There’s a lot of things I love about anime that makes me want to watch it far more than live-action TV shows. Anime is a far more beautiful medium, an advantage of it’s artistic style, that’s the big one. But there’s another massive reason why I love anime as much as I do and that’s the ability to make any idea come to life and make sense in its own absurdity. Shows like FLCL, Gurenn Lagann and Azumanga Daioh can exist in the anime universe, these shows would never make it past its first draft if it was a live-action show. That’s a huge part of why I love anime, no idea is a bad idea and in the right hands, any concept can work.
Amagi Brilliant Park is one of those concepts that in theory shouldn’t work very well but does. The show is basically what would happen if you made a show about a literal magical theme park like Disneyland and made it real. Now that sounds like a pretty normal children’s show concept and you’d be right, this is where anime comes in. Take that children’s show level of concept and then flip it upside and turn it into a more adult themed show complete with alcoholic mascots, girls in skimpy bikinis and a whole ton of fighting, but you still get the cute magical theme park show as the base of it all. That’s Amagi Brilliant Park and only anime could do this.
The premise of the show is ridiculous as it is, which only adds to the absurdity of the universe it’s set in. Seiya is your typical perfect pretty boy who through Sento, a stealthy quiet girl who’s very good with a rifle, he gets dragged into the problems this magical park is having. The park is a bridge between another world where all these mascots actually exist and live in and because of many issues at the park, they are in danger of being closed. In order to avoid this, they have to gain 500,000 entrants into the park by a certain date. And for some reason (anime logic), Seiya’s the only person left that can help them obtain that goal. This ranges from many ideas like certain special attractions, promotions, new laws and regulations within the park, several different ideas coming together to make the park work out.
The show after it gets its introductions out of the way turns into a show that I would be comfortable in showing to people…so long as they’re above the age of 16. It so weird watching the show and you know that everything your watching would’ve normally been a children’s level of a show, but then the anime pulls out so many more mature things and tosses it in out of nowhere, like the main mascots of the show (pictured above) going to a bar every day to drink themselves into a coma. Or in effort to bring out more people to the park, they have all the cutest human girls at the park, put them in swimsuits (including the tiny loli princess, who’s probably in the skimpiest bikini of them all) and have them dance around like cheerleaders in a pure fanservice commercial. You think you’re watching something normal and the anime constantly reminds you otherwise.
The show is still extremely entertaining though, the absurdity of its premise a major part of why. Of course it’s hilarious watching a cat mascot getting drunk off its ass, of course it’s hilarious watching a shark mascot that only gets scary when it’s actually in water, otherwise it’s a giant puss. There’s a lot to love in the show, whether it’s the absurd cast of characters, the stupid shenanigans they all get into and at the same time there are plenty of adorable Disney-level moments along with it. It’s not all booze, fights and swimsuits.
In particular though, Sento runs away with the show, at least for me. I always enjoy the emotionless badass type of female characters, girls like Fremy Speeddraw, Koito Minase and Iris Shirasaki come to mind for me. Sento while an integral role in the show and she does speak more and more over the course of the show, she’s very reserved, very devoid of emotion and yet super interesting to me and I can’t take my eyes off her. And before you start, her chest is not the reason why, I’m not easily sucked in by massive tits when it comes to anime girls. What Sento does offer is a whole lot of emotionless material which as it always works for me, it means that much more when she does show some emotion and it makes her super adorable when she’s unsure how to deal with the obvious feelings that she develops for Seiya over the course of the anime. There’s some real gold with Sento over the 13 episodes of the show.
But for the most part, the show is just a 13-episode series of shenanigans, ridiculous situations and the occasional fanservice for those who are mature enough to handle it (and not complain about it immediately thereafter). Amagi Brilliant Park is just a fun watch, it’s not anything super memorable, it’s not a show that’s so shocking you’ll remember it, so well-written that you’ll remember it, it’s just a show that you can sit down and just enjoy. You don’t need to be dead focused on it, you don’t have to remember a bunch of information, you just have to be able to sit down and let the show tell its extremely wacky story and just enjoy it.
I wish more anime would do that instead of trying to be super serious at the end.