Character Special- Battle Angel Alita

Character Special- Battle Angel Alita

Protagonist

Gally/Alita

is the main protagonist. She is known for her fighting prowess as a practitioner of the powerful cyborg martial art Panzer Kunst and skill at the most popular sport in The Scrapyard, motorball. Alita is occasionally referred to as “octopus lips” due to her pouty expression. Alita’s background and history were briefly hinted at, but were not fully explored until Last Order, which reveals that she was highly instrumental in creating the world within which both manga series are set.

Alita takes on a variety of roles through the manga, starting out as a hunter-warrior or licensed bounty hunter. She later becomes a motorball player, two years after which she is recruited by the Tipharean Ground Investigation Bureau to be an elite member of the TUNED, unknowingly serving as the basis for the development of their combat cyborgs known as the AR (Alita Replica) series which debut towards the end of the original series. In Last Order, a replica of her spearheads a team called the Space Angels which includes three other replicas that competes in the LADDER-sponsored Zenith of Things Tournament.

The original Alita was Ido’s black cat, who died a month before he found the remains of cyborg Alita in the Tiphares junkyard and is her namesake. Gally the cat was a male, and Ido’s friend Gonzu comments that it is strange to name a girl after a male cat. The cat makes an appearance in the manga as part of a dream that Alita experiences while being trapped in Desty Nova’s Ouroboros program. In the dream Alita is named “Gally” while the cat is named “Alita.” Nova himself appears in this dream as “Uncle Nova,” reflecting that he cannot get along with the cat. After Kaos in the guise of a dream Den attempts to rescue the real Alita from the Ouroboros and begins fighting with the giant Great Martian King dream robot, the dream Alita and dream Gally merge, appearing in the form of the real Alita. The side story “Holy Night” reveals that Ido took the original Alita in shortly after he arrived in the Scrapyard, at least five years before he found Alita in the Tiphares junkyard. A replica of her with the memories, brain chip, and, initially, the combat abilities of the original is in Last Order.

Daisuke Ido 

is a cybernetics physician (cyberphysician), a doctor who specializes in operations on cyborgs who lives in The Scrapyard. He is responsible for restoring Alita after finding her in the Tiphares dump heap, a massive pile of garbage ejected from Tiphares. Ido also has a second line of work as a hunter-warrior. He is a former citizen of Tiphares, the great floating city suspended over The Scrapyard, as is indicated by the mark on his forehead, and is the first Tipharean introduced. After being expelled from Tiphares for unknown reasons, Ido trained as a cyberphysician and – five years before the main story starts – opened his own clinic.

Ido considers Alita to be like a daughter to him and their relationship progresses through several stages as Alita grows mentally and emotionally. As Ido wanted Alita to remain pure and unsullied, he is originally opposed to her becoming a hunter-warrior, but accepts her decision. He later accepts her decisions to play motorball and “leave the nest” after retiring from motorball. Ido is later nearly driven to madness and erases his own memory after learning the secret of Tiphares. Daisuke Ido has no active role in Battle Angel Alita: Last Order besides appearing in Alita’s thoughts, that is until the Alita Quest arc.

Desty Nova

is a former citizen of Tiphares who has used his extensive scientific knowledge and expertise in nanotechnology to save Makaku and Jashugan, as well as resurrect Ido and Alita from states that would normally be classified as ‘dead,’ even in this world where cyborgs are commonplace. He fled Tiphares to obtain the freedom necessary to experiment with live humans, a component he deems necessary in his research of karma and psychological capacity. A dream sequence shows that had his situation been different, he could have easily been a loving, protective father figure for Alita. He has injected himself with nanomachines that can repair dismemberment and give him pseudo-immortality. Nova possesses knowledge of the secret of Tiphares, one that could drive its citizens mad if released. Nova has a perk for the dessert dish flan, and can often be seen eating it, boasting that he thinks better while enjoying it. His name is a reference to the song “Astronomy” by Blue Öyster Cult.

Although he is generally villainous in the original series, Nova exists as much more of a neutral, ambiguous figure in Last Order, where he is one of Alita’s key allies. Nova has two assistants, but they do not appear in Last Order.

A prodigal scientist who goes beyond the seemingly mad, amoral man and becomes a more complex ally and adviser. He appears in several different incarnations due to his “Stereotomy” ability, an atmospheric nanotechnological process that, should Nova be killed, automatically restores him as he was before death, right down to his memories and even clothing.

