Just when you think you’ve seen everything in Izu, the season finale for Yuru Camp wraps up the Izu trip by hitting up two more spots; Mt. Omuro and the Izu Shaboten Zoo. While it’s a final episode that wraps up this season’s current adventures nicely, it also rewards us with the payoff for Akari’s wishes to see capybara bathing.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to think about spending another episode in Izu, but with the hundreds of geospots surrounding Izu, it was worth it to see the capybaras that had been placed on the backburner for the past few Izu episodes. Along with the exotic birds and monkeys, it was cute to see them bathing in the yuzu hot springs.
The most adorable animal in this episode, however, was Choco, the corgi that makes its grand return alongside the father/daughter duo from Lake Yamanaka, it was a nice way of re-introducing them to have their re-appearance serve to recommend Mt. Omuro to the group.
Above all else, what the last episode of Season 02 accomplishes is showing how far Rin and Nadeshiko’s relationship has come. Rin might find peace in the solitude from her trip back home, but thinking back on her trips throughout this season makes her feel a sense of loneliness without her friends. It’s a far cry from how she was at the beginning of the first season where she’d perish the thought of camping with company.
It’s heart-warming to see just how she ends up coming around to enjoying the company of her new circle of friends. At the end of the day, when Nadeshiko meets her on her way home, it gives us a glimpse at the growth that she and Rin have experienced since the start. This was the season where they successfully challenged their comfort zones with Nadeshiko being able to enjoy solo camping and Rin being more willing to venture out with her friends and value their companionship.
It makes me think about what I find relaxing about writing about Yuru Camp. There aren’t any crazy plot twists or a long-spanning narrative that would ordinarily justify a week-by-week breakdown. The articles I’ve enjoyed reading the most about Yuru Camp have been ones that dive into each location and give more context and information about the locales the girls explore. It made me feel a little guilty for having such brief posts when there are ones out there that have informative breakdowns of each region.
But what I love about Yuru Camp is that the calming atmosphere from the art, music, and camping is also reflected in its characters. Following Rin and Nadeshiko, in particular, has been fascinating because both of their ideals find a way to co-exist and be entirely different at the same time. Through their journey, both characters go through self-improvement by experiencing the world on their own and surrounded by their closest friends. It’s a series that celebrates both individuality and collectivism. It might seem like an oxymoron, but it helps us have a better understanding of the world and ourselves to see the perks of solitude and companionship.
While the first season of Yuru Camp was a relaxing exploration of some of Japan’s more beautiful sites to soak in the winter atmosphere, Season 02’s greatest strength was venturing beyond the snowy campsites. Although it still takes place as winter gives way to spring, there was much more variety with the different locales centered around beachside camping and mountain top camping.
This also allowed the girls to explore the surrounding area to get a better feel for the urban trappings nearby. Because of this, we were treated to some visually stunning art of both the environment and the food that they had along the way. It helps set itself apart by having camping trips where you get fewer instant meals and more regional delicacies that are shown off in all of their glory.
Additionally, it gave a majority of the cast more to work with. The girls being more comfortable with each other gave us plenty of opportunities for them to have a better understanding of what everyone wants to get out of a specific camping trip. It also added some variety to the parties that set out on certain trips such as Nadeshiko’s decision to camp solo like Rin or Ena getting well-acquainted with Chiaki and Aoi. It was a nice treat to see Minami get more content too as a teacher trying her best to hold back from drinking to honor a bet.
Season 02 also showed us just how far the girls have come and how comfortable they have gotten with each other. Rin and Nadeshiko’s friendship advanced to the point where they are more than willing to introduce one another to childhood acquaintances or give each other bits of advice on how to camp or where to pick up a good job. Nadeshiko’s sister Sakura also had a great amount of screentime this time around, but when she was keeping her eye on Nadeshiko, she bonded with Rin to reflect on how willing she was to experience the world around her and better appreciate camping solo.
On the flipside, Rin went through the most development between the two seasons. Her friendship with Nadeshiko opened up much of her world to want to camp in groups with her new pals as well as learn to venture out with her moped for solo trips and group trips alike. It was very heart-warming to see how much she came out of her shell as the first season progressed, but this season is where we see much of the payoff in her growth as she is open to pal around with her friends. And ultimately, the chill atmosphere that makes Season 02 such a delight to watch is not only from the serene campsites, but it’s also from how well the girls vibe with each other as they soak in the sights.