OWL Magazine Korea

“Alita: Battle Angel – The Official Movie Novelization” by Pat Cadigan

“Alita: Battle Angel – The Official Movie Novelization” is a novel by Pat Cadigan based on the movie “Alita: Battle Angel,” which is adapted from Kishiro Yukito’s manga series “Gunnm” (“Battle Angel Alita” in English). Originally, the movie was planned to be directed by the acclaimed James Cameron, but due to his involvement in the sequels to “Avatar,” Robert Rodriguez took over as director.

The film was released in 2019. Interestingly, although it’s an American movie, it premiered in the United States on February 14, 2019, while it premiered earlier in South Korea on February 5, 2019.

While it may not be considered a complete success as a film, “Alita: Battle Angel” showcased solid action and computer graphics to a certain extent.

“The World Depicted in ‘Alita: Battle Angel'”

The world depicted in “Alita: Battle Angel” is a future world where utopia and dystopia coexist.

It features the city of Zalem suspended above ground and a city on the surface. These two cities depict entirely different worlds, with a hierarchical society.

The story begins with a doctor salvaging a damaged cyborg from a junkyard. Despite being discarded in the junkyard due to malfunction, the cyborg still retains some functionality, prompting the doctor to revive and give her new life.

“A World Where Humans and Cyborgs Coexist”

The portrayal of the future world in the film differs significantly from our current reality. It presents a world where machine civilization has advanced, and humans and cyborgs coexist.

The work depicts a natural coexistence between humans and cyborgs, showing both individuals who have lived as humans from birth and those who became cyborgs due to unforeseen circumstances. There are even races born as machine entities.

“The Story Revolves Around Alita, Discovered by the Doctor in the Junkyard”

The story is set against the backdrop of two completely contrasting futures coexisting in a futuristic city. It begins with a doctor living in Iron City, a city made of scrap, discovering a discarded cyborg named Alita in a junkyard.

Subsequently, the story naturally revolves around Alita as the central character. It portrays her adaptation to human life, experiences, and her journey of rediscovering her past memories, depicting a heroic tale of growth.

“Zalem, Symbolizing Disconnection and Isolation”

Several symbolic elements appear in the work, with the most prominent being the city of Zalem. This floating city represents a stark contrast to the people living in Iron City on the surface.

While the story mainly focuses on characters living in Iron City and Alita, it also portrays the desire of people towards the “sky city.”

“Characters with Dualities”

The work features characters with dualities, reminiscent of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” The character of Dr. Dyson Ido, a major character in the story, shares similarities with characters from “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

Characters are multifaceted, adding tension to the narrative. Instead of being confined to one personality, they display various facets, heightening the suspense in the story.

“Alita Born from Computer Graphics”

Alita, appearing in the movie, is a character born from computer graphics. While modern technology could have portrayed Alita more human-like, the creators intentionally emphasized her cyborg nature by making her eyes unrealistically large, thus highlighting her character.

The use of computer graphics throughout the work enhances the portrayal of action-packed scenes, making it an entertaining film. This is particularly evident in the depiction of the sport “Motorball.”

Alita : Battle Angel – Movie Trailer Version 1

“Based on the Japanese Manga ‘Gunnm'”

As mentioned earlier, the work is based on the Japanese manga series “Gunnm” (“Battle Angel Alita” in English). Serialized from 1990 to 1995, the manga consists of nine volumes.

The setting in the original manga is not significantly different from that in the movie, with minor differences mainly in character names. The manga series includes various spin-offs.

After the release of the movie, there was initially little news about a sequel. However, in March 2024, information about sequels finally surfaced. It appears that two sequels are planned, continuing the story, and it’s expected that they will cover the entire content of the original manga series.

“The Official Movie Novelization by Pat Cadigan”

“Alita: Battle Angel – The Official Movie Novelization” is a novel by Pat Cadigan based on the movie. As the name suggests, it’s “The Official Movie Novelization,” allowing the story depicted in the movie to be retold in novel form.

One interesting aspect is that, unlike in the movie where inner thoughts cannot be directly shown, the novel can delve into the characters’ minds, providing a more in-depth exploration of their psychology.

Moreover, since the movie relies on visual storytelling, the novel compensates by vividly describing scenes and backgrounds, providing a different yet equally engaging experience.

If you enjoyed the movie, exploring the novel version can offer a new perspective. Since the novel closely follows the story of the movie, it can also be a suitable choice for English learners, providing an opportunity to compare the movie and novel versions.

“Alita: Battle Angel – The Official Movie Novelization”

  • Author: Pat Cadigan
  • Publication Date: February 19, 2019
  • ISBN13: 9781785658389
  • Yes24: Link