Blu-ray Review: Amagi Brilliant Park – The Complete Collection

Animatsu Entertainment will be releasing Amagi Brilliant Park – The Complete Collection as a Deluxe Edition Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack within the UK; but what can one expect from the Blu-ray contents of this set and more importantly is Amagi Brilliant Park worthy of your attention? The short answer is Yes; but I share my thoughts of the Blu-ray discs in our latest review.

Synopsis:

Kanie Seiya, a smart and extremely narcissistic high school student, believes that the beautiful but reserved Sento Isuzu has invited him on a date at an amusement park called Amagi Brilliant Park. Much to his chagrin, not only is the location a run-down facility, the supposed date is merely a recruitment tour where Sento and Princess Latifa Fleuranza, the owner of the theme park, ask him to become the park’s new manager. Their cause for desperation? As stipulated in a land-use contract, Amagi has less than three months to meet a quota of 500,000 guests, or the park will be closed for good and the land redeveloped by a greedy real-estate company.

Seiya is won over by the revelation that Amagi is no ordinary amusement park; many of its employees are Maple Landers—mysterious magical beings who live in the human world and are nourished by the energy created by people having fun. Entrusted with the hopes and dreams of this far-off enchanted land, Seiya must now use his many skills to bring Amagi back on its feet, or watch it crumble before his eyes.

Our View:

If Roller Coaster Tycoon was an anime then Amagi Brilliant Park would be the result. Based on the light novel by Shoji Gatoh and animated by Kyoto Animation, the same studio who animated Full Metal Panic FUMOFFU!, Amagi Brilliant Park is an anime series which sees a fictional theme park at risk of closing down if the target number of guests hasn’t been reached. Sounds like your typical survival documentary right? Well the unique aspect here is that all of the parks employees – with the exception of a few people – are actually magical beings that rely on the park for their power.

So what does this actually mean? Well basically it means if the park is closed down the magical power that binds them to this world be gone and as such they will disappear. For some characters, such as Moffle – a character who closely resembles Banto from FULL Metal Panic FUMOFFU! – who have strong ties to the human world, they will be able to survive for a short period of time; but for others – such as the young princess in the castle known as Latifah – it would mean the end of life as they know it. It’s an interesting topic at hand; keep a totally run-down theme park open in order to save the lives of hundreds of magical beings and it works relatively well with each episode offering something different and fun alongside the serious toned nature of survival.

Interestingly though non-of-this is made clear at the beginning of the series; instead viewers are thrust to the theme park when Isuzu Sento, a transfer student who later turns out to be the parks acting manager, drags the perfectionist – and protagonist of the series – Seiya Kanie to the park. At this point it is unclear what is going on and why but as we see the two characters go through the dilapidated park it soon becomes clear that Isuzu is up to something. Several rides (and complaints) later Isuzu admits that she wants Seiya to help her, and the park staff, in bringing the required number of guests to the theme park and while Seiya disagrees at first he soon changes his mind and becomes the acting manager of Amagi Brilliant Park.

It’s here , namely from the second or third episode, where the series really begins to pick up the pace as Seiya, through teamwork with Isuzu, begin to dissect the park and rebuild it to success. Whether it be budget cuts, selling off land or cutting the cost of admission – Seiya does everything in his power to make the park a success. Now this may sound dull – as in watching a group of people keep a theme park open – but alas this is not the only story being told. Naturally the objective of keeping the park open is the main story at hand; but the origins of Princess Latifah – and in turn the curse she has been put under – also raises an interesting topic about the magical powers people wield within the magic world.

Sadly it’s not really a story that dominates the screen time, especially in regards to Latifah’s curse; but each passing episode has some brief encounters with magic – be it the mascots of the theme park or the unique ability that Seiya was granted once being given the job of acting manager.  Truth be told Amagi Brilliant Park is just fun to watch; not soley because of the story but because of the characters.

Each character, be it the mascots, the fairy trio, Latifah, Moffle, Isuzu or Seiyha have their own unique personality and quirks that put together brighten up a series that should be relatively mediocre. Alas though this is not a normal theme park and with new discoveries around each corner it is easy to see why it would keep-on-grabbing your attention for the next episode; especially when achieving the target goal is so important.

