Tiphares is the mid-air city from the popular manga, 'Battle Angel Alita'. In the first few manga, not much is known about Tiphares, but it gets explained more in the later books. It is home to the elite, made up of doctors, scientists, and other highly intelligent people. Its junk is expelled from the bottom of the city, onto the Scrap Yard, making it very dirty.

SPOILER: Don't read this if you haven't read all of the Battle Angel Alita manga.

******The truth about Tiphares! It was constructed hundreds of years ago, in the distant future, to revitalise humanity and protect it from extinction. However, to keep the humans from becoming extinct, they created genetically superior humans. Their brains were extracted during initiation to become a citizen of Tiphares, replacing them with computer chips that would make them genetically advanced. This chip caused them to behave in a certain way, and to not question their reason for living in this place. Readers will find out about this secret in the graphic novel, 'Angel's Ascension'.******

Many from the scrap yard have worshipped Tiphares as a god, and many have tried to travel there, but it is difficult to get to, you would be killed if you dare attempt to get there. And example of this: Hugo's older brother attempted to travel to Tiphares in a hand-made hot air balloon, but before he was able to fly it, he got killed for trying such a thing. Hugo himself wished to travel to Tiphares, but what he didn't know was no one from the scrapyard could travel there. See 'the truth about Tiphares.'

Tiphares controls the Scrap Yard using machines, such as Deckmen, who work the Factory, registering people as Hunter Warriors, maintaining the peace, and supervise the statistics for the game Motorball.

In the latest installation of Battle Angel Alita, Alita finds herself in Tiphares for the first time, and the horrors it presents are quite disturbing.

A note on the name:

Thinking about such things as what the meaning behind the city of Tiphares is, is why I currently have to apply the brakes until my mind comes to a screeching halt in University.

Tiphares, while being a translation from the original Zalem, has many references to specific concepts placed in the series. Tiphares is a Hebrew word whose meaning is "form". The name is interesting because translating it into Greek and Chinese gives different meanings.

In Greek, "form", or Eidos, is used by Plato in The Republic to describe a world beyond the senses, where people can truly understand what is going on around them, and which is the only base for an orderly political community where people can live free of their passions. Which is, after all, what Tiphares appears to be.

However, the Chinese translation of "form", Se, has a more negative connoctation. Se is a Buddhist term denoting the concept of form, but the word can also mean "color" or "lust". The Dream of the Red Chamber (which for some obvious and not so obvious reasons, could have been a big influence on Gun Dream) famously states: from Kong, which is Truth, comes Se, which is illusion. In many ways, the people of Tiphares are still cut off from the truth, they are merely living in a more refined state of illusion than the denizens of the scrapyard.

It should also be noted that in Hebrew belief, Tiphares is still in the worlds of gilgul, or reincarnation. Desty Nova, the Karmic Scientist is from Tiphares, and despite his best efforts, is still caught up in his karma.

So the name "Tiphares" perfectly captures the nature of the city: a totalitarian state where people live free of crude passions, but left in a world of form where they are still trapped in their karma.

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