I'll be the first to admit I'm not a big anime fan, but this adorably chill show about a group of high school girls in a camping club may just convert me. Laid-Back Camp is based on a bestselling manga, and its second animated season aired earlier this year. (Stream both seasons on Crunchyroll.) Falling under the umbrella of relaxing, "cozy" media, Laid-Back Camp is low-stakes TV following the club's members and friends as they travel around to camp at beautiful settings around central Japan, near Mount Fuji. Every adventure includes elaborate and delicious fireside meals, a deep respect for nature and lots of geeking out about cool camping gear. (CHEY SCOTT)
WHITE KNIGHT'S WOKE JOKER
Batman is a menace. A thug. Just look at the bone-crunching extrajudicial brutality, the collateral damage left behind on his insane rooftops car chases, the way he considers himself accountable to no one. This is the case made by many wry cultural critics of the Batman series. And it's a case made, with surprising earnestness, by the Joker in Batman: White Knight, a 2017-era comic book arc that relies on some pharmaceuticals to transform the Joker back into the fresh-faced Jack Napier, who swears his days as the clown prince of crime are over, and that Gotham police should turn their attention to reining in Batman's excesses. And you know what? The artist-formerly-known-as-Joker actually makes a lot of good points. (DANIEL WALTERS)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
There's noteworthy new music arriving in stores and online Oct. 8. To wit:
LALA LALA, I Want the Door to Open. The Chicago songwriter opens up new booming and blooming sonic realms, assisted by pals like NNAMDÏ and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard.
BILLY BRAGG, The Million Things That Never Happened. On his 10th studio album, the firebrand folk activist turns his attention to being an empathetic vessel with tunes like "I Will Be Your Shield."
THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE & I AM NO LONGER AFRAID TO DIE, Illusory Walls. The Epitaph atmospheric post-rock band was clearly named pre-2020. (SETH SOMMERFELD)