Extras:

Although Amagi Brilliant Park offers an entertaining viewing experience the same cannot be said for the amount of bonus content on offer due to its relatively barebones amount of content. Just like every other Sentai Filmwork authored disc master viewers will find a selection of textless opening and closing songs as well as some trailers for other anime shows.

Interestingly though this Blu-ray release contains two variations of the opening song, both regular and ‘Extra Magic International Edition’, but while it may be titled the same it is hard to see (or hear) what the actual difference is; but at least it is included for all of us to see.

Bizarrely the surprises do not end there; as although we have four trailers included – each of which can be found on the second Blu-ray disc – they are videos for other shows which have been licensed by Animatsu or Manga Entertainment UK. It could be coincidence or it could be intentional; but for once it is nice to see promotional material on disc that is linked to the actual distributor rather than just a random selection of videos that are licensed by other distributors or have yet to be license by one. Although this set has a few surprises it is still a relatively barebones release – but only in supplementary content.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50 x1, BD 25 x1
Region: A & B
Running Time:  3:56:37 (Disc 1), 2:04:35 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow & White for translations)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Amagai Brilliant Park is a series that sees high-school-student Seiya Kanie recruited by transfer-student Isuzu Sento to be the acting manager of a theme park in order to achieve targets set by businessmen. Why was Seiya chosen? Because of his perfectionist skills and the ability to overcome any scenario; but why is saving the theme park so important? Well because the employees are actually magical creatures that rely on the power of happiness to stay in this world. With the stage set, and the goal in sight, Seiya, Isuzu and the rest of the staff eventually work together in order to achieve the target number of visitors; but with so little time and pretty much everything against them it’s going to be a lot harder than it sounds.

As you can imagine this isn’t your average theme park, and nor is it your average anime; but while the episodic content will see a new scheme being performed in order to draw in customers the real entertainment comes from its strong list of characters and their unique abilities and quirks.

For instance Princess Latifah’s origin is played out and we learn some harsh secrets about her which further spurs seiya on into succeeding; additionally Isuzu has a strict ‘single-minded’ approach to everything and everyone but she soon opens her heart to Seiya (don’t worry this isn’t a romantic comedy; but it does have the hints of one). The other characters have their own personalities and quirks as well; for instance the mascots (i.e. Moffle etc) each have their own agendas – with some being more perverse than others – while the Elementario (which consist of Muse, Slphy, Kobory and Salama) each have a different personality style that can either lighten up or dampen everyone’s spirits.

Looking back it is hard to say what Amagi Brilliant Park excels at, as its not usually the type of anime show I would go and watch without prior consideration; and other than saving the theme park there really isn’t an alternate agenda. Of course an alternate agenda is teased, which relates to Latifah and her curse within the castle; but alas nothing comes about it – instead it’s a single minded objective with quirky characters and lots of laughs that’s just fun to watch.

The same can be said for the ‘Blu-ray’ discs released by Animatsu as although everything is as you would expect them to be – with simple menu layout, bonus features and background music – there is nothing that screams amazing. It’s worth mentioning that this release also includes both English and Japanese audio, with the English Audio even providing a half-decent English Dub;  although (as with most Sentai Filmwork releases) the Japanese audio provided the best entertainment – especially during the OVA episode which sees a selection of characters sing. In regards to the Japanese audio the subtitles, of which are displayed in Yellow text, are clearly readable throughout and as with most Sentai Filmwork disc masters White text appears for translations or when multiple characters are speaking at once.

Overall Amagi Brilliant Park is a series that’s just good fun to watch without overly concerning yourself about the progression of the story with each episode focusing on a different tactic or task to help promote the theme park. It’s fun, it’s quirky and definitely worth watching. It is just a shame that their wasn’t something ‘extra’ hidden behind the stage show and lights; but alas that may have to wait for any future projects of the like.

Score: review-stars-4

Amagi Brilliant Park – The Complete Collection will be available as Deluxe Edition Blu-ray and DVD Combo Pack from the 19th June 2017.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked on ZOMGPlay and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita or Xbox One.

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