The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: Rin Shima

Yuru Camp△ 2 Original Soundtrack Tracklist, Post-Release Review and Reflection

“In a cool solitude of trees, where leaves and birds a music spin, mind that was weary is at ease, new rhythms in the soul begin.” –William Kean Seymour

Typically, the tracklists for soundtracks come out a ways before the soundtrack itself is released, but with Yuru Camp△ 2‘s original soundtrack, things turned out quite differently: this is why I was not able to do my customary translation of the soundtrack’s tracklist back in March. On the flipside, having the soundtrack in hand means being able to actually speak about the music in Yuru Camp△ 2 with a hiterto unmatched level of clarity and explore what the music does so well. Before I delve into things, there are some housekeeping details to go over: the soundtrack is composed by Akiyuki Tateyama, consists of fifty-six tracks spanning two disks and retails for 3520 Yen (40.41 CAD at the time of writing). This time around, the publisher is MAGES. Inc. While Yuru Camp△ 2‘s soundtrack made extensive use of the Celtic instruments, Yuru Camp△ 2 features a significant South American complement, including the Quena (Andes flute), Zampoña (Andes panpipe), and Charango (Bolivian lute). These instruments create a wild sound that speaks more to the beauty of nature itself, evoking images of soaring mountains and wide open plains, whereas the warm, cheerful demeanour of Celtic instruments convey a blending of man and nature, of enjoying the great outdoors. The different instruments chosen for Yuru Camp△ 2 is a deliberate choice meant to accentuate the idea that the second season explores new themes and directions compared to those of its predecessor, and the end result is not too surprising: Yuru Camp△ 2 completely succeeds in conveying a different atmosphere and aesthetic through both its soundtrack and its choice of locations.

  • Contrasting the first season’s soundtrack cover, which had Rin and Nadeshiko looking onwards to signify the pair’s interest in exploring the future, Yuru Camp△ 2‘s cover art has Rin and Nadeshiko looking at one another: this is hardly surprising, since the second season is all about gratitude and saying “thank you”. This cover art is, incidentally, a walking spoiler, portraying the pair’s conversations together at the series’ end: Nadeshiko had grown worried about Rin not replying to her and asked Sakura to drive her out. It’s a very touching moment, and shows beyond any question that Rin and Nadeshiko, seemingly polar opposites at Yuru Camp△‘s beginning, have fully warmed up to one another now.

For the most part, translation of Yuru Camp△ 2‘s tracklist was a straightforward task. However, no tracklist translation post would be complete without at least a few songs that proved a little difficult to properly convey in English. This time around, two gave me a but more challenge than usual to properly translate. [1] Track eight on disk two, なでしこは電波通じないだけ, translates literally to “Nadeshiko just isn’t communicating via radio signal”, a consequence of 電波 (Hepburn denpa, “radio waves”) being used to indicate cell signal. This sounds awkward in English, so I’ve converted the meaning to “Nadeshiko has no cell signal”, which is what the phrase is intended to convey. [2] The other song is disk two’s sixteenth track: I’ve elected to translate 大ハシャギ ROUTE 136 as Joyful Route 136. ハシャギ is 燥ぎ (Hepburn hagashi) rendered as Katakana, and it’s a verb meaning to make merriment or be in high spirits. Because this song conveys the thrill of adventure and of getting there, I feel that “joyful” is probably how I’d characterise it. Finally, I’m purely going off inference here: ずいずいずいずいずい is rendered as Zui zui zui zui zui in Hepburn, which isn’t something I can easily look up. However, the use of instrumentation and the song’s context in Yuru Camp△ 2 suggests that it’s the motif for the Izu Peninsula, and since Rin repeats “Izu” in anticipation of her trip here, “Izu Izu Izu Izu” seems to make the most sense. Honourable mentions for tracks that gave me trouble include track nine on disk two, しょーもないおしゃべり, which I’ve decided to translate as “Silly Talk” (しょーもない, Hepburn shōmonai, is used to indicate something that’s a non-sequitur, nonsensical), and おしゃべり (Hepburn oshaberi) means “chatter”. The song’s whimsical presentation justifies my choice of words in translation.

Tracklist

Disk One

  1. ゆるキャン△ SEASON2のテーマ (Yuru Kyan△ Shīzun 2 no Tēma, Yuru Camp△ SEASON 2 Theme)
  2. オリジナルドラマ その1 (Orijinaru dorama sono 1, Original Drama Part 1)
  3. Seize The Day (TV SIZE)
  4. オリジナルドラマ その2 (Orijinaru dorama sono 2, Original Drama Part 2)
  5. 初めての本栖湖~はじまりはここから~ (Hajimete no motosuko ~Hajimari wa koko kara~, First time at Lake Motosu ~The Beginning Starts Here~)
  6. 初めての本栖湖~出来たかな?キャンプ飯~ (Hajimete no motosuko ~Dekita ka na? Kyanpu meshi~, First time at Lake Motosu ~Is it done? Camping rice~)
  7. 初めての本栖湖~夕暮れの富士山~ (Hajimete no motosuko ~Yūgure no Fujisan~, First time at Lake Motosu ~Mount Fuji by Twilight~)
  8. 次のキャンプはどうしよっか? (Tsugi no kyanpu wa dō shi yokka?, What about our next camping trip?)
  9. ソロキャンの嗜み (Sorokyan no tashinami, A Taste of Solo Camping)
  10. オリジナルドラマ その3 (Orijinaru dorama sono 3, Original Drama Part 3)
  11. それぞれの大晦日 (Sorezore no ōmisoka, Everyone’s New Year’s Eve)
  12. キャンプ講座の時間です (Kyanpu kōza no jikandesu, It’s time for a camping course)
  13. 浜名湖のテーマ~ゆりかもめに囲まれて~ (Hamanako no tēma ~Yuri kamome ni kakoma rete~, Lake Hamana Theme ~Surrounded by Pewter~)
  14. 浜名湖のテーマ~特上ウナギは誘惑する~ (Hamanako no tēma ~Tokujō unagi wa yūwaku suru~, Lake Hamana Theme ~Allure of top-grade eel~)
  15. 浜名湖のテーマ~古びた展望台~ (Hamanako no tēma ~Furubita tenbō-dai~, Lake Hamana Theme ~Ancient Observation Deck~)
  16. 浜名湖のテーマ~さみしいもたのしい~ (Hamanako no tēma ~Samishī mo tanoshī~, Lake Hamana Theme ~Lonely but fun~)
  17. なでしこ (Nadeshiko)
  18. お姉ちゃんいつもありがとう (Onēchan itsumo arigatō, Thank you for all that you do, big sister)
  19. のんびりキャンプ (Nonbirikyanpu, Relaxing Camp)
  20. オリジナルドラマ その4 (Orijinaru dorama sono 4, Original Drama Part 4)
  21. 山中湖のテーマ~バス旅も良いもんだろ?~ (Yamanakako no tēma ~Basu tabi mo yoi mondaro?~, Lake Yamanaka Theme ~A journey by bus is also good?~)
  22. 山中湖のテーマ~到着、クジラの湖~ (Yamanakako no tēma ~Tōchaku, kujira no mizūmi~, Lake Yamanaka Theme ~We’ve arrived at the whale-shaped lake~)
  23. 山中湖のテーマ~-2℃、ヤバいかも~ (Yamanakako no tēma ~-2℃, Yabaikamo~, Lake Yamanaka Theme ~-2℃ could be dangerous~)
  24. 山中湖のテーマ~薪ストーブを囲んで~ (Yamanakako no tēma ~Maki sutōbu o kakonde~, Lake Yamanaka Theme ~Sitting around the wood stove~)
  25. 山中湖のテーマ~湖畔の朝焼け~ (Yamanakako no tēma ~Kohan no asayake~, Lake Yamanaka Theme ~Lakeside Sunrise~)
  26. なでしこの思い (Nadeshiko no omoi, Nadeshiko’s thoughts)
  27. U・SO・YA・DE (It’s・A・Lie)
  28. 次回予告 (Jikai yokoku, Preview for next episode)

Disk Two

  1. この場所で。(Kono basho de., At This Place.)
  2. オリジナルドラマ その5 (Orijinaru dorama sono 5, Original Drama Part 5)
  3. やっぱグループキャンプ! (Yappa gurūpukyanpu!, It’s group camping after all!)
  4. 野田山公園のテーマ~初めてのソロキャン~ (Nodayama kōen no tēma ~Hajimete no sorokyan~, Nodayama Park Theme ~First time solo camping~)
  5. 野田山公園のテーマ~キャンプ料理は楽し~ (Nodayama kōen no tēma ~Kyanpu ryōri wa tanoshi~, Nodayama Park Theme ~Camping cooking is fun~)
  6. 野田山公園のテーマ~夜景に馳せた思い~ (Nodayama kōen no tēma ~Yakei ni haseta omoi~, Nodayama Park Theme ~Thoughts on the night scenery~)
  7. ふしぎの湖 (Fushigi no Mizūmi, Mysterious Lake)
  8. なでしこは電波通じないだけ (Nadeshiko wa denpa tsūjinai dake, Nadeshiko has no cell signal) [1]
  9. しょーもないおしゃべり (Shōmonai oshaberi, Silly Talk)
  10. オリジナルドラマ その6 (Orijinaru dorama sono 6, Original Drama Part 6)
  11. おじいちゃんはバイク乗り (Ojīchan wa baiku-nori, Grandpa rides a motorcycle)
  12. おじいちゃんとの団欒 (Ojīchan to no danran, Together with Grandpa)
  13. おじいちゃん、また走ろうね (Ojīchan, mata hashirou ne, Let’s ride together again, Grandpa)
  14. オリジナルドラマ その7 (Orijinaru dorama sono 7, Original Drama Part 7)
  15. ようこそジオパークへ (Yōkoso jiopāku e, Welcome to Geopark)
  16. 大ハシャギ ROUTE 136 (Dai hashagi ROUTE 136, Joyful Route 136) [2]
  17. 歴史ある半島 (Rekishi aru hantō, Historical Peninsula)
  18. 海! 山! 岬! 洞窟! (Umi! Yama! Misaki! Dōkutsu!, Sea! Mountain! Cape! Cave!)
  19. 半島の風に吹かれて (Hantō no kazenifukarete, Blown away by the peninsula’s wind gusts)
  20. 魅惑のペニンシュラ (Miwaku no peninshura, Enchanted Peninsula)
  21. 火山の作りし大地 (Kazan no tsukurishi daichi, Land created by the volcano)
  22. 温泉天国ジオパーク (Onsen tengoku jiopāku, Hot spring heaven Geopark)
  23. ずいずいずいずいずい (Izu Izu Izu Izu)
  24. 星空のチャランゴ (Hoshizora no charango, Starry Sky Charango)
  25. オリジナルドラマ その8 (Orijinaru dorama sono 8, Original Drama Part 8)
  26. また行こう、キャンプ! (Mata ikou, kyanpu!, Let’s go camping again!)
  27. はるのとなり (TV SIZE) (Haru no tonari, Next to Spring)
  28. しまリンだんごアイス (Shima rinda n go aisu, Shimarin Dango Ice Cream)

  • When I first did my soundtrack post for Yuru Camp△‘s soundtrack, it was just a shade over three years and a month ago. I like to think that since then, a combination of increasing familiarity and better tools means that translating soundtrack names has become easier than before. I’ve further noticed that the folks at Video Game Music Database (VGMdb) have used my translations for their Yuru Camp△ soundtrack entry: I know this because there are nuances and choices that I made for my translation that were taken verbatim from mine, and here, I note that I am completely okay with this. In fact, I wouldn’t mind if they were to use my translations for the second season’s soundtrack, as well: I don’t mind whether or not they cite me, but it is nice to know that my work helped to make someone’s day a little easier.

