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  1. #1
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    Alita: Battle Angel - WARNING: Could get spoilery. Could get NSFW

    Just thought with the movie release of Alita, that the subject deserved its very own thread to discuss the new live action film, the old school OVA, or the various manga series. Let's nerd out. Nothing's off limits, so spoil away!

    Talking about in the other thread (https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...heaters-thread) has inspired me to revisit the old manga, so I just uploaded everything I have to my iPad last night. Starting with the original series, "Battle Angel Alita," and going to finish that before diving into the follow-up "Last Order," but going through them made me realize that I don't think I quite finished that, plus now there' the "Martian Chronicle" series to work on! LOTS to catch up on and revisit. Timely Kotaku article too from yesterday:
    https://kotaku.com/the-battle-angel-...ead-1832627887
    And a quick primer about the series order: https://kodanshacomics.com/2018/01/2...e-angel-alita/

    Anyway, as you all know already from the other thread, I LOVED the movie and walked away from the theater extremely pleased with how Cameron and Rodriguez treated the source material. Sure, there were plenty of changes, but at least they didn't abuse anything and the changes made sense for either quasi-scientific reasons or to achieve that PG-13 rating for box office purposes. Haha. Either way, the new live action release gets 2 hudge thumbs up from me.

  2. #2
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    For those who haven't seen the anime version, it's on YouTube these days, so here ya go. :



    FWIW, I vastly prefer the Japanese language version (which I own thankfully - NERD ALERT!), so feel free to seek that one out if you want, but this one is at least accessible for a quick intro. Worth a free watch for sure!

  3. #3
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    Well, I'll be. Looks like Comixology (now owned by Amazon) has upped their game big time since I last logged on years ago when I was reading the Walking Dead series on there. They now have Last Order and the other misc. follow-ups, which used to be unavailable for purchase in the US, at least in translated form. My current digital copy of Last Order is a fan-made English translation, which was the best we could do at the time and isn't the highest quality. Now that they have EVERYTHING that I'm aware of, including the Martian Chronicle, it might be worth downloading the Comixology app on your device of choice. They also now have an $5.99/month subscription (free for the first month) that the entire original Alita manga series will fall under, so you could easily sign up for the free trial and blast through that before the month is up. Anyway, here are the links in case you're interested in diving in to the manga. Not that I advocate it, BUUUUT if one was so inclined (wink wink), this stuff isn't too hard to locate from less reputable sources in *.cbr form, which you can view with any number of comic book readers apps. But now that there's a legit source now, that's what I'll be doing. Especially since the Comixology versions always seem to be the highest quality scans. Originally, I read Alita all in the physical collections, but my brother has them now, and they seem to be stupid expensive now for a re-buy, so I'll be going the digital route this time. Anyway, enjoy!:

    Battle Angel Alita: https://www.comixology.com/Battle-An...s-series/97224
    Last Order: https://www.comixology.com/Battle-An...s-series/72355
    Holy Night and Other Stories: https://www.comixology.com/Battle-An...-series/125192
    Mars Chronicle: https://www.comixology.com/Battle-An...-series/111944

  4. #4
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    Whoa ...... you scary.

  5. #5
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    Now up to 94% on Rotten Tomatoes: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/alita_battle_angel
    Pretty sure it's safe to say that we can officially ignore the film critics on this one. Funny enough though, the critics have bumped up their side of it a bit too now, going from "rotten" to "fresh" (barely) as of today. Some are saying it's a long suggested conspiracy that some critics are bought and paid for, and they didn't want it perform better than upcoming Captain Marvel, which Alita just barely beat to market. Now that the critics have been getting blasted so hard for their idiotic reviews, I think some of them have come around. Lol.

