Battle Angel Alita

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Is anyone (irrationally?) holding out hope for the live action movie of this?

On the one hand, I’m kind of stoked to see an actual release date… BAA has been my favorite manga series for many years, and I was convinced it would languish forever while Cameron made his next six Avatars or whatever his plans may be. But the choice of director doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. I think it would’ve been better off in the hands of the Wachowskis, or Doug Liman (the Edge Of Tomorrow director).

In any case, if you haven’t read the manga, I think most AF fans would enjoy it. There are superficial similarities in its plot and visual style (anarchic female action hero vs. unscrupulous male scientist; skintight outfits and body modifications galore) but I’m thinking more about Kishiro’s emphasis on the inner worlds of his characters. It’s not as subtle or as morally ambiguous as Aeon Flux, but neither is it straight ahead dystopian chop-socky. There’s an underlying theme of consciousness expansion running through the series, and some scenes have left me with a lot to think about.

The 1994 anime adaptation is decent, but arguably ends where the manga starts to get interesting… I’d recommend the first series of nine volumes above anything else, then look into the follow-up series Battle Angel Alita: Last Order and Gunnm: Mars Chronicle if you want more.

Yukito Kishiro’s site
Battle Angel anime

Blair Gilbreath, Tuesday, 8 November 2016 03:43 (one year ago) Permalink

Also, between the recent discussion of Prometheus and Peter Chung’s mention of Westworld, I got to thinking about when I first watched Aeon Flux (late nineties/early zeroes) and the sort of media that was around at the time. It was a really interesting period, with a lot of science fiction films that tackled transhumanist themes and big questions about human consciousness. A.I., existenZ, the first Matrix and The Animatrix, Tezuka's Metropolis, A Tree of Palme. Maybe now that we’re seeing a renewed interest in cyborgs and artificial characters (Alita, Ghost In The Shell, Blade Runner 2049, Ex Machina, Westworld), we’ll start to see an increase in thoughtful sci-fi again.

Blair Gilbreath, Tuesday, 8 November 2016 03:51 (one year ago) Permalink

The public response (or lack thereof) to Speed Racer was really unfortunate. It's the Wachowski's best work, and everything since has lacked that level of cinematic audacity.
I'd have really liked to have seen James Cameron's rendition of Alita- more than the Avatar sequels we'll be getting.

I remember the Alita manga mainly for its insanely engineered roller derby battle sequences. I never read it in translation, so I'm unaware of any deeper thematic undercurrents. I had the Japanese volumes before any English versions were available. I'll check them out.

For me, the one I'm most anticipating (and also dreading a bit) is Alien Covenant. In a way, I don't want some of the mysteries posed in Prometheus answered. The answers are going to have to be very good.

Peter Chung, Thursday, 10 November 2016 10:28 (one year ago) Permalink

I'll add that I'm looking forward to the 5th Transformers movie. The last two Transformers movies are pure escapist 3D eye-candy. They are pure, decadent CG robot action porn. It would be hard to explain exactly the peculiar connection I feel towards the characters and that universe, having spent years working on the original series and animated movie.

Also strangely satisfying to see some of my designs rendered in 3D CG in the latest Ninja Turtles movie.

Peter Chung, Thursday, 10 November 2016 11:42 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah, I was thinking of Speed Racer when I mentioned the Wachowskis. Though my favorite film of theirs is Jupiter Ascending. It's just so bizarre and opulent, like an Iain M. Banks novel brought to life. And weirdly emotionally affecting at times.

Having seen everything the Wachowski sisters have directed (except Revolutions), I think they're incredibly uneven, but even their worst films have some terrific ideas. I liked the first season of Sense8, and I'm curious to see if all the elaborate setup eventually pays off.

Blair Gilbreath, Friday, 11 November 2016 00:10 (one year ago) Permalink

It's the Wachowski's best work, and everything since has lacked that level of cinematic audacity.

I totally agree with this. I've met a few other people who also loved it, it knows what it wants to be and goes for it, completely uncompromising.

I'm looking forward to Rodriguez' take on BAA, and I hope Rosa Salazar has the presence to make it succeed. I really like the casting for Zapan and Dr. Ido.

El Tomboto, Friday, 11 November 2016 02:23 (one year ago) Permalink

Also hopefully as the movie gets closer to release they'll put out new paperback editions of the original 9 volumes. Fingers crossed

El Tomboto, Friday, 11 November 2016 03:15 (one year ago) Permalink


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