I can't recall: anyone here like anime and manga?
Tue Jan 9, 2018 12:07am

If so (and you haven't heard already) James Cameron is finally set to deliver his long-rumored live-action version of the absolute classic manga Gunnm (the original anime was called Battle Angel Alita), one of the foundational cyberpunk stories (in any genre), and part of that golden age of manga/anime in the late 80's to mid-90's. The film is called Alita: Battle Angel (because reasons), and they released the first trailer just a couple-three weeks ago...and removed a vast weight from my admittedly rather scrawny shoulders.

I was worried. Although it wasn't as bad as some critics and otaku made out, Ghost in the Shell had its problems (and I don't include "whitewashing" in that list, actually). It looked good, but didn't feel right...the tone was off. And Gunnm is, if anything, a more nuanced, layered story, with deft underlying currents of alienation, a search for inclusion, the possibility of redemption, etc. It's one of my go-to examples of how the "comic book" format needn't be crap literature.

After seeing the trailer, I'm way less worried they'll cock it up. From Gally's majorly "uncanny valley" big eyes (which are actually explicitly mentioned in the original story...she's a cyborg, and "looks like a doll") to the absolutely perfect music selection to faithfully sticking to the story, the trailer is just superb. It balances action with glimpses of other character development, which shows me the filmmakers have confidence in the story, that they don't have to cram every adrenalized fight scene in the entire film into the trailer just to get butts in seats. Every scene in the trailer is in the anime. I love that.

I don't love that because I'm generally some big stickler for movies not veering from the original source material, either. A lot of movie versions of stories that originated elsewhere have to make pretty big changes. The original story sometimes just isn't told in a way that will work on the screen. But in this case, the original manga (and the 60 or so minute anime made from that first manga) don't really need changing to work on film. They'll have to add some new material to make it feature length, but from what I've seen, I'm expecting them to honor the tone and content that came before.

If you haven't, check out this trailer. I suggest going full-screen...

Alita: Battle Angel trailer

    • Joe Hisaichi = +++++Pikes, Tue Jan 9 1:11pm
      Wonderful command and understanding of sounds and voicing.
    • I Saw The Trailer...Amadeus, Tue Jan 9 10:30am
      ...and though I am not a big fan of BAA, I was impressed by the trailer. I will likely see it, especially with your approval of the trailer. Have you seen the Russian entry into the superhero movie... more
    • Yes indeedJeeves, Tue Jan 9 6:53am
      My son introduced me to the genre, and I'm a fan. I'll let him know as well, but he is probably already familiar with it. He's majoring in digital media and cinema, so he stays pretty current on the... more
    • Anyway, the trailer looked pretty cool. I might catch that one. Didn't know that I might like it as I can't say that I've ever seen anything like it so I expected something else... Thanks for sharing.