Title: Battle Angel Alita
Series: Deluxe Edition Vol. 2
Author(s): Yukito Kishiro
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Format: Hardcover – Deluxe Edition
Release Date: January 18th 2018
Genre(s): Manga, Science Fiction
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Previously with Battle Angel Alita:
Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 by Yukito Kishiro
Bringing her back to life might have seemed like a brilliant initiative for cyber-doctor Daisuke Ido, but for Alita it has only been a realization of all the things she has yet to learn, but also remember, as she continues to figtht off the curveballs that life throws at her. Collecting book 3 and 4 of the original classic cyberpunk manga series, Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition 2 brings us a beautiful collection that reminds everyone that martial arts can still be as beautiful as it is deadly, especially when it comes from a killer cyborg.
The story now ventures in unexpected territories by driving both Daisuke Ido and Alita away from The Scrapyard where they first met in order to embrace the brutal world of Motorball. This sport gathers some of the most deadliest cyborgs into a high-octane circuit where players race to capture an unconventional ball and bring it to the finish line. However, players are allowed to channel their craziest and most dangerous strategies and techniques to destabilize and destroy their opponents in order to prevail. There’s nothing like a nice little competition to highlight the best parts of ourselves, right?
The direction the story went was a bit surprising (there was no hint of this sport before), but it is definitely an entertaining story-telling decision. Following a tragedy that shocks Alita to the core early in this volume, she turns to a deadly sport to seek salvation, regardless of the sport’s cathartic purposes. It being a distraction (and an emotional release) for the “forgotten” and “exiled” population sort of brings you to also draw parallels with the real world and all the different sports we watch religiously. What made this particularly enjoyable is that the focus on this Motorball sport offered the author to further demonstrate and exploit Alita’s combat style. Similar to what we see Alita accomplish in the past, this story arc gives us the opportunity to enjoy extremely fast-paced action sequences and all the violence that comes with it; there’s no holding back on the gore here.
Just when you start thinking that the gore might have been toned down in this volume, you get caught off guard by some nasty moments. I won’t even lie and mention how ridiculous it can get it; so ridiculous that it sometimes turned out to be undeniably hilarious. The artwork does a nice job in emphasizing the violence and making it more impressive than disgusting. You also still find a balanced inclusion of morals that help deliver some iconic moments, as well as some world-building scientific concepts to immerse you into the world. While the volume in itself felt like a detour from the main track, it was without a doubt a fun ride that kept me glued to the pages till the end. The final chapters in particular went into overdrive and really delivered the final blow with a lot of pizzazz. I got a feeling that what Alita will learn from all this and what she will seek out in the next volumes will probably start to get much more heavier and serious.
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!