Ric (Webmaster)

Based on:  Volumes 1 & 2 (Original Release)

Publisher:  Viz Communications

I bought the first volume of this on the strength of the animé and was more than a little disappointed. Although the art is absolutely stunning and the setting inspired, the dialogue is too self important with an awful lot of unfocused philosophical rambling which is out of kilter with the action.

The action, however, is excellent with a real sense of speed and power in the drawings. Alita’s facing down of huge hulking cyborgs works as well here as it does in the animé, but unfortunately the enemies are mainly crap. Brain eating cyber worms? Oh dear…

Volume two does get a bit better (I bought it in the vague hope that it would), basically being the same as the second animé episode. Even the philosophy is a little more focused, unfortunately though very little emphasis is put on the other characters and the early introduction of a werewolf really doesn’t work in the futuristic setting.

At the end of the day more focus should have been put on the action rather than the characters’ motivation - why do they always have to discover who they are through battle? Why don’t they just pick up a self-help book or go travelling Morocco like the rest of us? It’s a shame that the series can’t be better because the art is absolutely stunning, almost worth buying it for alone, but the enemies look like hammer horror gone sci-fi and the dialogue is contrived. Maybe I’m being harsh, as the series is quite popular and I have read only two volumes, but to me it seems that more could have been done with such an excellent idea.

Best Bit: Alita's retribution against Zapan.

Worst Bit: Anything in volume 1 featuring Makaku.

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