Upgrade to a better browser, please.

Worlds Without End Blog

SF Manga 101: Battle Angel Alita & Battle Angel Alita: Last Order Posted at 10:54 AM by Glenn Hough


Glenn Hough (gallyangel) is a nonpracticing futurist, an anime and manga otaku, and is almost obsessive about finishing several of the lists tracked on WWEnd. In this series on SF Manga Glenn will provide an overview of the medium and the place of science fiction within it.

Gally1Two very strange things happened with Battle Angel during it’s production, which, good god!, started in 1991 and is still going on. When it came to the states, VIZ, for reasons I’ve never been able to find out or figure out, changed the name of the title character to Alita. Her name is Gally in the original. Obviously, no one at Viz looked up the word Gally in the OED. Why would they? Gally, in colloquial english, just means to inspire the fear of death. Root word is probably gallows. As the manga unfolds, we see that Gally certainly is someone who inspires the fear of death.

The second strange thing is Kishiro ended Battle Angel with volume 9. This is only strange since volume 17 of the Last Order arc is due out this month. I’ve heard he was pressured to end it; he was canceled. I’ve heard he rushed the ending due to illness and then couldn’t stand that ending. I’ve heard a lot of things so I don’t know what’s true. What I do know is that Kishiro goes on to another project but returns to Battle Angel a few years later. An omnibus version of Battle Angel appeared in Japan and the last few chapters of volume 9 were lopped off from that edition. The chapters which wraps things up are gone and Kishiro proceeds into the Last Order arc as if he’s just taken time off from the series. It’s as if that ending never happened. Now that I’m more familiar with how the manga system works in Japan, I certainly respect this author for asserting control over his work, which is not always the case over there.

Read the rest of this entry »