“Alita: Battle Angel” is The Best Remakes Of A Manga.


Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

With a face of determination Alita dodges the attacks and prepares herself to throw her own punches.

Angela Lee Tucker , Staff Writer

When the first trailer began to surface all over the social media around “Alita: Battle Angel,” people were excited to see how it would turn out The man behind this excitement was award-winning director James Cameron, who wrote the screenplay for the film. Most of his well known movies are “Terminator,” “Titanic” and the ground-breaking computer-animated “Avator.” Seeing what Cameron was capable of in the past, many fans had high expectations for “Alita: Battle Angel.” Cameron joined veteran director Robert Rodriguez, and they both had a lot on their shoulders while creating the cyberpunk extravaganza.

The movie is based off a Japanese manga known as “Gunnm” created by Yukito Kishiro and takes place in 2563, when Earth is basically torn apart from war. Humanity has now adapted to a technology-based world.  In the metropolis of Iron City, where the population is filled with the poor and cyber citizens, scientist Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) comes upon a female cyborg with only half of an upper body. Discovering that she is still alive, Ido takes her home and gives her a new cyborg body. As she explores Iron City and pieces her past together, she finds an evil force and will do anything to stop their schemes.

The design of her character had been given a mix of positive and negative of reviews. To create the character of Alita, Cameron used computer-generated imagery. In the trailers, Alita was given large eyes. While working on “Alita,”
Cameron had gotten the same kind of reaction when he was working on “Avatar.” In an interview, he explained that Alita had gotten the same reaction that “Avatar” had gotten because it was new and people weren’t really used to the way the characters looked. From the feedback, they observed after the first trailer, they wanted to change the eyes. Instead of making them smaller, they chose to increase the size.

People had actually believed that they decreased the size of the eyes, but they only increased the size of the iris. From the first trailer they were smaller compared to the second trailer that came out before the release of the movie. In the beginning of the film, her curious nature as she experiences the world around her is exactly what I would picture in an AI. Salazar was able to create a picture perfect representation of Alita’s personality.

I don’t read much Manga during my free time, but I do watch many anime series. I’ve heard of the anime before the movie came around and re-watched it to jog my memory. The two together were very similar, which I was very pleased with. The team who worked behind the scenes did a fantastic job bringing the characters and action to life with jaw-dropping visual effects.

As for the differences, I noticed two things: As the main character, Alita (Rosa Salazar), regains her past memories she recalls fighting on Mars. In the animated version there was no mention on The Fall’s fight on Mars or the competitive sport of Motorball. As mentioned before, I did not read the manga so, I am not aware of whether or not Motorball or Mars was mentioned later in the nine volumes created in the series. If so, I’m impressed with the writers of the film being able to put all that information into a two-hour film.

What was most connecting to me was the relationship she was able to create with scientist Ido and Iron City local Hugo (Keean Johnson), who often hangs out with Ido and eventually falls for Alita. The lines she delivers between conversions between those characters comes up with genuine emotion.

I, myself, I’m one for romantic scenes between two characters, and  Johnson was able to show dedication to his role as a romantic partner to Alita in the film and a dreamer as someone who wishes to live in the floating city of Zalem. As for the action scenes, they were hard not to look away from with the help with the visual effects.

At any time or day, I would definitely go and see the movie again.