashes with Nadeshiko’s – something which is of benefit to both of them. From this, Rin learns how to be more outgoing, and interact in social situations. Nadeshiko learns the importance of quiet, and the ability to relax whilst enjoying the little things. But the biggest factor is, how all of the characters imprint on each other. How each of their individual personalities rub off on one another. After all, it’s fair to say each one of us wants to have a measurable effect on the people we spend time with; hopefully in a more than positive way. If you surround yourself with good, honest people – everyone benefits. Yuru Camp reminds me of this; of how important good people and family can be.
Do you love Yuru Camp, and its characters as much as I do!?
Thanks for reading, as always!
-Chris (Follow me on Twitter, and consider supporting Peach’s Almanac on Patreon. I post every Wednesday!)