Laid-Back Camp: Can the Girls Even AFFORD to Go Camping?

WARNING: the following contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 4 of Laid-Back Camp, now streaming on Crunchyroll.

It's a new year in Laid-Back Camp, and Nadeshiko and her friends Chiaki and Aoi are ready to resume their camping adventures in the chilly January light. So far, they haven't had any serious mishaps while camping, but something is holding them back: a rather empty wallet.

High school students aren't exactly loaded with cash, and Nadeshiko and her friends are diving deep into a hobby that can potentially cost a lot of money. Rin, for her part, has been set for years, but Nadeshiko needs to catch up, and that means finding a better part-time job.

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Browsing The Camping Catalogs

The girls of the Motosu outdoor club are doing their best to launch their camping hobby without relying too heavily on Rin. They'd rather figure this out on their own and proudly show Rin photos of their success at camping, and while Rin is quietly cheering them on, the girls have a real challenge ahead of them. It's all they can do to afford a hexagonal tarp for 6,000 yen ($60), and when the girls set it up on their school's grounds, they realize that they forgot the poles. So, Nadeshiko is chosen to act as a human tent pole, and the girls send Rin a photo of their accomplishment. Still, their outdoor inventory is rather bare-bones, and Aoi daydreams about buying herself a comfortable camping chair like Rin's. Chiaki is picturing herself in a hammock, and if she can't find a metal frame for it, she'll just tie one end to a tree and the other end to Nadeshiko. And Nadeshiko, for her part, is determined to buy a certain Goalman-brand camping lantern for dark campground nights.

At this point in the overall story, the three friends know how to appreciate the beauty in camping and Japan's lovely cultural centers, such as local shrines and torii gates, and New Year's Day was a good example of that. But their budget can't keep up, and their next big camping trip will call for a bigger tent, more camp chairs, that lamp and more -- these girls' hobby is nothing to take lightly. It's a proper challenge, but the girls are up for it, and that means they're hunting for better part-time work, especially Nadeshiko. This may be the first time Nadeshiko ever dived so deep into a hobby, and she's ready for a total commitment to this. It's an opportunity to grow as a person.

Nadeshiko's Big Break

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Where, exactly, can a high school girl like Nadeshiko find decent part-time work? According to the newspaper classifieds, pretty much nowhere in the local area, and Nadeshiko feels like she's hit a roadblock. She even compares the situation to a classical Japanese card game, where a kimono-wearing Nadeshiko dramatically takes a card, turns it face-up, and sees a job listing that's way too advanced for her. How is she supposed to scrape together the yen for that Goalman lamp? Chiaki and Aoi aren't having much better luck, and for now, Nadeshiko can only ogle at the much-desired lamp in the Caribou outdoor sporting shop. Then she gets a rather interesting text from her big sister Sakura, inviting her to a tempura shop nearby.

Good news: not only is Sakura treating Nadeshiko to dinner, but this restaurant is hiring and Nadeshiko gets the first crack at the job listing. Buying camping gear should be a bit easier now. At last, Nadeshiko has the cash for both the lamp and an extra item: a metal hand-warmer for Sakura. Sakura is delighted, and Nadeshiko is proud of herself. The girls certainly feel laid-back when camping, but this hobby takes work, and Nadeshiko and the others are up to the challenge after all.

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