OP: Seize the Day 「Seize the Day」 by Asaka
「旅のおともにカレーめん」 (Tabi no Otomoni Kareemen)
“Curry Noodles Are the Best Travel Companion”
Of the returning shows for 2021, I was anticipating Yuru Camp’s second season the most. The first episode was a wonderful reminder of how nice it feels to hunker down and bask in the comforting glow that comes from the Outdoor Activities Circle’s camping trips.
It’s hard to pinpoint single-handedly what makes Yuru Camp an enjoyable watch, but the atmosphere the anime creates is something that they’ve got down to a T. It’s difficult to replicate the combination of different factors that go into the cathartic release this show gives when it wants you to feel exactly how the girls do as they relax in the wilderness.
In the case of Episode 01, Rin’s trip with her father down to a lake close to Mt. Fuji is what we’re meant to soak in. We often see the mountain from a distance, but right when the view becomes aligned and the sun hits just right, the sight of Mt. Fuji is immense. The artwork was always a bright spot for the show, but it was still a breathtaking sight to see the detail from the view of Fuji. Along with this, the music hits the right peak to really hammer home the aura that Mt. Fuji gives off. And again, the music resonates so well with the experience of being outdoors with the rustic yet whimsical feel that comes from acoustic guitars, violins, flutes, and accordions uniting in blissful harmony.
As far as the characters go, Season 02 leaves them in an interesting position. Because they have part-time jobs, they spend the latter half of the episode having to coordinate good times to go out and camp when their busy schedules tend to overlap with one another. On top of this, there is an added focus on their families with the girls having moments where they’d have to travel specifically to visit family members. It’s nice to see them bond, but it’s a relief that the anime manages to make them all autonomous characters who can effectively function on their own as well. This episode also gave us insight on Rin’s parents as they both support her hobby and help her out whenever they can with her dad taking part and her mom sneaking in emergency food and looking out for her safety.
The anime might’ve started out with Rin using what she’s familiar with to go camping on her own, but with the experiences she brought with her from the first season, she has better insight on how to set herself up for a good time. She struggles with her tent and making rice for her curry, but is a quick learner and picks up on the best way to start up a campfire. Along with this, she has a better relationship with Nadeshiko as they are in close contact with each other throughout the episode and Nadeshiko goes out of her way to give Rin a cup of instant curry ramen to go with her next trip.
Speaking of which, one thing that’s exciting about the new season is how the venues might vary from your standard mountainside retreats. For instance, Rin is interested in going to Omaezaki, where there are great waterside views as part of a peninsula. There was a beachside OVA, but for the main series, it’s interesting that the way they raise the stakes is to make their camping locations far more diverse. Additionally, there is the added promise of visiting Inuyama, where Rin is elated about the prospect of visiting a shrine that commemorates a dog spirit and a nearby dog cafe. Needless to say that the first episode of Yuru Camp S2 captures the same magic that the first anime had, and it’ll be a nice anime to follow during the Winter season.