animefringe november 2003 / reviews

Brigadoon Vol.1
Format: right-left manga
Production: TOKYOPOP / Nozomi Watase / Hajime Yatate / Yoshitomo Tonetani
Comments: All you really need to get away from it all.
Animefringe Reviews:
Brigadoon Vol.1

Brigadoon is a simple two-book story that stars a young and enthusiastic orphan named Marin and her mechanical protector, Melan Blue. Even though she never knew her parents, Marin was raised by a loving group of people in an apartment complex. While most of them are unrelated, they're no less a family due to their lack of blood ties.

In the book's beginning, Marin's biggest worries involve class bullies (which she can take care of on her own) and thinking of new things to do for fun with her friends, but that's all about to change.

As it turns out, every 100 years, the parallel world of Brigadoon comes close enough to Earth to interact with its inhabitants. While this cosmic event usually passes by peacefully enough, something is wrong this time around. Mysterious mechanical beings known as Gun-Swordsmen come down to Earth, seeking something the realm of Brigadoon has lost. Somehow, Marin is the key to their search, though her personal safety isn't their primary concern.

One lone Gun-Swordsman decides to protect the young girl, even if she isn't exactly what the other denizens of Brigadoon are seeking.

Meanwhile, Marin discovers that the balance between Earth and Brigadoon is no longer as stable as it once was. If something is not done to ensure the continued harmony between the two worlds, then they will collide, ending the lives of the people living on both.

Suddenly, her life is more complicated than it once was.

This is an action-packed tale with an impressive amount of character development, considering it's just shy of 400 pages in length. Touchy subjects such as class-differences, obligation to duty and love for others, and growing up without parents are all given a portion of the story's focus. The plot isn't terribly complex and doesn't amble around too much, but there's plenty of content to keep a reader's interest throughout.

Brigadoon is a work with more character illustrations than attention to the backgrounds, so it contains more personality than certain other manga titles. While spectacular events may be occurring as the story moves along, our attention is drawn to the characters rather than the sci-fi elements of the plot. With an amusingly solid cast, I can't complain.

In the end, this is another solid entry in TOKYOPOP's ever-expanding lineup. The only problem I have is securing the funds to get more manga.