#1 Selling the hobby
Yuru Camp is a 2018 anime by C-station about camping in the great outdoors. It stars a group of girls who are part of an “outdoor activities” club, as well as Rin, a girl who exclusively camps alone and preferably in the cold winter. Speaking as somebody who has never camped before, I have to admit that Yuru Camp did succeed in making me slightly interested in it.
In many ways, it reminds me of Amanchu, in the sense that it uses cute anime girls and some good comedy to sell the appeal of a hobby not many would immediately consider, and in the case of Amanchu I did actually decide to go diving a few times. The characters are very passionate about what they do and their adventures often include explanations of basic principles like what campsites charge money for and what equipment you need.
While I don’t have any plans to go camping myself, the show gave me a few good laughs and I enjoyed learning a thing or two about an activity.
One of the more interesting strengths of Yuru Camp is its gorgeous background design. A picture speaks a thousand words, of course, but when it came to selecting what picture to use I actually had to struggle for a bit. So many moments in Yuru Camp look fantastic, so to prevent spoilers here is one of many nice scenes from episode 1.
The backgrounds almost look like photographs and try to present a more realistic take on nature, which makes the animated characters pop out. In many shows, like the overly rotoscoped Mistuboshi Colors, a similar effect would appear jarring, but Yuru Camp rolls with it and makes the look its own.
#3 The Mobile Age
There are increasingly few people left who don’t use smartphones, tablets, or other devices that allow them to be always connected to the internet and each other. We live in the information age, yet I notice that a lot of media and people still view social media and phones in a bad light. At least, when used by youngsters.
Yuru Camp was refreshing because it doesn’t shy away from the fact that everybody, kids included, use their phones for pretty much anything. The characters often keep in touch via messaging apps, they take and share pictures both meaningful and silly, and, most importantly, use their access to the internet for looking up information. I watch a lot of slice-of-life anime and only now realized how few shows even address the prevalence of phones in today’s life.
Seeing the message feeds and pictures, the cute little icons to represent who the messages belong to, it’s very creative and well-presented. It’s a bit of presentation entirely unique to the show and I was really fond of it.