Original Run: January 7, 2021 - April 1, 2021 Number of Episodes: 13 Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life Based on the Series Created By: Afro
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Yuru Camp Season 2. Reader discretion is advised.***
We return for the second outing of the Outdoor Activities Club.
Seasoned camper Rin Shima (voiced by Nao Touyama) continues to enjoy her solo outings whenever she can. In recent months, she has become more open to the idea of camping with a group of her now close friends.
On the other end of the experience scale, Nadeshiko Kagamihara (voiced by Yumiri Hanamori) has only fallen more in love with the outdoors. She has even considered trying her hand at camping by herself. However, no matter where she goes, she can’t help but make friends along the way.
No matter the style, as long as Rin, Nadeshiko, and the other members of the Outdoor Activities Club find themselves beside a campfire, they are sure to have a good time.
At the time of this review’s publishing, April 2021, I find myself looking at the anime release schedule for the rest of the year. It is filled with anticipation, to say the least; there are so many follow-ups to some truly fantastic series. The winter 2021 season, in particular, is an absolute gold mine:
- Attack on Titan Final Season
- The Promised Neverland Season 2
- Dr. Stone – Stone Wars
And that’s just to name a few.
As a critic, I cannot wait to get around to watching the continuations of series I found to be among the best of the best in recent years. As a fan (and as a reviewer since the first season was so damn good), one of the anime I was looking forward to the most was Yuru Camp Season 2 (Yuru Camp 2). Heck, it would have been my number one had 2021 not included the long-awaited third installment of the Non Non Biyori franchise.
Unfortunately, I’ve been watching anime long enough to know that expectations can be the ruiner of otherwise decent sequels. But fear not; Yuru Camp 2 did not have that problem. It did not have that problem in the slightest.
Considering my all-time favorite anime, the Yuru Camp series would comfortably rest in the top ten, and season two solidified that positioning. Since I am filled with excitement over this show, I’m left wondering how I plan to write a coherent and helpful review without sounding like a rambling fanboy.
Very carefully, I suppose.
As such, let’s dispel the notion Yuru Camp 2 is a cute-girls-doing-cute-things anime. While that is not a wrong description, it cannot be seen as the whole description. Although there were goofy shenanigans and expressive characters, this series was a well-grounded slice-of-life. Not only that, this show was a slice-of-life that understood and embodied the very heart of its subject matter. And if you think I am going to say the subject matter was “camping,” you would only be partially correct.
Yuru Camp, especially Yuru Camp 2, focused on experience, specifically, the gaining of it.
One of my favorite aspects about this show was how nothing ever went perfectly to plan. During every camping expedition, something unexpected came up. While that occasionally led to difficulties, unforeseen developments usually led to opportunities.
If you read my review of Yuru Camp 1, you will know how much I like Rin Shima. She is a younger me (who so happens to have access to way better equipment than I did at her age). Rin is a character who appreciates the benefits of solitude; she enjoys the freedom of solo traveling. But no matter how experienced she came off in this show, Rin had to start from nothing like everyone else.
Yuru Camp 2’s episode one was the perfect start to this season. We saw Rin’s first-ever camping trip, and it did not go the way she envisioned it. She made mistakes; she was unprepared; she dove in a little too deeply too quickly. But despite the things that went wrong, the trip was no failure. Instead of growing discouraged, Rin noted down everything that needed improving so that her next outing would go smoother. There was even a nice bookend later in the season when Rin taught a new camper how to start a fire.
And it wasn’t only Rin. Nadeshiko Nagamihara came a long way since season one.
Nadeshiko was more suited to group camping, but she wanted to try her hand at a solo adventure. Her love for camping was greater than the size of her comfort zone, and she needed far less convincing than Rin did to attempt something new. And the trip she ended up having was very much done in Nadeshiko’s style:
- She tended to wander.
- She preferred a bit more flair.
- She made friends with everyone she met.
If you were to ask Nadeshiko and Rin to describe solo camping, you would get countless conflicting details. However, their message would be unmistakably the same – it’s fun. And that’s what I love about the Yuru Camp series.
At no point in either season one or two did this show say what the “proper” way to camp is. Instead, why a person went camping was more important than how a person went camping.
Rin preferred the peace and quiet of solo camping; she was more in her element when curling up next to a fire with a good book. Nadeshiko enjoyed the companionship offered by group camping; she was the textbook extrovert. And while each had their first choices, they were both well at home no matter how they planned their trips.
This flexibility gave Yuru Camp more opportunities for variety with its two most prominent characters. But that was the thing, wasn’t it? This series didn’t just have two characters.
Yuru Camp 2 dedicated whole episodes to the other Outdoor Activities Club members: Chiaki Oogaki, Aoi Inuyama, and Ena Saitou (voiced respectively by Sayuri Hara, Aki Toyosaki, and Rie Takahashi). One of this season’s best episodes solely focused on these three and hardly mentioned Rin or Nadeshiko. This worked, not only because Chiaki, Aoi, and Ena were entertaining characters in their own right, but because this series maintained its central theme – experience.
The trip in question was a perfect example of why camping isn’t something you should do on a whim. To pull off a trip safely, you need to do research and let people know where and when you are going. Failure to do that can make an outing quite dangerous. In Chiaki, Aoi, and Ena’s case, they neglected to double-check what the weather would be and brought gear ill-equipped to take care of them.
Again, this trip wasn’t a failure, but it was a meaningful learning experience.
So, yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed Yuru Camp 2. Much like its predecessor, it has reignited my camping-itch. And once the world gets back to a sense of normalcy, I might even follow up on that urge.
By the way, I haven’t even mentioned all the other reasons why this season was so phenomenal:
- The animation was beautiful.
- The music was calm and relaxing.
- The comedy was lighthearted at worst and hilarious at best.
- The character-building moments were gratifying.
- This series played up places that actually exist; it didn’t need to create locations for its characters to explore.
As a critic, there are and will be show that I will find technically better than Yuru Camp. Be that as it may, this series remains an all-around winner.
I mean, it’s a touch heartbreaking that a show highlighting many beautiful places to visit and explore would come out at a time where no one should be doing that.
But I also wouldn’t have wanted to wait until the end of the pandemic to get a second season to Yuru Camp. If anything, this series helps me appreciate what’s out there. Thus, I am motivated to go and see those things (once safe to do so).
As for a genuine criticism of this season, sometimes when Rin was on her moped, the CGI looked a bit wonky. These instances were impossible to miss since the background animation was stunning. However, even when they did happen, they were quick and over before leaving any lasting impression.
When I think back on Yuru Camp 2, I will only remember this series’ more typical high-quality animation.
I have expected too much from sequels in the past. Often, the outcome isn’t positive. Not this time.
Continuing and even expanding on its predecessor’s success, this installment is everything you could ever want from a continuation. With the same great characters, atmosphere, animation, and comedy, this series’ second chapter was a knock-out punch.
Yuru Camp Season 2 has earned a massive recommendation.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Yuru Camp Season 2? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.
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