Altogether, the Yuru Camp△ 2 is a marvel of musical composition and sound engineering: on a soundtrack packed with amazing pieces of incidental music, a few particularly stand out. 初めての本栖湖~夕暮れの富士山~ captures the magic moment that captivates Rin to solo camp: as she gazes upon Mount Fuji by evening for the first time that night, a familiar motif swells into the song to remind viewers that this is where everything began for Rin. Rin and Nadeshiko’s journey to Lake Hanama is accompanied by 浜名湖のテ一マ~ゆりかもめに囲まれて~, an adventurous piece signifying a new direction. ソ口キャンの嗜み brings a smile to my face every time when I hear it: its use of the lute parallels the solo camping style Rin is so fond of. The lute dominates the song, but the instrumental accompaniment shows that solo or not, Rin is never really alone in her travels. With a combination of accelerando and rallentando to respectively speed up and slow down the motifs, this one song also shows the different paces in solo camping, living up to its name and together with a gentle bit of jazz, adds a very relaxing backdrop to a song that acting as an aural representation of all sides of Rin’s solo experiences. The songs that are played at the Izu Peninsula, are the second disk’s highlights. 歴史ある半島 creates a very languid and gentle tone for the slowest and most laid-back of the experiences, while 大ハシャギROUTE136, 海!山!岬!洞窟!, 半島の風に吹かれて make full use of the Southern American instruments to capture the spirit and energy of the great outdoors. I believe that the choice to use instruments from the Andes was done to deliberately remind viewers that the aesthetics of Izu Peninsula differ dramatically from those of Yamanashi and Nagano. The song I lost composure and cried to during the eighth episode was the second half of 野田山公園のテ一マ~夜景に馳せた思い~, which plays when Sakura shares Nadeshiko’s latest message with Rin. Finally, the inset song that plays midway through the seventh episode is Eri Sasaki’s この場所で。: this song is included as the first track on disk two. It goes without saying that I enjoyed the Yuru Camp△ 2 soundtrack immensely: Akiyuki Tateyama has exceeded all expectations with this soundtrack, and I am now excited to hear what sort of instruments and styles that Yuru Camp△: The Movie will use for its soundtrack.

I’m Home: Yuru Camp△ 2 Finale Impressions, Whole-Series Review and Recommendation

“Home is where one starts from.” –T.S. Eliot

While descending from Mount Daruma’s summit, Rin thanks the Outdoor Activities Club for making their excursion so enjoyable. However, Chiaki and Aoi note that the day’s activities are just getting started. The group thus sets off for the Iida’s liquor store, where Minami, Chiaki, Aoi and Ena thank the Iidas for having helped them at Lake Yamanaka. Aoi, Ena and Chiaki are overjoyed to see Choko again, and the Iidas accompany everyone to Mount Omuro. Because the Yamayaki Festival had already occurred back in February, the entire volcano is a shade of dark brown. They ride a cable car to the summit and admire the scenery: up here, Mount Fuji can be seen. The next stop is Izu Shaboten Zoo, home of the onsen-enjoying capybaras. Akari’s been waiting all trip for this moment. After checking out the capybaras in the hot springs and melting at the sight of them, Minami suggests that Akari go check out the area where capybaras can be petted. This visit concludes with a visit to the gift shop, where Akari is entranced by the selection of capybaras products. Here, the Outdoor Activities Club and Iidas part ways, with Minami promising to make use of the Iida’s mail order service for their products. As the day draws to a close, the Outdoor Activities Club and Rin part ways. The Outdoor Activities Club return home shortly after, and they message one another to communicate this. However, Rin’s left no messages, and Nadeshiko grows worried. As Rin enters the Minobu area, Nadeshiko persuades Sakura to drive her out to check on Rin. It turns out Rin’s fine, and had disabled her phone’s notifications. Rin feels this might’ve been unnecessary, but thinking back to how she and Sakura had similarly checked up on Nadeshiko earlier, understands how Nadeshiko felt. The two share a conversation about their experiences, and promise to go camping together again. It suddenly strikes Nadeshiko that she’d never camped on the shores of Lake Motosu before, and she also wonders what Rin’s first camping trip was like. This finale brings Yuru Camp△ 2 to a close: the ending of the largest experience in Yuru Camp△ wraps up in a peaceful manner, with Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club safely returning home.

With the advantage of having established its premise and characters, Yuru Camp△ 2 is able to jump straight into the meat-and-potatoes of its presentation: this second season continues to cover the different aspects of camping, from purchasing additional gear and safety, to the idea that even simple recipes can be used to greatly enhance one’s experiences, and how both solo and grouping has merits. However, while camping remains in the spotlight in Yuru Camp△ 2, this second season also delves into messages of gratitude. The entire second season is about saying “thank you”, indicating that this simple gesture of making it known that one’s actions are appreciated goes a very long way in building trust and togetherness. Nadeshiko’s father makes it a point to thank Rin for having looked out for her since she’d arrived in Yamanashi by asking Nadeshiko to treat her to Hamamatsu’s best eel. Chiaki, Ena and Aoi thank Rin for looking out after them on the shores of Lake Yamanaka, and the group later also thank the Iidas for having kept them warm. Rin in turn thanks Nadeshiko and the Outdoor Activities Club for having invited her on their tour of Izu, as well as for checking up on her upon her return to Minobu. Knowing that one’s actions are meaningful, and repaying kindness with kindness perpetuates an important cycle: that we care for those around us, and saying “thank you”, taking many forms, remains the single most important way of letting one another know that their backs are covered. In this way, the Outdoor Activities Club are as close as friends can be, demonstrating how the sum of kindness results in experiences that are immeasurably memorable. In fact, after the Izu trip, Rin’s begin to wonder if solo camping can be lonely, and expresses an interest in joining everyone again for future adventures: this simple remark isn’t about solo or group camping, but rather, Rin’s way of saying that the joys of being together means being able to show her appreciation for the others.

Yuru Camp△ has insofar focused purely on autumn and winter camping, and over the course of Yuru Camp△ 2, both Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club have learned a great deal about camping, whether it be safety techniques, being open-minded and flexible in the face of unexpected surprises, and the rationale behind one’s preferences for solo or group camping. All of these discoveries culminate in the trip to Izu Peninsula, where Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club really get to experience the best of Izu together. With a list of destinations worthy of Rin’s solo excursions, and a menu that can only be had when Nadeshiko’s around, the Outdoor Activities Club gets best of both worlds. Thus, Izu represents the summation of how much everyone’s grown and learnt since Yuru Camp△ began. However, there is no upper limit on learning and discoveries: throughout their travels, Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club both encounter things they were not anticipating, but together, handle it very smoothly. They also see how other campers go about their experiences, from the simple camping that the family at Nodayama Health Green Space Park partake in, to the Iida’s sophisticated set-up, complete with wood stove. As such, news of a movie is most welcome: while Yuru Camp△ 2 ends on a very positive and decisive note, the announcement that there’s going to be a film will provide Yuru Camp△ a chance explore one more new direction, and with the scale that the silver screen confers, it will be exciting to see what adventures await Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club, a group of reasonably seasoned travellers with their own unique and memorable way of doing things. It will be sad to see Yuru Camp△ 2 go, but having a movie to look forwards to means that this series will be able to continue portraying camping as being a highly enjoyable, educational and cathartic activity.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Breaking from tradition, this finale post for Yuru Camp△ 2 comes out a full day later than I had for previous episodes. This is because yesterday was my orientation and onboarding, which made yesterday very busy (in a good way). Unfortunately, a massive windstorm swept into my area and gave me a massive headache: winds gusted up to 90 km/h, and I had only enough energy to just watch Yuru Camp△ 2‘s finale. With this being said, Yuru Camp△ 2 is so relaxing that during the finale’s run, I forgot about my headache and spent the whole of the episode with a smile on my face, although I’ve chosen to write about the finale today, without a headache to trouble me. On an unrelated note, a few days ago, I decided to order the Slow Start Official TV Animation Guidebook and Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Complete Analysis book.

  • Both items arrived earlier today, which is awesome. I ended up paying and arm and a leg for shipping, since my preferred SAL option was unavailable on account of the ongoing global health crisis, but the flipside is that my stuff arrived within a week. Back in Yuru Camp△ 2, nothing warms my heart more than seeing Rin smile. This simple gesture spoke volumes about Rin’s changing perspectives on camping, and much as how Nadeshiko appreciates solo camping now, Rin appreciates group camping. Yuru Camp△ 2 isn’t about the merits of one over the other, but rather, how shared experiences allow individuals to see the merits of different approaches to an activity.

  • Minami’s van can seat seven, although everyone just manages to fit on account of all the gear they’re carrying. To make things easier for Rin, Minami offers to drive her around for the day, knowing that Rin has a very long drive ahead of her on the way back to Yamanashi. Because Rin had been riding solo, only seating six meant there was more space for cargo: when vehicles seat their stated capacity, it does become quite crowded. For instance, the Mazda 5 normally seats four, but can be configured to seat six. At capacity, there’s not much room for cargo, and things do feel a little cramped.

  • Yuru Camp△ never needlessly introduces characters: any character that shows up and interacts with Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club returns in some way. From a production perspective, this ensures that assets can be reused, and voice actors can return to reprise their roles. However, from a narrative perspective, this works exceptionally well because it suggests that it’s a small world: the people we meet can often return to our lives in unexpected ways in the future, and so, it is simpler to be polite, courteous and cordial to all whom we encounter.

  • Nadeshiko and Rin immediately get shafted upon meeting Choko, who makes a beeline straight for Chiaki, Aoi and Ena. It is certainly the case that dogs love the company of those who they know, while being more reluctant to hang out with unfamiliar people. Here, Rin begins petting Choko and mistakenly addresses him as Chikuwa, which the other girls take as Ena going into withdrawal from having not hung out with Chikuwa on their camping trip. The founder of the company I’d previously worked at has a long-haired Chihuahua, the same as Chikuwa, and like Chikuwa, she was fond of burying herself in blankets, as well as flipping herself over for belly-rubs.

  • While Minami is doubtlessly inclined to visit the Iidas to check out their selection of liquors, her motivations also come from wanting to properly thank them for having helped out at Lake Yamanaka. Indeed, this is the first thing that Ena, Chiaki and Aoi do upon setting their foot in the Iida’s liquor store. Yuru Camp△ 2 places an emphasis on saying thank you, as well as keeping one’s word. I’ve always believed that one should be faithful to their word, so to have Minami and the others keep their word to the Iidas in Yuru Camp△ 2 was a very positive and rewarding thing to see.

  • While Rin and Nadeshiko are initially presented as being polar opposites at the very beginning of Yuru Camp△, six months of friendship later, it turns out that Rin and Nadeshiko are actually more similar than different. One of my readers mentioned that this was foreshadowed early on, where it was only Rin and Nadeshiko that could hear the talking pinecones. There is actually one more detail that Yuru Camp△ employs to hint at the pair’s similarities: both Rin and Nadeshiko have the same eyebrows.

  • Yuru Camp△ 2‘s finale has Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club stopping at a few destinations in their final day in the Izu Peninsula, and at some point in the near future, I’ll wrap up the location hunt for the second season, dealing with these last sets of locations in Izu and a few places in Yamanashi that I did not cover earlier. These location posts have been immensely fun to write for, allowing me to really get some mileage out of the Oculus Quest. Until I had the idea of using my Oculus Quest to fuel location hunts, this VR headset sat unused for the most part.