Original Nova 
At the end of the original series, Alita decapitates Nova in battle, however, he survives regardless thanks to a second “back-up” brain bio-chip stored in his abdomen. After killing Alita with a bomb, Nova transports her remains to Tiphares and, along with assistant Jim Roscoe, resurrects her at the start of Last Order. Later he creates the Stereotomy process (making him effectively immortal) and exposes the brain bio-chip conspiracy to the Tipharean population; mass insanity quickly devastates the metropolis and Roscoe himself kills the Original Desty Nova, looting his two brain bio-chips. These bio-chips would later fall into Alita’s hands.

Nova II
After Roscoe kills the Original Nova, the Stereonomy process creates “Nova II”. This version of Nova decides to replace Alita’s living brain with a bio-chip before she awakens from her resurrection, placing her brain in a protected crate known as the “F-Box”. After Alita awakens, he insinuates himself as an ally of an unsuspecting Alita, offering to help her locate the brain of Lou Collins in exchange for bodyguard duties as he travels to Ketheres. Once at Ketheres, Nova II encounters Aga Mbadi, who explains that he, along with the Tipharean citizenry, are “manufactured” with the eventual goal of producing geniuses such as himself. Mbadi then defeats Alita and her team and captures Nova II, destroying his body and keeping the bio-chips with the intent of assimilating them into his mind; he later decides instead to resurrect Nova II as his new assistant and henchman: “Super Nova”.

Super Nova 
Mbadi creates a powerful new body for Nova II later dubbed “Super Nova”. The bio-chip pair of Nova II are now housed inside the skull and run parallel to each other, similar to Mbadi’s own ability, and making this Nova more intelligent yet far more ruthless and vicious. Super Nova is also empowered with a hacking ability similar to Mbadi’s, called “Secare Deum”; like his superior, it gives him complete mastery over electronics and machinery in his presence. Super Nova confronts Alita at the Incubator where Lou Collins’ brain is held, revealing that the F-Box contains Alita’s own brain, and offers a trade in exchange for inserting Alita’s brain into the Incubator. He then destroys Alita when she attempts to renege on the deal afterward; Alita survives the ordeal more powerful than ever, but Super Nova remains a serious threat and major villain.

Porta Nova
After Alita survives her defeat after first meeting Mbadi, she recruits hacker Ping Wu, using the Original Nova’s bio-chips as collateral. Wu installs one of the chips into a portable device he dubs “Porta Nova”. This version of Nova is incapable of independent movement, but is able to hack into computers alongside Alita and Wu. He accompanies Alita on her mission to raid the Incubator at Ketheres where Lou’s brain is held, providing helpful advice and support. As one of the Original Nova’s bio-chips, he has no memory of any event later than his death at the hands of Jim Roscoe. Porta Nova is present when Alita encounters Super Nova at the Incubator, and is destroyed completely by Super Nova himself after he refuses to work with his more diabolical persona.

Nova X 
When Nova II’s body is destroyed by Mbadi, the Stereotomy process once again creates another version of Nova back on Tiphares. This version of Nova has no unique ability of his own, and has no shared knowledge of events with other Novas after Nova II is killed. Nova X is primarily interested uniting the surviving Tiphareans against aggression from the outer space factions, often espousing the values of flan as he does so. Nova X is later recruited by Porta Nova to help battle Super Nova, who reveals that all life on Earth is soon to be purged by Ketherean forces. However, when Porta Nova and Alita are both destroyed, Nova X is forced to make a hasty escape.

Kaos 

is Desty Nova’s son and a popular late-night radio host. He is extremely fragile. Kaos only sees in infrared wavelengths and hears and speaks at radio wavelengths. Those that see him in person must use special transceivers for communication. Kaos is an expert of psychometry, a unique talent to read the memories of inanimate objects. For example, he can channel the memories of a katana to learn sword skills and the memories of a computer to hack it. He and his team of molemen dig up artifacts from the bygone era, and he uses the memories contained in these artifacts as the basis for his radio show. Kaos also has a dark side in the form of Den, a manifestation of uncontrollable rage that has been with him since he was a child. Although Den exists in a physical form, he and Kaos are linked by an EPR transmitter Nova installed in Kaos’ chest.

Antagonists

Jashugan 

Jashugan, known in Japan as Jasugun, is the current reigning champion of the most popular sport in the Scrapyard, motorball, a cross between Ancient Roman gladiatoral combat and speed skating. Jashugan is perhaps the one opponent whom the series protagonist Alita respects the most, largely because they are similar in many respects. The two also “see each other as competitive rivals instead of hated enemies”. Jashugan’s only family is his younger sister Shumira.

