As we know, theme and amusement parks can give you the time of your life. But what if the enjoyment you have actually saves another person’s life? Thus is the idea behind “Amagi Brilliant Park”.
Seiya Kanie is a good looking, perfectionist boy (that guy dead center) who is forced by the mysterious Isuzu Sento (the red coat to his left) to visit an amusement park named Amagi Brilliant Park, which is in serious difficulties and about to be closed forever. Forced is right. Seldom do you start a romantic comedy anime with having a blunderbuss shoved in your face and ‘asked’ to come along on a date. Are things really that tough in schools in getting a guy?
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 visitors while they’re having fun. As such, the park is the only way the refugees can maintain their existence in the human realm. Yup, those characters that look like they are in costumes are not costumes, but real magical creatures. Even the Elementarios (those fairies to the left and back three rows) are, well, real fairies as we imagine them to be.
To save the park from closing, Seiya is hired by the owner, Latifah Fleuranza (the princess to his right who is a real princess), to use his skills in entertainment to become its new manager. However, to not lose the land to a real estate agency, they have only three months left to attract 250,000 visitors, a feat that seems impossible given the park’s current situation. The story tells not only as how Seiya turns the park around, but also learns how to better deal with people.
You see, he was a child performer some time ago, but abandoned it, as he wanted a normal life. He has known about Amagi, as it has been around for 30 years, but the people running it (Sento was in charge of it the last year) have no idea what to do and so it has fallen on bad times. As the new manager, he pulls out all the stops to get people in.
The show has some well-defined characters, especially the three main stars, Macaron (the sheep), Moffle (the rat in the hat) and Tirami (the pink cat). During the day, they entertain all the kids; at night, they go out drinking and are lecherous. Moffle and Seiya have knock-down brawls over every aspect of the park, especially since Seiya demands perfection from all, as he demands it of himself.
We see all the perambulations the park goes through in order to attract guests. And when folks from Maple Land show up (he’s hard to see but straight back from center is a walrus pirate), they are able to make things more entertaining and bring in the crowds.
I found it an amusing series, but Seiya made a lot of fundamental mistakes, but I guess that it to play in with the take-charge attitude. Even a prole like me understands profit margins and not selling your item too cheaply. One of the best character designs I have seen in a long time, they also invest in well-defined identities, so they are not cookie-cutter, even when they are cookie cutter (the moles in the front right, for example).
The end of the series is not the end, as there was a last-second revelation that ensures a second season. It is a 12-episode run with the 13th being a filler/throw-away/goofy show about how to attract even more people into the park. This is a show with a lot of heart and desire and the back stories are done with that right balance, so we do not spend a huge amount of time with it (unlike “Grande Road”, more on that in a later review). We also see that most of the folks here are rather hot-headed and quick to respond to provocation, but that is kept in balance as well. This is a strong series and a goodly investment of your time. Oh, and if you couldn’t guess how it would actually turn out, I can sell you a Rulex watch really cheap!
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 9 (Great character design)
Plot 8 (Boilerplate, but done well)
Pacing 8 (Moves along consistently)
Effectiveness 7 (Despite some false starts)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 8 (Even with the joker at the end)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I have a plan.