  • Yuru Camp△ 2 returns to Mount Omuro, which is where the Izu Shaboten Zoo (Itō Cactus Park in-show) is located. The last time an anime was at Mount Omuro, it would’ve been 2018’s Amanchu Advance, which saw Hikari and Futaba attend the Yamayaki Festival, which has had seven centuries of history and was done to clear old grass off the dormant volcano so new grass could grow. The festival and its events in Amanchu Advance was the subject of controversy, but here in Yuru Camp△ 2, all is quiet: by March, the festival’s done, so Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club simply ascend the volcano to check out the scenery above. Here at the base of the mountain, Rin and Nadeshiko have some ice cream prior to the ascent, fulfilling Nadeshiko’s wish to get some Izu ice cream during the trip after she slept through the stop for wasabi ice cream.

  • On the way up the mountain, Rin and Nadeshiko are both surprised by a hidden camera used for souvenir photos. Their resulting look of shock are identical, further accentuating the idea that Rin and Nadeshiko are more alike than different, and as such, their growing friendship was only natural. These photos are indeed a part of some locations I’ve visited: mine have turned out from being similar to what happened in Yuru Camp△ 2 to being more ordinary. Once the initial embarrassment wears off, Nadeshiko finds the photo hilarious and makes to buy one, prompting Rin to do the same.

  • Mount Omuro ascends 500 metres into the sky, being a cinder cone composed of pyroclastic fragments: these fragments accumulate as a cone-shaped mountain with relatively sleep slopes. Whenever I think of cinder cones, I think of Parícutin, a volcano in Mexico that formed overnight in a farmer’s field in 1943. After fissures opened in the ground, a 50-metre tall cone had formed an hour later, and at the end of the day, the cone had reached a height of 150 metres. While reaching a maximum of 424 metres in height, Parícutin today has a prominence of 208 metres, being dormant, is a tourist attraction.

  • Yuru Camp△ 2‘s finale doesn’t really have much of an emphasis on food, but the series overall has been a love letter to the wonderful foods of Shizuoka and Yamanashi. On the topic of food, on account of it being Good Friday today, we had several meals planned out for the day. Lunch consisted of a homemade cheeseburger and pub fries. It suddenly strikes me that reduced salt and fat, coupled with fresher ingredients means that homemade burgers are much lighter than typical fast food burgers, possessing all of the flavour but causing none of the crash that accompanies eating fast food burgers; when I went out for burgers a few weeks ago to try the local joint’s grass-fed beef burgers, it was delicious, but my mouth became dry for a while afterwards.

  • Today, a sirloin steak and garlic-seared prawns with fully-loaded potatoes is also on the evening menu. While long weekends have been a time to hit the mountains or local shopping centres previously, of late, they’ve been times to get fancy with cooking. Here, Iida’s daughter comments that praising Mount Fuji while on the summit of Mount Omuro can bring about a curse, frightening Nadeshiko. The scenery up here, however, is undeniably spectacular.

  • Adding Akari to the Izu trip really breathed new life into the group dynamics: the youngest of everyone, Akari brings with her an unbridled sense of joy and energy that rivals Nadeshiko’s. It would seem that she’s only really bothersome towards Chiaki, but otherwise, gets along with everyone just fine. It turns out that Akari’s love of capybaras likely comes from Kapibara-san, a children’s anime about the capybaras. Upon arriving at Izu Shaboten Zoo, Rin and Nadeshiko notice peacocks wandering the grounds, and Minami asks the clerk if they’re free range. It turns out these peacocks have actually escaped, prompting another member of the staff to round them up, which is a good idea. At my local zoo, we do have peacocks wandering the grounds, and in a hilarious (yet macabre) turn of events back in 2017, one of the peacocks decided it’d be a good idea to fly into the lion enclosure, whereupon it was promptly eaten by a lion.

  • This is the moment that Akari’s waited all trip to see: capybaras totally chilling in onsen with yuzu fruits. The sight is so cathartic that those who see things are rendered speechless; it’s a sight for sore eyes, and for a moment, it would appear as though one were inside the onsen with these cavy rodents, which are native to South America. The largest rodents in the world, capybaras can reach up to 134 centimetres in length and 66 kilograms in weight. With lifespans of 12 years in captivity, capybaras are quite friendly towards humans and allow themselves to be petted. Akari immediately sets off to pet them.

  • A year and a half ago, there had been pandas at our local zoo, and consequently, every gift shop was selling panda plushies. It was particularly adorable to see children clinging to stuffed pandas their parents had bought them. I myself have a stuffed panda of the same sort, albeit sporting a graduation hat, which I got for conquering my undergraduate honours degree years ago: plushies are always so soft and fuzzy, so I definitely understand why children are so fond of them. When visiting the gift shop, Akari is immobilised by the sheer selection of capybara products, from plushies to snacks.

  • The Iidas prepare to head back home after visiting Mount Omoru and the Izu Shaboten Zoo with the Outdoor Activities Club. Altogether, Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club visited a total of twelve geospots, but there are a total of over a hundred. It does not take much math to conclude that the concentration of attractions in the Izu Peninsula is such that one could have a few seasons of travel shows purely set here. Prior to heading back, Minami decides to drop by a roadside station, which is where everyone will have a light lunch and prepare for the journey home.

  • Before preparing for her own drive back to Minobu, Minami checks up on Rin to ensure that she’ll be alright. Rin and her moped will be more than okay: the upgrades she’s given the moped have left her better prepared for long range trips. I think that this is probably the first time seeing what fans call a “mid-season upgrade” in a slice-of-life anime: the new additions have made Rin’s trip a lot easier, although practically speaking, a moped isn’t quite as suited for distance driving as a car. A glance at Rin’s moped finds that its speedometer is capped at 60 km/h, and in reality, the Vino 125 has a maximum speed of 89 km/h. While many cars have a speedometer that reaches up to 240 km/h, the reason for this is that speedometer manufacturers make them to fit a range of vehicles.

  • As such, while the Mazda 5 claims it can hit speeds of 210 km/h on the speedometer, the 175 HP engine and vehicle mass means that it would be quite unsafe to push the vehicle that hard. With this being said, cars and their larger engines can hit higher speeds than mopeds, so Minami and the Outdoor Activities Club return home to Yamanashi sooner than Rin. While everyone’s completely burnt out from the trip, Nadeshiko is now fully charged and promises to stay awake with Minami. The drive is about an hour and a half, spanning some 95 kilometres: for me, these distances are trivial because of how flat and open our freeways back home are, but the narrow, winding roads of Japan make this a demanding drive.

  • By the time Rin reaches Fujinomiya, she’s stuck in rush hour traffic. Rin is shown riding on the shoulder of the road adjacent to the other cars here, but mere moments earlier, had been riding normally. This is probably the only animation SNAFU in the whole of Yuru Camp△ 2, so I’m willing to overlook this mistake. In reality, I’ve always expressed irritation at motorcycles and mopeds that ride on the shoulders of the road: as a vehicle driver, I expect motorcycles and mopeds to ride in the centre of their lane as any other vehicle would, and I give them the same space as I would any vehicle. There are dangers to zipping along the shoulder, especially if there’s a possibility that other vehicles are changing lanes, and I imagine that Rin is sufficiently aware of the rules of the road so she wouldn’t do this, leaving me to conclude that this moment was probably an animation bug more than anything else.

  • Once Rin clears Fujinomiya and returns to the rural roads, the drive is quiet again. Rin’s thoughts here perfectly mirror those of mine after I leave a group event; there’s a certain melancholy that comes with being alone, and this creates a bit of an interesting dichotomy. On one hand, I’m completely at home with solitude, but on the other, there’s a sort of positive energy about crowds that does result in loneliness in the immediate aftermath. As Rin reminisces about all the stuff she’d done with Nadeshiko and the others, she doesn’t mind admitting that she’s lonely, but this also contrasts with the infinitely peaceful feeling of being alone. As people, we can certainly have both and feel things from across the spectrum: in this case, the loneliness is simultaneously sad and comforting.

  • I believe that the contradiction Rin is experiencing is an instance of mono no aware, which is a Japanese principle that speaks to impermanence: my interpretation of this is that because feelings are fleeting, it makes sense that things can be contradictory. Back home, after Nadeshiko arrives and unpacks, she shows her parents the food and souvenirs that she’s picked up. Her father is especially thrilled: Nadeshiko’s picked up a bunch of dried fish, and as he sets about preparing dinner, Nadeshiko’s mother wonders how much spending money he’d given Nadeshiko.

  • While everyone’s settling down back home, Nadeshiko begins to worry that Rin’s not messaged the group chat yet. Because the girls find that the Izu trip’s still on until everyone’s made it home safely, Nadeshiko manages to convince Sakura to give her a ride out to the mountain road leading back home, hoping she’ll run into Rin along the way. Sakura, likely recalling Rin had done the same for Nadeshiko, consents to this. At a turn in the road leading into Minobu, Nadeshiko spots Rin, who’s doing well and is admittedly surprised to see Nadeshiko out here. Recalling she’d done the same for Nadeshiko, however, Rin completely understands her concern.

  • From finding Nadeshiko noisy and troublesome on their first meeting, to seeing her as a close friend, the changes that Rin undergoes during the course of Yuru Camp△ has been very pronounced: she begins to open up to others. All of this happens over the course of six months, and Yuru Camp△ thus suggests that introverted, stoic folks can indeed open up to people after spending time with them. In this way, Yuru Camp△ is an excellent portrayal of the process that people such as myself undergo around folks that we come to see as friends: rather than anything misunderstood, we simply just prefer quiet environments to relax in, but otherwise, also enjoy energetic group events and get along with rowdy, spirited people, even if we don’t always the words for it.

  • Chiaki smiles as she airs out her sleeping bag back home. Here, I will mention the Yuru Camp△ 2 soundtrack, which released on March 31, a day before the finale aired. As I expected, the soundtrack is chock-full of wonderful songs that really bring out the wonder of nature. This time around rather than the Irish Fiddle, use of woodwinds creates a really connection to nature and appreciation of the great outdoors. My favourite tracks include ゆるキャン△SEASON2のテ-マ (Yuru Camp△ Season Two Theme), which brings back the motif from the first season, ソ口キャンの嗜み (Soro-kyan no tashinami, literally “Taste of Solo Camping”) and 歴史ある半島 (Rekishi aru hantō, “Historical Peninsula”).

  • There are a lot of wonderful pieces of incidental music in Yuru Camp△ 2‘s soundtrack, which consists of fifty-six tracks over two disks. Of these tracks, eight of these are original dramas, and the inset song that played in the seventh episode, この場所で (Kono basho de, “In this place”), is included with the second disk. The soundtrack is an indispensable accompaniment to Yuru Camp△ 2. Here, Aoi and Akari spend some time with their grandmother, showing her the photos they’d taken during the course of the trip. It turns out that Akari was able to buy a capybara plushie on top of some snacks. On an unrelated note, I have a bear with the exact same pose as the plushie Akari ended up getting.

  • Ena is thrilled to be with Chikuwa again. I’ve always been fond of long-haired Chihuahuas: despite being tiny, they have a bold personality. However, despite their coats, they’re not exactly fond of the cold, which is why Ena isn’t really able to travel with Chikuwa. With this being said, Yuru Camp△ doesn’t seem like a series to leave viewers hanging, and there could be a future where Chikuwa joins Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club in their adventures.

  • As thanks for gotten her the windshield and circuit relay, Rin gifts her grandfather some Izu Miso-pickled meat, suggesting it’d be a great camping meal. Meanwhile, Minami gives some of the Iida’s liquor to Ryōko. In these gestures of appreciation, Yuru Camp△ 2 has definitely gone above and beyond to emphasise the importance of expressing gratitude: while the camping aspects are doubtlessly the heart and soul of Yuru Camp△, I’ve found that the second season did particularly well with its presentation of a life lesson even the best of us could be reminded of: there are a lot of things that people take for granted, and being aware of one’s blessings is a vital part of having the resilience to make it through challenges.

