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Ashen Victor
Haisha cover
Cover characters Snev
Release date
Japanese release June 1998
ISBN-10: 4087825604[1]
First English release January 31, 1999
ISBN-10: 1569313431[2]

Ashen Victor, known in Japan as Haisha (灰者 Haisha?), is a science fiction manga by Yukito Kishiro. It is set in the same universe as Battle Angel Alita but occurs several years before, around ES 571.[3] The story focuses on the sport of motorball and provides some background as to how it became the deadly and violent, yet wildly popular sport that was earlier depicted. None of the characters in Ashen Victor later appear in Battle Angel Alita.


Yukito Kishiro states in "Behind the Scenes" in Battle Angel Alita Holy Night and Other Stories that Ashen Victor was produced in 1995-1996 and was done in a heavy Frank Miller style. This has drawn comparisons to Frank Miller's Sin City.[4] Unlike Battle Angel Alita, Ashen Victors artwork is in black and white and lacks intermediate shades of grey. He states that Ashen Victor was the manga that convinced him to continue making manga to recover from his anguish.

Race 1[]

Third League motorball player Snev is released by Team Spandau after failing to complete yet another race. After confiding to his friend, the prostitute Beretta, that he feels compelled to crash by a mysterious man who appears to him while he races, the Marathon Man, she predicts victory for him.

Race 2[]

The owner of Team Spandau has Snev brought back after it is discovered that the monitor seat audience actually prefers to experience a crash instead of a victory. During his race, Snev recalls that he had just learned of Beretta's murder by an unknown assailant. The Marathon Man appears again and Snev is compelled to crash.

Race 3[]

Following Snev's race, which he survived, Holmegolud, the team engineer, overhears a conversation between Koba, the team doctor, and Ben, the team manager. They mention two drugs, "Accel" and "Adam", that were respectively tested on Dolagunov and Snev. After Snev survives an attack by Beretta's killer, an assassin for the Megil Corporation, he is met by Lorna, a prostitute, and friend of Beretta's. At Holmegolud's place, she passes on a message to Snev that she was to deliver in the event of her friend's death. This leads to the trio recovering a bag containing sample of Adam after Snev kills the assassin.

Race 4[]

Prior to what turns out to be Snev's final race, the reason behind his self-destruction on the track is revealed and the incriminating evidence is sent to the Motorball Commission. During the race, Snev becomes the ballkeeper and sets a new course record, defeating Dolagunov to earn his sole career victory.


Ashen Victor cover

The Viz Media cover

The manga was originally serialized in Ultra Jump from September 1995 through July 1996 before being published in tankōbon form in June 1998. It was published under the following titles internationally:

  • English: By Viz Media as Ashen Victor. It was originally released in comic book form in 1998 before being published as a graphic novel in January 1999.
  • English: Released by Kodansha as a part of Battle Angel Alita Deluxe Edition Volume 5 on October 16, 2018.
  • French: By Glénat Manga as Ashman.[5]
  • Spanish: By Planeta DeAgostini Comics as Ashen Victor.[6]


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