So it turns out I was slightly wrong last week regarding this show’s formula. It is episodic, but it doesn’t necessarily always have to focus on a character so much as focus on one the park’s troubles and how to solve it – as shown by the episode’s title (speaking of which, next week is focused on getting more people) – and the tone will either be primarily comedic or primarily dramatic depending on the situation (edit: but they’ll both exist regardless). In this case, the 30 yen rule that Kanye made two weeks ago ended up backfiring, so he has to explore the stadium on the far side of the park in order to find treasure to sell, meaning this episode would lean more towards to the slapstick side of this slapstick drama. This leads to a pretty funny punchline that I won’t dare spoil, but needless to say, it’s pretty clever. There will always be an attempt to be touching at the end, Gravity Falls-style, because amidst all the slapstick and stuff, we have to keep in mind that these mascots have their lives riding on the park at the end. But it was handled much better here than last week – partly because they slipped the punchline I mentioned earlier into the sap, leading to a hilarious tonal dissonance.
With all that said, I have one big question regarding this Indiana Jones meets real-life MMO park attraction that was spotlighted in this week’s episode: who the fuck thought this attraction was a good idea?!
I am not surprised at all that this thing was closed off and Kanye’s posse is only the second group ever to enter this attraction. Because it’s dangerous as hell. I mean what is up with these blade traps? Those looked very real, and even if they weren’t, they look like they cause serious pain at that speed. And the same with the (of course) Indiana Jones-style boulder trap. What happens if you get customers who avoid the gym? Even if it’s fake, you’re still going to get hurt in some capacity if that thing hits you. I don’t think customers would be very happy about going to an attraction where you can get physically injured, you know?
Oh, and I just had to love the weapons they give you in order to fight the “bad guys”. Those “pig-men that are really moles” must be a thousand times more durable than the fucking dragon, because the weapons they give you are fucking insane. A shovel? A stun gun? Molotov cocktails?! Was Landon the one who proposed this idea or something? What would happen if you brought little kids to this thing? Those weapons can hurt the user more than they hurt the victim if you don’t know how to handle them properly.
And there’s this. I don’t need to explain how dangerous this is, right? Kanye’s reaction afterwards made me chuckle though. Plus it also functioned as a nice way to convey how much he’s grown to care about Fiddy.
On a more serious note I understand that this episode was trying to recreate what made Fumoffu so hilarious, but I was laughing more at the absurdity of the situation than the actual gags. I can see the jokes and a bunch of them are clever, but they don’t land nearly as hard here as they do with Fumoffu. Part of the problem is the art direction not really conveying the violence in the same manner as when Bonta-kun stomped on a guy’s crotch in his Fumoffu debut. Part of the problem is the self-awareness that’s been plaguing every single LN adaptation over the past few years. Pointing out that the boulder trap is old is in of itself, a cliche by this point in time. And of course, a lot of the more clever jokes are kind of dry whilst I’m more into the bombastic side of comedy. It’s funnier upon rewatch to be fair – I rewatched parts of this episode in order to write this post and I did laugh more whilst doing so – so maybe Amagi is like Dr. Strangelove in that you need to soak it all in before you can fully appreciate it. Space Dandy had episodes like that as well.
They did work Kanye’s Geass-like power into the show for the first time in three weeks though. Been wondering whether they just forgot it existed.
Anyways, there’s a lot more to say regarding how hellish this theme park ride is and how it tributes MMOs better than most MMO anime we get these days and all – although you’ll have to ask E. Minor whether it tributes it effectively, but I think I’ve said enough. Just watch it yourself and you’ll see what I mean. Let’s not spoil an overall enjoyable episode of Amagi with my rambling shall we?