Jashugan’s background prior to his motorball career is not revealed, nor how long he has been competing in the sport. In ES 571, five years before Ido found Alita in the Tiphares junkyard, Jashugan was a rookie in the highest motorball league, the Top League. He and his rival Esdoc were involved in a deadly accident in which Jashugan sustained massive brain damage. He would have died had not Desty Nova intervened and performed reconstructive brain surgery on him. Using a Tipharean technology called Gehirn Umbao (German for “brain rebuild”), Nova used nanomachines to rebuild the column structure of Jashugan’s cerebral cortex and strengthen his neurons with artificial proteins. The reconstruction helped Jashugan survive and become the motorball champion. This was in stark contrast to Ed, who also survived, but became dependent on acceleration drug injections to stay competitive, which resulted in a side effect called “Terminal Frost” which forced his eventual retirement. The relationship between the two is cordial, but deep down Ed still seeks to surpass Jashugan, and tries to do this vicariously through Alita after he becomes her manager years later in ES 578.

Jashugan paid a high price for his brain reconstruction as a side effect has been the constant risk of death, and he has suffered an increasing series of spasmatic attacks that have caused his heart rate to flatline. He has recovered from these attacks on his own in the past, but during a race that is watched by Daisuke Ido, Shumira, Alita, and Ed in which he is forced to pit by one of these attacks, it takes Ido’s intervention to save his life. After this, Jashugan knows that his death is near, but cannot reconcile himself to his “absolute death”.

Jashugan is a master of the Maschine Klatsch, a formidable cyborg martial art of which he is the only practitioner of following the death of his master shortly before his own death. He is also adept at focusing his chi. This enables him to concentrate a lot of power into even a normal civilian cyborg body and defeat opponents in powered-up cyborg bodies. After Ed’s retirement, no other motorball player can match him in combat except for Alita and her Panzer Kunst.

Jashugan is so good that when he races, he must handicap himself by removing his right arm and face three-man challenge teams. His motorball body has two grinders built into each arm capable of rotating at high speeds, which increases the deadliness of his Maschine Klatsch as they can tear through cyborg armor and dismember opposing players. Nonetheless, his flatline attacks have resulted in him participating in fewer races over time.

After she meets Jashugan, Alita challenges him to an arm-wrestling match with her heart literally as the stakes. The match appears to end as a draw, but Jashugan afterwards notes that he would have lost had it gone on for longer. To save Alita face, he proposes that they meet again on the motorball circuit on the condition that she assemble a challenge team of at least five members including herself. Knowing that he is close to death, the match is the one thing that he has to look forward to in order to fight for Shumira and uphold his honor as champion. Prior to the race, Ido, as Jashugan’s personal tuner, prepared a direct interface so he could transmit Shumira’s brainwaves to Jashugan’s brain if necessary should he suffer another flatline as a contingency, a measure he took that saved Jashugan before. Jashugan nullifies this however, by administering a sedative to his younger sister, setting himself up for a deathmatch with Alita.

During the challenge race, Jashugan rips through Alita’s teammates in seconds, leaving the two of them alone to fight it out. Trading blow for blow, Jashugan nearly has Alita at one point, but she is saved by Tiegel (one of Alita’s teammates, who manages to distract Jashugan for a few seconds). In the final moments of their battle, right when he’s about to win, Jashugan suffers a flatline attack and becomes unable to move. Alita then deals him a killing blow, however, Jashugan’s fighting spirit is so strong that he manages to reanimate his “dead” body through raw chi power. He stands up, attacks Alita and completely defeats her before “dying” for good.

The side story “Sonic Finger” shows Alita and Jashugan’s fight on TV and reveals that Alita has a poster of Jashugan on her apartment wall when she is living on her own after retiring from motorball. Twelve years after their match when Alita infiltrates Desty Nova’s hideout, the Granite Inn, in search of Nova, she encounters Jashugan in a dream sequence when she is trapped by Nova’s Ouroboros program. Forced to confront her inner doubts and fears, Alita fights Jashugan again and, this time, defeats him. He congratulates her and encourages her to “aspire to reach heights I was unable to attain”. Alita’s victory enables her to break out of the Ouroboros and confront Nova. Kishiro has said of this second fight that Alita and Jashugan “had to confront each other again”, as “many things had not been said” during their first fight.

Jashugan has also appeared in Alita’s thoughts in Last Order, when she was fighting Caerula Sanguis.

Makaku 

Born as a human, Makaku spent his entire life in the sewers of the Scrapyard, captivated by the life he could see outside. Three years before the beginning of the main story, Makaku was burned with a flamethrower by a pair of Scrapyarders while looking at the goings on through a sewer grate. He survived the attack, but his body began to rot and he nearly died. Desty Nova found Makaku and offered to give him a new, personalized body reflecting his innermost desires.

