This is driving me nuts, I literally need to get this out so I can sleep at night. XD I love Battle Angel so much, it was the first anime I watched, and one of the first comics I ever bought, it made me want to learn to draw, so to see this being adapted for film is the most exciting thing for me. I'm so excited for this movie! So yeah, massive rant below. TLDR: It looks fucking awesome to me and I think it's being judged prematurely.
The first time I saw the trailer, I was bothered by Alita's eyes and CG-ness, it was weird.. but then I watched it again, and once I got over the surprise of it, I really liked it. Like... what the fuck are they doing? There's a plan here, and I can't wait to see what it is. It's NOT bad CGI, it's supposed to look like that. James Cameron has had this in pre-production for about 10 years, and has always said that Alita herself was going to be full-cg. Which confused me at the time, 'cos like, couldn't you just do it like Ex-Machina? Or animate her when she does cool shit, why is she totally CG? So there's more to this than we've seen so far, it can't be as simple as making her look more like a manga character.
I'd like to speculate that Battle Angel is about regaining memories, about whether personality is nature or nurtured. Movies don't have the same language as manga and anime where a character can monologue to themselves about their past, so this could be a way to discriminate between the past and the present. Maybe they use Rosa Salazar in live action as Yoko in Mars flashbacks? That would be so fucking cool. It seems weird to cast someone that looks so much like the character, and then just not use her.
Also it's an interesting experiment; GiTS poses a question about what it means to be human if you're 90% prosthetic, but it's pretty easy as a viewer to empathise with someone when they look like Scarlett Johansen. Battle Angel's flipping this around, challenging us to empathise with someone that's demonstrably uncanny valley, and I find that such an interesting direction. James Cameron created Terminator & Terminator 2, this is his ballpark. (The end of Terminator 2 has done this already, although it's had the rest of the movie to build up empathy for the T101 before it gets half its face blown off.) It also fits with the romance part of the storyline; surely Hugo's going to have similar reservations? If this could be pulled off, it'd be awesome. If not, then we're just gonna have to be weirded out for the whole movie.
Buuut I'm probably reading way too much into this. It's worth noting I also thought the Matrix Sequels were going to be fucking awesome when the trailers for those came out.
Basically I wanted to say this could be so fucking amazing. We have seen so little! Don't judge it yet! Personally I'm way happier with it like this than some by-the-numbers Hollywood cardboard crap.
Other random bullshit thoughts;
- The casting on this is fucking amazing. Mahershala Ali especially, wow.
- I love the tone of the trailer, it matches the manga for me perfectly. The scrapyard looks great.
- Who is Jennifer Connelly? The extra character from the anime? This is such a mashup.
- I love the blade lady, can't wait for the rocket hammer.
- This is going to be so good in 3D. I hate 3D. But it's James Cameron with more high tech shit again, so I'm going to watch in 3D.
- I love Robert Rodriguez, I love his campy lo-fi style. Battle Angel has always been a bit 2000AD (Makaku's massive body design in the first book is basically ripped off of Slaine from 2000AD) so hopefully Rodriguez can bring a bit of that gratuitous splat to the movie that we haven't yet seen in the trailer. That said, I'm not that bothered if they don't based on what I've seen already, because...
- That head-slam is so fucking cool!! Hopefully there will be more fights like that, high-speed, faster-than-human battles. And it's in Kansas!
- Alita's design is perfect I think, CG face aside. Small and spindly! She looks so tiny sitting at the table.
- IT'S COMING OUT NEXT YEAR AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!
- I'm so freakin' excited.