Slice of Life (SoL) was a genre that we didn’t know we needed. Then, another tag came along to give it a different twist—CGDCT (cute girls doing cute things) that has taken the anime community by a storm. But over the years, with the sucess of A Place Further Than The Universe in capturing the essence of the pursuit of dreams and K-On! on the portrayal of tight-knit friendship, there’s an anime that is outshined and deserves a bit more credits than it already has.
Yeah, it’s Yuru Camp.
Yuru Camp, if you haven’t already heard, is a story about five cute girls that are brought closer together by outdoor camping. But unlike starting a light music club or planning a trip to Antartica, Yuru Camp finds joy in spending the night in the wild. It’s an activity that is actually tougher than it looks, yet they’ve amazingly captured the charm of it. Or rather, the warmth of it.
The setting of the story—inside four small cities and a few lakes surrounding Mount Fuji—makes it a dreamy gateaway from the hustle and bustle of the city that we are all trapped in. Because there are so many choices for camping spots and hot spring inns that even just for a moment, it’s frightening to think that such lifestyle actually exists.
Imagine dipping in hot spring on a chilly morning, having a hearty fried tempura meal in the afternoon, and being able to prepare a simple dinner with ingredients brought from a nearby market.
This is basically what Rin, one of the main characters does every weekend. She would cycle around with breeze softly swipe across her face and her scarf, as she cuts through the changing scenery riding her small scooter, scouting for ideal camp spot to spend the night in. Yuru Camp knows this freedom and joy that can be achieved with camping. So, even if you’re alone, you could still enjoy it very much. It all comes to how you can create this comfy mood for yourself.
Even though some of us (me!) don’t have much experiences in camping, but the wholesomeness that it’s trying to portray can still be clearly felt: the heart-thudding excitement of embarking on a journey out of our comfort zone like A Place Further Than The Universe, and the adorable friendship that the MCs have like K-On!. Both of which are emphasised with literally, warm atmosphere wrapping around the characters.
But in essence, it is because we are always in need for a nostalgic warm that makes Yuru Camp so comfy—we want to be in that moment, during that hour with that carefree mindset watching those breathtaking landscapes. A peaceful night under a starry sky accompanied by the sound of crickets, a small bonfire to cook a hot pot under the chilly weather, or some chit-chat with others reminiscing past events and discussing future plans while eating hot cup noodles—these are what outdoor camping is about.
It’s comparable to a feeling we have had before so we know how warm it feels: drinking hot beverages on rainy night (especially when it’s really heavy), reading novels or watching tv series while snuggling inside a blanket.
Because Yuru Camp sticks to reality, it is able to create something attainable, so close yet seems so far away from us. It’s the reason why some anime can make you cry, warm your heart but only some like Yuru Camp can make you feel rejuvenated at the end of each episode.
And to top it with a cherry, Yuru Camp has OSTs that we normally wouldn’t listen to, but we’ll be glad we did. The soundtracks have a beautiful irish-like tone and light-hearted rhythm that can elevate the mood a bit, and set off the adventure spirit within one. ‘Solo Camp’, in particular can shoot you with tons of positivity.
I can say a great deal about the comfortableness that Yuru Camp is trying to achieve, but it’s only by experiencing it that you can feel the warmth that lies within. Although it has a thin line drawn between boring and relaxing, but if you can find the joy out of even the most mundane activity, you’ll come to appreciate this.
And you will love it.
Thanks for reading.
P/S: Hope you feel a tad bit cozier compared to when you first started reading this. Here’s a gift you didn’t know you needed: