Anime Meta-Review


Battle Angel Alita


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Gunnm
  • seen: 1-2 of 2
  • type: OAV
  • grade: worthy
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title has been commercially released in Australia.
  • made: 1993
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

This was released in Australia as a movie, but is really two OAV episodes. However since they connect very cleanly it is not an issue. This anime is a good piece of work, drawing strongly from volume 1 and 2 of the Alita graphic novels but quite willing to make the changes so it works in the time allowed. This includes the introduction of a character not in the Manga who is useful in connecting and expediting the anime. The story follows Alita, a cyborg built from remains found by the good hearted Dr. Ido. She is ignorant of her past, but seems to have retained powerful combat abilities from her previous existence. She is driven to use these to re-discover herself (and survive in the dark-future junkyard they inhabit) while at the same time growing as a person.

This anime basically covers one important event in each of these spheres, while telling a story and exploring the unique world of the manga. Interestingly Alita's early development is largely absent, allowing us to go straight into the story, and a lot of other details are also abstracted. Even so this is a busy movie (or short OAV) and a lot of ground is covered, but the writing is sufficiently capable that it is never a problem. The characters from the manga are well represented, especially Alita and Ido, and while the dub doesn't match my feeling of the characters it is quite acceptable in general. Likewise the look of both the world and characters from the manga is accurately retained, although at times this level of detail does seem to limit the ability to have smooth animation. Of course watching Alita in combat (the manga has lots of action too) is good fun in general (think deadly and cute) and sufficiently well animated to be very enjoyable. In essence this is an excellent example of how a good story can be derived from the rich source a manga offers, and be acceptable to people approaching it from both directions. Still, if you like this anime, and can cope with manga, be sure to check out the excellent graphic novels from Viz.

  • The Anime Review likes it, including the style, in this review but states that it is too short to be satisfying.
  • The Anime Critic is right into it in this positive review calling it, "a rare gem of an anime".
  • THEM agree, and have an excellent review as well, calling it the best, "cyborg-angst" anime they've seen.
  • Lord Carnage does not really review it, stating that the short length makes it a very limited experience.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:14 WST 2009