  • As another school day begins, Nadeshiko hastens to meet Aoi, Chiaki, Rin and Ena: while Yuru Camp△ 2 doesn’t explicitly say so, it is clear that after the Izu trip, everyone’s now closer than ever, to the point where Rin, who’d previously only spent time with Ena while at school, is willing to hang out with Nadeshiko, Chiaki and Aoi. The best stories occasionally leave some things unsaid, and use visuals to speak volumes about things: Yuru Camp△ 2 has certainly done a wonderful job here, and as the episode draws to a close, the time has come to give a final verdict on the series. Unsurprisingly, we have another A+ (4.0 of 4.0, or 10 of 10): I know I’ve been handing out A+ grades like candy this season, but each of the series I’ve watched have earned this score several times over. In the case of Yuru Camp△ 2, for consistently creating a sense of warm fuzzy joy each episode, for making me laugh and cry alongside the characters, for its wonderful themes and unparalleled portrayal of the travellers’ experiences, Yuru Camp△ 2 is a winner in all regards.

  • The presence of an ending card with this finale suggests that Yuru Camp△ 2 is going to be the last time there’s a Yuru Camp△ TV anime, the knowledge that there’s a movie makes this departure considerably less bittersweet. The only thing I know about the movie is that it’s coming out in 2022 and that it’ll be called Yuru Camp△ The Movie, but despite the unknowns, I will make an effort to watch and write about Yuru Camp△ The Movie once it becomes available. At the time of writing, I have no information as to whether or not there could be any additional OVAs, but should any come out, I’ll also check them out. With this in mind, Yuru Camp△ is far from over: the live-action drama has also begun airing, and as I’m able, I’ll make an effort to watch those. The live action especially excels with the portrayal of food and places, making it an immensely fun adaptation to check out.

Yuru Camp△ 2 is a series that does everything right: with an insightful portrayal of camping and its nuances, a meaningful theme, wonderful visuals and an exceptional soundtrack, there are no strikes that can be levelled against Yuru Camp△ 2. As such, I have no qualms making a strong recommendation to all viewers about this series. There’s no barrier of entry, the characters are immensely likeable, and the idea of fully enjoying one’s experiences, of living in the moment, are universally understood. It speaks volumes to what Yuru Camp△ 2 does well, that even those who ordinarily critical of slice-of-life anime find Yuru Camp△ 2 to be enjoyable. As noted earlier, however, this is not the end: with Yuru Camp△ The Movie coming in 2022, Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club will be able to continue on their excellent adventures together, and I imagine that many viewers will similarly appreciate seeing where things go. It is possible that Yuru Camp△‘s film could deal with spring or summer camping; until now, Rin’s chosen to camp in the fall and winter because of how quiet things were, while Chiaki and Aoi only began camping in the fall because they needed to save the funds for camping gear. With gear and experience no longer a problem, and Rin leaving Yuru Camp△ 2 more open-minded than before, more conducive for group activities, the floor completely opens to adventures that we’ve not seen previously in Yuru Camp△. Camping trips set amongst the verdant vegetation and deep blue skies of a Japanese summer appears to be a logical direction for the series to go in, although there is one certainty: no matter where Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club go for their next great journey, viewers are sure to have a great time.

Izu Camping!!! Birthdays: Yuru Camp△ 2 Twelfth Episode Impressions and Review

“Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It’s all about the memories.” –Buddy Valastro

By the time Ena and the others wake up, it’s close to noon: they stop for sashimi before continuing on with their tour of Izu’s geospots, which includes Dōgashima, Sanshirō Island and concludes at the Mount Daruma Highland. At the Sanshirō Island, while Akari is disappointed to learn a tombolo isn’t edible, she and the Outdoor Activities Club have a fantastic time exploring the natural wonders of this island. After arriving at their campsite, Darumayama Kogen Campground, Chiaki and Ena ask Akari to look after Aoi and Nadeshiko while they go ahead with preparing a birthday celebration for the two. Minami drives them to a hot springs and Cape Mihama to round the day off. While Akari is shocked to learn that Nadeshiko and Aoi had already known about the event, upon arrival, Rin, Ena and Chiaki have prepared a fantastic party for Aoi and Nadeshiko. After the two blow out the candles to their cake, Nadeshiko and Aoi open their gifts, which turn out to be wooden cookware made for camping. Whilst tucking in to dinner, a shrimp and tomato risotto made using broth from the spiny lobster shell, the girls are completely blown away by the intense flavours. Minami receives a phone call from Ryōko, who remarks that it’s fantastic that Minami’s students have allowed her to experience a wider variety of things. Because one more day of travels await Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club, everyone turns in early this evening. The next morning, to watch the sun rise, everyone wakes up early. Akari is still tired, so Minami remains behind to look after her, while Rin and the others climb Mount Daruma, where a breathtaking sunrise awaits them. Thus, Yuru Camp△ 2‘s twelfth episode draws to a close, and surprisingly enough, this was not the season finale. As the twelfth episode drew to a close, a portion of the girls’ itinerary, namely the capybaras, still remain unvisited, and once the episode finished, with a title card for the next episode, it would appear that we are getting one more episode to wrap everything up. This was such an unexpected surprise and accounts for why this post isn’t titled “finale”. With the extra episode, this means that Yuru Camp△ 2 will get to continue with the girls’ adventures for one more episode, making use of the extra run time to ensure that everything that needs to be said and done gets proper shine time.

The twelfth episode’s focus is largely on Nadeshiko and Aoi’s birthday party, which serves to highlight how close Nadeshiko’s become with her new friends. When the episode opened, Nadeshiko and Ayano had been sharing a farewell with one another. Nadeshiko, who’d lived in Hamamatsu all her life, had been sad to leave her hometown and friends behind for Yamanashi, and Ayano promises to visit her when she’s settled in. She also suggests that Nadeshiko pick up something new to make the most of things. This would inevitably set in motion Nadeshiko’s love for camping and put her on a path to meet Rin, Chiaki, Aoi and Ena. Life-changing encounters come from having an open mind, and being made aware of how Nadeshiko had been feeling prior to her arrival in Yamanashi acts as a powerful juxtaposition: in this episode’s events, Nadeshiko is celebrating her birthday with her best friends, attesting to how close everyone’s become in the past few months on account of their shared experiences together. However, this change isn’t just one way: if meeting Rin, Chiaki, Aoi and Ena have allowed Nadeshiko to camp and experience new things, then Nadeshiko’s entry into everyone’s lives have brightened things up, too. Chiaki and Aoi now camp in ways they certainly wouldn’t have considered thanks to Nadeshiko’s energy, and Rin herself becomes more open to group activities. Ena, who’d previously preferred the comfort of her own bed and sleeping in to ludicrous hours, finds herself feeling an inclination to travel more, as well. Minami similarly is grateful for having taken up advising the Outdoor Activities Club, feeling a sense of pride in watching her students learn and mature. This episode of Yuru Camp△ 2 indicates, beyond any doubt, the significance of these fateful meetings; such meetings bring people together, challenge their world-views and ultimately allow people to come out stronger for it.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Because there are so many special moments in this episode, I’ve decided to feature a few more screenshots so that I can adequately articulate everything on my mind. The episode opens with a flashback to Nadeshiko’s final days in Hamamatsu, where she shares a moment with Ayano, who encourages her to keep an open mind for new experiences. In the six or seven months since Nadeshiko’s moved to Yamanashi, she’s had a major impact on those she met and transformed her own world, as well. The knowledge that Nadeshiko’s become an integral part of the Outdoor Activities Club now shows just how far reaching the effects of her falling asleep and missing Mount Fuji had on her life, making Yuru Camp△ 2 all the more touching.

  • Back in the present, Minami brings everyone to a restaurant for sashimi: the presentation in Yuru Camp△ 2 looks absolutely delicious, and while I still have some hesitation in eating sashimi, the reality is that properly prepared and stored fish is generally safe. Whole marine fish (that isn’t cod) are the safest to consume, while freshwater fish should always be cooked. This brings back memories of when I was in Japan and was served sashimi at a very fancy dinner that also featured kobe beef. Being a novice with sashimi, I ended up dropping the fish into a nabe and cooking things, which was probably unnecessary.

  • Yuru Camp△ 2 shows viewers that when she’s not smashed, Minami’s a very gentle and elegant sort of individual. She admires the seaside while enjoying her own lunch here, she comments on how a fish breakfast and an ocean view are unmatched. Chikai mentions that it is noon, however, speaking to how late everyone had slept in until. Nadeshiko’s jealous that Rin was able to get an onsen soak in while everyone was sleeping; like Rin, I’m an early riser, and as soon as I acclimatise to a new time zone, I usually wake up the same time as I would at home. Like most people, I have no trouble adapting when travelling westwards, which makes trips to Hong Kong and East Asia relatively quick to get used to.

  • After brunch, Minami takes everyone to Dōgashima, which the narrator explains as possessing a stunning ocean view. Nearby is Tenshodo, a naturally-formed sea cave. Volcanic landscapes are beautiful, and Yuru Camp△ 2 even provides viewers with a shot of the sea cave’s interior. I imagine that the producers probably canoed inside or used reference photos for this frame: guided canoe tours are provided, although I imagine that Chiaki’s wish of jumping in to its cool waters will never be realised. Once everyone’s happy with their sightseeing at Dōgashima, it’s onwards to the next spot: Sanshirō Island.

  • Unfortunately for Akari, she still believes the tombolo refers to pork jowl, and is therefore especially excited to set foot on Sanshirō Island itself, eager to find the vendors here. Ena, Nadeshiko, Chiaki and Rin’s faces says it all: they’re impressed that Aoi would pull pranks such as these even on her own little sister. To reiterate for the reader’s benefit, a tombolo is just a sandy or rocky isthmus that links an island to the mainland, and Sanshirō Island’s tombolo appears and disappears with the tides. At low tide, it appears and allows visitors to walk to the islands.

  • Excitement sets in, with Akari and Chiaki leading the charge to the island. However, it seems that arriving early means the tide hasn’t fully receded yet, and there’s a foot or so of water separating the islands from the mainland. Undeterred, the girls ditch their socks and shoes to wade through the waters, reaching the islands. While considerably warmer than anything in my neck of the woods (Izu Peninsula averages about 8.2°C in March), I imagine that stepping into the ocean waters would still be quite cold.

  • Such an experience brings back memories of the time I was exploring the California coast just north of Sonoma Coast State Park a few years ago: after the F8 2019 conference had ended, I had a bit of extra time to spare and was able to hang out in the Santa Rosa area of California, which I found absolutely beautiful. I believe the name of the beach I stopped at was called Russian Gulch, and at the time, a creek had divided the rocky beach in two. While trying to traverse this, I’d done as Rin and the others have done, but slipped and accidentally dropped my shoes into the water, completely soaking them shoes through. Fortunately, it had been a warm day, and after returning to the Air BnB I was staying at, my shoes dried out in no time at all. Luckily, I did happen to have a spare pair of shoes.

  • After reaching Sanshirō Island itself, Akari is surprised to find that there are no food vendors here whatsoever. Aoi remarks that being able to tell jokes apart is a part of growing up, stating it was akin to being able to differentiate between cabbage and lettuce. I found this to be a bit of a non sequitur, and Akari remains quite unconvinced. Aoi pulling pranks on Akari was adorable, and having Akari accompany the Outdoor Activities Club on this trip proved to be a great decision, providing another character to bounce off the others. Slice-of-life anime typically excel in this area, and a part of the joy is watching what happens when different characters interact with one another.

