Amagi Brilliant Park: Episode 13 — KyoAni’s Meh-ta Commentary On Anime Production

I didn’t want to use a pun in my title, but whatever. I can swallow a little pride if it means a few more link clicks.

Anyways, I’m very amused at the surprised (and negative) reactions I’ve been reading regarding how the last episode of Amagi Brilliant Park was nothing more than the park employees goofing off. It’s not like final episodes that should have been an OVA are a new thing in anime, plus let’s be honest, none of us really watched this show for the “plot” anyways – although it did help to prevent the comedy from entering “random” Nichijou territory. We watched it because we wanted to see the mascots hurt themselves and each other due to being complete morons. We watched it to see the bizarre reactions created when the real human world meets the hyper-real fairy world. We watched it because when the show was funny, it was really funny. The plot was just an excuse/setup in order for the jokes to exist, the same way Gonzo’s FMP adaptation can be seen as setup for Fumoffu to exist.

So now that the hit-and-miss setup is done and over with, Amagi Brilliant Park is free to deliver the laughs, right? Well…yes, but it would have helped if the laughs this week actually produced, um, laughs.

Here’s the premise for the episode: Tricen (the triceratops) is trying to create a new promotional video for the park, because Kanye thinks his first draft is too plain. Therefore, he asks the other employees for advice and ends up putting all of their ideas in it, leading to the result most people probably would have expected: a complete clusterfuck that is completely inappropriate for its intended audience. And given that this is current KyoAni, you also get a bunch of their in-joking with references to Fumoffu? as well as nods to Fiddy’s continuing crush on Kanye in the process.

But this time, they go a step further and basically comment on anime production in general (particularly their own) throughout the entire plot of this episode. Tell me you weren’t thinking about troubled production decisions when the characters were spouting out nonsense regarding how the PV needed violence, sex appeal, moe, and just plain randomness in order to create an impact and draw a crowd. Although I don’t know what real-life anime crew would think showing a horse giving birth on-screen is a good idea at all, let alone as the ending of your product(barring the crew behind this anime I mean). There’s ending on a strong note and there’s showing baby animals coming out of their mother’s ass.

And just to make things funnier, it turns out that it did draw a crowd. Said clusterfuck of a PV was uploaded to the Internet and got over a million views and 70,000 comments in the span of a few hours. Anime fans, man. They’ll watch anything regardless of quality as long as it has elements that intrigue them.

Yeah, in theory, this episode should have worked been a riot. The problem is that in addition to the commentary not being all that subtle or unique, the punchlines just weren’t strong. A big reason for that is that the episode didn’t do the setup correctly. In addition to the commentary, KyoAni wanted to give a send off to every single character in this show – minus the shark for some reason – by having them all contribute to Tricen’s final product, and given how big the cast is, the edge of the show’s content had more time to grow dull than it should have.

This might have been tolerable if some of the “asking” was done in a montage, but each minor character had an individual scene that ranged from a few seconds to a minute long devoted to them because we need to give their voice actors something to say I guess. Maybe if the asking itself was funny, but after Tiramie’s input, it just becomes kind of “there” so to speak. And it definitely didn’t help that they reveal clips of what’s going to be in the final product ahead of time – thus lessening the impact of when the final product does arrive – with the only joke being “something strange happens, causing Tricen and Fiddy to comment on it”. If that’s your kind of humor, fine. But even so, the only things that were really strange enough to be funny was Jack falling off a cliff, Ashe ironing something whilst parachuting, and Cordain’s very existence (and it was only chuckle-worthy at best). Not exactly Jaws-level humor here.

In my opinion, the beginning of this episode and the ending of this episode was where all the best humor was. And not just because the beginning had the mascots acting like characters from Rambo, although that helped a ton, but because it focused on the three stooges aka the funniest characters of the show. Whilst the ending wasn’t as funny as I hoped it to be, the final result was still fun to watch (particularly since the “ending” wasn’t shown to us prior, even if it was foreshadowed in a really obvious way) and the final punchline at least it gave me something to think about after the episode was over. Unfortunately, the rest was just a bunch of chuckle-worthy-at-best setup that actually made me glad when the ending theme song came about. Whilst I appreciate Amagi going to do what it does best for its final episode, this isn’t really the show at its best, if you get what I mean.

Does this kinda tepid “okay at best” finale ruin my enjoyment of the show overall? Of course not. In addition to the fact that you can pretend last week was the final episode, I still enjoyed enough about the episode as a whole, even if it was mostly on a meta-level (something I can’t say for Bahamut’s latest installment), and I’m still all for a Fumoffu-type sequel to come out of this franchise sometime down the road. Just please KyoAni, if it does come, make them more like the middle episodes of this series and less like this episode.

PS: It was funnier than the earlier slapstick episodes though, I’ll give it that. The Elementario episode too, but that’s a really low bar, so…

7 responses to “Amagi Brilliant Park: Episode 13 — KyoAni’s Meh-ta Commentary On Anime Production

  1. The Jaw and pirate episode is definitely the best episode for me.
    It clearly shows that we are not watching this for the plot, to begin with.

  2. This episode was alright, the birthing scene aside. I agree that the completed PV would have been funnier to watch if some of the ideas were not shown earlier.

    Overall, Amagi was a nice watch, more so for the comedy.