Yuru Camp was one of the most beloved anime from 2018 thanks to its relaxing atmosphere, lovably quirky characters, and idyllic depictions of Japanese camping hotspots. A second season of the show has been announced and a series of shorts titled Heya Camp recently finished airing. Alongside all the winter anime which recently wrapped up airing, the live-action version of Yuru Camp’s first season also ran its course. Live-action adaptations of successful anime series are nothing new, but does the live-action version of the show carry the same relaxing mood when you replace the animated girls with real ones?
Fans should not expect any drastic departures from the anime when viewing the live-action show. Rather than going for a new interpretation or new story, the live-action Yuru Camp can be considered an almost one-to-one adaptation of the anime. In fact, the show ends up being incredibly close to how the anime plays out, with only a few minor changes to inconsequential dialogue. It remains so faithful to a point where certain scenes are shot from the same angles and cuts are made in the same places as with how the anime was. Even the little fourth-wall-breaking sequences from the anime, such as the talking pinecones and cut-in where characters provide camping tips are present. These little touches at first seem to be there just to hook in fans from the Yuru Camp anime, yet are integrated well and don’t feel out of place.
It’s clear that the direction of the live-action is geared towards remaining faithful to the Yuru Camp anime. This becomes apparent when taking a look at the choice of casting and costuming. The costumes ensure that all the characters are immediately recognizable. Despite the lack of colorful anime hair, the show managed to give the cast in Yuru Camp the characters’ trademark hairstyles, such as Rin having her topknot bun and Chiaki sporting her fringe and ponytail combo.
Additionally, all the actresses do a great job portraying their characters in a way that is nearly identical to their anime counterparts. Haruka Fukuhara, who plays Rin Shima, does a great job portraying her stoic and laid back personality, while also showing a range of emotions for the comedic scenes. Nadeshiko Kagamihara’s actress, Yuno Ohara, perfectly conveys Nadeshiko’s vibrant energy for an endearing performance.
It seems that the live-action version of the cast are more emotive due to being portrayed by real people, whereas the anime’s art style was relatively simplistic. This has the downside of a few scenes being awkward or goofy, while scenes that were run-of-the-mill in the anime can appear unnatural with the human actors.
Perhaps the biggest draw of the live-action version is the cinematography of the multitude of location shots. As a show about being outdoors and camping in scenic areas, the anime put extra emphasis on the artwork for the setting and landscapes to truly create a feeling of comfort or awe, depending on where each episode took place. For the live-action, the scenes were filmed on location and, in some ways, seeing the locations that were originally just drawn in the anime gives the viewer a greater appreciation of the area. Seeing an aerial panoramic shot or watching the Sun rise behind Mount Fuji can be breathtaking and really puts into perspective the joy of the outdoors.
The Yuru Camp live definitely brings back good memories from one of the most beloved and comfy shows in recent years. There’s something to seeing these girls brought to life, enjoying delicious campfire food in a picturesque landscape, that really brings out a feeling of tranquility. For fans of the original show or for people who need something to watch before the anime’s second season comes out, the Yuru Camp live-action is worth checking out.