  • I’m including this screenshot here purely because I imagine that C-Station likely added a moment of everyone in their swimsuits after feeling that Aoi in particular had been shafted: during the Survival Camp OVA, Aoi wears a t-shirt over her bikini, and I vividly remember hearing the disapproval from fellow viewers at this decision. This scene should rectify that feeling of disappointment in full: as Nadeshiko imagines what it must be like here in the summer, Chiaki calls everyone back. Admittedly, such a scene is pleasant, reminding me of the warmest months of the year that stand in stark contrast with the weather back home: despite it being spring now, a pair of fresh snowfalls has doused my area with a few centimetres of snow, and today’s high is only supposed to be -1°C, which certainly isn’t very spring-like.

  • Sanshirō Island is probably the most iconic part of the Izu Peninsula tour, featuring in the key visual art for Yuru Camp△ 2, and I’m very glad that C-Station was able to incorporate this moment into the anime itself. Minami’s chosen to remain behind, and when the girls return as tide returns, she takes a photo of everyone. This was a pleasant moment that captures the aesthetic characterising the whole of Yuru Camp△ 2: this second season has featured the ocean in abundance, and with the ocean’s vastness symbolising stability and eternity, I imagine that Yuru Camp△ 2‘s themes deal with the durability and strengths of friendship. I’ll deal with overarching themes come the post for the finale.

  • Later, Minami takes everyone to go shopping for dinner ingredients, and with their supplies acquired, it’s time to hit up one more geospot before calling it a day: because dinner is special, Ena, Chiaki and Rin will require some time to prepare everything. Of note was that Aoi can be seen buying grilled meat skewers for Akari: Akari had been so excited about eating pork jowl that her disappointment was tangible, and there are some pranks that even Aoi feels bad about pulling. It was a small scene, but a very touching and heartwarming one to show that despite her love of pranking people, Aoi loves Akari very much and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure she’s happy.

  • After the highlight that is Sanshirō Island, the girls drive along Nishiizu Skyline towards the Mount Daruma Highland. The Nishiizu Skyline is a stretch of roadway with unparalleled scenery, and Minami reminds Rin to be careful with her driving. After they make their way up several switchbacks and admire the sights, they reach the highlands. Here, Mount Fuji is visible, and sight of Japan’s most iconic mountain reminds everyone of home. There certainly is something romantic about being able to see a part of one’s home from afar, and hints at the idea that travel is fun precisely because it helps one to also appreciate what their home has.

  • Despite it being a few hours before dark, Ena, Chiaki and Rin begin preparing dinner. In order to facilitate things, they end up confiscating Minami’s alcohol and ask her to drive Nadeshiko, Aoi and Akari to an onsen so that the others can relax while they focus on the task of getting everything ready. It would appear that Minami’s glasses go opaque when she’s in a drinking mindset, rather than when she’s drunk: Chiaki seizes her before she has a chance to drink here. Even more so than the first season, Yuru Camp△ 2 excels with funny faces, and I’m especially fond of moments whenever Rin takes on a rounded appearance.

  • While admiring the scenery from Cape Mihama, Akari is nervous that Nadeshiko and Aoi will learn of the surprise Ena and the others have planned. At her age, Akari places great importance on these sorts of things, bringing to mind the likes of Berenstain Bears and Arthur, where characters similarly worked hard to ensure that surprises stayed secret until the right moment. Older folks tend not to worry about surprises: it’s the sentiment that counts, after all. With Akari playing a much larger role in Yuru Camp△ 2‘s Izu trip, I’m glad that she was able to accompany everyone, and much as how Sakura had a larger part to play in Yuru Camp△ 2, Akari’s presence means that the series is able to present perspectives of camping and exploration that Rin, Nadeshiko, Chiaki, Aoi and Ena alone may not be able to offer.

  • While Aoi and Nadeshiko had known about the party plans, this doesn’t stop things from being any less enjoyable: once preparations are complete, Minami drives everyone back, and Aoi and Nadeshiko blow out the candles to their cake. What’s impressive is that the cake was entirely homemade; while baking a full cake at the campground is certainly possible, Chiaki, Rin and Ena have gone with pancakes instead, a suitable alternative that speaks to their creativity in the field. However, the cake and birthday song isn’t the full surprise: it turns out that Chiaki, Rin and Ena have chipped in to gift Aoi and Nadeshiko wooden cookware made of a special resin and fibre mixture that allows it to be used for holding hot drinks.

  • I imagine that, at the time of Nadeshiko’s conversation with Ayano shortly before she left Hamamatsu, she would’ve never imagined that she’d find good times and great company in Yamanashi quite like this. Life is full of surprises, and Yuru Camp△ 2 definitely went the extra mile to accentuate moments that are worth remembering, whether they’re with friends or family. Aoi and Nadeshiko’s birthday celebration is very similar to how I celebrate birthdays: while Western media often present birthday parties as large bashes with invitations to half the people in my class and activities like “pin the tail on the donkey”, I’ve never celebrated my birthdays in such a fashion. Consequently, I am more fond of a more quiet event with those closest to me, just as Yuru Camp△ 2 portrays.

  • Once the candles are blown out (Nadeshiko and Aoi decline to attempt blowing out the Swedish Candle that Chiaki’s put together) and gifts opened, Minami takes a photo of everyone. At this point, dinner’s on, and Minami is finally allowed to kick back with her drinks of choice. Speaking to the Outdoor Activities Club’s consideration for her, Chiaki, Ena and Rin have whipped up some side dishes that she believes would pair well with the liquor that Minami’s brought.

  • The spiny lobster shell from the previous evening’s dinner returns to the spotlight, being used as the base in the broth that Rin, Chiaki and Ena use for their shrimp and tomato risottoan Italian rice dish cooked with creamy broth. The incredible, sublime flavours come together in a way that blows Aoi, Nadeshiko and Akari’s socks off: their faces here plainly suggest that things are so tasty, they’re beyond words. When risotto is mentioned, I am reminded of my brother’s trip to Nova Scotia for an academic conference; he had risotto for dinner one evening and was caught unaware of how rich and filling it was, resulting in a hilarious Man v. Food moment.

  • Mid-dinner, Minami receives a call from Ryōko, who is relieved that things are going well. Minami mentions that being together with Nadeshiko and the others had been pleasant, allowing her to experience things that she otherwise would’ve missed. She is very glad to have accepted the role of advising for the Outdoor Activities Club, and here, Yuru Camp△ 2 reiterates its theme of appreciation. This time around, the series aims to convey the idea that learning is bidirectional, with the teacher also learning from the students. Altogether, Yuru Camp△ 2 clarifies that Minami’s drinking is merely a hobby, one that does not interfere with her professional life. As it stands, Nadeshiko and the Outdoor Activities Club are in good hands.

  • While Yuru Camp△ had primarily shown Chiaki and Aoi as being close friends, Yuru Camp△ 2 shows that everyone’s completely at home with everyone. Aoi and Nadeshiko got along just fine in the first season, but the two never really appeared to have anything in common beyond camping. That Aoi and Nadeshiko share birthdays helps the two to bond further. I’ve always been fond of Aoi’s character: she acts as the responsible and level-headed friend for the gung-ho and spirited Chiaki, but also has a mischevious streak a kilometre across when it comes to pranks. That she’s voiced by Aki Toyosaki is brilliant: Toyosaki’s ability to deliver Aoi’s line with a soft Kansai-ben is unmatched.

  • One of the biggest subtleties that Yuru Camp△ 2 portrayed was the decision to have Chiaki, Rin and Ena make the special dinner together for Nadeshiko and Aoi, with Akari helping to keep the two occupied so the others can focus. Yuru Camp△ had suggested that Rin wasn’t very fond of Chiaki: she originally found Chiaki too noisy for her liking and turned down Chiaki’s invitation to camping, but ever since Chiaki helped Rin out of a difficult spot, Rin came to accept Chiaki, regarding her as a friend like Ena and Nadeshiko. By the events of Yuru Camp△ 2, Rin and Chiaki get along very well.

  • Ryōko makes a brief appearance in Yuru Camp△ 2, camping somewhere near Mount Fuji (perhaps Fumotoppara or Asagiri Kōgen, based on the presence of open plains). When Minami mentions that things with the Outdoor Activities Club have been smooth so far, Ryōko jokingly suggests that maybe Minami hadn’t seen any real challenges yet. There’s a bit of dramatic irony to things, since Minami did end up bailing Chiaki, Aoi and Ena out of a difficult situation at Lake Yamanashi.

  • When Nadeshiko suggests climbing to the summit of Mount Daruma to watch the sunrise, everyone enthusiastically agrees. Here, the Swedish Candle Chiaki’s made can be seen burning in the foreground: unlike Yuru Camp△, where the candle fell apart to her, Nadeshiko and Aoi’s surprise while they were camping at Eastwood Campground, Chiaki’s become more skillful at making these Swedish Candles, another subtle reminder that everyone’s camping skills have improved with time.

  • The next morning, the early start proves to be a bit much for Akari, so Minami suggests to let Akari keep sleeping so she’s fully ready for the highlight of her trip: the capybaras. This ends up being a good call, since the morning walk proves to be a bit more involved than either Chiaki or Aoi had envisioned. When Aoi looks on ahead, she’s impressed that Nadeshiko and Rin are so far ahead, speaking to the pair’s above-average fitness.

  • While waiting for the others to arrive, Rin and Nadeshiko begin preparing a bit of soup for the cold morning. Up here, Rin suggests using Vaseline to prevent their faces from chaffing, and shares with Nadeshiko the fact that her mother was also a biker, so with this, it looks like everyone in the Shima family enjoys the great outdoors. This doesn’t come as a surprise to Nadeshiko, who feels that Rin’s inherited her family’s love for travel. It is the case that Vaseline is a solid way to keep moisture in: over this past winter, I’ve switched over to a Vaseline-based lip balm when my usual Bert’s Bees failed to be effective.

  • With the extra time they’ve got, Rin and Nadeshiko set about preparing a miso soup for everyone, adding in the spiny lobster shells to provide a unique flavour. Despite being used already for the previous night’s dinner, Rin is surprised the flavour is still very noticeable. Nadeshiko mentions that the shell can actually be reused a few more times, and eventually, be ground down into a powder for use as flavouring. This prompts Rin to comment that Nadeshiko definitely feels like a wife for her unparalleled knowledge of cooking.

  • Moments later, Aoi, Ena and Chiaki join Nadeshiko and Rin. I’m certain that Chiaki’s lack of fitness is deliberately portrayed as a joke, since this marks the second time she’s completely gassed from climbing a mountain, and I’m guessing that more than anything, Chiaki simply wasn’t mentally prepared for the walk. When the girls spot a sign indicating that the elevation at Mount Daruma is 981.8 metres, similar to that of Lake Yamanaka’s, they are reminded immediately of that night where the thermometer plummeted and Minami had come out to ensure everyone was fine.

  • This prompts Ena, Chiaki and Aoi to thank Rin anew, a very touching moment. It was around this point that I realised Yuru Camp△ 2‘s twelfth episode was unlikely to be the finale: Minami has plans to visit the Iidas, and everyone is looking forwards to meeting up with Choco again. With only minutes left to the episode, it hit me that Yuru Camp△ 2 couldn’t end here, not when two outstanding promises had yet to be fulfilled. Yuru Camp△ 2 is about keeping one’s word, and this theme is critical enough to warrant an entire episode, which extends the second season’s runtime by an episode.

