Amagi Brilliant Park Ep. 8: There’s a little Kanye in all of us

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Sound the alarms! Kanye has fallen ill! ‘Cause y’know, they’ve been working super hard and everything.

— No seriously, the official explanation is that he caught a cold from working too hard. But even in his sick bed, Kanye wants to do his paperwork. Now that’s dedication. But isn’t this a waste of his talents? Can’t he delegate this responsibility to the average paper-pusher?

— Fiddy suddenly appears in the infirmary and tries to seduce Kanye, but the giant zipper tag on her head is a dead giveaway. Yeah, what we saw at the end of last week’s episode was just Tiramie showing off his Fiddy suit. I don’t even want to know how these perverted mascots got it to look so accurate. In any case, they’re having a blast teasing their sick boss.

— And oh yeah, we should’ve known a pure-hearted maiden like Fiddy would never be so forward. If you’re a shipper and you want to see Kanye and Fiddy get together by the end of this series, don’t hold your breath.

— The mascots pretty much have a recipe for disaster: have someone wear a Kanye suit and go to school in his place. For the first day, that someone ends up being Fiddy, but still, what would be so bad with missing a few days of school?

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— But on a more important level, this is yet another episode that has, well, nothing to do with improving the park. It’s funny, really. It feels like we’re watching a spin-off series. Like in some parallel universe, I watched the actual Amagi Brilliant Park and greatly enjoyed it. Then emboldened by the show’s success, KyoAni decided to release a bunch of side stories that are tangentially related to the main stories. And seeing as how I so greatly enjoyed the original series, I also enjoyed the spinoff! Alas… the spinoff is the real thing, and the main story is still MIA with only a month left in the season to go.

— Apparently, Shiina has a crush on Kanye, but that’s to be expected. This is an anime, after all. If you’re a main character, you pretty much have to beat cute anime babes off of you with a stick. The ugly part? She’s almost half his height.

— He (she?) then opens his locker to find a love letter inside it. No one’s blowing up the locker this time, I see. It later turns out that the girl had slipped the letter into the wrong locker (she really likes some guy by the name of Kimura instead), but Fiddy-as-Kanye makes the mistake of treating her with kindness. As a result, she has a crush on Kanye now. Man, it’s hard to be an anime main character.

— The following day, it’s Macaron’s turn to play pretend-Kanye. Needless to say, he does a terrible job of it. He tells a teacher off, he scares Shiina away, and last but not least, he ends up losing his head over the whole love letter ordeal. It’s a long story. Still, he manages to keep the love story between Kanye and Kanae going, so hey, that’s something!

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— You can see where the story is going, though. Each day is just going to get worse and worse as crazier people take over. I’m not sure why Fiddy couldn’t handle all four days herself, but hey, this is for our amusement.

— When it’s Tiramie’s turn, he does about as well as you’d expect him to. More importantly, he bombs it with Kanae. See? It’s not that hard to remember someone’s name.

— Finally, Moffle takes a crack at being Kanye for a day. Our short-tempered bear predictably loses it at first, but when he suddenly goes on a rant, we actually learn something interesting about him — something that has to do with Latifah and her mother as well. He clearly has the best day out of the four. When juxtaposed with the the confused looks on the faces of Kanae’s friends, his super-serious and super-sad story about losing his love to a bitter rival actually made me laugh.

— Having recovered from his illness, Kanye shows up in a Kimura costume to save the day… because hey, he’s the main character, so he’s always got to save the day. And for that, Shiina likes him even harder.

— All in all, it’s a light-hearted episode that doesn’t advance the story whatsoever. Instead, it tries to offer characterization on the four Kanye wannabes. Unfortunately, the episode doesn’t even try to subvert our expectations. Outside of Moffle, of course. Even if the anime is going for humor, this was still a golden opportunity to see our mascots in a new environment and have them grow a bit as characters. No, they don’t have to grow up before our very eyes, but we could have at least seen another facet to their personalities. But for the most part, Amagi Brilliant Park goes for the easy jokes.

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— Like I’ve said, every recent episode has felt like an inconsequential side story. The anime is basically Fumoffu with one crucial difference: there isn’t a bigger picture to help us really and truly appreciate these light-hearted moments. For example, Sousuke’s bizarre logic totally works on the battlefield, because he’s a child soldier. As such, it’s even funnier when we see him try to fit in with normal society. If we just started watching Fumoffu without knowing anything about Sousuke, I’m sure you could still laugh at his antics, but you’d be missing out on a lot of context and characterization. The point is, Amagi Brilliant Park obviously has the Fumoffu feel all over it, but it’s missing that same context and level of characterization. We’re getting the dessert without the main course. The shower without the workout. The cuddling without the sex. Dessert is still enjoyable by itself. Showers are still satisfying by themselves. And of course, cuddling is still enjoyable by itself. So by itself, Amagi Brilliant Park is a mostly decent experience… but it could’ve been more. The anime dubs itself a slapstick drama, but there really isn’t any drama to speak of.

