The ADV Films DVD cover.
|Released||June 21, 1993|
Battle Angel, known in Japan as Gunnm (銃夢 Jūyume?), is an original video animation (OVA) based on the Battle Angel Alita manga. The OVA comprises two episodes, Rusty Angel and Tears Sign, that serve as a compressed preview for the manga. They correspond respectively to volumes 1 and 2, with some differences. According to Yukito Kishiro, only two episodes were originally planned. At the time, he was too busy with the manga "to review the plan cooly", nor was he serious about an anime adaptation. There are no plans to revive the anime thus leaving it at only 2 episodes.
- Main article: Rusty Angel (OVA)
Gally, a cyborg rescued from the Zalem dump heap by Daisuke Ido, becomes a hunter-warrior and the target for revenge by the former Coliseum champion turned criminal Grewcica, who is assisted by Ido's former partner, Chiren.
- Main article: Tears Sign
Yugo, Gally's love interest, is exposed as a criminal for his theft of cyborg spinal columns and is hunted by Gime. Vector continues to attempt to recruit Gally to fight for him in the Coliseum and decides to use Yugo as leverage.
Anime and manga differences
In its translation, ADV Films used the Japanese names for Tiphares and the Scrapyard as well as several characters. These names differ from the names used by Viz Media in its translation of the manga. There are also slight differences in other character names used. The equivalent anime and manga names are outlined below. Discussion of the anime characters will utilize the names used by ADV, while discussion of the manga equivalents will utilize the names used by Viz.
The Manga Entertainment translation, released only in the United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia on VHS, used some of the names from the Viz translation and went by the title of Battle Angel Alita.
|ADV translation||Viz translation|
|Gime (in credits)||Clive Lee|
|Zavan (in credits)||Zapan|
|Scrap Iron City||Scrapyard|
- The unnamed cyborg body that Gally is transferred into is the Berserker Body from the manga. It is implied that Ido created this body. In the manga, this was the second cyborg body Alita received after her first civilian body was destroyed in her first fight with Makaku. Ido had previously found the Berserker Body in a crashed warship and kept it in storage.
- A key difference is that Panzer Kunst is never mentioned in the OVA as Gally's fighting style. In the manga, Ido recognized it immediately after she dispatched the mutant woman who nearly killed him.
- Gonz's role in the OVA is reduced, as he is portrayed as a friend of Ido's in Scrap Iron City. Ido transplants Gally onto the Berserker Body and also transplants Yugo's head onto a cyborg body by himself. In the manga, Gonzu transplanted Alita into the Berserker Body under Ido's supervision because of the injuries Ido had sustained in fighting Makaku, and also helped Ido with the transplant for Hugo.
- Chiren only appears in the OVA. In the manga, Ido was not shown to have a love interest or woman whom he used to be involved with in Tiphares who is now in the Scrapyard. He was involved with a woman named Carol five years before the start of the main story in the side story The Holy Night.
- Grewcica is an amalgamation of the Makaku and Kinuba characters from the manga, being the former Coliseum champion who has become a bounty due to his brain-eating habit.
- Although he is not named, Clive Lee is given a larger role in the OVA than he is in the manga. He makes more incidental appearances and is portrayed as a rival of Gally's, who has been so good a hunter-warrior that she beat him to all the bounties since Grewcica. This rivalry is so strong that Lee has no compunctions about killing Alita over it. He is shown to have acted alone when he killed Yugo's brother, wields a pair of swords that can be connected together, and his appearance is different. In the manga, Lee only appeared twice: in Hugo's flashback of how his brother was killed and to kill Hugo for the bounty. He also used a technique called the "White Hot Palm" which could make his forearms hot enough to cut through human limbs and melt cyborg limbs. There was no rivalry between him and Alita and he primarily fought her over the bounty for Hugo, not for personal reasons. It was later revealed that Lee was a famous hunter-warrior. No one knew who killed him, however, as there were not witnesses of the fight between him and Alita, which occurred while Hugo was unconscious.
- Zapan's role is reduced in the OVA because of the changes made to the storyline, and he is not named, only playing a role in exposing Yugo as a spinal column thief. In the manga he also tried to stop Alita from fleeing with Hugo and later became a major adversary.
- Zahriki makes more appearances in the OVA than he does in the manga, being shown on TV in addition to his appearance as hired muscle working for Vector. His OVA appearance is also drastically different from his manga appearance. In the manga he was only shown fighting the then-reigning champion Kinuba and later as Vector's muscle when Hugo and Alita confronted him in his office.
- Vector's operations encompass control of the exports which are sent to Zalem via the Factory tubes. He also comes up with the moniker "Battle Angel" for Gally as a Coliseum gladiator fighting for him. In the manga, Vector offered Hugo control of one of six intermediate Factory supply routes that he gained control of due to Factory reorganization. He did not have a vested interest in the Coliseum gladiators and never showed the same kind of interest in Alita that he does in the OVA. Thus, he never coined the "Battle Angel" term.
The OVA has been released internationally in the following languages:
- English: Two English versions exist:
- ADV Films released Battle Angel in three formats: VHS, laserdisc, and DVD. Both the VHS and laserdisc were released in 1993 and had the same cover of Gally and Ido standing back to back with Grewcica's shadow in the background. The laserdisc also came with a limited edition film cel featuring Gally. Released in 1999, the DVD has a different cover featuring only Gally and Ido.
- Manga Entertainment released the OVA as a single movie with an alternate dub for Australia and the UK.
- French: By Manga Video as Gunnm.
- Italian: By Granata Press as Battle Angel Alita.
- Spanish: By TV3 in Catalan and by Quality Films S.A. in Chile.
Two soundtracks were produced:
- Gunnm: Image Album
- Gunnm: Another Story
- Battle Angel (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Battle Angel: The Anime (Archived)
- Gunnm LaserDisc Releases