Laid-Back Camp is a Japanese manga series that is written and illustrated by Afro. It was serialised in Manga Time Kirara Forward from July 2015 to February 2019, then transferred to the publisher website and a manga app called Comic Fuz. Yen Press are publishing the series in English.
The manga also got an anime adaptation, which aired from January to March in 2018. You can read my review of said anime here.
The first volume of this manga contains six chapters and a side story.
Setting up a tent, starting a fire, and eating noodles with Mt. Fuji in view… Rin and Nadeshiko absolutely love to camp! Enjoy their zest for travel and maybe even pick up a tip or two about roughing it in the great outdoors. You might just want to go camping yourself!
The first volume of Laid-Back Camp begins with Rin camping, of course. That also happens to be when she first meets Nadeshiko. From there onwards, the manga is presented from two different points of view – we have Rin, who does a lot of solo camping, and then there is Nadeshiko and the other two members of the Outdoors Exploration Club (OEC for short), Aoi Inuyama and Chiaki Oogaki.
Whilst Rin is an established camper, the OEC are all rookies to it so much of this first volume sees them preparing for their first camping trip. Through that, you are able to get a grasp on the equipment required for camping, as well as how much it would all cost in yen.
Whilst Rin may prefer solo camping, she is joined by Nadeshiko on a couple of occasions. Whether Rin is joined by Nadeshiko or not, her camping trips are laid-back, as one might expect considering the title.
That is easily one of Laid-Back Camp‘s biggest charms: it is true to its name and delivers a really nice laid-back experience. There’s no urgency here, just girls camping in the great outdoors. Afro has done a great job with the views the girls get to see, too.
Afro also has a great sense of humour. In particular, there are two recurring things that will generally get a laugh out of me. One would be the pinecones, whilst the other is a specific face that characters make that could be considered a trademark of Afro’s. That expression is one that can be seen in another of Afro’s works, Puella Magi Homura Tamura ~Parallel Worlds Do Not Remain Parallel Forever~.
There are plenty of other great moments that provide laughs as well – I particularly enjoy when we get visual representation of the characters’ imaginations.
Another particularly notable part of Laid-Back Camp comes from Rin and Nadeshiko’s relationship. At first, Nadeshiko is just a girl that Rin happened upon whilst camping, but by the end of the this volume she is constantly keeping in touch with her new friend as they embark on their respective camping trips.
Laid-Back Camp is just a charming manga series, with plenty of funny moments. If you ever feel like reading something that is relaxing, then Laid-Back Camp is a series that you can’t really go wrong with.