Posted by psgels on 7 October 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



I’m getting more and more impressed at Sunrise’s lesser-known mecha series. Sure, they have made plenty of series that just consist out of a string of random action-scenes without much substance, but on the other hand there also are series as Overman King Gainer, Zone of the Enders, Zegapain and Votoms, which all sparkle with creativity. Brigadoon is yet another one of those.

Brigadoon is one of those series with a cute and brightly-coloured outside, but a dark and lethal inside. It starts off pretty innocently, in which a 13-year-old girl suddenly gets hunted down by evil aliens and needs to be protected by some sort of combat android. The series is at these points fun to watch, and a very energetic action-series, but as the series goes on, the dark side of the series shows up more and more, and isn’t afraid to put the lead characters through hell and beyond in order to get its points across. The formulaic setting of the series is also completely abandoned in the second half, for a far more interesting plot with a lot of twists and turns along the way.

This series is especially good with its characters. Not just the main characters, but also most of the side-characters get their own share of depth that makes them engaging to watch. Especially Marin strikes as an excellent lead character for this series: she has plenty of flaws as a character, and yet her energy carries the series and prevents it from dragging.

This series also has a unique visual style. The animation during the light parts is very quirky, and during the dark parts it’s detailed and intricately shaded to get the best out of the seemingly childish graphics. The soundtrack is also unique, and has a number of very noteworthy tracks.

Granted though, this series does have its share of flaws. One of the most notable is the regeneration powers that the androids (called Monomakia here) in this series seem to have. I’m really not much of a fan of those sorts of powers; after all, why care about a character getting injured if he can easily be zapped back to good health. And yeah, because of this the characters get injured to near-death a few too many times. Not only that, but sometimes the regeneration rules also go inconsistent with their own inner logic.

This becomes mostly apparent in the ending, which really wants to bring everything to a happy end a little too badly. Revelations are pulled out of thin air, deus ex machina make sure that everyone gets to have the easy end, and all in all it’s just one huge rush-job that the creators didn’t put much thought into. Nevertheless, this remains a pretty good action-series. There are some really neat ideas stuffed into it. Sure, there is a bit of fanservice here and there, but it never gets in the way of what’s really important.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 8/10

3 Responses

  1. AKI says:

    hey psgels, if you were impressed by Strange Dawn, Now and Then and Brigadoon, I’ll bet you’d like DT Eightron, a 1998 series by Sunrise. Never mind the lousy animation and character designs, I’d bet it’d make ur top twenty or at least come close to it.

  2. Winterheart says:

    I agree with almost all the points that you have there… XD

  3. Marin: MELAN!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Melan: -farted-
    Marin:-runs away-
    Melan: o-o

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.

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