30 September 2017

MANGA UK PRESENTS: AMAGI BRILLIANT PARK: SERIES ONE. (2014) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.




AMAGI BRILLIANT PARK: THE ANIMÉ SERIES. (2014) DIRECTED BY YASUHIRO TAKEMOTO. BASED ON THE JAPANESE LIGHT NOVEL SERIES WRITTEN BY SHOJI GATOH AND ILLUSTRATED BY YUKA NAKAJIMA.
STARRING KOJI UCHIYAMA, AI KAKUMA, YUKIYO FUJII, AYAKO KAWASUMI, RYOKO SHIRAISI AND AI NONAKA.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

The art in this one is exquisite. Exquisite and sexy, even though I was fooled into believing it was a show for little kiddies by the adorable artwork on the discs themselves. A cute fluffy sheep, a precious little pink kitten-dog and something that looks a lot like a teddy bear but I found out later that he's a mouse. 'A violent mouse in a hat,' is how one of the lead characters puts it. Let me start at the beginning, anyway.

The beginning is actually a great place to start, because I've been meaning to tell ye first and foremost about the naked, extremely busty woman in the bath during the start-up credits, and the equally naked woman wrapped head-to-foot, bondage-style, in thorns later on in the credits. She's placed in a position of graceful, willing submission as well, and there's no denying the blatant sexiness of the pose. Nudie women grace the end credits also.

Japanese men idealise the busty blonde, it seems, as their own beautiful ladies are generally dark-haired and petite in stature. It's that whole opposites attract thing, isn't it, and what's rare is wonderful. This explains a lot about Japanese animé.

It's full of statuesque women with waist-length blonde or browney-blonde hair, endless legs, tiny waists and massive, outlandishly-proportioned breasts. That's how the Japanese men like their women, seemingly. Good job we all measure up to these ludicrous and ridiculously unrealistic expectations then, isn't it...?

Anyway, AMAGI BRILLIANT PARK, male sexism aside, is terrific fun. It's the story of an ailing amusement park, a bit like ITCHY AND SCRATCHY LAND in THE SIMPSONS, that's in danger of shutting down for good unless it starts pulling in more customers. Again in common with ITCHY AND SCRATCHY LAND, many of the attractions are, well, a bit crap, to be absolutely blunt about it. It's going to take a miracle to turn this dump into a viable amusement park.

This miracle appears in the form of former child actor and current A-student, the handsome Seiya Kanie (his name comes from Kanye West) who loves himself to the point of narcissism. This is why he doesn't have many friends. Sorry, any friends. He is forced into the ailing park at gunpoint by the park's pretty former manager, Isuzu Sento. Her name comes from the rapper 50 Cent. Are you starting to notice a pattern here, dear readers...?

Any-hoo, Sento intends to work as Kanie's secretary while he takes over as manager. That's the plan anyway. Quite why the higer-ups think that a schoolboy of all people, even a schoolboy who used to be a child star, can save the park from financial ruin is a bit of a mystery to me.

There's a bit of sexual tension between the pair- Kanie and Sento- that is clearly going to bubble over into something major further down the line. Kanie accidentally walks in on a stark-naked Sento getting changed in the first episode. The sight of her peach-perfect bare backside is a mental image he's going to carry around with him for some time, methinks.

One of Sento's special features, as it were, is that she has a magic musket with 'Pain-Bringer Bullets' that cause twice the pain of a toe stubbed on the corner of the dresser as you stumble bleary-eyed to the john into the middle of the night. As anyone whom that's ever happened to can tell you, that's a pain like none other.

Although I'm one hundred million percent opposed to the use of guns in pretty much any circumstances, I do like the idea of being able to use a magic musket to force guys to do my bidding like Sento does. 'Hey you there, carry my shopping! Then paint my bathroom, take out
my bins and service me sexually in the style of Rudolf Valentino, star of the silent screen...!' Heh-heh-heh. Yes, I could totally live with that idea.

