(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)

It turns out 2020 is refusing to go, because the start of 2021 has been a bit of a mess. That being said, one of the beauties of the anime medium is how easily it can take you on a journey and immerse you in an entirely different world. Whether it’s a fantasy world where humanity hides behind useless walls and are hunted by man-eating Titans, or a sci-fi world where 14-year-olds get inside giant robots to fight against giant monsters, there is something for everyone — even those who simply want a good and heartwarming anime about the joys of camping.

We haven’t really covered that many slice-of-life shows in this column before, but that’s changing now, because we all could use a little escapism. Forget about giant mecha and superheroes, it’s time to grab your tent and sleeping bag, and set out to enjoy the marvelous landscapes of Japan in Laid-Back Camp.

This show does for camping in Japan’s outdoors what Lord of the Rings did for trekking through New Zealand. The show focuses on high-schooler Rin Shima, an introverted girl who loves to go camping alone, and the friendship that grows when she meets Nadeshiko Kagamihara, an energetic girl who joins an Outdoor Activities Club after discovering camping as a hobby. From there, the show doesn’t really evolve – it continues to do exactly what you think it’s going to do. It takes you on a journey to exciting new locations, teaches you a bit about camping, and makes you feel warm and cozy all-around.

Read More »