    Also kind of interesting that it's taken almost 3 decades to make it to the big screen: https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com...he-big-screen/
    Which makes some of the criticisms that much more idiotic, as I've seen some critics say that Alita ripped off this or that movie that came out looooooooong after Alita was written. Not that it should matter since pretty much everything draws inspiration from something else anyway. But even with 29 years in the making, it still seems like something totally fresh out of Hollywood instead of yet ANOTHER reboot of a reboot of a reboot of a reboot. (looking at you, Spiderman)

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    Were you involved in making this movie? You seem to be taking the negative reviews kinda personally.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Were you involved in making this movie? You seem to be taking the negative reviews kinda personally.
    Haha. Not quite, but it sure feels like it. Just been a fan of it since I was in middle school and saw it the first time ('93), then read the series, then got all pumped when James Cameron announced he bought the rights to make a live action adaptation back in 2003! So needless to say, many of us have been waiting anxiously a looooooooong time for this one. Most of us were seriously expecting the worst after the treatment Ghost in the Shell and others got, and then seeing the previews we were like 'uh-oh, this could suck', but then the movie actually turned out good. Really good. Anime and sci-fi nerds are usually the WORST about being overly critical about their favorite things, so to see it get pretty much everybody's stamp of approval says a lot. I guess it's just that a lot of us have been kind of emotionally invested in this film for 16 years and then when it actually kicked ass, it's been annoying as anything to see the critics bash it for dumb reasons that aren't even remotely true.

  8. #8
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    ...
    SPOILER TIME!
    ...
    Started re-reading, and right off the bat came across a great example of one of the differences in the original story versus the movie. The origin of how she got her pretty new arms. I can see why they made the change. Lol.

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post
    Haha. Not quite, but it sure feels like it. Just been a fan of it since I was in middle school and saw it the first time ('93), then read the series, then got all pumped when James Cameron announced he bought the rights to make a live action adaptation back in 2003! So needless to say, many of us have been waiting anxiously a looooooooong time for this one. Most of us were seriously expecting the worst after the treatment Ghost in the Shell and others got, and then seeing the previews we were like 'uh-oh, this could suck', but then the movie actually turned out good. Really good. Anime and sci-fi nerds are usually the WORST about being overly critical about their favorite things, so to see it get pretty much everybody's stamp of approval says a lot. I guess it's just that a lot of us have been kind of emotionally invested in this film for 16 years and then when it actually kicked ass, it's been annoying as anything to see the critics bash it for dumb reasons that aren't even remotely true.
    I hope it makes a huge pile of money internationally because if it does not, then that will probably kill off any remaining vestige of hope that Akira ever claws its way out of development hell. Akira needs someone like Cameron to make it happen. Otomo sold his rights to those douchebags at Warner Bros nearly 20 years ago and the bean counters wont let it happen. Each successive director tries and fails to come up with a treatment that the execs will green light. The execs want an adaptation that swaps in American and Chinese characters in place of Japanese because, in their eyes, CGI intensive sci-fi/action films are all just fungible crap and the marketing is all that counts. Dreamworks execs had basically the same lazy opinion of Ghost in the Shell which is why it finally released as an uninspired, franchise killing, half formed mishmash of the original film with white people thrown in to sell it. Akira's currently attached director, Taika Waititi, wanted to build Akira into a multi film franchise faithful to the manga. He spoke out against a whitewash of the characters and now he seems to have given up as well. He's got other projects going and never talks about it anymore.
    Last edited by neckdeep; 02-21-2019 at 10:27 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by neckdeep View Post
    I hope it makes a huge pile of money internationally because if it does not, then that will probably kill off any remaining vestige of hope that Akira ever claws its way out of development hell. Akira needs someone like Cameron to make it happen.
    Exactly. I hope it does great too, because it could prove once and for all to the idiot studio execs that being more true to a story or a writer's/director's vision CAN pay off. One of the reasons that Alita is resonating so well with audiences is because of how few compromises it actually makes. If they do Akira though, it really is going to require an R-rating, which GitS should have had as well. I remember the battle that the Deadpool movie team had with the studios. Ryan Reynolds even threatened to walk off the project if they watered it down to PG-13. The studios gave in, and it worked! Smash success. Fans would've crucified it if it was untrue to the comics. Sometimes the studios really just need to let the directors to their jobs. If the head honchos at WB have their way with Akira, it's going to be awful. The reason Rodriguez was able to get away with making it how he did was because he had James Cameron's back on this one (who has as much pull as anybody in Hollywood can have), and it was a true labor of love from both of them, not to mention the entire cast.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post
    I remember the battle that the Deadpool movie team had with the studios. Ryan Reynolds even threatened to walk off the project if they watered it down to PG-13. The studios gave in, and it worked! Smash success.
    IMO, Deadpool 2 has solved that problem by offering three different edits of the film for digital release: PG13, R and the extra raunchy alternative dialogue/extra scenes "super duper" cut. The super duper cut is totally worth watching, if you haven't seen it. I expect we'll get to a point where big budget films can run a PG13 and an R theatrical release.