  • When the episode ended, I checked for the presence of another episode in the preview to be certain of things. While this came as a complete surprise for me, I welcome this news wholeheartedly: having the extra runtime means being able to flesh out and explore to a satisfactory extent. I have heard that Yuru Camp△: The Movie is also in production; assuming this to be the case, I imagine that this would probably act as a finale to the series, scaling up the girls’ camping adventures for the silver screen as an opus magnum for Yuru Camp△. Once the manga finishes, I am tempted to pick up all of the English-translated volumes from my local bookstore. At this point in time, it’s something I am only considering because picking up all twelve volumes will be a feat that will require a total of 214.20 CAD including tax.

  • On this note, I do intend to buy the Official TV Guidebooks for Yuru Camp△ 2 and Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka? BLOOM as soon as they become available: both series have been very kind to me, and it would be very pleasant to see the behind-the-scenes and concept art for both. I speculate that both would individually cost a much more reasonable 2500 Yen each, meaning it would be 5000 Yen (about 57.80 CAD at the time of writing) to pick them up. Back in Yuru Camp△ 2, a swift sunrise welcomes Chiaki, Aoi, Nadeshiko, Rin and Ena to their final day on the Izu Peninsula. I look forwards to returning next Friday to write about Yuru Camp△ 2‘s finale, and until then, I’ve got a few more posts for readers: besides a pair of talks on Gundam 00‘s first and second seasons, I also crossed the finish line for Shirobako: The Movie a few days ago, so I am looking forwards to sharing my thoughts on this film with readers.

With the revelation that Yuru Camp△ 2 will have one more episode to wrap things up, I am immensely grateful that C-Station has made the decision to space things out and properly portray Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club’s biggest and grandest camping trip yet. An extra twenty minutes will allow for the remainder of the girls’ itinerary to be visited (it would be completely unfair to shaft Akari and not visit the capybaras when she’d been so excited to check them out all this time), and also wrap up all of the themes that Yuru Camp△ 2 strove to cover during its second season. I have never been left disappointed by a studio’s decision to extend a series: Sunrise had previously extended Gundam Unicorn and Gundam Origin to fully tell their stories, and the wait was well worth it. With this as the precedence, I have no doubt in my mind that Yuru Camp△ 2‘s finale will be an immensely satisfying conclusion to what has become one of the most widely-acclaimed slice-of-life anime around. With this in mind, however, next week, I will not be returning on Thursday to wrap things up. Two weeks ago, my search for a new iOS developer position drew to a close after five weeks of searching, and I was most fortunate to be extended an offer with a local software firm. This represents a new start for me; I am very excited to onboard and begin contributing to things. I officially start this new position on April 1, which is when Yuru Camp△ 2‘s finale is airing. In order to ensure a smooth transition and onboarding, I will be coming to the office next Thursday to meet the team and get set up. Consequently, I am moving my Yuru Camp△ 2 finale review to Friday, which is also Good Friday. Readers have my word that I will be wrapping up this series; my decision is made based on my intention to ensure I start my new position strong, as well as write the best possible Yuru Camp△ 2 finale talk that I can to wrap up yet another brilliant slice-of-life series.

Izu Camping!! On the Way: Yuru Camp△ 2 Eleventh Episode Impressions and Review

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach of us more than we can ever learn from books.” –John Lubbock

Upon arriving at the summit of Mount Misuji, Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club take in the sights before setting off for their campsite, Camp Koganezaki. Along the way, Minami allows Nadeshiko’s suggestion of stopping at an onsen along the way, and after doing some searching with Ena, she and Nadeshiko suggest Seiryu Hotel’s Hot Springs, which is known for offering a beautiful sunset view to bathers. Rin, having been up all day, has become incredibly tired – upon arriving at the onsen, she all but falls asleep. After their soak, Minami accidentally lets loose and drinks a beer, resulting in the Outdoor Activities Club calling a replacement driver service to help get everyone to their campsite. Once they arrive, the girls immediately set up their tents and begin preparing dinner. While still drowsy, Rin manages to teach Akari how to get a campfire going. Nadeshiko and Aoi begin preparations for dinner, which opens with a garlic shrimp ajillo. Meanwhile, while Ena and Chiaki grill up the spiny lobster and ask that Minami save the shells. Once round one is finished, Nadeshiko reveals that she had a special plan in mind for the alfonsino she’d brought: using the leftover broth from the afillo as the base, she creates an alfonsino acqua pazza pasta. The overwhelmingly delicious flavours knocks Rin out cold, and while Nadeshiko looks after her, the others clean up before kicking back with a horror flick. Later, Nadeshiko and Ena share a conversation about how these camping experiences has given Ena the encouragement to procure a driver’s license and take Chikuwa around to more places, while Nadeshiko similarly feels that meeting everyone has allowed her to go on fantastic adventures. When Rin wakes up a while later, she decides to go exploring and messages everyone about where’d she gone, asking them not to go searching for her. She explores a few more geospots and takes another dip at a nearby onsen, declaring that having the whole place to herself feels great.

Yuru Camp△ 2‘s penultimate episode is a callback to the Christmas camping trip from the first season – incredible attention is paid to meal preparation, the enjoyment of good food and fantastic company. In the short three months that has passed since the Christmas camp, Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club have upped their game, finding new and exciting ways to enjoy camping in a greater range of environs. With their accumulated knowledge, the girls strike a balance between planning out their itinerary and playing things by ear when the unexpected happens – the culmination of two seasons of discoveries and experiences have allowed everyone to really begin enjoying each trip to the fullest extent possible and create new memories. In conjunction with what was definitely a notable evening, Yuru Camp△ 2‘s penultimate episode reiterates themes of appreciation and gratitude through Ena’s conversation with Nadeshiko. Having met everyone and being pushed out of her comfort zone has encouraged Ena to begin looking more closely at the world around her and taking Chikuwa to more places to ensure he lives the best possible life. Similarly, Nadeshiko had not expected to become so engaged with camping after moving to Yamanashi, and she’s very happy to have met Rin and the others. Fateful meetings impact everyone, both ways, and Yuru Camp△ 2 has done a wonderful job of conveying how open-mindedness and kindness can unequivocally improve one’s world views through shared experiences.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Like the previous Yuru Camp△ 2 episode, episode eleven features a collection of clearly-identified locations, and this has made it a very straightforward exercise to determine where everything was: no effort was involved in finding all of the locations. This frees me to really just focus on the episode itself, which opens with the results of Nadeshiko, Chiaki and Akari’s footrace to the top of the summit. Unsurprisingly, Nadeshiko wins, and Chiaki is defeated. After everyone has a chance to catch their breath, they admire the sights from up on the summit, and Aoi attempts a panorama shot before Chiaki (unintentionally) ruins her photo.

  • Whilst heading to their campsite at Cape Kogane, the girls suggest kicking back in the onsen. From what Yuru Camp△ 2 has presented to viewers, the series definitely has established a common set of spots the girls will always visit during their trips: Yuru Camp△ 2 could be seen as a travel show about the Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka onsen in this regard, reminding me of a book I picked up back in August about the various ryōkan in Japan – these delightful traditional Japanese accommodations feel like an extravagant, amped-up version of the adventures seen in Yuru Camp△ and look very enjoyable to visit, although in exchange for unparalleled service and food, staying at a ryōkan can be quite pricey. Back in Yuru Camp△ 2, upon hearing that Rin’s probably freezing her buns off, Aoi imagines a Shimarin-shaped ice cream ad in her mind’s eye.

  • Having driven all day, Rin’s becoming very exhausted and is barely holding together. Fortunately, at this point, they’re a mere two kilometres from their next destination. Driving while tired is no joke, and during driving school, I remember reading how the recommended maximum duration one should drive for at a time is two hours, with fifteen minute breaks punctuating things. Having an extra driver on hand is helpful, and while the girls have been taking breaks, Rin’s exposure to the elements make it tougher for her, as her body must work harder to keep warm (and everyone else gets to enjoy the comfort of a car’s cabin).

  • It is therefore unsurprising that Rin melts into a puddle the moment she sets foot in the onsen at Seiryu Hotel, where the waters are pleasant and carry her into a state of bliss surpassing that of the others. She’s so out of it that she doesn’t enjoy the onsen‘s famous sunset. Yuru Camp△ 2 had actually been quite disciplined with fanservice as far as onsen goes up until now, which works in the series’ favour. With this being said, when used sparingly and with restraint, it does augment the Yuru Camp△ 2 experience – here, I will make an unnecessary aside that Aoi is stacked, even more so than Minami.

  • Discussing fanservice for the sake of fanservice has never really been my strong suit, so I’ll transition to a slightly different perspective which affords us viewers with the sunset that Seiryu’s onsen offers to Akari, Chiaki, Minami, Ena, Nadeshiko and Aoi. This really is a sight to behold, acting as a perfect way to wrap up a lengthy road trip: the hot waters of the onsen would doubtlessly do wonders to ease the aches of having sat inside a vehicle for much of the day, and I find myself wishing that my area had a few more hot springs beyond the radium-powered hot springs of the mountains. I suppose the trade off for more onsen would be seismic activity, so I’ll leave it as an exercise for readers to decide if it is one they’d be willing to make.

  • After exiting the onsen, Chiaki and the others grab a cold drink: Chiaki goes for a coffee milk, which is a quintessential part of the experience – this tradition actually dates back to the 1950s, when a coffee milk producer was looking to sell their product but had difficulties because most people didn’t have refrigerators. However, public baths (sentō) did, and it was decided that selling coffee milk at public baths would allow people a chance to enjoy experiences counted as luxurious. There is a scientific reason for why a cold drink hits the spot after soaking in an onsen or bath: the heat causes water to leave the body via sweat, and replenishing this water feels very refreshing. During my visit to Japan in 2017, I did not have coffee milk, as I lacked the coins to operate the vending machine, but drinking a cool bottle of water had the same quenching effect.

  • Since Minami accidentally eases up and drinks at the onsen, she renders herself unfit to drive, and the girls call in a replacement driver service, which sounds somewhat similar to Uber in that a driver is dispatched to one’s location, only here, they operate the owner’s vehicle to a given destination and then are picked up by another driver. While this was a hassle, it’s also Yuru Camp△ 2‘s way of showing what responsibility looks like. Eventually, the Outdoor Activities Club arrives at their camp ground, Koganezaki. The manager notes that there’s only two other groups around, so they’re free to pick any open spot.

  • While Rin’s exhausted, she’s still able to walk Akari through setting a campfire up as the others prepare dinner. The talking pinecones make yet another glorious return, and here, I note that with matches, getting a good fire going is much more straightforward. However, without matches, starting a fire becomes much trickier. Les Stroud had previously covered fire-starting in a Secrets of Survival special, counting the venerable fire bow as being the best way to start a fire: it only requires a heavy string and a smooth piece of wood, like a dowel. In a survival situation, however, Stroud also has used exothermic chemical reactions and flint strikers. Having seen Stroud’s methods, I personally would feel having a good flint striker or fire piston, since they’re infinitely reusable, would be the best, and if I were asked for a list of items to have in a survival situation, a flint striker or fire piston would definitely be on that list.

  • Other items I’d value include a hatchet, multi-tool, a metal water bottle, lengths of rope and an emergency blanket. Of course, since Yuru Camp△ 2 isn’t Survivorman, these items and their usage are secondary to things like having a good propane burner and utensils. Once camp is set up, Yuru Camp△ 2‘s penultimate episode turns into a cooking show as Aoi and Nadeshiko prepare dinner. Their first item is a ajillo, a Spanish recipe that calls for large prawns and a boatload of garlic cooked in olive oil. The Yuru Camp△ 2 version of this dish adds mushrooms, broccoli, yams, baby corn, sausage and octopus on to of things, resulting in a dish that is a veritable flavour explosion, a party in one’s mouth.

