Friday, January 10, 2003

Battle Angel Alita (Gunm)

Genre: Action
Parental Guidance Recommended
1992. Kishiro Yukito (creator). Hiroshi Fukutomi (director).

Gunm DVDs
Gunm Art Books & Manga
Everything Gunm

Cover Description:
While rummaging through a stinking pile of trash, cyborg healer Ido discovers Gally, a sophisticated robot whose brain is still miraculously functioning. "Nursed" to her full health, Gally becomes quite a cheerful person with a soft heart that couldn't resist sympathizing with people. What concerns her, though, is that Ido seems to disappear every night-just when news about brain and spine theft had spread throughout the entire colony.

Suspicious, Gally follows him one day. Ido seems to be involved in an underground war and seeing him fight triggers Gally's powerful abilities, with moves designed solely for elite assassins. Gally's life changes before her very eyes and with it, a struggle for survival ensues.

(2 episodes)

Yukito Kishiro is a genius! >>> by skysenshi
For a very short OAV, with only 2 episodes to its name, Battle Angel Alita (or Gunm as it is called in Japan) packs a lot of punch. It covers not only Gally's struggle with the new discovery of her lethal abilities, it also deals with several other issues that cause the overall conflict in this title. There are three other major characters that bring inspiration: Ido; Chiren, Ido's former lover; and Yugo, Gally's love interest. Ido is a man of principles who has left his old home, the floating city of Zalem, for reasons that aren't made too clear in the anime. Suffice it to say that because of his principles, he has been one of the few concerned citizens that are determined to see injustice destroyed.

Both Chiren and Yugo are obsessed with Zalem. Because of this obsession, they indirectly make life more miserable for Gally and Ido. Chiren, a cyborg healer like Ido, has the nasty habit of creating hideous monsters meant to destroy Gally and, in effect, Ido. Yugo, on the other hand, is just plain out of his mind. He'd do everything just to earn enough money to get to Zalem, even at the risk of his own life.or Gally's.

The artwork is superb, especially when it comes to Gally. And the moves! If there's something that you won't see in the much more complete manga version of Battle Angel, it's this. Gally puts realism in the codename "Battle Angel", for she moves with the grace of an ethereal being-almost belying the deadliness of her blows. Her only flaw? Well, she falls in love with an ugly guy who has no sense. Must be caused by her overly long stay in that stinky junkyard Ido had found her in. She can't all be that perfect, but then, this necessary glitch is actually what makes this Yukito Kishiro masterpiece just that-a masterpiece. Truly, a man who can infuse so much realism in an imaginary world can only be called a genius.

Oh yeah, before I forget. Expect a lot of blood and gore (and a bit of naked flesh) to compliment the intense action scenes.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 8; Characters 7; Sounds 7

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