Friday, 30 January 2015 19:51

Amagi Brilliant Park (TV, 2014)

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Overview

Pop Quiz! Exceedingly hot girl with huge knockers shoves a flintlock she stole from Mami Tomoe into your face and informs you that you will go out with her on a date. What do you do? WHAT! DO! YOU! DO!? If you answered anything other than "Go out with her, of course." then you probably deserve the extra ventilation you're about to receive. In the case of our main character, Seiya Kanie, he chose far wiser, and not only went with her on a date, he found out said date was more of an excuse to get him to the failing amusement park, Amagi Brilliant Park, and to listen to its owner's request that he help her save it...or she and those working there will surely die. And so begins the adventures of Kanie as the new Manager of this park, finding both that he's damn good at that job and that is has several things to teach both him and those within about themselves and about each other; all the while the foreclosure of the park looms its shroud of death over them all.

Review

Amagi Brilliant Park is a series of light novels by Keishō Yanagawa, the same guy who brought us Full Metal Panic, and was adapted into a 13 episode anime for the 2014 Fall Season, and is quite possibly the most bit of light hearted fun I've had watching an anime in quite some time. Rather than having the balls to the wall war, battles, and doom that 'Full Metal Panic' and 'Full Metal Panic: The second Raid' had, this lends itself more to the feeling one gets while watching 'Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu'. While it does have an overarching plot, it's extremely episodic in storytelling, with each episode having its own storyline and conclusion rather than each one leading into the next and the next. I would say this is actually how episodic stories should be done, unless you're going to go full blown 'Slice of Life' in which case, the vague overarching plot of things like, 'Living Happily' or 'Going to School' or 'Growing Up' tend to work for those. In any event, this does do 'Slice of Life' fairly well, but it never forgets that it's also working forward to something...and if you forget that countdown at the end of each ep, ala 'Mahoromatic' will remind you.


The characters are both quirky and interesting. Unlike so many anime now adays, who cannot help but write the tropes, and only the tropes, these characters, while embodying certain archetypes, are also far more than such shallow personages could ever hope to be. Seiya Kanie, our earstwhile protagonist, tries his best to be the overconfident 'all shall love me' type, but through it all you see that it's all an act. You can tell this is a man who gives a shit, has a distinct dislike of certain assholes, and if it's in his power, capable of trying to save people who he finds needing him to save them. He can be a bit of a jerk at times, but he is a good man, and good does not mean being 'nice'. Isuzu Sento is the girl with the flintlock (I swear to God, she ripped it off of Mami Tomoe) who has issues interacting with people and thus, not every effective people management skills, due to her obvious military and guardian upbringing from an extremely early age. Quite honestly, she's also one of the most beautifully drawn anime ladies; easily up there with Rias Gremory and Urd in the extremely sexy hot department. Still, you can see this girl grow and change through the series, and its quite adorable how she and Kanie dance around each other from time to time. Other characters include Latifah, the princess of Maple Land and owner of Amagai Brilliant Park, who is just all around a moe woobie nice girl. This doesn't stop them from getting her in a bikini to shoot a commercial for the place...though she really doesn't have anything up top to fill it, heh. Moffle, her uncle (and if you've seen 'Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu' you'll recognize him immediately) is kind of a dick, but also genuinely gives a shit about the people around him and of her especially. Everyone else is pretty fun in their way too, from the hilarious practical jokes of Macaron to the alternating function and dysfunction of the Elementals, Muse, Salama, Sylphy, and Kobory, and everyone else besides, it's truly a fun ride with all these guys that are there to entertain you...much like the trip you take with the characters of 'Ouran Host Club'.


The animation itself is smooth, and very bright and vibrant, much like the park itself (or how the park is supposed to be, heh), and the character designs should be familiar as they harken back to the 'Full Metal Panic' series. And then there's a certain blink-and-you-miss-it scene that was...glorious. While it's not really what I notice most on women, I can appreciate a nice ass, and Sento...she has a DAMN fine one. In fact, she tends to make bathtime so much fun. There's really not much more to say in this regard; it's bright, cheery, and flows pretty well. These kinds of things are nice sometimes.


The music itself was a higher than average quality. Not to the level of 'Onegai Teacher' or 'Cowboy Bebop' it's still a level above the guys just doing their jobs and making a score to fit the scenes.


Conclusion

In short, if you can watch it, I'd recommend one doing so. It's a wonderfully lighthearted anime despite that doom and gloom that's in the background. It's not perfect by any stretch; some have complained about it being a little too whimsical at times. Myself, I would complain that they didn't explore the 'evil' wizard nearly enough. Their explanation for him was half assed. I mean, I get what that they were trying to hint at something concerning his motivations and what he's really responsible for, but they never quite come out and accuse him of it openly...which puts Maple Land in a very bad light. Others might complain about not being able to see Sento's boobs, and while I have no defense against that complaint, I will point out that we got a REALLY good shot of her heart shaped bottom (which was far more protracted in the manga). Here's to hoping there will be a second season in the near future.

Additional Info

  • Title: Amagi Brilliant Park
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto
  • Studio: Kyoto Animation
  • Network: TBS, BS-TBS
  • Format: Television
  • Episodes: 13
  • Animation: Groovy (+5)
  • Writing: TOASTY! (+4)
  • Pacing: Very Good (+3)
  • Voice Acting: TOASTY! (+4)
  • Soundtrack: Very Good (+3)
Last modified on Friday, 30 January 2015 20:05

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