Anime Discovery #13 (OVA Madness): Battle Angel Alita (aka Gunnm)

 

Previously on Anime Discovery……..

The one they called Hybrid gave us a clue about what review he was going to do next and the Anime Gods did let him choose the next piece to review and I’m guessing the audience knows what he’s about to review next….

They asked me if I was sure about this and warn me about the purists considering I only read a little bit of the manga and seen the anime 3-4 times, (I might be watching it now.) and give me this constant warning: DON’T SCREW THIS UP, KID. REALLY, don’t let us down.

 

…….and so they heed their warning and prepare myself

 

And yes, the anime is Battle Angel Alita (or Gunnm).

As you may know already or not, it is based on the manga written by Yukito Kishiro, about a cyborg that lost all her memories and is taken care by cybernetics expert Daisuke Ido and he names the cyborg Alita (or Gally by the original Japanese translation), after his dead cat. Now I would talk about the many adventures that she has throughout but I am only covering the anime, which is only 2 episodes. Keep in mind that I don’t usually read much manga and I do want to acknowledge both versions and know the differences between them and hopefully not sound like an ignorant jackass.

 

The plot summary in first episode called “Rusty Angel” is pretty much the beginning of the story like in the manga, only it seemed kind of rushed with the discovery of Gally being over less than a 3 minutes but I wasn’t expecting an overly-long explanation of it and also she notices her powerful strength and fighting skills and decides she wants to be a Hunter-Warrior. Also, she has a close bittersweet relationship with Hugo (or Yugo) who happens to the part of the main focus of the second episode, “Tears Sign”, where he gets into deep s**t with his bosses. Usually by day, he performs maintenance work for Ido but by night, he collects cyborg spinal columns for Vector, a Scrapyard businessman in selling illegal human body parts and organs in Zalem, the floating city Hugo someday wants to live. But unfortunately after a botched mission, now every Hunter-Warrior is hunting Hugo down.

Any other characters worth mentioning are completely nonexistent or completely unimportant to the story. While Chiren may have a minor-major part in both episodes, she is not much of a character that I would consider to be “threatening” or “their mind screw on tight”. Alita (Gally) is actually a favorite among myself, Ido is somebody I can respect (except that sorry explanation why Gally shouldn’t be a Hunter-Warrior), and Hugo, while being the unfortunate character but he still kind of irked me. But then again, I look back at the English voice actor who dubbed him and it turns out it’s the same guy (Spike Spencer) who voiced Shinji Ikari on Neon Genesis Evangelion and I did detect some whininess in Yugo and the woman who voiced Gally (Amanda Winn-Lee) also voiced Rei, but this time her voice requires her to show emotion and she did…….although Gally could be less shrilly but she did do a great job.

 

The animation done by studios KSS, MOVIC & Madhouse, despite showing its age, manages to hold its ground and it shows. The music……it’s like an old ‘80s score showcase, even though it is made in the ‘90s but I really starting to like the end song, “Cyborg Mermaid”, and could be added to my growing list of anime songs.

But before my final verdict, I do know about the James Cameron live-action adaptation coming in about 4 years and my opinion of that is that even though many anime live-action movie adaptations always manages to suck (including one anime-inspired show live-action movie adaptation) but with Cameron, it’s about 50/50. True. Avatar was a visual marvel to look at but I am not exactly the people who loved Avatar, just thought it was okay, but I think Cameron could break that cycle……….only time could tell.

 

FINAL VERDICT: You know what, I actually love this anime. I just wished it would have been longer but like FLCL longer (about 4-5 more episodes would have been nice), not Bleach or Inuyasha longer. I like that feel it had on me after watching this and I can look past its problems and I did appreciate the old-school frame to it. I can see myself watching this over and over again.  I would recommend this for people who haven’t read the manga but I suggest you know a bit of the manga before watching this.

 

Also, for the first time since I joined Tyrocasts, Battle Angel Alita gets the rating of

10/10

Tyrocasts Rating: HALL OF FAME!!!!

 

(And before you ask, what titles do I consider to be HALL OF FAME material? Cowboy Bebop, Akira, Summer Wars, & Afro Samurai.)

 

“What? You actually consider Afro Samurai to be HALL OF FAME material?” That is what the gods questioned and I answered, “Well, yeah. It’s not that bad of an anime. It has a few epic moments.” Then they nodded and decided to leave…….after they bitch-slapped me several times and they left me a note saying, “Well, we got a next assignment for you. If you’re still feeling a concussion for that slapping and obviously that kick in the head……well, we’re Gods, we have powers, don’t you know?” They have left me clues for it and it follows: It’s a 2008 release from a director who just recently reviewed his earlier works and the Japanese voice actresses have a connection that you only know and it’s based on a novel about dogfight warfare.

 

Wait, I got it, it’s—–

TO BE CONTINUED.

Until then, I’m MAK2.0 aka HybridMedia, bringing all the elements in one format.

 

BATTLE ANGEL ALITA – courtesy of ADV Films/ animation by MADHOUSE, KSS & MOVIC

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