Secret Society B.L.A.N.K.E.T. returns once more, as I will be taking a look at the fourth volume of Afro’s Laid-Back Camp manga series.
This volume contains chapters nineteen through to twenty-three, as well as a few Room Camp side stories.The Outdoor Exploration Club is going camping on Christmas, and the more the merrier! Naturally, Nadeshiko, Aoi, and Aki will be there… but joining them are Rin, her greenhorn friend Saitou, and even a new club adviser! As the girls enjoy the winter season, one question remains: What’s the perfect meal to complement their relaxing Christmas adventure?
There has been a bit of build-up to this in the previous volumes, and with number four we finally arrive at the Christmas camping trip. What makes this particularly notable is that Rin will be camping with the Outdoor Exploration Club (OEC for short) for the first time – before, she had only been on solo trips, or just camped with Nadeshiko.
It’s nice to see Rin become more receptive to the idea of camping with bigger groups, and the OEC’s Christmas camping trip is a fun experience to read.
As for other firsts, the OEC gains a new adviser. Turns out to be someone that Nadeshiko and Rin are familiar with, though it does take them a little time to realise just how said person is.
Rin’s friend, Ena Saitou, also joins the OEC, bringing along her pet dog Chikuwa. The interactions with the group of characters are all a lot of fun; they all play off of each other very well.
Laid-Back Camp delves a little into food porn, too. After all, the girls have to eat something whilst they are out camping. There is almost an entire chapter dedicated to the girls just eating, and it definitely drives home the point that their meal tastes good.
There is also a very nice moment between Rin and Nadeshiko, as the two gaze at the stars together shortly before going to sleep. It’s a really nice little moment, with Rin happily agreeing that they should do lots more camping for the next year as well.
Laid-Back Camp continues to live up to its title, giving us a laid-back story about girls going camping. It’s a simple premise, and one that Afro has managed to make work incredibly well – maybe the food stuff helps with that.
Laid-Back Camp is a pretty good choice if you just want a manga to kick back and relax with.