Author: Christina Kane     Published: June 21st, 2018

Chapters: 1 – 12 | Type: Manga | Language: Japanese & English

This is the most slice-of-life manga that I’ve read so far this year. It’s one long love letter to the Japanese countryside, Mount Fuji, camping and food (seriously, I have a craving for hot pot after reading these two volumes).

 

Story

Rin is a loner who frequently goes off on trips to camp during the fall to avoid the summertime crowds. Nadeshiko is a quirky, genki girl who adores camping and gets her older sister to drive her all over. Together they meet at a place where Rin is about to go camping and fun times ensue. But Nadeshiko and Rin aren’t alone in their love for the Great Outdoors; at school, there’s the Outdoor Exploration Club, run by Aoi and Aki, who, in the grand tradition of Japanese high school manga, needs a certain amount of members to qualify as a full-fledged club.

Enter Nadeshiko. And I’m assuming Rin will probably wind up there too, along with her friend Saitou.

There’s really no plot to this other than a road trip to places that I suspect are well-known to Japanese and Asian tourists in general. In the first volume, Rin and Nadeshiko share a night together near Mount Fuji, which indeed looks beautiful at night. We also see the formation of the Outdoor Exploration Club and the club’s first camping trip, along with Rin’s solo trip to Nagano. In volume 2, the OEC enjoy an onsen while Rin finds herself disappointed in not finding one (eventually, before heading home the next day, she does), another trip with Rin and Nadeshiko, and more shots of yummy food and beautiful scenery that makes me want to go to Japan right now. For real. We also get a glimpse of some future characters (whose names don’t show up for now) and even tips on camping and what equipment splashed all over. Interesting for those who love nature or who are just curious about nature like myself.

Characters

Let’s start with our main character Rin. She’s an adventurious type, who, according to her mother in volume two, takes after her grandfather in camping once she started at age nine. She drives, goes to camp and she loves to read and works in her school’s library too! Rin is pretty cool. Life goals.

Nadeshiko, on the other hand, is more your typical energetic, cute anime girl that always stay positive no matter what. Like other cute, genki-like girls, she’s got a quirk to her and her quirk is that she eats a lot. And likes to make curry on camping trips. There’s the OEC girls too: Aki, who’s the one with the glasses and Aoi, who’s the one who’s more… mature (she’s got boobs). During volume two, we’re introduced to a couple of more characters, though not named yet: a fellow student who will probably wind up at the same high school as the girls and his sister, who’s drunk and whom I have a feeling will be someone’s teacher.

Themes

The ultimate slice-of-life series with some educational lessons on camping thrown in. Nice comedy thrown in there too.

Art/Writing

I really like the art in this. It’s cute, but not in the, what I’d call the Bishoujo 101 style. The writing is also fun too. Don’t know who afro is, but he/she did their research on camping that’s for sure. I’d recommend.

Quality/Conclusion

Rank: 8

I don’t know what the hell happened at Yen Press, but the digital copy of volume one that I bought for my Kindle had chapter 7-13 printed on the Table of Contents for volume one. However, volume two was fine.

Series-wise… I loved it! I want to go camping outside with a book and a bowl full of hot pot curry now.

 

Source: Article Image: Laid-Back Camp volume 1 cover

  • Original Titleゆるキャン△ (Yurukyan)
  • Author: Afro
  • Release Date: 2015 – Now
  • License: Yen Press

 

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