Brigadoon Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Brigadoon

Brigadoon Vol. #1

By Andrew Tei     October 14, 2003
Release Date: May 13, 2003


Brigadoon Vol. #1
© TOKYOPOP


What They Say
Episode 1
Blue-Colored Introduction
Marin Asagi is a poor 13-year-old girl who lives in a tenement house with her extended family in downtown Tokyo. One day she is attacked by an evil alien robot thing and then Melan Blue, a robot protector known as a Monomakia, comes to her aid.

Episode 2
Deep Blue Monomakia
The initial crisis has passed, but Marin must now deal with the overzealous protection of Melan Blue and its impact on her classmates. And, the strange tower that crashed down from the sky has just sent out another set of murderous Monomakia ... their target? Marin, of course!

Episode 3
From Dark Gray Clouds
Everybody thinks that Melan's attacks on Marin's classmates and his overall destructive acts are being caused by Marin, so her classmates begin to harrass her. Meanwhile, a mysterious new liquid type Monomakia is threatening the city.

Episode 4
Searching for the Rainbow
Melan Blue and Marin have had a falling out as a result of his continued ham-fisted approach to protecting her ... what better time for a conniving Monomakia to launch a new attack on Marin?

Episode 5
Under the Soda-Colored Sky
The cops get involved in investigating the attacks on Marin ... and, as if that's not enough grief for one girl, she's beset by a miniature sniper-Monomakia who wields a nasty blaster!

The Review!
One little girl commands a living weapon to defeat the forces of Brigadoon, but what kind of show is this?!?!?

Audio:

An English and Japanese soundtrack is provided, and I listened to the Japanese soundtrack for my review. There is little use of directionality, and no use of the rear speakers. Sound was very clear though, and the soundtrack gave the stereo a workout. The opening song is quite excellent. No distortions or dropouts were present.

Video:

Brigadoon aired on WOWOW in Japan in 2000, and was produced by Sunrise. The picture here is absolutely beautiful. I could not find any sort of glitch in the video while I was watching at all. Colors were bright, and no mpeg artifacts were present. Brigadoon has the look and feel of a digital production.

Packaging:

The packaging for this show is very dark, and has a Marin, our main character on the show and Melan Blue, her protector from the forces of Brigadoon. Melan Blue is covered by rain, and looks to be crying, and Marin looks very sad also. A certain foreshadowing of events to come in the show. The spine has a volume number, and a picture of the alien that pops up around the show. The back cover features a picture from each of the five episodes on the DVD and their titles. Another one of living weapons is shown on the back cover. The insert inside is a print of the front cover.

Menu:

The main menu has the opening song playing as Marin comes jumping onto the screen. When the menu loops, Marin jumps off just before it ends. No other motion is present in any of the menus. No transition menus exist, and the menus are here just to serve their purpose. In addition to the standard subtitle track, there is an option to select a signs only sub track.

Extras:

There are three different extras on this volume: a textless opening, a textless closing, and some outtakes from the dub recording. The outtakes weren?t edited together well; there?s a long pause between each outtake and the volume during the segment is low.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Brigadoon takes place in an alternate version of Tokyo. It?s around 1970 as the US has just recently landed a man on the moon. Our story focuses on a thirteen-year-old girl named Marin Asagi. She is an orphan who was left at the steps of a tenement house in Tokyo as a baby. The residents took in the child and raised her as their own. Marin is a very cheerful young girl, and gives her salary from her paper route to the tenement house. She?s so poor though that she has a patch sewn into her panties to cover a hole.

Marin visits a local shrine regularly to pray for herself and the residents. On this visit though, she finds a strange green alien that looks like a cat. She follows it, and discovers a vial in the shrine. Marin isn?t sure what to make of it, and leaves.

The next day, a strange set of lights appears in the sky over the world. It?s multicolored, and no one is sure exactly what it is. It eventually becomes known as Brigadoon. Eventually, a weapon that looks like a Daruma doll (which represents Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism in Japan) is sent down and it lands in Marin?s room! Actually, it?s a type of assassination robot and it?s after Marin. Marin makes a run for it and eventually ends back up at the vial near the shrine. Unwittingly she releases a robot from the vial, or rather a living weapon from the vial named Melan Blue. It?s a Monomakia, and the assassination robot is also a Monomakia. Melan protects Marin, and defeats the Daruma. Melan seems to have some internal programming to protect Marin.

Marin becomes pretty well developed through the episodes on the DVD. There are several more attacks on her life, and Melan comes to rescue her each time. Marin?s high school comes into play also, and we learn how she?s practically an outcast in school due to her being an orphan. She has one friend though, a girl named Moe who happens to be very rich and reminds me of another girl from a shoujo anime. Another friend at school, Marin?s sempai, is good in kendo. There are also the various tenants at the tenement house Marin lives at who are like a family to her.

Melan proves to be a problem for Marin though, especially when Melan gets overprotective when Marin gets bullied in school. The incident causes the students at the school to alienate her even more. Melan has a lot to learn about the world he?s now living in.

There?s a lot of humor in Brigadoon that?s hard to explain properly. It reminded me a lot of Jubei-chan. Marin has these dreams a lot where she imagines what will happen next, and pretty much every time she ends up dying at the end of them. Also at the end of each episode, there?s a small live action part with one line. Amusing.

This is only the start of the series, and since it?s twenty-six episodes there is no rush to start the main part of the story. The episodes here have a story line that connects the episodes very well, and a lot of character development goes on. We do get parts of the backstory, as well. Brigadoon seems like a good show, and very funny at times, though this first volume hints of the story taking a more serious tone in the future. I?m still trying to get a sense of the series, and I can?t see how it?s going to fill up twenty-six episodes right now.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Textless Opening,Textless Closing,Outtakes,Translators Notes


Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 to a Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears

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