  • While Aoi and Nadeshiko prep the ajillo, Chiaki and Ena set about grilling the spiny lobster. As thanks for having driven everyone for the trip (and for buying the lobster), the girls invite Minami to dig in. She wastes no time digging in and finds that her sake pairs perfectly with the grilled lobster. Chiaki and Ena prepare their lobster by cutting it lengthwise, bisecting it and exposing the most surface area to the grill, allowing the whole thing to cook pretty quickly.

  • It turns out that Chiaki and Ena have special plans for the lobster shells, which are packed with flavour, and while Minami is sending her taste buds on a journey, Chikai and Ena remark that on top of being thanks for having driven everyone, they worried that a drunken Minami wouldn’t be too helpful in cooking. Viewers learn here that Minami’s younger sister is called Ryōko, when she messages Minami and asks her to keep her drinking in check so she can keep driving everyone: up until now, I don’t think Minami’s younger sister was ever mentioned by name up. Knowing this does make it easier to refer to Minami’s younger sister by name, whereas until now, the only other suitable alternative would’ve been Rin’s “fire-starting lady”.

  • As the girls dig in to the first course, Rin eats an entire clove of garlic and practically melts from the intense flavours, threatening to fall asleep there and then. I have a love-hate relationship with garlic: on one hand, it is delicious and brings about a very distinct flavour when cooked. Further to this, garlic has antibiotic properties thanks to the presence of compounds like allicin, which is responsible for the distinct smell and possesses a sulfur group that allows it to bind to thiol groups in prokaryotic enzymes, inactivating them. In other words, garlic sounds great on paper. The downside is that eating large amounts of garlic also creates bad breath and a burning aftertaste that can persist for hours afterwards.

  • In this episode, I did end up feeling that a secondary message was that one should always pace themselves while travelling: Rin’s day has been filled to the brim with adventure, and she’d been up since 0300, so it is natural she’d be exhausted by now. This is where the conflict between group and solo activities come in; normally, Rin would be able to make a decision and call it quits if she’s tired, but with the other, she’s naturally inclined to push herself a little. There’s nothing wrong with this every now and then, of course, but as a result, Rin finds herself nodding off during dinner while the others are still fully awake. One suggestion would be able to take would be to have a slightly less packed solo plan for situations like these, which would leave her open to doing things with the others.

  • I’ve always found that when it comes to events, I prioritise things that have an expiry date first: things that I can’t do or get as easily at any other time are the things I save my energy for, and the things that I can do whenever I choose are what I’ll let go of. In this way, I am able to make the most of special circumstances and get the most out of activities that I normally wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. This mindset is picked up over time, and I imagine that Rin will likely be able to do the same as she matures. Once the first course is done, Nadeshiko explains that the alfonsino was for a second course. Using the remaining olive oil and the flavours it’s soaked up, Nadeshiko prepares a pasta that rivals those of a proper Italian restaurant, sourcing a white wine from Minami’s private stores to bolster the dish.

  • An acqua pazza (literally “crazy water”) is a pasta dish with fish and a herbed broth; Nadeshiko’s spin on it adds black olives, cherry tomatos, capers, basil and replaces the white fish for dried alfonsino. The intense flavours from the ajillo will infuse the pasta with an unparalleled flavour. A similar approach had been see in the first season, where after cooking sukiyaki, Nadeshiko turns and uses the leftovers as the base for a pasta with tomato sauce. Yuru Camp△ 2 has evidently spare no expense on the food – the sorts of things Nadeshiko cooks are worthy of Man v. Food. Having eaten so well, Rin’s offline again. Nadeshiko subsequently helps Rin to turn in for the night while the others clean up.

  • Like the Christmas Camp, the girls spend the remainder of the evening watching a horror film, which leaves Nadeshiko a little too skittish to sleep. She and Ena eventually share a conversation that spoke volumes to what this episode had been about, and from their dialogue, Ena’s begun seeing the merit in being more proactive about having fun. Everyone’s friendship with one another has resulted in considerable growth; having fun while making valuable discoveries and becoming more capable people for it is the journey that Yuru Camp△ 2 portrays, and I personally find this to be the single most standout aspect about an anime that has already gotten everything else right.

  • The next morning, Rin wakes up at 0400, notices everyone is still fast asleep and decides to checkout the nearby geospots on her own. I admit that, if given the chance to, I also have similar tendencies, preferring to explore something for myself on the side. Here, Rin reaches Sawada Park, which offers a beautiful open-air bath perched on the edge of a cliff. The volcanic origins of the Izu Peninsula means that it is home to some of Japan’s most extraordinary sights, and unsurprisingly, the area also sees a great deal of seismic activity.

  • After Aoi and Ena wake up, they find that Rin’s left them a message indicating that she’d gone exploring nearby; since nothing’s happened to her, there’s no need to go searching for her. With the others still sleeping, the two crawl back into their tent to catch a few more winks before the second day’s adventures. It suddenly strikes me that we’re only just starting the second day, and there’s a full episode left to portray things. Considering that there are a great many spots in Izu the girls do plan on visiting, the second day is going to be booked solid, and now, I am looking forwards to seeing which places Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club do end up visiting.

  • The fuzzy eyes in Yuru Camp△ have always been adorable, conveying to viewers the sense of comfort and warmth the characters are experiencing. Yuru Camp△ 2 has put a smile on my face with each and every one of its episodes, without fail – when I began watching this long-awaited second season, winter was still upon us, but of late, with the Vernal Equinox fast approaching, winter is beginning to recede and take with it the bitterly cold wind, snow and short days that define the season in my area.

  • I’ll close off this talk on Yuru Camp△ 2‘s penultimate episode with a still of Rin smiling warmly at the prospect of having an entire onsen to herself. It is when she’s on her own that Rin fully rejuvenates: while Rin does have some excellent adventures with others, it’s also quite taxing for her. Similarly, I am at my happiest when doing things solo: this isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy being with people, but I refresh and regroup best in solitude. With this post in the books, there is only going to be one more Yuru Camp△ 2 episode left to write about before the series concludes, and with a bit more break time on my hands now, I think it’s also time for me to wrap up a few things before April kicks off, including a post for Left 4 Dead 2‘s classic campaign and a special feature on Gundam 00. Furthermore, the weather of late’s been remarkably pleasant, so it would be a shame to squander it and not go for at least a short walk.

We are now down to one more episode left in Yuru Camp△ 2 – while I certainly would’ve liked this series to continue on forever with its cathartic portrayal of travel and meaningful, heartwarming displays of friendship and gratitude, all good things must come to an end. The finale will doubtlessly wrap up the story surrounding Aoi and Nadeshiko’s birthdays, showing how closely this group of travellers have become since their meetings a few months earlier. While we are often taught the significance of expressing gratitude and counting our blessings for the things we do have in our lives, the fast-paced world in which we live in oftentimes cause us to lose sight of, and forget, what the important things are. Anime such as Yuru Camp△ 2 are universally enjoyed precisely because they are able to gently remind viewers of these critical messages, about the importance of benevolence and empathy, as well as trust and kindness. When paired with a fantastic backdrop that informs and amuses, Yuru Camp△ had the makings of a home run; the first season had focused on getting everyone familiar with outdoor techniques and bushcraft, as well as with one another. Now that everyone’s well-acquainted with one another, Yuru Camp△ 2 is able to really shine and tell a highly compelling, meaningful story about the aspects of life that viewers will find relevant and heart-warming. It goes without saying that I’m both excited to see how Yuru Camp△ 2 will conclude, and saddened that this excellent series will be drawing to a close next week.

The Izu Camp Trip Begins: Yuru Camp△ 2 Tenth Episode Impressions and Review

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” —Voltaire

Minami and the others arrive at Nadeshiko’s house to pick her up. Meanwhile, Rin’s already set off for the Izu Peninsula, arriving at Cape Ose. As she enjoys the sights here, Minami and the others head towards Shimoda, where they plan on meeting up with Rin. However, because the cherry blossoms are starting to bloom, Minami and the others get stuck in traffic. Rin explores the quiet shores of Shimoda on her own, while Nadeshiko, who’d fallen asleep for the first leg of their journey, gets pranked when Aoi and Akari decieve her into believing that she’d slept through the whole camping trip. Minami and the others join up with Rin shortly after, and they stop at a local burger joint to enjoy the fried alfonsino burgers. The group then heads off for a supermarket, where Chiaki, Ena and Rin make to buy spiny lobster as a part of their special celebration dinner for Nadeshiko and Aoi’s birthdays. After shopping is done, Minami takes everyone to a quiet spot on the beach, where she anticipates being able to camp. However, at an information post, she’s informed that the landowner had rescinded this, prohibiting camping year-round. While Minami searches for an alternative, the girls explore the nearby park. Ena recalls that the Iidas were expert campers and might know a place; when Minami calls them, the Iidas contact a friend, who is happy to set them up with a campsite. After Rin designs an itinerary to give everyone a chance out to check out Izu’s other attractions, she explains to Ena and Chiaki that the longer route will allow them more time to prepare for Nadeshiko and Aoi’s birthday dinner. Upon reaching the Hosono Plateau, Chiaki challenges Nadeshiko and Akari to a foot race, while Rin, Aoi and Ena take it easy. Ena wonders if Rin would consider taking up mountain climbing as a hobby, and while Rin’s uncertain, she does express interest in camping at higher altitude sites. With this tenth episode, Yuru Camp△ 2‘s final quarter is off to a riveting start.

Representing the culmination of everyone’s accumulated experiences, the Izu Peninsula outing is proceeding nominally. Experiences are had along the way to their destination, with plans being updated and shifted to accommodate circumstances. This time around, even the unexpected proves to be no hindrance for Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club. A traffic jam allows Rin to explore the Shimoda coast, while Akari manages to have fun and explore the local cherry blossom festival when they’re stuck in traffic. When Minami learns that camping on the beach is now prohibited year-rounded, where it had previously been permitted during the winter months, Ena steps up and suggests drawing on local expertise to find a solution, resulting in the problem being swiftly resolved. The combination of individual experience and the ability to confer in others means that Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club are now more than prepared for their largest camping adventure yet. Viewers are therefore assured that any unexpected setbacks related to travel will be handled appropriately, leaving Yuru Camp△ 2 to focus on the final quarter’s main focus: celebrating Aoi and Nadeshiko’s birthdays with dried alfonsino and spiny lobster, both of which are local delicacies that cost no small amount of coin. Yuru Camp△ 2‘s final story is a celebration of appreciation and shared experiences, and with this in mind, it should go without saying that I am greatly looking forwards to seeing what Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club will find as they continue on with their trip.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Here we are at least, the long-awaited Izu Peninsula trip that has dominated the imagery in Yuru Camp△ 2‘s opening. Minami drives the Outdoor Activities Club and Akari, while Rin makes use of her scooter to get around. Excited beyond words, Nadeshiko found it difficult to sleep the previous night and ends up sleeping for the entire first leg of the trip, missing out on a few sights and stops along the way. On the eve of something big, I’ve traditionally never had any trouble sleeping, knowing that being well-rested is the best way to prepare for handling or enjoying whatever lies ahead.

  • Rin’s first destination is Geospot known as Cape Ose, which is home to a handful of Shinto shrines and the Osezaki Kamike Pond, where Rin accidentally drops her fish food into the waters, causing the koi to enter a feeding frenzy of sorts. Rin’s reaction is hilarious, and in a curious bit of a coincidence, Non Non Biyori Nonstop also featured koi approaching people for food. There’s a koi pond at the Chinese restaurant in front of my dōjō downtown, and like the ones at Osezaki Kamike Pond, they will surface and open their mouths in anticipation of food whenever people show up.

