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Battle Angel Alita is among the best
Jun 04, 2007 by hdefined
How could this series have eluded me for this long? Any fan of manga should invest in Battle Angel Alita. Even if they’re not big on action, Alita’s got plenty of character development and drama to spare. Set in a dynamic backdrop that’s a cross between Star Wars locales and Bladerunner science, the world of Alita just clicks. It’s got something of a formula between volumes, but one that’s flexible enough to offer real change in each episode.
This time out, Alita thinks she might be in love with an idealistic youth named Hugo. Though Alita falls for this kid right off the bat, what’s admirable about her infatuation for him is that she’s inspired by his enthusiasm for life. What could have easily devolved into melodramatic soap instead takes the time to explore themes of what it means to be human through the separate desires of Hugo and Alita. Oh, and there’s action and double-crosses and spine-stealing and lots of death too. It’s a lot of content for 200+ pages with a distinct beginning and conclusion, which is rather unusual for the typical manga product.
If words and the effort of reading images in a sequence makes your eyes glaze over (to which I may ask, why are you browsing a manga website?), BAA is still a must-have for the amazing art. The amount of detail in each character in each panel seems to borrow a cue from western art with similarities to a Vertigo-era Chris Bachalo, although Kishiro still demonstrates eastern storytelling sensibilities. But the art is just too dynamic to the point that I feel I ought to be paying double the cover price. Why don’t artists, east or west, put this much effort into every single panel anymore?
I can tell this is hardly the most essential chapter in this series, and yet it’s still a must-have. This is what comics are supposed to be, folks.
This review was originally published online at www.mangalife.com. It can be found here: http://www.mangalife.com/reviews/BattleAngelAlitav2Tearsofa.htm
hdefined also recommended: Akira,
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