Yuru Camp: The best, most wholesome show about doing literally nothing

Main character Rin is a bit of a loner. One of the only real character arcs in this show is her learning the value of spending time with others – and that’s alright. Same, Rin.

Synopsis: Rin Shima likes to camp solo. One day, while camping near the foot of Mount Fuji, she encounters Nadeshiko Kagamihara, full of life and eager to learn how to camp as well. A friendship forms between the two of them as they camp together with Chiiaki Oogaki and Aoi Inuyama, equally eager members of the Outdoor Club.

Yuru Camp aired the exact same time as A Place Further than the Universe. Back in the Winter season of 2018 it was a battle of which “Cute Girls Doing Cute Things” show would win me over. A Place Further than the Universe won out – obviously, seeing as the girls of the SS Shirase are in the banner of this blog. But being the outdoorsy person I am, Yuru Camp was always on my radar, and I am happy to announce that it is, indeed, totally great.

I do have to warn you, though – almost nothing happens in Yuru Camp.

Yuru Camp is funny at times, relying on sight gags and the kind of cute, pointless humour you’d expect from a gang of high schoolers.

If you’re the type of person who lives and dies by traditional Western storytelling, this is not the show for you. There is no conflict here. There is no rising action, no villains, no denouement or any of the traditional storytelling beats you’d expect to find in other shows. The only goal here is Nadeshiko, Aoi, Chiaki and Ena’s wish to go camping, and loner protagonist Rin’s desire to camp undisturbed, all on her lonesome. 

This isn’t to say that Yuru Camp is without value. In fact, I’m willing to say Yuru Camp is important as far as anime is concerned. This is animated ASMR, perfectly fine-tuned to set your mind at ease. God knows we need that right now.

What little plot there is is as cuddly as the rest of this show. This is a story of friendship. In the first episode we’re introduced to Rin, hardy and independent, who’d much rather camp on her own than be surrounded by the noise of other people. At the base of Mount Fuji she encounters Nadeshiko, bubbly and energetic, and through her she learns what it means to spend time with others, wasting away the days with the Outdoor Club and bonding over a shared love for the great outdoors. With the beautiful vistas of rural Japan as its scenery and set to the sounds of quiet guitar sound, Yuru Camp is a big, warm hug of a show.

The faintly budding friendship between loner Rin and firecracker Nadeshiko kept a tiny little smile plastered on my face most episodes.

Sat at a lakeside campsite, Nadeshiko shares what could be taken as the thesis to this show. “Sometimes things just kinda happen,” she says, wrapped up in blankets beneath browning leaves next to newfound friend Rin. As the girls of Yuru Camp grow tight gonds over a shared love for camping, we see just that – that good friends and tender moments sometimes just happen.

For those who know the soft joy of a landscape lit by morning light, or the pleasures of pleasant company while lounging outside a tent, or for anyone in desperate need of something light and warm and relaxing to scrub their tired minds with at the end of a long day – this is the show for you. Come grab some wood, sit by the campfire, share some warm curry with the girls of Yuru Camp and do nothing whatsoever – it’ll be worth your while.

Yuru Camp is nice to have, a soft blanket of a show for you to retreat to when you’re feeling low. I loved it. It made me feel warm inside and out.

In Summary:

(-) Nothing happens

(+) Nothing happens

(+) Perfectly relaxing soundtrack fits like warm campside coffee with this calming anime

(+) Wholesome content to unwind with

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