The Park, which is supposed to be a magical fairyland of music, colour, sweets, flowers and, um, fairies, is owned by the stunningly beautiful fourteen-year-old Queen Latifah Fleuranza. I won't insult your intelligence by telling you from which musical artist her name derives...!

Queen Latifah is the most exquisite creation I've seen yet in the world of animé, and that's saying something. Dressed in a pink ballgown that resembles the most divine wedding cake or something, she's like a cross between Princess Barbie and Cinderella Barbie and Christmas Barbie and every wonderfully-dressed Barbie you've ever had in your life. Long blonde hair, tiny waist, squeaky voice, submissively deferring to Kanie as the superior male, the works. Queen Latifah's got it all going on...! 

Personally, I'd be more comfortable if the film-makers had made her out to be eighteen years old, at least, instead of fourteen. In some scenes, she's portrayed as being unhappy about being forced into a bikini that reveals more than it conceals. It's a bit uncomfortable to watch as she's still technically a child, however well-developed she may be physically, why is why I maintain that it would have been better if she'd been over-eighteen at least. Try telling that to the anime men, though...!

Queen Latifah is a magical fairy princess, the princess of a magical kingdom called Maple Land, where the fairies and the Park's mascots all lived before they came to Amagi Brilliant Park. The fairies' life-source derives from the happiness of the guests to the Park. This factor is known as 'Animus.' As the guests to the Park haven't exactly been ecstatic lately, it looks like it's time for a major shake-up around the place.

The suits (the accountants) are all clamouring for more guests, which equals more money. Queen Latifah and her fairy dependants need more guests from the point of view of leeching off their happiness, haha, so that they can actually continue to live.

Then the suits tell Kanie, the new Park manager who has no idea clearly what he's letting himself in for, that he has three months to get 250,000 guests into the Park or else. Or else what? Oh yes, I forgot to finish that bit there. Or else they'll shut the Park down and take it over themselves. Kanie's got his work cut out for him, anyway.

Some of the problems he faces include flooding at the Park probably caused by faulty plumbing, rickety equipment not fit for purpose and unmotivated staff, about whom more in a minute. 

In addition to all these pesky problems, Kanie's got a personnel dilemma as his new secretary Sento, resplendent in thigh-high short skirt and lace-topped stockings, is known for being too hard on the, um, fairies when she's bossing them about. Maybe some half-naked cheerleaders with their massive tits falling out of their teensy bra cups will solve all of Kanie's staffing woes...

A word about the mascots. The fluffy sheep, kitten-dog and teddy bear-mouse-thing that adorn the discs so beautifully are all hard-drinking, sexist foul-mouthed creatures, much more like butt-scratching, surly and disobliging roadies than adorable Park mascots. Macaron the sheep is divorced and fighting for custody of his daughter. Tiramy the kitten-dog is a sexual pervert with a keen knowledge of explosives, for some reason. It's a good group...

Moffle the Mouse, in particular, is always getting into brawls, both with the customers and even with his new boss Kanie, to whom he takes an instant dislike. Check out the souvenir photo Kanie gets to take home with him after his first encounter with Moffle, it's hilarious...!

Moffle is seemingly Queen Latifah's uncle. He's very protective of her. She's extremely delicate apparently, which is not difficult to believe. She cannot breach the 'magic barrier' around her garden and leave the park, which might cause problems down the road for her.

So, will Kanie meet his target and keep the Park filled with misfits afloat? Will Queen Latifah and her crew obtain enough of the all-important 'Animus' from the guests to be able to live for a bit longer? Will Kanie get with Sento or will he be dazzled by the shy charms of the beautiful Queen Latifah? How many instances of purely gratuitous nudity will you be able to spot? How many pairs of bouncing mammaries will be on show for your delectation?

Will I ever stop asking rhetorical questions about this genuinely good, albeit rampantly sexist, animé series? Will I even be able to stop? Who knows? Who cares? I know that you guys do, dear readers. Watch the show and enjoy it. It's great craic and well worth your time.


AMAGI BRILLIANT PARK (Episodes 1-13) are available to buy now from MANGA UK.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com







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