The idea of a futuristic, dystopian society has been toyed with in media for ages. With such a huge focus on electronics and robotics, it was only natural that Japan’s appetite for future-tech would roll over into the manga sphere. Akira was one of the most popular out of this trend in manga, along with Neon Genesis Evangelion and Astro Boy. Out of this trend, in 1990, came a manga series titled Gunnum, which was later localized as Battle Angel Alita in the United States. Battle Angel Alita is a story that follows an amnesiac cyborg, renamed Alita by a Doctor Ido, who saves her from a massive trash heap in the Scrapyard. The Scrapyard is a brutal world, where body parts are bought and sold like trinkets on the black market, and cyborgs run rampant because of crime and the inflated prices of surgical procedures. Above the Scrapyard floats Tiphares, the island governing loosely over the Scrapyard, making it basically a trash heap that pays an exorbitant amount of rent. The only way to make any money in the Scrapyard is to become a Hunter-Warrior, a bounty hunter who kills cyborg criminals for the government. Despite Ido’s wish for Alita to be a beautiful and well educated cyborg-girl, she feels in her soul that she was meant to be a warrior, even though she can’t remember any of her past life.
The story has a few arcs about self discovery, love, tragedy, and a whole lot of bloody and gory action. The original serial ended in 1995, only to be revived in 2000 with a sequel series, Gunnm Last Order, or Battle Angel Alita: Last Order. Battle Angel Alita: Last Order ended in 2014 with the announcement of a third serialization, Gunnm: Mars Chronicle, which is set to be the “final chapter” of the series. There was never an official anime for the series, but there were two OVA’s released and a CGI segment released with one of the Japanese collections of the series. Several years ago, Director James Cameron bought the rights to a film adaptation of Battle Angel Alita, stating that he has always been a huge fan and would love to bring Alita to the bring screen. The film has yet to be put into production, but it is to believed that the passion to bring this film to fruition still exists. In 2015 it was reported that Robert Rodriguez is set to direct the possible film with Cameron helping to produce it.