Anime is like cartoons to me, I can't remember when I started and I see no end to me watching them.
You’re sitting down, relaxing with a warm cup of coffee in March of 2018 and then a notification pops up from your Anime streaming service. Yuru Camp, first episode now available; you don’t know what this anime is about, in the thumbnail it looks cute and colourful. You’d be right and you’re about to experience a feeling that only a few things on earth can make you feel. The feeling of missing something that you never experienced.
On the surface Yuru Camp is about a group of high school girls that all like to go camping, peppered with common camping tips for Japan. In total it follows five girls and eventually their teacher through the places they go to camp, the tools they acquire and the beautiful vistas that they see. A slice of life anime that will make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.
However, when you watch it, you’ll quickly find yourself addicted, relaxed and feeling like you’re missing out on something important. Let’s take a look at each of these, because Yuru Camp is easily one of the best anime’s of the 2010’s and is soon to start the 2020’s with a bang.
The Addiction Starts
All slice of life anime tries to have cute characters, only a handful succeeds. Yuru Camp somehow got the formula right with all its characters, each of the five main characters has a unique personality that pushes through in wonderful ways. But, it’s more than just the personality of these five characters, the supporting cast have their own quirks that makes you like them and appreciate them even more.
The first scenes of the anime introduce you to the main cast before launching into the lively theme and opening. However, it’s the scenes that take place after the opening that captured my attention, it’s just Rin (probably one of the two protagonists) riding her bicycle to her campsite, in silence. This sets the tone to what makes Yuru Camp so enjoyable.
It’s the lack of over dramatic sounds or intrusive music, when you watch one episode of this anime you find yourself longing for another. You want to see how they’re all going camping; you want to be taken along on their journey and to see the things that they see. Yuru Camp speaks more about the true nature of an adventure with friends than almost any other story out there.
Because an adventure is not always about the ridiculous things you see, or dangers you all face together. It’s the silent moments when you’re alone, when you see something beautiful that almost no one else has seen. The comradery you feel with the people around you when no one has said a word.
It is for these reasons that Yuru Camp becomes addictive, you find yourself longing for another few minutes with them, you may never be a true part of their adventure, but you can see the world through their eyes.
The Feeling of Not Feeling
You know what few shows can do, not cause stress. Modern media is great at making things stressful, who will win the bronze (iron?) throne, is that a Sidious voice at the end, why are they fighting over who’s captain? These things make movies, anime and series very stressful to watch.
There is a prevailing fallacy with creators that drama means viewers, the more dramatic and extreme something is then the more viewers they’ll get. And, well, they’re not wrong; however, it gets tiring, when you’re studying or working the whole day why would anyone want to go home to watch stressful things happen in a fake universe with caricatures of real people.
Yuru Camp doesn’t do this, there are no fights in the first season, no drama or unnecessary lack of communication that creates ‘drama’. If you watch it then you’ll find yourself relaxing, just the outro sequence alone is enough to make me destress after a long day of work.
This is what makes Yuru Camp so great for all ages, you get to unwind while enjoying the experience of seeing and learning new things. There are moments spread throughout the anime where you get to relax with the characters, enjoy the sunrise over Mr. Fuji, watch the fire crackle while the stars dance over a lake or just laugh along because you’re happy.
You’re Missing Something
About halfway through Yuru Camp you will notice a feeling within yourself, a feeling that you can’t quite place. At first, you’ll think nostalgia, but then how can it be nostalgia if this is the first time you’re watching the anime?
This feeling can’t actually be described, nostalgia is a part of it, but it comes along with excitement and others. For me this feeling came with the realisation that I can’t experience the carefree nature of the girls in Yuru Camp. All the campgrounds near me are over 50km away and, even then, they are guarded by large fences and security guards. I can, and do, regularly go camping but I will never do it in a carefree manner.
For others this feeling accompanies the realisation that camping can be fun, that getting out and doing something is that easy. You don’t need the largest, latest or the best gear to go out and enjoy it. All you really need is a tent, friends and food.
What I always get after a watch of Yuru Camp is the feeling to go out and do something. See the world around me and find the places where few have been. To be with friends and enjoy the moment, to stop over-thinking everything around me and create memories that will last a lifetime.
So, for my last ‘broadcast’ this week I implore you to go watch Yuru Camp, either at home or, preferably, outside your tent with your best friend and a cup of hot chocolate to keep you warm.
Now Just Relax
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Victor Moolman