Anime fills a need. <3
I have been an on/off anime watcher for a few years now. One of the main appeals of it is that it is subtitled. This forces me to give it all of my attention and not play games or browse the web/gemini while watching it. Because of this attention hooking, I find it incredibly relaxing to watch. More so than anything else I sit down to view.
One of the things that anime watchers don’t like to talk about is that most anime as bad. Great seas of it are total shit. But there is so much anime being made that even though most of it really it terrible, there is still a huge volume of actually good stuff.’’
One of the genres that I enjoy is “slice of life” or as its more commonly known, “shows where nothing happens”. I think this is because I watch it to relax not to get pumped up. I don’t want endless battles, heroes with power creep or escalation. I want to watch shows where nice people do wholesome things. Shows that warm the soul.
Its not just anime either, one of my more recent binges was “I Dream of Jeannie” a very old TV show about a Genie and her master who live in suburban America. The stakes are literally never higher than “oh no people saw me do magic” or “I need to plan a party”. I could (and might) write a whole series of posts about ’60s sitcoms and how great they were.
More recently though I have been watching though an anime called “Laid-Back Camp” it’s a show about teenage girls going camping. I know your brain instantly looks for comments and innuendo. Nope. Its exactly as wholesome as you would hope. We have a main character who is distant and aloof because she enjoys her own company, a great deal. Not because of some personal drama. Another character who is excited and filled with wonder. One who is a planner, one who is just along for the ride and a few in-between. Theres even a cute dog.
An episode flows much the same way each time. Wholesome conversation > some wholesome text messaging > some driving/riding footage > some wholesome camping stuff (eating, equipment setup, scenery appreciation) > some appreciation of friends and events > set up premise for next episode.
That sounds quite dull and formulaic, I know. But this show nails the feeling of joy and wonder of both the outdoors and of friendship. Peoples relationships with each other evolve and we see the steps that forge friendships. We see clear motivations. Agendas are no more complex than the desire to enjoy each other’s company and the experiences they are sharing.
There are literally no antagonist, no arguments and no drama. This makes for a refreshing and warming experience that I simply adore. I watched the first season pretty much in a weekend. It is exactly the kind of show that I am perpetually looking for. I strongly recommend it to anyone who also likes slice of life stories (if you can call them stories, more experiences.)
The shows art work is clean and expressive. The second season’s art is quite a jump in quality but even at its least striking its nice and clear giving a good sense of place.
As a little bonus there is also a live-action version of the show that retains the original name “Yuru Camp” and while very low budget it retains the wholesomeness and wonder of the anime. Recreating the more memorable moments scene by scene. I enjoyed it a great deal as a complementary show.
I actually enjoyed Laid-Back Camp so much, I have even been browsing Amazon for the Manga. And an occasional collectable. I hope I am able to not buy a bunch of statues I don’t really want but I have a feeling my post will be a little heavier for a few weeks (you can’t see me, but a assure you am grinning thinking about “Rin and Moped statue” I saw earlier.)
Laid-Back camp is stream-able over on Crunchyroll as well as being readily available on your favourite torrent sites, legality and morality dependant (obviously).