Makaku’s new cyborg body consisted of a large head attached to a long, maggot-like body, which allowed him a great deal of mobility. He was also characterized by his long tongue and tendency to slobber. A large spike on top of his head could be fired as a single use projectile weapon. However, Makaku’s deadliest ability was being able to take over the bodies of other cyborgs by using his body to jack into their spinal columns and then remove their heads with his newly-won control. He would take over powerful cyborg bodies and use their strength to acquire brains (preferably human, but even dog) in order to eat them to satisfy his endorphin addiction. Makaku justified his existence in destruction, and despite a bounty being placed on him, was so formidable that no hunter-warrior dared go after him for years.

Makaku is the first major adversary that Alita faces. In their first fight she succeeds in crippling the body he is then possessing as well as blinding him in his left eye by impaling it with one of her arms. However, her first cyborg body is destroyed in the process. Makaku survives the fight and almost kills Ido by impaling him with his head spike, swearing vengeance on both him and Alita before escaping. He seeks out the reigning champion of the coliseum, Kinuba, to take over his custom-built Power Body. Makaku then goes up against Alita in her new Berserker Body in the Scrapyard sewers. After a long fight, the Power Body is destroyed and Makaku nearly kills Alita in a plasma explosion that he triggers. However, she creates an electromagnetic barrier to shield them both, enabling her to talk with him. Makaku tells her his life story, revealing that she is the first person who seriously took notice of him by trying to stop him. For the first time in his life he is at peace as he is consumed by the plasma.

Zapan 

was a hunter-warrior who became embittered against Alita after she questioned his bravery in front of the other hunter-warriors at Bar Kansas and defeated him and a large number of them in a brawl. Since this incident he nursed a grudge against her but did not try to confront her directly. He noticed that Alita had taken an interest in Hugo as well as the latter’s connection to Vector, who was the top dealer in the Scrapyard’s black market parts. Zapan uncovered Hugo and his accomplices as criminals engaged in cyborg spinal column theft and nearly captured him. He reported Hugo to the Factory when he went to collect the bounties on Hugo’s accomplices, informing Alita, who was also there, what had happened to Hugo. Deducing that she would attempt to flee with Hugo, Zapan took Daisuke Ido hostage and rounded up numerous hunter-warriors and a netman. He confronted Alita when she was on her way back to Ido’s clinic with Hugo’s body, but his plan was foiled when it appeared that she had taken Hugo’s head. However upon closer investigation he saw that she had connected her life support system to it, keeping his brain alive. When he tried to get the head, the netman warned him that stealing another hunter’s bounty was illegal, allowing Alita to attack him and shear his face off. Zapan fell off the high rise they were on, but survived. He later obtained a new face and began working in a soup kitchen with Sara, the daughter of Murdock. Sara accepted Zapan and became his lover despite her father’s opposition. The night of Alita’s challenge race against Jashugan, Zapan saw the broadcast and was struck by a sudden fear that resulted in him clawing off his second face. He accidentally killed Sara when she tried to stop him and thus became a bounty, being hunted by Murdock for three years.

Murdock finally confronted Zapan in the sewers with his four cyborg dogs, but Alita intervened and gave Zapan the opportunity to attack her while her back was turned and she played a song on a portable keyboard. Zapan could not bring himself to attack and was torn to pieces by Murdock’s dogs. However his head survived and was recovered by Barzarld. Desty Nova was able to partially restore Zapan’s brain and in response to its deepest desire for revenge, released the safety lock on the Berserker Body to allow the brain to merge with it. However the body went out of control and after fusing with Zapan’s brain destroyed Nova’s lab and manor, killing Ido who had been there in an attempt to recover the Berserker Body from Nova. Zapan tracked Alita to Bar New Kansas but when he found that she was not there he killed Gonzu and the hunter-warriors who attacked him. Murdock faced him and allowed Shumira and Master to escape, destroying the bar and dying in the process, but Zapan survived. He then went on a rampage through the Scrapyard which the Factory Army was powerless to stop. Alita confronted him the following day armed with a revolver equipped with bullets tipped with collapser nanomachines that Nova had developed to destroy the Berserker Body at the molecular level. Despite a close, tough fight, she was able to fire two rounds into Zapan, which caused the Berserker Body to break down. Zapan made a last-ditch attempt to absorb Alita, which she thwarted by swallowing some of the collapser. Prior to his death Alita saw a vision of him and Sara together in which Zapan expressed regret for what he had done and was forgiven and accepted by Sara. Before hitting the ground his last act was to form a pair of wings to break Alita’s fall. Despite surviving the fight and defeating Zapan Alita was sentenced to death by the Factory for the Class A crime of using a firearm.

 

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