A girl named Sento suddenly asks out her classmate Kanie… at the point of a gun. Kanie hence is of course forced to comply. This date occurs at Amagi Brilliant Park, an amusement park that may have been popular long ago, but is currently in a horrible state of affairs. The staff are all failing to do their jobs, everything is in dire need of maintenance, and there is a severe lack of guests. This leads to the obvious question of why Sento chose to bring him here, to which the answer is, that she works there, and the owner wanted to meet him. Hence, he is brought before the owner Latifa, at which point things get weird.
It turns out that the park isn’t staffed by people in costumes, but rather mostly by actual magical being from a fantasy world called Maple Land, which is powered by human happiness. But the issue is, that according to the contract written up when creating the park, if the park doesn’t get 500,000 visitors in a fiscal year, the park will be shut down, which would bring about disaster. They weren’t even close to meeting this quota, at only about 250,000, with the deadline fast approaching. However, a magical oracle had predicted that he, Kanie, would be able to save them, and hence Latifa wanted him to take over as the new manager for the park. Kanie is originally incredibly skeptical, however Latifa ends up bestowing upon him limited mind reading powers, convincing him that it really was the truth, and afterwards a number of other things happen that end up even motivating the incredibly indifferent Kanie to take an interest, so he ends up taking on the job of manager, promising he’ll bring about a miracle and save the park.
Amagi Brilliant Park is a very interesting twist on an amusement park. Having a magical theme park as a setting or having the entire plot based around a dead line aren’t incredibly original, though a bit under used, but due to the cast involved it worked out to seem incredibly unique. The main character is pretty awesome, being a complete narcissist that’s somewhat socially awkward when being friendly but is also incredibly competent and dedicated, but he’s just the tip of the iceberg, and honestly of the main characters on the normal side. Sento is the main heroine I would say, serving as a secretary, but having a very strong character more in line with her rank as a member of the royal guard. And going further to the twisted side of the character spectrum, the three main mascots, that are a mouse, sheep, and earth fairy, are an ex-military commando, an ex-gangster, and a complete pervert respectively. They look cute and cuddly. But they’re personalities are bizarre as hell. That’s a theme found throughout the entire park, where personality doesn’t quite match tropes a lot of the time. There are certainly exceptions, such as Princess Latifa who is very much a stereotypical princess but that too in a way adds variety. Which plays into one of the best aspects of the show, how colorful and diverse the cast is. There are also the four elemental fairies that are completely different but come to grow very close to each other, an ‘indoor’ dragon, a samurai dolphin, ex-wrestler security guards, a business oriented dinosaur, and three very normal human part timers.
Overall, there isn’t much character development for each of the individual characters, even the main ones, but there is tremendous development in how all of them grow close to each other as they face the seemingly impossible, and hence that’s what carries the show. On that note, I was pretty unsatisfied with how Kanie’s and Sento’s relationship really didn’t develop that far, and I would say that is my biggest complaint with the show, especially how it ended on such an awkward note. The plot itself was decent as well, being primarily split up into single episode events that slowly got them closer to their goal, but with an overarching story had some interesting twists, and it ended quite well, though several plot threads still remain unresolved.
KyoAni are incredibly good at what they do, being excellent in terms of animation, design, pacing, etc. and in terms of creating works that really bring out emotion. It is incredibly obvious based on the tone and style of the show that it will end well, but despite that due to how well it is done, there is still a very strong feeling of suspense that really resonates. They’re at a whole other league in this regard I would say. The comedy was also done quite well and the show is very amusing. There were even a couple filler type episodes that don’t relate much to the overall plot well at all, but were still good because of the comedy. The soundtrack was great. The OP was incredibly fitting visually and music wise. The ED was decent. The specials weren’t very good.
If there’s a second season, it needs a new main conflict to tie everything together. Some filler episodes like the last two are fine, but not enough for another season, though I don’t see another season coming honestly. But thankfully it looks like the light novel translation is still active, so there’s that at least.