The 2nd Dimension

Monday, November 22, 2004

OMFG!! James Cameron finally confirms BATTLE ANGEL ALITA movie!!

As far as I'm concerned this is bigger -- yes I said BIGGER -- news than the Sin City movie. After years of rumors and speculations, James Cameron finally publicly confirmed to NPR that he will in fact be directing a live action movie version of Yukito Kishiro's awesome manga and my all-time favorite comic/manga/story ever: Battle Angel Alita!

"The film will feature a fully CG rendered protagonist and the film itself will be filmed in 3-D." What the difference between CG and 3-D is, I am not entirely sure, but hopefully it will not be an entirely CG movie like Final Fantasy. To me, it just seems like having a CG character would minimize the emotional impact that the story should have.

I first caught wind of this 2 or 3 years ago when 20th Century Fox bought the domain name. Then, every so often, Cameron would hint at wanting to work on a BAA movie, but never actually confirmed when/if production would begin. Now, he says that production will begin this upcoming summer.

So what is Battle Angel Alita you ask?

Here's the word strait from Yukito Kishiro's official site:

Tiphares, the gigantic and mysterious mid-air city, covers the sky. Underneath, junkies and cyborgs live in the ruined city known as the "Scrap Yard".

Within the giant pile of ruble cast off from the city in the sky, begins the story of a girl.

One day in the Scrap Yard, and ex-Tipherean citizen and cybernetic doctor named "Ido" finds the partially destroyed body of a young cyborg girl. He names her "Alita".

Even after being restored by Ido, Alita has no memory, so she fights to recover her true self that is hidden somewhere inside her body. While helping Ido against a powerful enemy, Alita's ability to use the "Panzer Kunst", a long lost fighting technique, returns.

By fighting through various encounters in this sci-fi action epic, the cyborg girl, Alita, grows as a human being.

The original manga (known as "Gunm" in Japan) concluded after 9 volumes. Kishiro proceded to worked on a few decent projects including Aqua Knight and Ashen Victor. Then, in 2002, Viz released the english version of the sequel -- Battle Angel Alita: Last Order -- which is currently on the fourth volume. The sequel is actually a very extended alternate ending to the original series (as Kishiro was never fully satisfied with the original ending).

There is also an anime OAV called Battle Angel. The anime loosely covers the first 2 volumes of the manga. It is very good, and relatively popular in the US. But unfortunately what is popular in the US isn't necessarily so in Japan, so follow-up animation was never made.

As you might be able to tell, I am psychoticly in love with this series, so just like with anything else, I am praying to God that Cameron does this manga the justice it deserves.

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