「ふじさんとまったりお鍋キャンプ」 (Fuji-san to Mattari Onabe Kyanpu)
“Mount Fuji and Relaxed Hot Pot Camp”
The weather outside is frightful. Good thing Yuru Camp has been delightful. Although the holidays have passed, Winter still persists, so it feels at home to see the girls of this series doing their best to stay warm with heating pads and warm food. Mt. Fuji is still the destination to be, but with the wide-open atmosphere of the camping grounds, it offers a nice, open view of the mountains that the artists continue to do an excellent job soaking up.
And what better way is there to keep warm in this chilly weather than bonding over hot pot? Admittedly, my discovery of hot pot was fairly recent with last October being my first time at a hot pot restaurant, but it was mind-blowing to combine a smorgasbord of toppings in their Sichuan spicy broth. Nadeshiko’s hot pot of choice is the vein of a Dandan noodle broth which she fills to the brim with dumplings. If they kept the burner on, all those dumplings would quickly dry up the broth, but at the same time, it’d also soak up a lot of that broth to create massive delicious dumplings, so it all balances out somewhat in the end.
I am reveling too much in the hot pot, but it is key to the episode as it helps thaw out any of the frost that Rin had about Nadeshiko and the idea of camping with someone else. It was big for Yuru Camp to have Rin open up to Nadeshiko about how it might’ve looked for her to look horrified at her suggestion to camp together, and to have the characters communicate this well without any misunderstandings or periods of loathing. Aoi tells Nadeshiko about how Rin can be after putting her on the spot about camping together, Rin mulls over whether she should be nicer before the hot pot really changed her mind, and Nadeshiko realizes that she was being a little overbearing in expecting Rin to be okay with being forced out of her comfort zone because they went camping one time.
The biggest bro of the episode was Sakura, who was willing to drop everything she had planned to do in order to take Nadeshiko out to Mt. Fuji and camp in her van. She did skimp on the breakfast for Nadeshiko, but she really did bend over backwards to cart her little sister over to see her friend and stay overnight just to make sure she slept comfortably. It was also fun to see Aoi and Chiaki this episode with the role Aoi played in letting Nadeshiko know about Rin, and Chiaki’s quest for more money. It was interesting that Chiaki would be up for consideration as an employee for a liquor store, but at the very least, there’s some revenue coming into the club afterwards, and she didn’t torpedo the interview after getting stuck in a crate. They also had fun teasing Nadeshiko about her obsession with Mt. Fuji, and hinted that they might be interested in taking the next step towards hiking up there one day. At this point though, it’s great to see everything come together this smoothly, and open up the potential for Rin to want to hang out with Nadeshiko and the Outdoor Activities Club.
As a side note, the OP has been creeping into my mind more lately. Kokkoku‘s is the only one I’ve been watching in its entirety, but I can’t help, but love the Jackson 5 influence in Yuru Camp‘s theme. Between that and the insert song from Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san that sounds similar to “21 Karat Magic”, there’s been some good funky pop in anime music this season.