I’m sure a bunch of people are going to be comparing this show to Nichijou or Kyoukai no Kanata – let alone Full Metal Panic – when talking about KyoAni’s new show, but honestly, I got more of a Humanity Has Declined vibe whilst watching the episode.
I’m having a hard time deciphering the logic regarding how Amagi Brilliant Park functions. Apparently, it takes place in a world where citizens from a magical dimension or something have come to the real world, and the only place they can live and work is this amusement park. How? Why? Well I doubt there’s a reason that could convince me, so I’m kinda glad that the show just brushes it off. It brushes off a lot of things too. Girls pointing muskets at a guy’s head is considered normal in this world, apparently. Again, it’s the same sort of “bizarre made mundane” schtick that Humanity drew alot of its humor from. I like it more here because it takes place in the “real world” whereas Humanity’s setting was so foreign to actual humanity that I couldn’t give a shit.
It kinda looks like Amagi is also trying to be some commentary on illegal immigrants in the same bizarre way that Arakawa was, except by means of being dry rather than being…um…Shaft. According to the author though, Amagi is primarily a love letter to amusement parks. I can respect the latter a fair amount. I grew up on going to those. I still enjoy going to them. Still, it’s clear that the story at the forefront is “main dude used to be a child star until something happened in his past, but now he’s being brought to bring an amusement park to life, where he will eventually become light-hearted buddies with everyone, even when he’s exchanging fists with a monkey mascot”. In order to make that sort of “non-exciting” premise be amusing, you need exciting details. Humanity failed me in that regard. Does Amagi do the same?
The story’s execution is passable, but it’s kinda clunky. You remember how agonizingly long the setup was in the third episode of Humanity Has Declined? Well if you don’t get what I’m implying by this, you need help. They try to alleviate the long setup by having the main character call attention to the pointlessness and lifelessness of his amusement park date – and to be fair, I prefer the main dude’s method here than the one in Inou-Battle – but you need actual humor to make that work and because of how “matter of fact” everything is done, the dry humor only came off as chuckle-worthy to me at best. Now the humor actually has punchlines besides “let’s react nonchalantly to this unnatural thing” so it didn’t aggravate me the same way Humanity or the 1998 Avengers film did. Still, it’s not even close to Fumoffu here.
Also, I can’t help but be a little disappointed in the animation here. It’s good of course, but it’s kinda lacking in style. I know most KyoAni shows are, but aside from Lucky Star, everything I’ve seen of this director had a pretty cool eye for cinematography. The comedic timing is pretty good though. I liked how we only get a split-second of the main female’s ass before the main panicked, rather than ten agonizing seconds of panties like in Grisaia. Didn’t stop the more casual fans from overreacting to it though.
Basically, the main reason I’m continuing with this show at the moment is for its hyper-reality nature, the comedic timing being good, and because I like Moffle (that’s the name of the Full Metal Panic bear in this show), even though he doesn’t get much screen time here. I think the way the magic is seen as everyday is pretty cool – and whilst it comes with its own baggage, it’s not Nichijou/Kanata levels of baggage we got here. Most of all, there is an actual plot in this show, and whilst I’m not sure what’ll happen when the show gets past the first volume, it seems the characters will be working towards it with little opportunity for banal SOL antics for now. Of course, if the author still has his Fumoffu mojo, his idea of filler would be way more entertaining than said plot.
Oh, and this amusement park is mean to frogs. It’s worth another episode from me for that fact alone.
PS: Can’t get pictures now, so you’ll have to do with the OP on the top, which will probably be taken down sometime in the future. Maybe I’ll add the pictures later.