Title: Battle Angel Alita.
Series: Holy Night and Other Stories.
Author(s): Yukito Kishiro.
Publisher: Kodansha Comics.
Release Date: November 20th 2018.
Genre(s): Manga, Science Fiction.
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.
Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 5 by Yukito Kishiro.
To encapsulate the classic cyberpunk series, Kodansha Comics has been releasing the original Battle Angel Alita story line in five beautiful hardcover deluxe editions throughout the year. The latest volume brings joy to fans with a special edition that comes complete their collection with four short stories that have never been published in English before, all set at different moments within the original series’ universe. Offering fans the opportunity to explore various characters and events, these stories procure a very nostalgic and comforting experience into a beloved series.
“Holy Night” is an origin story of cyberphysician Daisuke Ido before he meets Alita in the Scrapyard. While having difficulties doing operations on cyborgs, he finds himself on an identity quest to understand what he wants to do in his life. As if destiny had already set him on a course towards answers, he finds himself in a touching and tragic tale with a peculiar young lady who will lead him to find his way in life. “Sonic Finger” is an action-packed adventure that introduces a new threat to Alita in the midst of her story arc regarding her Motor ball fame. With the initial intention to draw attention to her fine combat skills in an ancient forgotten style, the story also looks to showcase the limitless possibilities in the Battle Angel Alita universe and its cybernetic world.
“Hometown” is a much more experimental story as it follows a character that has rarely ever interested anyone and looks into Alita’s darker times as a tune agent. This dialogue-less story delivers a sad story regarding Machine and their ability to be empathetic. While it is the shortest story in this collection, it is also one that hits you hard emotionally with Alita seen as a danger to society. “Barjack Rhapsody” expands on the Barjack revolution story arc by putting the young photographer Koyomi in the spotlight. This tale explores the young girl’s transformation into adulthood but also delves into her search for purpose and passion. With a very quirky humour integrated subtlety into the story, it also gives a very sarcastic take on the whole Padawan trope.
While these stories aren’t crucial to the original series, they accomplish their goal in giving fans of Alita extra content to savour, especially the more minute details that make this series so special to them. With solid artwork reminiscent of Yukito Kishiro’s original artwork, the stories all vary in quality and length, but deliver quick and fun snippets of the universe. From action sequences to reflections on love and life, each story allows fans to rejoice with satisfaction at the cyberpunk world that will soon be adapted onto the big screen. The volume also contains exclusive bonus material, especially background information and private thoughts by the creator himself on each short story, but also on the tough period of his life that coincided with the end of the original series.
Battle Angel Alita: Holy Night and Other Stories is a beautiful collection of short stories that will surge a nostalgic feeling in fans of the series without introducing ground-breaking stories.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!
The final trailer for the live-action adaptation is out! Mark your calendars. Alita is coming to theaters on February 14th 2019!