  12. #12
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    Just read this idiotic opinion piece from my phone's news feed. Pretty apparent the author knows NOTHING of the source material. The comment section is hilarious, though. Seems that EVERYBODY gets it except for the "woke" author. Haha.
    https://www.cbr.com/alita-battle-ang...shing-problem/

  13. #13
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    Just finished Volume 1 last night: https://www.comixology.com/Battle-An...l-comic/521616
    Hooooly balls. All I have to say is that while I did remember the manga being gorier than the new movie, I didn't remember the disparity being THAT much, but sheesh. If people's heads getting popped like zits, brains and semi-attached eyeballs flying, and general dismemberment bothers you, then this one may not be for you, although it IS in comic form so probably not as big a deal as if they did it a movie. The frame with the junkie with needles stuck all over him from head to toe, looking like he's in sheer bliss did crack me up. On to Volume 2!


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    Just wrapped up the 7th book (out of 9). Dayum. I just HAD to bump this thread after some of what I've been getting through. The action sequences are SO freaking badass. Here's a great example of a scene out of book 6 (Angel of Death), where she single-handedly wipes out an entire squad of baddies. Their brief backstory will give you the heeby jeebies alone. Yeesh. Anyway, check this sequence out:

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    All I gotta say is that if we get blessed with a sequel, I REALLY hope they give it the hard R rating the series deserves. My examples only just barely scratch the surface. Holy crap I'm enjoying re-reading the series. What a hoot. So much crazy stuff packed in there, it'll seriously haunt your dreams. Go check it out for real. BTW, saw the entire original collection at Barnes and Noble the other day. You can get a giganto book of it all for like $40. Or just get the Comixology free trial and just binge like mad.

  15. #15
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    The sound effects are amusing.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB View Post
    The sound effects are amusing.
    I'm curious as to whether or not those are literal translations of the sound effects or just the English approximation of the original Japanese sound effects...
    "Man, we killin' elephants in the back yard..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
    I'm curious as to whether or not those are literal translations of the sound effects or just the English approximation of the original Japanese sound effects...
    Do Japanese guns go "Budda Budda Budda"? That seems... less lethal.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
    I'm curious as to whether or not those are literal translations of the sound effects or just the English approximation of the original Japanese sound effects...
    I'm guessing an approximation. All the latest re-releases including the one I'm currently reading actually are in the more correct and ORIGINAL right to left order and use all the original Japanese characters for the sound effects. Thankfully they include translations for all the sound effects at the end of each volume. For whatever reason, the releases from the late 90s (like the scans I posted above) are actually mirror images of the more accurate copies as they read left to right. Kind of a bastardized version made for Western audiences.

    It's my understanding that newest versions out right now are the superior translations overall. Better image quality too. Kind of fun to read it with the Japanese onomatopoeia.

  19. #19
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    I'm sorry but, imho, that artwork is rudimentary scribbling when compared to Katsuhiro Otomo.

    https://readcomiconline.to/Comic/Akira/Issue-1?id=87411

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    Last edited by neckdeep; 07-02-2019 at 12:39 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by neckdeep View Post
    I'm sorry but, imho, that artwork is rudimentary scribbling when compared to Katsuhiro Otomo.
    No doubt that Katshurio Otomo's artwork is next level, but is Édouard Manet "better" than Vincent van Gogh? Different strokes, my friend. Different strokes. Not that Yukito Koshiro's any slouch, btw. Besides, I'm just showing off some snippets. There is indeed some absolutely admirable artwork throughout the series that aren't reflected in my particular screenshots. These are some of my favorites. Pretty badass IMO:

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  21. #21
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    Just wrapped up the last book of the initial series last night! Wow. What a wild ride. I won't spoil any more from that one, so you'll just have to check it out for yourself. Now on to the Alite (or Gunnm): Last Order series! I started reading a fan translation many years ago, before it was ever released in the US and I remember it getting pretty crazy and a bit of a departure from the original series. In a good way perhaps. The series just doesn't get stale and too repetitive like say, The Walking Dead. Look forward to FINALLY reading through it, though. Then the Alita: Martian Chronicle series after that. Man. Lots more catching up to do than I realized!

