What I'm Watching: Yuru Camp △ S2, Kuma3 Bear

  • Yuru Camp △ S2: Following up on S1, S2 goes more into Shimarin's backstory, Nadeshiko does some solo camping, the original club try a cold winter camp and endanger themselves, and then there's a very long arc of a road trip, not entirely "camping". The first parts held my interest and were the kind of relaxing with a few "Ooh, is there danger? There is not!" climaxes that I liked in S1.

The road trip got tedious very quickly, nothing happened except shopping, sightseeing. The background art is lovely, but there's nothing developed or done in any of it. Edit that trip down to 2 eps and wrap some more casual camping at the end, and it'd be a much better season.

★★★★☆

  • Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear: Was recommended as another light, low-conflict show. Isekai but that's almost totally irrelevant to the story. A 15-year-old girl financial wizard Yuna gets sucked into VR MMORPG, with the most ridiculously banal name possible: "World Fantasy Online". That is some grade-A horseshit naming. The claim that this is the "first VR MMORPG" is arrogant, it should be accepted that this is like #25 and they all kill or suck in some players, standard disclaimer in TOS.

Doesn't matter, she gets picked (doesn't even die, or get "hacked" or anything) by Kami-Sama to go to a real fantasy world… with some uber-powerful "bear set" gear, bear pajamas like Lain's but she can shoot fireballs, summon giant bear mounts/combat pets, and gets more and more powers by just grinding low-level "wolf" & "goblin" enemies. In most real MMOs that won't get you past Level 10.

FWO has the totally generic "adventurer's guild" setup, we rarely see what adventurers are capable of but none are on her power level, so it's like Overlord without the goth, pathos, and complex plots. The aristocrats are all vaguely honest; Yuna at first thinks they're going to be tyrants (like anyone who inherits power is IRL), but no. Most monsters are dispatched with a single blast, the few big bad monsters do require a little problem-solving and fight, but there's only a few minutes of that. The few adversaries who show up are never given any backstory, you never see them do any evil work before (there's like one dream-like sequence about one villain… it doesn't matter), you're just told "this is the bad guy!" and it's usually a short fat dude with a moustache. They're then rounded up without any effort.

All Yuna cares about is finding ways to recreate Earth's food, instead of enjoying what they make; making silly bear-shaped houses; and picking up younger girls to mack on. The younger girls squeal at a pitch designed to make me and dogs howl, do not like.

The art's often nice, background music & characters when it's not a small squealing girl. They could have made a good show, instead it's the blandest formula possible.

★★☆☆☆

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