Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 5 by Yukito Kishiro

details
Title: Battle Angel Alita.
Series: Deluxe Edition Vol. 5.
Author(s): Yukito Kishiro.
Publisher: Kodansha Comics.
Format: Hardcover – Deluxe Edition.
Release Date: October 16th 2018.
Pages: 400.
Genre(s): Manga, Science Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781632366023.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
Previously on Battle Angel Alita:
Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 by Yukito Kishiro.
Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 2 by Yukito Kishiro.
Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 3 by Yukito Kishiro.
Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 4 by Yukito Kishiro.

thoughts

There’s something truly bewildering, yet satisfying, in reaching the end of a series that you followed so closely and enjoyed so thoroughly. With the amount of experience gained from following the heroes in their progression and development, you feel like you’ve known them from the beginning and seen just how well they deal with those tough moments in life. Deep down there’s always this joy in seeing these characters find solace in the moments of happiness that they manage to squeeze in between all their trials in life.

Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 5 is the last collection featuring the ninth and final volume of the character’s original manga run, the acclaimed story “Ashen Victor” and two long-winded and highly insightful interviews with the creator himself. While it does not mark the end of what Yukito Kishiro planned for Alita, it did leave plenty of fans thinking that this might be the last time they’ll see their cyborg fight for what she believes in and figure out who she is in a world where everything is seen in extremes.

Taking place exactly where the previous volume left off, the story throws readers right into the long-awaited confrontation between Alita and the evil professor Desty Nova. What results from this encounter is a look into Alita’s understanding of the world in which she was resurrected in by her pseudo-father Daisuke Ido, but also a vision of the happiness she never truly had the chance to fully indulge in all of its heart-warming glory. Alongside her illusory moments is an origin story, but also a concluding story arc, for Den of the Barjack Rebellion, which highlights the cleavage of his body from his rage.

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What’s special about this volume is that it not only features the canonical ending that was first released by Yukito Kishiro, but also the non-canonical alternate ending released before he decided to continue Alita’s story in Battle Angel Alita: Last Order. If there’s one thing worth noting about the original ending is how abrupt and completely destabilizing it is. It is not an ending that I would fight to endorse and it did leave me hesitant on the intended direction, but upon reading the interviews with the creator at the end and realizing that he was mentally and physically struggling, forcing him to put an end to Alita, it all made sense, but still did not justify the way it all ended.

The alternate ending gives her story a much grander and poetic touch that also introduces a space lore to her character, a lore that is intended to be expanded and developed in her next series. I found this ending to be jam-packed with too many ideas, but at least resorted to exploring the philosophical ideas of choice and freedom that were slightly forgotten in the canonical ending. It still remains that there was too much introduced in too little time to make it an ending that is any better—or worse—than its canonical counterpart.

Another reason why this volume seemed like a mixed bag of goodies is the included story arc “Ashen Victor”. This story features a never-before-seen character known as “Self-Destructo” Snev and his adventures in the famous competition of Motor ball. The artwork is also slightly different, reminiscent of Frank Miller’s work, and didn’t do much more to save the plot from its confusing nature. If anything, this story arc will please fans who have missed the competition and wanted to experience it again for one last time before moving on to the next series.

Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 5 is not the ending that I would have dreamed of, but it still has its moments that remind us of those glorious moments we had in the previous arcs alongside Alita. One of my biggest complaint regarding this series as a whole would however be the mystery of Alita’s past that was never truly explored and left as an enigma in detriment to further exploring Alita’s character as a cyborg given a second chance at life and an opportunity to truly discover herself.


EXHIBITA

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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Battle Angel Alita got a two-episode OVA adaptation of the first two volumes back in 1993! There are no plans to revive this anime, but a live-action movie will be coming out soon!

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18 comments

  • Hmm…well that’s slightly disappointing honestly. It’s always a bit of a shame when something that you have enjoyed reading ends up not ending the way you thought it would. Still..three stars isn’t too bad, and it’s kind of interesting that they added two different endings in this book😊 All in all though: I am really looking forward to getting started on this one! Great post as always! 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeh.. The canonical ending is a bit unfortunate. There’s something redeeming about the alternate ending he later gives fans in order to start Last Order. I do hope you have a great time with this series when you get around to it, Michel! I’ll look forward to some thoughts if you ever want to share. 😀 Thank you for reading, sir!

      Liked by 1 person

  • It’s been extremely interesting following your journey with Alita Lashaan and I especially enjoyed your comparison between the canonical and non-canonical finales. I always like it when we get alternative versions of things as it can often give you different perspectives of the whole.