  • Armed with her shiny new moped accessories, Rin is now able to navigate more easily and without the wind chilling her. While such things are initially seen as conveniences, they can admittedly be hard to part with once one grows accustomed to them. For the past decade, I’ve been rocking a 2005 Mazda 5, so when I began driving a 2020 Rav 4, which came with CarPlay as a standard feature, I do wonder how I ever got by without CarPlay: previously, I had a dashboard holder for my phone, but required an FM Radio transmitter if I’d ever wanted to listen to my own music on the car’s speakers.

  • While Nadeshiko is still sleeping like a baby, the others disembark and stop by for some wasabi ice cream. In an earlier post, I did mention that until a few years ago, I’d never really been a big fan of ice cream – after trying the ice cream at D. Dutchman a province over, I conclude that fresh ice cream with a gentle flavour is the way to go. The ice cream I normally have is very sweet and, while tasty, I do find it best that I follow with a tall glass of water after. Conversely, while I was in Japan, ice cream treats were everywhere, and with most of it being soft serve, I found it a lot easier to eat.

  • Thanks to the local hanami festival, there’s a massive traffic jam on the road that reminds me a great deal of the sorts of delays that happen in Banff during Canada Day – one year, thanks to a miscalculation, I’d entered town during the middle of the Canada Day parade. I’d anticipated on the parade starting at 1700 rather than at noon, resulting in being stuck in traffic for a half hour. In Yuru Camp△ 2, Akari doesn’t seem to mind and has a great time, while Ena phones ahead to give Rin an update.

  • The advantage about travelling with one’s own transportation is apparent: it lets one to set their own schedules. Rin isn’t in any particular rush to be anywhere, and similarly, during the Canada Day events in Banff, I enter knowing full well it’ll be a day where things are played by the ear. Normally, I am a stickler for punctuality: being on time to me how I show respect for other people’s time. This is why I always plan to be at least ten minutes early for whatever I do (and the buffer goes up if it’s something important, like an appointment). On vacation, punctuality matters if I’m in a tour group, but on my own, I get to let loose a little and take things more easily.

  • The creepy-ass Eyes of Deceit make a return in Yuru Camp△ 2: Aoi and Akari haven’t been seen with them since the second OVA for Yuru Camp△, during which they lied to Nadeshiko about a bunch of things and even created an ornate prank where everyone pretended to be Rin. Here, they spin the tale that Nadeshiko had slept for two whole days, and the Izu trip is now over. The pranks that Aoi and Akari pull are by no means devastating (checking one’s smartphone for the date and time would be enough to ascertain everything), so these moments speak more to how Nadeshiko is adorably gullible.

  • Upon rendezvousing with Rin, the entire group heads off for lunch. Before they take off, Nadeshiko begs Rin to ascertain the time and date to be sure that the Inuyama sisters were pulling her leg, and that everyone else wasn’t in on the joke. The place that everyone has lunch at is called Ra-Maru, located in Shimoda. It is exactly as shown in Yuru Camp△ 2, featuring the alfonsino burgers that everyone tucks into for a mere 1100 Yen (12.71 CAD). Of course, folks visiting might do well to brush up on their Japanese and perhaps preload the Japanese language pack for Google Translate: the menu is only in Japanese.

  • A good fried fish burger is absolutely delicious, basically being the burger form of the fried fish from fish-and-chips. Nadeshiko finds herself in heaven with the way the cheese and sauce complement the fish. Ena is so blown away by the flavour that she remarks that she could die happy knowing she’d tried this, leading Rin to retort that there’s surely more to life that Ena must be looking forwards to. During the course of lunch, Rin shares her morning with the others, and Aoi mentions that Jōyama was the only geospot they’d saw. However, it seems that the wasabi ice cream had been the highlight for them. I do count myself as a bit of a burger connoisseur, and earlier this week, I was able to try out the local burger place’s new grass-fed beef burgers: it was delicious, and it suddenly hit me that I’ve not gone out for a burger in over a year now.

  • Chiaki reassures Nadeshiko that there’d be time to have her catch up on the wasabi ice cream later, since Izu is known for its wasabi. Alternatively known as Japanese horseradish, wasabi has a very distinct flavour profile because of the presence of allyl isothiocyanate, a volatile compound that produces a burning sensation. Because the wasabi plant requires specific conditions for growth, real wasabi is quite pricey. Here, I’ve noticed that Minami is eating her burger with a fork and knife: I’ve gotten more than a few funny stares for doing that, but here is proof that there is nothing wrong with using a fork and knife for a burger. My preference for doing so comes back to a time from when I had braces, so using utensils made it easier to eat in general, and today, I do so simply to keep my hands clean.

  • After lunch, it’s time to go grocery shopping. When the girls discuss their plans to check out more of the geospots, Aoi spins another tall tale to Akari for fun after the latter inquires what a tombolo is. It’s got nothing to do with pork jowl: a tombolo refers to a sandy isthmus joining an island to a larger piece of land to create what’s called a tied island. This spot was featured in the preview art for season two, and since it’s mentioned, I imagine this means we’ll get to see the actual moment come next episode.

  • When camping comes to mind, most people think of cast-iron pan fried bacon and scrambled eggs, grilled meat, foiled-wrapped meat, vegetables, sandwiches or burritos or chili. Yuru Camp△ has gone above and beyond to portray what’s possible with camping recipes, and that while there is no limit to how fancy camping food can be, Yuru Camp△ also has shown that the barrier of entry is quite low: even simple foil-wrapped vegetables roasted over an open fire can prove to be a delicious and nutritious evening meal made from scratch without too much advance preparation or dedicated equipment.

  • While Minami is sorely tempted to join a gentleman who’s merrily drinking and grilling fish at a place called Manpo, Chiaki indicates the time has come to pull off Operation Shrimp; to bring great fortune for Aoi and Nadeshiko’s birthdays, she’d suggested going for both dried Alfonsino and spiny lobster, but the caveat is that these items are highly expensive. It turns out that they’d been trying to keep Minami away from alcohol so she’d have the funds to spot them. While Chiaki concocted an elaborate plan, it turns out Ena’s approach of asking nicely had worked out even better, and Minami ends up picking up the spiny lobster, having overcome the temptation to drink.

  • When Minami reaches the beach they’d intended to camp at, she learns that the old rules have been modified such that camping on the beach is now prohibited. The thought of not having a place to stay overnight weighs heavily on her mind, although she pushes the thoughts from her mind and takes everyone to Cape Tsumeki, which is a short drive from Shomoda. Here, the girls explore the empty cape and its sights: the narrator adds that the area is known for its Narcissus flowers, but because it is only March, none of them have bloomed yet. Even without fields of flowers, the cape is beautiful, and soon, a lighthouse catches everyone’s attention.

  • After Chiaki manages to take a photo of everyone with the whole light house in the frame, they walk out onto the deck to marvel at the ocean and get hammered with a gust of wind, leading to this hilarious still. Les Stroud mentioned that wind is probably one of the trickiest weather patterns to deal with in his Arctic Tundra episode, as it makes travelling and being outdoors very difficult. Windy days are always tricky for me, and in the past little while, it’s been very windy of late. I’m not particularly fond of going out into the wind, but when I do, I’m glad that a strong ginger tea will help me to settle down a little.

  • While the girls relax on benches overlooking Tsumekizaki Beach (Tsumekizaki Lighthouse and Tsumeki Island are visible in the distance), Minami continues on her hunt for a campsite. Ena suggests contacting the Iidas, who are more than happy to help, and moments later, the merry group of campers now are assured of a place to stay overnight. I think now would be a good time as any to reflect on what’s been happening over the past month: I did mention that it was a minor miracle that the Jon’s Creator Showcase post came together at all. What happened was that I had been looking for a new job – with the current global health crisis and the impact it’s had on small businesses and E-commerce merchants, who are my customers, things have been rough. The iOS app and supporting projects I’d worked on for the past year have been successful in helping the company grow, but even then, last year was definitely a tougher one.

  • With this in mind, I was seeking something with more stability and collaboration. Job searching is an immensely tiring and tricking operation, and is rightly counted as being a full-time job in its own right: I’d forgotten how exhausting the process was, having not done so for two years. After starting the job search back in early Februrary, I am happy to say that I was able to successfully interview with a company here in my home town and ended up with an offer. This role will see me continue with iOS development, and there’ll be a chance for me to pick up some server-side development in Java and MySQL, which could be incredibly valuable knowledge in helping me to build apps and their backend components.

  • I start in April, and with the remainder of March, I intend on working towards a smooth transition (finishing off any features, fixing lingering bugs and doing some clean-up) while taking some down time: since I started, I’ve not really used much of my vacation days at all, so it’ll be nice to sleep in and not do anything. The job search had come together with a pair of collaborative posts, my episodic Yuru Camp△ 2 reviews and getting in co-op with a mate in The Master Chief Collection for Halo 3: ODST and Halo 4, February became incredibly busy. In the end, it was well worth it, and I will treat my family to dinner as a thank you for having supported me through the whole process (once in the near future from the restaurant we’ve become very fond of, and then once again all of the restrictions are lifted and there’s a chance for a proper sit-down dinner).

  • Back in Yuru Camp△ 2, after arriving at Honosono Plateau, Rin, Ena and Aoi take in the scenery, while Nadeshiko, Akari and Chiaki race one another to the top. Unfortunately for Chiaki, she fails to pace herself and ends up face-down on the mountain trail, completely exhausted. Earlier, Ena, Rin and Aoi share an interesting conversation together about mountain hiking, which is the heart and soul of Yama no Susume. While Rin feels that the Yama no Susume aspects could be tricky, she has no qualms about giving alpine camping a whirl. It’s not often that Rin has a chance to speak with Aoi, but it is clear that the two get along well enough.

  • With this final screenshot, my post for the tenth episode draws to a close. Yuru Camp△ 2 has been a fantastic source of inspiration and catharsis this season, helping me to find calm and tranquility in a very busy and chaotic time. It is a little hard to believe that only two more episodes are left in this season. I suddenly realise that until April starts, I do have a slightly bit more down time now, so I am going to try to use that time and wrap up a few posts that I’ve had in draft since last year, as well as write the talk for Halo 4‘s Spartan Ops and finish off Left 4 Dead 2‘s second campaign.

It is here, in the tenth episode, that Yuru Camp△ 2‘s soundtrack has really had a chance to shine. New pieces of incidental music have been heard throughout Yuru Camp△ 2, interspersed with the return of familiar pieces from the first season, but now, on the coastal highways and amongst the ocean scenery that Izu has to offer, Yuru Camp△ 2‘s soundtrack has stepped up the game in an impressive manner. The first season’s use of fiddle and Celtic elements created a sense of excitement surrounding the great outdoors. Here in season two, use of Native American flutes dominates the soundtrack; these flutes have had a venerable history and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. The sound they produce is immensely cathartic, and together with the Indigenous Peoples’ great respect for nature, creates music that conveys a profound appreciation for the Earth and the life that it gives. It is therefore unsurprising that Yuru Camp△ 2‘s central theme is appreciation and gratitude: the use of flutes accentuates the idea that natural beauty is nigh-endless, and while people might be focused on their day-to-day lives, there is also considerable value in turning our eyes outwards to see the majesty that is our world. Camping, then, is a way to commute with nature and live with the land: now that the excitement of camping has passed, Rin and the Outdoor Activities Club come to see the outdoors as being an integral part of who we are, and partake in camping to be reminded of the beauty within this world. While the characters never say this explicitly, Yuru Camp△ 2‘s soundtrack has spoken volumes about these themes, adding further depth to a series that has excelled in all areas.