“Hey Ya!” jokes aside, Heya Camp does a great service in distilling the experience of hanging out with friends, indoors and outdoors, into a series of short episodes.
The wait for new Yuru Camp to give audiences the warm and cozy feeling of sitting by the campfire and learning about how to enjoy a short weekend of leisure has been a grueling one. As such, Heya Camp is a nice re-introduction to the Camping Club and their efforts to make good use of their free time.
But whereas Yuru Camp had a lot to accomplish by including factoids about camping with every trip the Club went on, Heya Camp uses its short runtime to give us delightful vignettes of the girls visiting landmarks and hanging out with one another.
You might miss out on the moments where you get instructionals on what to do while you’re camping in specific sites, but because of its status as a short anime, it gives the series a chance to have the girls react naturally to normal situations.
The narrative convention that revolves around a Stamp Collection game that Nadeshiko takes part in where they introduce her to places that resonate Chiaki and Aoi gives the cast of Yuru Camp a chance to develop. Since there isn’t such a concern to educate viewers on camping, we get more insight on the girls’ personal lives, how they met, and what their home-life is like. Some of the more beneficial moments of Heya Camp come from getting the chance to see Rin interact with her mom, hearing Aoi reflecting on what her sister is like, and learning about how Chiaki and Aoi got to know each other.
It would be difficult to describe Heya Camp on an episode-by-episode basis because it’s only 3 to 4 minutes long, but as a whole, it is great supplementary material to the Yuru Camp universe. It can be tiring to have everyone give you a friendly reminder of what’s happening in the outside world, but if there’s one anime that would be a great series to marathon while you’re hunkering down inside, it’d be Yuru Camp. But if you could choose a second anime to marathon, then Heya Camp is a short, breezy semi-sequel that will help you warm your heart and gear up for when Yuru Camp 2 comes out during gentler times.
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If you look at the sales data for these shows there’s clearly an audience among anime fans for laid back shows that don’t take themselves or feature anything too serious. How many other anime shows in this day and age are breaking 10k sales on Blu Ray first week like Yuru Camp did?
There’s clearly something there in this franchise which has made them such massive hits in Japan.
Instead of an instructional camping anime, Heya Camp seems more like a tourist guide. The stamp rally might not be real, but I think the places are.
Still a laid back show, but don’t think it’ll make you relaxed. Just to short. Unless you’re already in a relaxed state that is.
Actually, the places are all real. Another blogger out there took the time to go in and find every location Nadeshiko and her friends visit during the course of Heya Camp. From well-known locations like the Fujisan Heritage Centre and Kawaguchiko Ropeway, to a small park with a statue in it in Ichikawadaimon and Minobu’s Golden Foot Bath, you’re absolutely on the money. That speaks to Yuru Camp’s attention to the detail: far more than being just “cool”, this is awesome.