"Battle Angel Alita was created by Yukito Kishiro as a cyber-action graphic series (originally titled Gunnm) and is now the best selling manga title in Japan. Kishiro, nominated for the Shonen Sunday "Best New Artist" award in 1984, draws his influences for Battle Angel Alita from the worlds of Blade Runner and Mad Max." "Battle Angel Alita is set in a bleak future where the earth has degenerated into a rotting mechanical trash-heap inhabited by hulking cyborgs, merciless bounty hunters and other misfits of society. Floating above this pollution is the nirvana that is Zarem, a germ-free haven for the social elite of the planet." "Working amidst the waste is a brilliant cybernetic scientist named Dr Ido, who one day stumbles across the wreckage of a centuries-old cyborg. Calling her Alita, he works painstakingly to rebuild her. Brought back to life, Alita has no memory of her past, but when her extraordinary powers are realised she enters the cut throat world of the hunter-warrior." "A cyberpunk tale of strange and terrible beauty where life is hard and cheap.... and only the strong survive"
Creator: Yukito Kishiro Director: Hiroshi Fukutome Screenplay: Akinori Endo Character Design: Nobuteru Yuki Music: Kaoru Wada Copyright: Yukito Kishiro/Business Jump/Shueisha/KSS Inc./MOVIC Language Format: English Language Running time: 60 mins Certificate: 15 Catalogue no: MANV 1037 Label: Manga Video Price: £10.99 Release Date: 11th April 1994 Also released in December 1996 on a double feature tape with Appleseed for £12.99.
When this tape arrived at work and I saw the sleeve, I thought to myself this looks terrible. The tape sat on top the VCR for three days until I had nothing else left to watch. Having actually popped it into the VCR, I can say it is a brilliant piece of anime. Probably I would have to go back as far as Project A-Ko or Dominion to find something of equal quality coming out of Manga Video.
It is quite an emotional release from Manga Video, and a love story between two cyborgs. A story crammed full of human emotion, human stress, and human nature. Similar to Dominion it has a hint of an environmental statement, and is a warning of what may happen to the Earth.
Alita deserves to sell well, it really is quality. It is well animated, and well dubbed. Like all good anime it is well balanced, and has something to offer most anime fans. And yes there is even blood spattering, and mecha! I would call it a cyberpunk love story, but this is an understatement, it is much more than this.
I don't want to spoil the plot too much. The earth has become a run down trash world, only fit to supply the raw materials for the artificial nirvana called Zarum, a heaven for the human elite. The brilliant cybernetic doctor Dr Ido, manages to scratch a living by repairing burnt out cyborgs, and is also a soldier of fortune.
During his search for spare parts he finds an old cyborg wreck which he rebuilds and names Alita, who really is a Battle Angel.
Alita has special powers and befriends Yugo, who has only one wish to live on Zarum. To do this he has to earn 10,000,000 credits from the factory. This is hard, but obtainable, to get the money he is prepared do anything, but can he do it? And how can he do it? Or will he find his own Nirvana on earth? Buy it and find out. [Steve Whitcher]
Superbly realised cyberpunk SF, set in a bleak future where cyborgs and bounty hunters battle in a trash-heap and industrial wasteland, under the shadow of the floating nirvana-city of Zalem. Atila, brought back to life by Ido, a brilliant cyber-doctor, has no memories of her past, but soon reveals that she is programmed with extraordinary combat powers. She also has a human heart. The vividly realised settings and designs, the black humour of the cyborg scenes, the excitement of the battles, the deep rumbling under the looming aerial city, and the perceptive depiction of human emotions combine to make this a great video.
The PAL mass-market version unfortunately is seriously flawed by dubbing with voices that introduce a levity unsuited to the dark theme of the video. It also uses a different and freer translation compared to the US version, which also retains the heroine's original name, Gally. The PAL version's sound effects are nevertheless impressive on a multispeaker stereo system. [Geoff Cowie]