Fall 2014 anime season was a bit dry in comparison to Summer. We some how watched two complete 1-cour series and one that will be 2-cour and continue until Winter 2015 season. Onward to the review of Amagi Brilliant Park!
This was an anime that wasn’t on my radar as, for some reason, it wasn’t picked up via the usual streaming places. It wasn’t until Zach and I started seeing gifs on our Tumblr dashes that we got curious and acquired it via other means and began keeping up with it weekly.
Kanie is a high school student, a perfectionist and self-absorbed one at that. He’s approached by a female transfer student and is basically ordered at musket point to come with her to an amusement park. Reluctantly, he takes the bus with her to a run-down amusement park and the female student, Sento, explains that the park is actually staffed by refugees from a magical realm called “Maple Land”, and the park is a facility for harvesting magical energy from park visitors having fun (this goes for all theme parks around the world!). With the park having low attendance, the staff and mascots of the park are in danger of fading from existence. Kanie is brought to their princess, who resides in the park castle as is appropriate, and she asks for Kanie’s aid to help their park gain visitors in the allotted time they have before they all become homeless and disappear.
He refuses at first, but his conscience gets in the way and he begrudgingly starts coming up with ways to improve the staff’s morale and overhaul the maintenance on the place before drawing in crowds. Along the way we meet a lot of the misfits of the park. Mascot characters are the actual characters, no humans underneath, – they walk and talk and perform. Other than the Princess, there are four elemental “fairies” that are human-esque and act as pop idols. Eventually it gets to a point that Kanie starts hiring humans into the park to help out. Through the span of the 13 episodes and many close calls, eventually they get the numbers they need to stay in business/exist.
I read somewhere that said there are few animes that are fun for the sake of fun, and I totally agree. Amagi Brilliant Park offers the type of pure fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously and embraces its premise to the fullest. Being in a theme park, that gives a ton of leeway. Every attraction has its own set of characters that run it and while Kanie learns about the attractions, there’s plenty of adventures and mayhem that ensues.
This is also a series that uses slapstick and visual gags well. With a series like this where everything is rather fantastical, it’s really fun to watch. There are times it gets mildly repetitive, but it gains back with more humor. The fanservice lays on mildly thick from time to time with the likes of the tsundere love interest, Sento, being a rather curvy gal, and the mascot character Tirami being an utter pervert.
While I can’t pin a favorite character, I’d have to say a big strength for the series is how it handles its rather large cast, not to mention a decent line up of seiyuu.
The art style is nice and crisp (Kyoto Animation), I can’t say there was a lot of “quality” happening. Decent score and opening and closing themes. The most disappointing element was probably the ending and how what plot there was, fell short and how Kanie’s poor character development.
Overall, I enjoyed this series. It was fun, light, entertaining and easy to watch. I’d be pleased to see this dubbed one day, but hard to say as it didn’t get streamed on Crunchyroll or Funimation, so any sort of hype it’d get is fairly nonexistent.