Battle Angel Alita Ova (1993) *Minor Spoiler Review*
This is another classic that overtime has developed a deserved following because of its story, world and characters and surprisingly was able to tell so much under such a short running time. However the problem with this as an adaptation is that this was made out of disinterest and had this lasted either as a TV series or as even longer OVA with actual development it could have easily been something groundbreaking as cyberpunk anime.
All whilst that is going on Ido is being persuaded by Chiren (an anime only character) a possible love interest who worked alongside him during their years on Zalem (Tiphares) as well as try and find a way off the dying planet to what can be described as paradise.
The story for the most part really focuses on Gally’s development as an up and coming bounty hunter and uncovering her past as well as establishing a relationship between the character of Yugo and what would eventually lead to his gruesome death whilst trying to get to Zalem and escape the nightmare of his past and his until most recently changed cyborg body.
What’s another thing to like about this are the characters, Gally is both likeable and caring and whilst parts of her development to gaining new limbs her is trimmed down unlike the manga we clearly see her story grow overtime and care more for those around her. Daisuke Ido is also a supportive and helpful side character acting like a father figure to help push Gally in the right direction in life, Yugo’s story is more based on tragedy and just trying to make a name for himself while at the same time
From an Audio Perspective it’s appealing on both sides. The music by Kaoru Wada while not being 100% memorable offers a level of gritty and primal struggle in the moments where the characters fight and deliver crucial plot points and at times when it offers a much more gentle and melancholy side to when there are moments of great sadness being delivered in the story by the characters.
From the English Dub side of things they actually show a great deal of drive and commitment from the voice actor. Done by ADV films as one of their early works Amanda Winn Lee plays Gally with both that likability and ferocity whilst adding a childlike innocence to the character, Guil Lunde plays Daisuke Ido much like a parent with a level of care for the protagonist but times line delivery seems a little forced and out of shape for the character, and then there’s Spike Spencer as Yugo which
As it stands plans to re-adapt Battle Angel Alita are non-existent except for an upcoming live action movie directed by James Cameron which has been on/off for a few years so it feels as though this movie is in a rut of development hell. Not to mention the plot and the similar themes have been used in the 2013 film Elysium directed by Neill Blomkamp, which at the moment is the closest we will get to seeing something similar to Alita happen.
Overall this is a gem from the cyberpunk years of Anime in the 90s that still holds up because of its plot and theme relevance and dated but still amazing animation. The story is engaging and when it ended feels as though it left you wanting more, with how long the manga has been going for with as much story as the OVA had to offer we could have seen Gally uncovering more about her past, taking part in Motorball and meeting up with characters from the manga such as Jashugan, Koyomi K, Desty Nova, Shumira etc.
This is a classic that deserves to be looked at and re-watched as many times as possible, the source material of the property is rich and the story really is ripe full of imagination and diversity in its cast of weird and unique characters.
Sami Sadek is a lifelong Transformers and Anime fan, and can often be found propping up bars or appearing in the background of Auto Assembly vids. He has also talks on Youtube, Tumbls on Tumblr and doodles on Deviantart. He has never had a swordfight atop a church whilst a crow watches. Honest.