Today I am reviewing an anime set in an amusement park, which is rather sweet. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve theme parks. The best vacation I ever had for example was a family trip to Florida. Mornings would begin with a game of TMNT: Turtles in Time, at the hotel arcade, followed by an afternoon in places such as SeaWorld and Universal Studios. I also have good memories of playing the business management sim Theme Park on Sega Genesis. Said title taught me that companies boost their drink sales by coating their fries with thirst inducing salt. How sneaky!
Most teenagers would be ecstatic if the big-breasted transfer student, in their class, invited them on a date to the local amusement park. That’s exactly what happened to Seiya Kanie when well-endowed Isuzu Sento approached him one fateful day. The date however was actually a tour of the park’s facilities. Sento, who is employed by the titular Amagi Brilliant Park, has coerced Kanie to visit the establishment with the aims of appointing him the new park manager. It’s an offer he can’t refuse… mainly because declining would result in Sento blasting him with an enchanted musket, which despite being non-lethal is very painful.
Kanie assumes control of Amagi because the park’s owner, a sickly princess named Latifah Fleuranza, is far too ill to meet the demands of her position. All that Latifah can do, to help Kanie revitalize the struggling park, is lend morale support, feed him with tasty croquettes and plant a smooch on his lips that bestows Kanie with mind reading powers. Princess? Magic powers? Oh yeah. I forgot to mention that most of the staff at Amagi hail from the fantasy kingdom of Maple Land. They work in our world because human happiness is the sustenance that keeps them alive.
Over the course of thirteen episodes (and one OVA) Kanie is tasked with rescuing Amagi from closure by attracting half a million customers to the park by the end of July. Aiding him is royal guard Sento, his overly serious secretary, who develops feelings for her new teenage boss, over the course of the series. The potential romance doesn’t go beyond awkward blushing though, because when it comes to flirting anime characters have less game than me. A countdown that appears at the end of each episode indicates how close Kanie is to reaching his goal.
Amagi Brilliant Park has a huge cast of quirky supporting characters. The lineup includes numerous mascots who appear to be guys in costumes, but in actuality are humanoid animals. Moffle a feisty chap, who resembles Bonta from Full Metal Panic, is the park’s most popular entertainer. Other stars of note include a ram named Macaron and a flirtatious doggie called Tiramy. Amagi’s workforce also includes a quartet of dancing elemental fairies, whose ranks contain a yaoi connoisseur and a redhead who is constantly using her phone. Reminds me of one of my pals. He’ll invite me over for drinks, only to then spend the evening texting and ignoring me in favour of catching critters on Pokémon Go. How rude!
My rating for Amagi Brilliant Park is a three out of five. The series showed potential early on, but in the end was nothing more than a chain of whacky one-off storylines. Amagi’s fate only takes centre stage in the final few episodes, where Kanie is forced to depend on the success of one big event to meet the 500k-visitor target. There isn’t much in the way of character development, aside from Kanie’s growth. In the first episode Kanie is portrayed as a narcissist. Responsibility however moulds him into a capable leader who values the worth of camaraderie. Although the series is a by the numbers light novel adaptation it looks very pretty thanks to KyoAni’s high production values.
The series may not have met all of my expectations, but it was still fun to watch thanks to the jokes. I liked the comedy and the eye candy wasn’t bad either. The prancing fairies look nice, as did the scenes of Sento in the tub. I don’t think that the plot holds up though. Attracting half a million patrons can’t be all that tough if you employ the Bender (Futurama) strategy. All you have to do is build a theme park with Blackjack and hookers. In fact forget about the park and Blackjack. The hookers will suffice, especially when episode one reveals that Amagi is situated next to a love hotel!