Title: Battle Angel Alita
Stand-Alone: Deluxe Edition Vol. 1
Author(s): Yukito Kishiro
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Format: Hardcover – Deluxe Edition
Release Date: November 21st 2017
Genre(s): Manga, Science Fiction
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
What do you get when you put innocence, beauty and destruction together? This chick. Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition 1 collects the first two volumes of this famous cyberpunk action classic featuring the little cyborg girl and her pursuit for answers. Recovered from a scrapyard without a body or memories of her past life, cyber-doctor Daisuke Ido vows to build her back whole. Blinded by his desire to create something perfect to his eyes, Ido quickly finds out that his selfishness has been excluding anything and everything Alita might feel. It is this look into her adaptation to her new life that pulls this story in intriguing directions.
Throughout this collection, readers are introduced to Alita and discover that she still withholds lingering muscle memory in the form of extremely dangerous and kick-ass martial arts. The story then investigates some important philosophical questions in a very minimalist fashion while giving readers a gore-filled action-packed excursion throughout the Scrapyard. With the floating space city of Zalem above them continues to convey a dystopian atmosphere, the world in which Alita finds herself remains mysterious at its core, but also riddled with dangerous beings that will force her to seek her most precious and powerful survival skills.
It would honestly be an understatement to say that this volume contained a lot of headless bodies. While Alita is portrayed as a little girl with a bubbly face and a woman’s body, her strength is immeasurable and the damage she can cause is irreparable. There often seems to be a focus on asserting a certain distinction between what is of the mind and what is of the body, which might also explain why the violence in this series is often always aimed separating the head from the body. The art style also greatly focus on her character and the insane acrobatic moves she’s able to accomplish. It really highlights the importance of the freedom of movement, and there’s nothing better than a hitgirl like Alita to showcase it in all its grace.
The author also inserts bits of scientific or philosophical terms throughout the story that are accompanied by footnotes to wrap the reader within its universe. They are not all factual, but they do serve their purpose in suggesting certain ideas believed by the characters in this story. It’s also worth reiterating that this series is much more focused on the action sequences rather than on the dialogues, but whenever there is a dialogue, there is also a profound examination of the life of a cyborg, of a machine. From ideas of happiness to beauty, this series isn’t just a silly story wanting to create a kick-ass female character. In fact, Battle Angel Alita is a reflection of the consciousness and of perception of mankind through the eyes of a cyborg.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!
Did you know we were getting a live-action adaptation of our little Alita soon? Check out the trailer above!