I’ll be totally honest here: the only reason I began watching this was because I’m a huge KyoAni fanboy and I saw a funny GIF of it somewhere on the Internet. I was expecting a lot from Kyoto Animation to provide a funny, charming, and lasting series like they’ve managed to do several times. However, 8.5 episodes in, I was wondering why I kept watching after nothing made me laugh for several episodes.
Amagi Brilliant Park (甘城ブリリアントパーク) takes place in an amusement park inhabited by strange beings. These beings come from the magical vague world of Maple Land, using the park as a way to generate life force to keep themselves alive. The loli leader of this group asks a high school boy to save the day, which he somehow manages to do through the magical power known as “being the protagonist”, where every single decision he makes, no matter how stupid it may be, ends up benefiting himself in the end.
The premise of this anime is certainly a striking one, so much so that it alone carried me through over half of the entire show. However, with any overused joke or undeveloped idea, the novelty fades quickly and the realization kicks in hard. This show essentially sets up a wacky premise, and instead of following a single, coherent story, decides to create many tangents of little, wacky plot lines, each with their own introduction, conflict, climax, and resolution. This happens every single episode. For something with such a short runtime, it’s bizarre how this was decided to be the most optimal structure, and by Kyoto Animation of all studios. Now for the overused jokes. Oh boy. A premise with vast amounts of room for expansion is flattened by the same jokes over and over again, not just within the show itself, but also relying on common archetypes found throughout a lot of other anime, manga, visual novels, etc.
I don’t like a single one of the characters, including Sento. The main character (don’t remember his name) is a complete asshat but keeps switching to comforting and considerate mode whenever the plot needs it. The trio with Moffle usually is at the butt of many jokes making it the redundant comic relief in a comedy show. They’re not funny. The same jokes with Moffle attacking MC (main character), the pick cat-thing being an idiot pervert, and the sheep-thing being a bully are used over and over again.
Episode eight in particular had the most useless conflict I’ve seen in a while. MC has to attend school, but he’s sick in bed, so the cancerous trio and Sento decide to dress up in a magical MC suit and take his place. First off, call in sick, you moron. Secondly, this is supposed to be about saving an amusement park from closing down, why in the hell do they need to worry about MC’s attendance? Finally, why does each person of this group get a turn inside the suit? Wouldn’t it make a million times more sense to have just one person do the job? Each character’s archetypes are (for the dozenth time) highlighted throughout the “wacky funny” moments of trying to interact with MC’s classmates. See, this is what happens when you become too analytical: stuff like this interferes with my enjoyment of shallowly-written moments.
In conclusion, this series had a striking premise that was barely used, it had annoying, unfunny archetypes that we’re supposed to call “characters”, and it abandoned all logic to try squeezing a laugh out of a situation. I do not recommend Amagi Brilliant Park to anyone.