Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 by Yukito Kishiro

Title: Battle Angel Alita
Stand-Alone: Deluxe Edition Vol. 1
Author(s): Yukito Kishiro
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Format: Hardcover – Deluxe Edition
Release Date: November 21st 2017
Pages: 430
Genre(s): Manga, Science Fiction
ISBN13: 9781632365989
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Also in Battle Angel Alita:
Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 2 by Yukito Kishiro.
Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 3 by Yukito Kishiro.
Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 4 by Yukito Kishiro.
Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 5 by Yukito Kishiro.
Battle Angel Alita: Holy Night and Other Stories by Yukito Kishiro.

What do you get when you put innocence, beauty and destruction together? This chick. Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition 1 collects the first two volumes of this famous cyberpunk action classic featuring the little cyborg girl and her pursuit for answers. Recovered from a scrapyard without a body or memories of her past life, cyber-doctor Daisuke Ido vows to build her back whole. Blinded by his desire to create something perfect to his eyes, Ido quickly finds out that his selfishness has been excluding anything and everything Alita might feel. It is this look into her adaptation to her new life that pulls this story in intriguing directions.

Throughout this collection, readers are introduced to Alita and discover that she still withholds lingering muscle memory in the form of extremely dangerous and kick-ass martial arts. The story then investigates some important philosophical questions in a very minimalist fashion while giving readers a gore-filled action-packed excursion throughout the Scrapyard. With the floating space city of Zalem above them continues to convey a dystopian atmosphere, the world in which Alita finds herself remains mysterious at its core, but also riddled with dangerous beings that will force her to seek her most precious and powerful survival skills.


It would honestly be an understatement to say that this volume contained a lot of headless bodies. While Alita is portrayed as a little girl with a bubbly face and a woman’s body, her strength is immeasurable and the damage she can cause is irreparable. There often seems to be a focus on asserting a certain distinction between what is of the mind and what is of the body, which might also explain why the violence in this series is often always aimed separating the head from the body. The art style also greatly focus on her character and the insane acrobatic moves she’s able to accomplish. It really highlights the importance of the freedom of movement, and there’s nothing better than a hitgirl like Alita to showcase it in all its grace.

The author also inserts bits of scientific or philosophical terms throughout the story that are accompanied by footnotes to wrap the reader within its universe. They are not all factual, but they do serve their purpose in suggesting certain ideas believed by the characters in this story. It’s also worth reiterating that this series is much more focused on the action sequences rather than on the dialogues, but whenever there is a dialogue, there is also a profound examination of the life of a cyborg, of a machine. From ideas of happiness to beauty, this series isn’t just a silly story wanting to create a kick-ass female character. In fact, Battle Angel Alita is a reflection of the consciousness and of perception of mankind through the eyes of a cyborg.

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

Did you know we were getting a live-action adaptation of our little Alita soon? Check out the trailer above!



37 thoughts on “Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 by Yukito Kishiro

  1. I saw an announcement somewhere about the live action movie and the comments were nothing but hardcore fans acting like it was the end of the world. Their poor attitude pissed me off so much that I didn’t want to watch the movie on general principle.

    I knew nothing about the franchise but just found their attitude very off-putting. Now that I’ve read your review and have some idea of what it is, I doubt I’ll watch it. Ultra-violence on screen and pseudo-philosophical “what makes me human” has to be done just right for me (John Wick is an example of ultra violence done right) and the franchise as a whole doesn’t sound like it’s something I’d enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Quite the assault it got when the trailer released. Saw so many people complain about the eyes in particular. I just know my curiosity was piqued by the trailer, which brought me to try out the manga to see what it was about. I wouldn’t say that the philosophy was revolutionary in the way it was integrated, but it’s definitely part of the attraction. As for the violence, I’m convinced the movie won’t go all the way like the manga did. I think the movie will do a nice job in toning it down so that focus goes on the narrative.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been off and on with whether this was a series I was going to tackle. I think it will boil down to how gratuitous the violence feels with the plotline. But in all honesty, I am intrigued and it sounds like my cup up tea so I will probably give it a fair effort at some point 😉 I had no idea it was being adapted! Wonderful and helpful review Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would honestly have a tough time to recommend this with all my heart though. The level of violence was really unexpected when I picked this up, but it’s part of her character’s baggage. The beauty of her violence however lies in the martial arts, not necessarily the end result. Hopefully the movie will focus on that (and I think it will since the movie is PG-13, I believe). Battle Angel Alita should be picked up when you feel curious enough to want to try it. I don’t think it’s something you should hunt down ASAP. 😉 Thank you so much for reading, Danielle! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good stuff mate and I applaud your thoughtful analysis. I haven’t read this myself or any Manga for that matter but it’s something I keep telling myself I’ll dip into. I like a bit of anime – mainly Ghost in the Shell, the Guyver, Cowboy Bebop, Gundam so it’s seems like it would be a natural next step for me.

    The only thing is, like anime itself, a lot of manga often seems, on a cursory inspection, well, a little goofy (that’s what’s put me off reading the original Ghost in the Shell manga). It’s just a case of finding the right stuff I guess and I always like things with a bit of philosophical depth.

    I knew about the live action movie – does that come out this year?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man. I used to love anime and manga and all that back in high school and then completely stopped indulging them before completing high school. Battle Angel Alita is actually my first attempt to re-enter the shonen manga/anime world. Ghost in the Shell and Gundam are some of the series I want to try out and see what their like now that I’m pretty much an adult hahah I got to admit that it definitely does get goofy and lame at times, but having read and seen some really good stuff, I am convinced that it’s just a matter of finding them. As for the movie, I think it’s supposed to come out near Christmas this year. I find it really odd that the trailer was released so early and no marketing whatsoever has been done for it ever since that trailer was dropped. Maybe the fact that James Cameron is working on this will grab enough attention so that it doesn’t flop. I do trust in Christoph Waltz though. Great actor!


    1. It’s definitely a fascinating idea that has plenty of potential. Well worth looking into if it’s your cup of tea! And the violence can get pretty intense indeed. The movie is bound to tone it down hahahah Thanks for reading, Lydia! 😀


  4. Battle Angel Alita has been on my TBR for years. While I tend to avoid violence, I don’t mind it in manga, however. There’s something about the black and white images which make the violence less realistic to me. However, I haven’t picked it up yet since my library doesn’t have a copy. 😦 Perhaps with the adaption coming out, they’ll get a copy of the series in soon? One can hope!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Waahhhh! It’s nice to hear that violence in mangas are easier to digest for you then! I think these deluxe editions have been getting published because of the release of that trailer too. Hope you do get the chance to explore it someday. It’s super quick to read too. It’s light on dialogue and focuses heavily on the art and action. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As long as the art is clearly displaying the action, I’m sure I’ll fall in love. It’s when the action is always portrayed as “fast” that I get lost. I tried reading Naruto once and gave up. I had no idea what each panel was showing me during the fight scenes! This seems much classier, however. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, thank you for your own love for mangas/animes. Having been bombarded by your reviews of them, it has finally gotten me to rekindle my love for them. While I can’t read as many since I still got comics and books to read, it has been an awesome re-exploration so far. 😀 Hope you get the chance to explore it someday soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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