Brigadoon: Marin & Melan

Good morrow my dear readers!

This summer I went to go see my best friend for the first time in 3 years; we did a lot of fun things, including staying up until 2 in the morning watching anime. One of the ones that we watched in was one of my friend’s favorites called Brigadoon: Marin & Melan. It’s a small anime airing between 2000 and 2001 of 26 episodes. It was directed by Yoshitomo Yonetani and produced by Sunrise studios.

The plot revolves around a 13 year-old orphan named Marin Asagi. When she was just a baby when she was found on the doorstep of a tenement house, and its inhabitants raised her. She, like many other orphans, seems to be picked on at school for absolutely no other reason than her misfortune. One day when she is given an award for an essay she wrote, the sky changes to a mirage, later found out to be the mysterious world of Brigadoon.

After being blamed for the mysterious event by her class mates, Marin goes home and is attack by a strange robot-like creature called a Monomakia. She runs around in a rather comical fashion before being saved by a Monomakia known as a Gun-Swordsman. After he saves her, when find out his name is Melan Blue, and his mission is to protect Marin, the “Creis”.

He has to kneel in order for her to even reach him.

The series follows the two on their adventures as they grow closer together and try to save both Brigadoon and Earth (or “the funny world”) from the Mutual Collapse. At first glance it seems to be little more than a magical girl story, as it progresses you find it is a magical girl story with a decent plot, convincing characters, and touching relationships. It is something like a coming-of-age story, we watch Marin blossom from an energetic  13 year-old who has little grasp on the world into a mature 13 year-old capable of risking her life to save it.

As Marin and Melan grow closer, there relationship grows from protector and protected to a kind of Father- Daughter thing, and then it gets a little uncomfortable as it blossoms into so much more. Technically, Melan has no age, but a good estimate would be that he is in his mid-20s. So he and Marin are at least 10 years apart, maybe more, and when you see them standing next to each other… It just doesn’t seem right. When my friend told me about that I became a little skeptic of the series, it just didn’t sound like it could work, but after watching it, you find it’s a gradual thing, and it works well after you gather more information.

So aside from the slightly-creepy-maybe-pedophilic relationship, the plot seems pretty good; solid story with decent twist and minimal flashbacks. The art on the other hand, could use some work. Art plays a big role in action scenes and dramatic moments, it needs to seem believable or it’s just comical. Let me tell you that I laughed through a good portion of dramatic moments, much to my friend’s dismay. My comments of how “the blood looked like sweet and sour” and how “that character shouldn’t just sit there” were not appreciated by her. I did still understand the mood it was going for, and could follow it easily and enjoy the plot, but I think the art did cause me to lose out on a little of the story.

This is not to say the art style is bad, its art style gives it character and helps it keep its slightly comedic appeal, but more the art done. Things like coloring, lighting, animation, and character movement seemed out of place at times, it looked unnatural when it was supposed to look natural. Characters would often disappear for moments in time only to be in the scene, standing where they were 2 scenes ago, watching as that one guy bleeds to death. A little bit of the corny art and character movement is to be expected though, Brigadoon: Marin & Melan was made a while ago, with less technology, and is not very well known with a small fan base.

Those fat guys? That’s supposed to be the team of Apollo 11.

I must say, I did enjoy the series, and what won me over was its comical side. There’s just something about Neal Armstrong getting fat and driving a cow submarine that I find funny. That and the out-landish little guy known as Lolo plus a lot of really well placed up-the-skirt jokes makes me quite satisfied with its comedic aspects. The plot twists are often quite surprising as well, I was only aware of them because my friend had already spoiled the ending for me; hence I knew everything before it happened.

Overall Brigadoon: Marin & Melan is a pretty good series. There is a something special

If you reach this point, you will cry.

about it, something that sets it apart from other anime, an original feel. I think it has something to do with how such a corny and silly anime can get so serious at times, I cried a little at the end. I’ve yet to find an anime that gives off the same feel, so even though it had some really weird moments, it still pulled through in the end for me, and normally I don’t like endings like it, but I did this time.

Man, all that and I didn’t even remember to cover the Mexican Yoda,


Here’s the Brigadoon trailer, it’s really corny.


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