    I know it's VERY iffy whether or not the movie sequel gets greenlit, but if they end up pursuing the franchise, there is a LOT of source material to tap into. One of those series that could go on for years and year and never even come close to scratching the surface. Could actually make for a good TV series too if only there was a budget big enough. Animated might be the right course of action on this one. They COULD always just pick the anime series back up where they left off back in 1993.

  22. #22
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    Finally watched the Robert Rodriguez/James Cameron film last night.
    It was entertaining, at least in terms of the visuals, which really reminded me of the Wachowski's Speed Racer and Jupiter Ascending with a bit of Transformers tossed in for good measure (the way the cyborgs moved was similar to how the Autobots and Decepticons move in the those films).
    While the film (and subsequently the manga upon which it is based) obviously jacked the concept of Motorball from the classic '70s film Rollerball (and probably Solarbabies, as well), I was surprised to learn that the manga is from the '90s, so the concept of the floating metropolis where rich people live could very easily have influenced more recent films like Elysium (and others). Then again the concept of a floating city dates back to Swift's Gulliver's Travels...and the concept of rich people living above the poor dates back to before medieval times, so it's really nothing terribly new.
    The special effects were pretty stunning, especially all of the cyborgs (the final confrontation between Zapan was nuts).
    I did find some of the plot and much of the dialogue (especially between Alita and Hugo) to be a bit dumbed down. I actually found the juxtaposition between the R-rated styled violence and the G-rated dialogue to be off-putting and I can see why it didn't fare too well at the Box Office.
    Methinks that it would have benefited from being an ongoing series so that the story and characters could have been fleshed out a bit more.
    I am intrigued about the manga now, though, and may try and track it down, as well as trying to watch the anima from the '90s.
    Not sure if I'm that invested in a sequel or sequels, though.
    Off of this said, I do wish I had seen it on the BIG screen with surround sound. That definitely would have made a difference, I believe.
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    ^^^ also got around to watching it recently. Thought it was... fine. Pretty formulaic, but at least it's not a rehash or sequel. The blatant posturing for a sequel at the end was kind of bullshit, and the super bland boyfriend love interest character was a waste of screen time. Otherwise, it was a solid action flick in the "entirely reliant on cgi" sub genre.

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    It made me feel like a thirteen year old girl by the time it ended.
    Anime doesn't work all that well for me, but I put that aside and enjoyed it.
    Then washed my hands.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    ^^^ also got around to watching it recently. Thought it was... fine. Pretty formulaic, but at least it's not a rehash or sequel. The blatant posturing for a sequel at the end was kind of bullshit, and the super bland boyfriend love interest character was a waste of screen time. Otherwise, it was a solid action flick in the "entirely reliant on cgi" sub genre.
    Fair points. Funny thing about the little boyfriend side arc is that when looking back at the manga as a whole, he's but a blip on the radar. He's not in there very long before he dies. BUT since the movie kind of just scratched the surface as to the beginning of the whole series I can see how you'd think he got too much screen time, but it is fairly proportionate to THAT segment of the books. If we get sequels, don't worry, he doesn't make a comeback. She does get another love interest waaaaay later down the line but that one's much better. Whereas Hugo was kind of a silly teenage love story, her next relationship's more adult which makes sense because it's years down the road. Next guy's a great character too but unfortunately she kind of forgets about him as she keeps gallivanting around the world kicking ass and taking names. Wish he had more presence in the books, so I wouldn't mind if the movies played that one up more but we'd be talking like 3 or 4 movies down the line if we ever even get that far which isn't too likely. I could see the writers shoehorning that story arc in prematurely. My guess is IF we get any sequel, part 2 will be love story free. At least as far as Alita goes.

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