— Unless, of course, you count Fiddy looking sad when she sees Kanye effortlessly interacting with Latifah as drama… then gosh, I guess we have drama. But c’mon… why would you ever pick Latifah over Fiddy?

— I guess next week’s episode will finally have something to do with the fairies.

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9 thoughts on “Amagi Brilliant Park Ep. 8: There’s a little Kanye in all of us

  1. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

    That’s a pretty interesting parallel you’ve drawn, and I think that’s the issue with most anime moe-moe comedies: there’s just fluff without substance.

    What makes Watamote work as a manga is how witty and down-to-earth it is, but as an anime it excels further because of those moments of heartfelt drama. I mean the manga has them too here and there, but at least once per episode of the anime we got so see a glimpse of the humanity beneath the goof. Tomoko blurting out something stupid due to her anxiety over speaking to two boys in the rain was funny, but seeing her cry in the public restroom because she worked herself up over it wasn’t. The exchanges she had with her brother was gold, but then there were moments when she genuinely questioned why the two siblings grew apart. That comical moment of her brother walking into his room to find a cicada husk on his table wasn’t just funny but heartwarming as you came to understand what Tomoko intended by doing that (though in reality she just left a dead bug shell on his desk).

    You can have zany erratic comedy like Excel Saga but if you want to be more than that you’ll need to actually put in effort to be more. Learn nuance and write characters that resonate with the audience on a real level.

    Nothing, not a single thing in this show has any life in the way that a real comedy/drama should. It’s set piece after set piece with failed humor and limp attempts at evoking something from the viewer, and honestly I don’t know if it ever had a chance to be anything else from the start. Unlike Fumoffu which had a base to work from, unlike Watamote which took time to humanize what would otherwise be a punching bag, this show has nothing.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I always think the best comedies are the ones where there’s a bit of pathos behind the characters. Just pure comedy has never worked for me. Life is funny because it can be ironically tragic at times. We laugh to make light of these moments. I prefer this sort of storytelling over just wacky humor.

      Reply
  2. Valerie

    I actually enjoyed this episode. (But it does feel like it should be an ova or something.)

    The part with the evil kids and where that student punches his head and freaks out was so funny to me!

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I’m surprised that it took this long for the anime’s Obligatory Girl Love Interest No. 2 to come out of the woodwork. But then again, a lot of this show is coming in slowly. Well at least Girl No. 2 is a little more visually interesting than generic main-girl Fiddy.

    I’m getting the feeling that this show is trying SO HARD to not just become a harem show or at least a pseudo-harem show. Like I said before, the cast and formula is right there: all the unique girls that play to a viewer’s preference in a girl and a meh-tier male lead that secretes the almighty and powerful aphrodisiac of anime-style apathy that drive all the girls crazy.
    I guess a man trying to do his job and be a human being is enough to spark romantic interest in these types of stories.

    The caliber of humor of this show is something like reading a joke that your friend told over a text message. The joke is “there” but the delivery itself is mostly absent as opposed to if you went to stand-up comedy with a comedian that you like.
    It won’t make you laugh, smile or give off any physical indication of enjoyment, and more of the “Eh, that’s fine I guess”.

    At least this show is better than the pile of generic that’s called Inou Battle. You’d think that even a B-Team at Trigger would be able to make something more interesting than the A-Teams at other studios.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I’m surprised that it took this long for the anime’s Obligatory Girl Love Interest No. 2 to come out of the woodwork.

      If you’re referring to Shiina, she’s arguably number three. Even if Latifah doesn’t realize it yet, she’s a candidate for Kanye’s love.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Well, Latifah did that whole “kiss the boy”-thing and apparently has a past with Kanye. So yeah.

        I’m willing to take bets that marriage is going to come into play here. C’mon, she’s an ojou/hime-sama, prospects of marriage are like 50% why they’re included in stories at all.

        Reply
  4. sonicsenryaku

    looks like the sort-of romantic triangle is starting to rear it’s head. Honestly, I have no preference for who Kanie ends up with, mainly because i can see why each one would be viable to him. While Kanie has that at-work chemistry with Sento (one of the reasons why their coupling is so appealing), latifa and him have a more relaxed relationship. The best way i can describe it is that latifa and kanie’s relationship feels more like a best friend who you can just be yourself around, hence the crestfallen look isuzu has at the end as she watches them banter. She doesnt quite have that with him. Again, i can see why both choices would be viable and either one would be fine with me, granted the characterization of these people is fleshed out and executed well.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      No one’s really serious about who he ends up with (if anyone). I’m just ribbing Latifah’s character because she’s boring.

      Reply

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