「 カリブーくんと山中湖」 (Caribou-kun and Lake Yamanaka)
“Caribou-kun and Lake Yamanaka”
This episode of Yuru Camp gives us an odd trio with Ena going out to camp with Outclub regulars Chiaki and Aoi. For their trip to Lake Yamanaka, the three make the most of their preparations by getting better acquainted with one another.
It was a treat to see more from Ena this time around. She isn’t usually front-and-center of many of the camping trips with Season 01’s Christmas trip being her main time to shine. But as she opens up about the idea of going out to camp with some friends, it’s neat for Ena to fit in naturally with the other girls as they go out to a number of hotspots near their destination.
Much of this episode fits well with the theme that Season 02 has had with exploring the urban territory surrounding the campsite before going out into the wilderness. Their journey to the Fujiyoshida branch of Caribou gave Chiaki the chance to rub it in her co-workers’ faces that she’s going out camping and the opportunity to see the appeal of glomping the store’s mascot. In the process of shopping for items to cook at the campsite, the girls are so enamored by Nadeshiko’s experienced hot-pot advice that Chiaki and Ena are ready to ask for her hand in marriage.
But this episode isn’t all hustle-and-bustle as the girls are still able to find the time to unwind and warm up after bracing the cold, frigid winter. There’s another trip to the nearby hot-springs, but this time, Chiaki gets the short end of the stick when she darts out of the warm water and into the frozen tundra before the other girls. At the very least, they all equally have a great time with their ice cream ritual, this time around with Kinako, Vanilla, and Matcha flavors. Chiaki also has a good time mocking a white tourist’s accent, which was an odd addition, but with Chiaki as the more mischievous girl in the group, it’d be in-character for her to mock how all the white people surrounding her would butcher the pronunciation for the local hot springs.
Overall, the episode might only be the preamble to the camping, but it gives a nice sense of comradery between the girls. It also characterizes Ena well considering how she has only just started learning about camping, and through her experiences with Chiaki and Aoi, she’s growing to be far less dependent on having Rin be her only point-of-entry for knowing about what camping is all about. They might not be able to camp directly on the cape, but it should be exciting to see how they make the most out of the Lake Yamanaka campsite.