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.