    Still, a shame that Alita’s past remains such a mystery which seems to devalue the story a little. Did you hear that the film has been delayed? It’d explain the lack of marketing drive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks man, I appreciate it! It has been an intriguing ride and it definitely gave me a good exhaustive look at the character and her stories. I’m sort of 200% certain that they won’t adapt any of the stories in this main series, but probably will take certain elements, especially some of the villains, and create a whole different and original take. Hopefully the movie does a good job in creating something special and respectful to the source material! Ah yes, I did hear about the delay, which was announced at the same time as the delay for the next X-Men installment. I do hope Fox knows what they’re doing… And I’m a bit sad about how they’re marketing for Alita. The gap between each trailer was huge, and besides both trailers we got, there’s barely any build-up… This could actually flop… and I won’t really be surprised too.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Great review, Lashaan!

    I hate to say it, but I often feel like manga don’t have the greatest endings. Why? They are often developed serially and rarely with a full story arc developed. Often, as they continue to be published, the original plot line gets changed so much the original “ending” will no longer make sense. But, despite less than perfect endings, it sounds like the non-cannon ending was more satisfactory. I’m glad it was included!

    Have you seen the anime? OVAs are often quite solid as they are only a sliver of a story line. I wonder if we will see more of Alita’s backstory in Last Order…. Will you be reading Last Order? And, eventually, potentially, Mars Chronicles?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Jackie! ❤

      I have much more experience with anime from way back in high school and felt like the endings were much better in that form, often open to interpretation or heart-breaking/warming. But I totally see your point with manga endings. I'll definitely fear them a lot more now as I venture into so many different manga, or at least want to hahah! And yes, the non-canonical ending was pretty much necessary, especially for those who plan on continuing with Last Order! 😀

      Since the OVA is just two episodes, I'll probably check it out just to see Alita in action. If it's actually pretty descent, I'm probably going to regret this decision since there is no plan to make a full anime for Alita! Hahahah

      Ohhh! Mars Chronicles! You sound like you're versed in Alita's universe and know your stuff. 😛 Right now there's just one more collection of short stories in the Alita universe that I want to get through. After that, I'm not too sure if I want to see what Last Order has to offer, but I won't say no to it just yet. My initial goal was just to check out the original run in preparation for the live-action movie. But with the movie being delayed a little bit, and if time allows me, I'll maybe try the first volume of Last Order. Mars Chronicles will have to wait for now hahah Do you plan on giving this cyborg's story a try some day? Or have you already and gave up on her? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • One of my good friends is an Alita fan. While I haven’t read it, I have seen Rusty Angel, the first OVA episode. It’s my understanding the OVAs are just condensed versions of the first few volumes of the manga, but I might be mistaken, having not read them. My friend thinks they are a lot of fun. I’m certain I’ll see episode two before the film comes out, and perhaps even pick up the Gunnm: Complete Edition. If I still lived in the same city as my friend, I”m certain he would have made me read it all by now. XD

        I didn’t realize the movie had been delayed. That’s a shame — I imagine it would be a ton of fun. I hope it is still released!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ohhh I see hahah I’d have gladly passed you my own copies if only you didn’t live so far from me hahahah I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the manga if you ever get around to it! Plenty of time before the movie comes out. 😀 😀 😀 #nopressure

          Liked by 1 person

          • Pft, it’s definitely still on my to-do list to read these before the film comes out! I’m less worried about reading it in time and more concerned about whether or not I’ll write the review. I’ve been soooo bad about review writing lately. I am quite in the hole. Like… 40+ reviews in the hole. XD

            Liked by 1 person

  • Damn! That’s too bad when the ending of a series does not totally meet your expectations. Talking about “mixed bag of goodies” I experienced the same with the ending of a trilogy: The Fate of the Tearling. I was so disappointed because she crammed too much in her last book and even made her characters behave in an unrecognizable way. Greatest disappointment ever! Now a question: I wanted to comment on Trang’s post (about her top comics) because yes I was amazed at the art in Joker (every shadow, play of light etc) but it seems the post is not open to comments. Is it willing? Oh and happy Sunday by now Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh yes, when characters suddenly become unrecognizable I find myself truly saddened! 😞 I honestly felt like this story wasn’t ready to end just yet, but with the author’s personal issues, I can see why it felt like so…

      I think she probably turned it off accidentally. I’m noticing there are comments now on her post, so I assume she realized the mistake. Feel free to share your thoughts with her now! 😁 And thanks for letting me know!

      Like

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