Alita is the main character of the Battle Angel Alita manga
. Undeniably heroic
, she even comes with a mysterious origin as a cyborg brain
found in the Scrapheap
without memories. She's interested in philosophy
, and fighting as a way towards enlightenment
. Over the series, she works as a Hunter-Warrior
, a motorballer
, a Tuned
agent, and finally as a free woman. Being a full cyborg
, her body often changes from job to job, although she always retains the form of a small woman. She's used Ido's piecework body, a Beserker
body, a competition motorball body
, a soft machine body
, and finally, the custom-designed Imaginos
body. In the earlier volumes she's presented as a master of Panzer Kunst
, although its importance fades in the later volumes. She is a superb fighter throughout, though not perfect.
She's hardly a two-dimensional character, going from contentment to anger to depression to love to seeking to joy throughout the series. While definitely good, she's not perfect, though she avoids the tiresome cliche of an anti-hero with a heart of gold. Because of the many directions she takes, I can't pin down her, but I think her defining characteristic is empathy. In most of her battles, she becomes closer to her challenger than most people in her life. She grows to understand and even love them throughout the battle, and have these feelings returned by her enemy. This doesn't necessitate sparing them, however. A character with perhaps a similar sense of empathy is Aenea of Endymion and The Rise of Endymion, although I'd hesitate to make the Jesus comparison with Alita considering her far more violent bent. Her relationships become more normal later in the series, but many of her moral lessons are learned through victory or defeat. Yukito Kishiro also throws in a sense of humor sometimes, but she expresses this mostly through asides. Speaking of which, she's afraid of evil-eye butterflys, and has tako lips.
Despite Alita's empathy, she spends much of the series as an outsider of one type or another. Her actual relationships are mostly confined to either combat or hero worship on the part of others. Still, by the end of the series she's had close relationships with Daisuke Ido, Hugo, Koyomi, Ed, Figure Four, Kaos, Lou Collins, and in a very mono no awari sense, Desty Nova. In comparison, her more adversarial relationships have been against Makaku, Jashugan, Zapan, Knucklehead, Den, and of course, Desty Nova.
Alita is the Viz name. In the original Japanese manga and the anime, she's known as Gally. Parts of her missing memories return in the series, but her true name is a spoiler and therefore hidden through pipes.
Although Alita has various philosophical points and insights throughout the series, they are tied too deeply to immediate circumstances to give full impact if simply quoted. Similarily, her battle cries don't translate well to text. Just read it.
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