Laid-Back Camp Volume 1
When things get tense, it’s really nice to have a comic to read that’s mellow and comforting. My latest discovery of a title that worked that way for me is Afro’s Laid-Back Camp.
I’m not allowed to go camping, since I’m allergic to much of the outdoors, but this is a different kind of camping. Rin likes to go out by herself during the off-season, enjoying her isolation despite the cold. That makes the joy of a bonfire’s warmth and the pleasure of enjoying ramen while in the view of Mount Fuji all the more potent.
Although she values her solitude, she helps out the lost Nadeshiko, who, inspired by her, joins the school’s Outdoor Exploration Club to learn more about camping. Nadeshiko is full of energy and enthusiasm, a lovely contrast to the reserved Rin. Nadeshiko wants Rin to join her and the other two club members, but Rin likes her solo winter camping, although she’s beginning to appreciate the fun of sharing the experience.
There are tips on gathering the right kind of firewood, different types of tents, surviving comfortably in the cold, cooking stew outdoors, and packing for a camping trip. These are peppered with jokes and light humor; a particular standout is when the club is trying to prepare a summer-weight sleeping bag for winter use by wrapping it in a cover, and the result ends up ridiculously exaggerated.
With the cute young ladies, bundled up amongst the gorgeous outdoor vistas, there’s plenty attractive to look at. I can’t engage in these outdoor activities myself, but it’s wonderful to enjoy them vicariously, and with such a comfortable mood, in Laid-Back Camp. The quiet development of a blossoming friendship provides depth and a reason to continue with the series. (The publisher provided a review copy.)
Manga that makes you feel comfortable is the best kind of manga honestly. I enjoy series that have a lot of action and drama, but sometimes it’s just better to be able to invest in something stress-free. I’ve been looking for more series like that, so I’ll definitely have to give this one a shot.