Kanade Sora is into a couple things, but going to a music festival wasn’t something she was enthused about doing. But her friend Otoha convinces her to go after saying one of Kanade’s favorite bands will be performing at the festival. That seemingly simple mention gets Kanade to dress up and go to the festival. Little did she know that making that choice would spur a new desire within her!
Days on Fes is not actually Laid-Back Camp, but I couldn’t help but think about that series while reading this first volume. The manga gives us two different groups who each happen to enjoy going to music festivals. The first is Kanade and Otoha, two high schoolers with a sense of style and energy that they each display when they go the festival. Otoha is the one who goes consistently so she knows what to expect, but Kanade is wide-eyed at all the new experiences, from the performers to the food to where they even hang out to listen to the bands, and it’s quite fun to see.
The second group involves a college student, Ritsuru, and his boss, Gaku. The reason why Otoha had to invite Kanade was because her older brother had work to do at his café, with said café being run by Gaku! While Ritsuru and Gaku seem like two completely distinct personalities — Ritsuru is almost unbearably pessimistic about much of life while Gaku is edging closer to his 30s and is somewhat positive and forward-thinking — they each happen to like festivals. While we got to see Kanade and Otoha go on a trip, we get to see Ritsuru and Gaku not only attend a festival but even camp overnight!
And yes, that’s where the intrigue lies! Well, one part of it for sure. There’s a level of care in what they need to take, what they have to wear, and particular idiosyncrasies (especially for Gaku) that’s quite engaging. Also, not surprisingly, you need money to actually go and enjoy these festivals, so the manga shows that off a bit, and it also shows how two high school girls feel when earning all that money. While the personalities are pretty typical, the enjoyment the characters get out of planning and taking part in the festival is enjoyable.
The humor is pretty on-point as well; ranging from Otoha’s attempt of using her youth as an excuse to run from one end of the festival to the other to hear a band perform (only to exhaust herself) to whatever type of dance Gaku’s attempting as he listens to the beats, there’s a level of energy that works in this manga’s favor. The art works well too, though you can question whether all the characters are drawn well or if the music part is done well. Though from what we can see so far, it’s mostly about people passionate about these festivals.
And Days on Fes is a fun example of that. Between its fashion sense, humor, and pacing, this was a breeze to read from start to finish. You wonder how long it can run considering it’s just simply about festivals, but that’s of little concern. These characters (well, Ritsuru needs to stop drunk talking) are pretty neat, and the focus on festivals is a good one. You add that and the number of details and planning, and there’s much to enjoy and look forward to with this manga.