Laid-Back Camp: Rin and the Girls Celebrate the New Year With the Ultimate Sunrise

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

The Winter 2021 anime season is in full swing, and one of the most charming and whimsical "edutainment" titles, Laid-Back Camp, is ready to ring in the new year in style. Nadeshiko and her friends have been working hard over Winter break to save up some cash, and it's time to take a break in the great outdoors for New Year's Eve.

In the Season 2 premiere, Rin reflected on her camping hobby's shaky start. Now she's confident enough to travel all the way to Iwata and greet the New Year's sunrise all by herself -- and there's plenty to see along the way.

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Rin's Big Adventure

Season 1's adventures made it clear that, for the most part, Rin Shima is a no-nonsense practical camper who can handle everything herself. However, not even she can resist the quaint charms of the Mitsuke-Tenjin shrine, home of the beloved Shippeitarou guardian dog. Rin is practically skipping her way through this rustic cultural site, and she takes a picture of Shippeitarou's statue before praying for another peaceful year. Then she gets some bad news: the real-life Shippeitarou the Third died a few years back, so Rin visits the poor pooch's grave site and reflects that dogs simply don't live as long as people, making it important for dog owners to enjoy and cherish the time they have together with their pets.

Rin also visits a local tea shop in Kakegawa, meeting an old camper friend while ordering some classy tea to warm up on this chilly winter day. Rin's mother even added some extra cash for a second helping, and Rin feels totally at ease as she samples the local tea flavors. Then it's off to Fukude Beach to set up camp and await the new year's day dawn with the other tourists. Rin gets her camp set up in a hurry, and she's not alone -- Chiaki, Aoi and the other girls are getting ready too.

Dawn Comes To The New Year

mt fuji camp

Elsewhere, Aoi and her little sister Akari meet up with Chikai and their school club's patron, Minabi Toba, and get ready to drive up to the beach to see that sunrise with the other tourists. They arrive just in time, and the crowd's excitement is palpable as the pre-dawn twilight starts to light up. There's even a big fancy torii gate set up to greet the dawn. Right on time, the sun bursts up from the horizon, and Rin, Aoi, Chiaki and the others are swept up in the moment, ringing in the new year in true style. Nadeshiko, meanwhile, is busy with her paper route, so she gets a few photos of the sunrise texted to her.

Chiaki points out that there may be two sunrises. If her group hurries, they can make it to Mt. Fuji and watch the popular "diamond Fuji" phenomenon take place. Since they're running late, Minabi floors it and races up the mountain road in her SUV. The girls arrive too late because Chiakigot the sunrise's scheduled time wrong. Her friends chase her around, annoyed, while Rin gets cozy elsewhere.

Rin and the other girls have had a few mishaps while camping before, and today, Rin's biggest challenge is temptation. She wants to save her appetite for some pig's feet curry, and she tries to resist the siren song of a nearby pizza stand. Too late: she's already chowing down on fresh, hot pizza, and the curry can wait for a bit.

Despite these setbacks, January 1st was still a wonderful success for all the girls, and they'll remember this New Year's Day for a long time to come. Anyone can ring in the new year, but these happy campers did it while in their element, in the great outdoors, making it that much more special. May it be another great year of camping trips and adventure in Mother Nature.

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