Lou Collins (ルウ・コリンズ Ruu Korinzu?) is a Tipharean woman who was Alita's Ground Investigation Bureau operator close to the end of her time as a TUNED agent. Alita would go on to develop a rapport (and eventual friendship) with Lou and the recovery of her brain from the Melchizedek Brain Incubator provided the initial motivation for Alita to enter the Tenth Zenith of Things Tournament in Last Order.
Character design / Trivia
Lou Collins character design is a reused character from the original Gunnm / Gun Dream short story. The story was evaluated by an editor and they asked Yukito to rewrite the story to show Alita / Gally as the main character. The story included key elements including, Alita / Gally, Lou and the T.U.N.E.D. bike.
Lou is a slim woman with short, blond hair and blue eyes and wears glasses. While working for the GIB she wore the operator's standard uniform, which was a business suit with colored trim. An illustration by Yukito Kishiro for the 2003 Ultra Jump calendar depicts her as being blonde. When she was about to be cast out of Tiphares via the Dust Chamber, she was clad only in a long shirt and her underwear, leading Dr. Russell to give her his lab coat to help ward off the cold. Lou shortly after dressed herself in a hooded coat, turtleneck sweater, and pants and shoes when she accompanied Alita and Desty Nova to Melchizedek. In the Epilogue of Battle Angel Alita, a photo depicts her wearing a dark coat with a dark-colored cloak-like garment over a turtleneck and miniskirt. In Last Order an avatar of Lou without her glasses was seen clad in a white sleeveless dress by a seashore when Alita accessed the Brain Incubator. After being revived she wore a robe, but not her glasses.
Unbeknownst to Lou, she along with Russell were brought in by Chief Bigott Eizenburg in an attempt to curb Alita’s intransigence. Somewhat ditzy, she nevertheless had a good heart. She was tempted at first to use the emergency shock switch to get Alita's attention when the latter did not readily respond to her when she logged on, but noticed that it was well worn and decided against it. Although she initially saw her job as protecting Tiphares, she began to sympathize with the surface dwellers after experiencing their world through Alita's eyes and started to question what Tiphares was. As a result, she came up with the concept for the Tower of Tiphares and passed this on to Kaos as she was influenced by his final broadcast.
After discovering the secret of Tiphares, Lou was determined to prevent any other Tiphareans from having their brains replaced with the brain bio-chips. She announced the secret to a group of them who were about to undergo initiation and was stunned when they refused to listen to her. When Melchizedek revealed itself, she was furious at Alita for suggesting that they cooperate.
Lou described herself as a Libra with Type AB blood and she speculated about Alita's astrological sign and blood type, suggesting an interest in astrology and the belief that one's blood type determined their personality.
As a subordinate to Bigott Eizenburg, Lou presumably would have had a professional relationship with him. Unfortunately, she unknowingly thought he was a sexual predator and accused him of such on her first day. As a result, their interactions did not improve at all during her tenure within the GIB and Lou even pulled her gun on him during Alita's fight with one of the TUNED AR Series 2 units.
Dr. Russell was the only member of the GIB she got along with, and she was ostracized by the other operators who were brought in to support the TUNED AR Series 2 because she was Alita's operator. She was greatly surprised and disappointed to hear when it was revealed that Russell had been fired from the GIB.
Lou had formed an opinion of Alita before she started working with her based on her records and recordings and was curious about her motivations. She expressed a desire to be friends with Alita when they first talked, and decided that shocking her would go against this aim. Alita became more real to Lou after Russell created an interactive interface body that was connected to Alita which Lou could interact with. She initially tried to convince Alita of her view that the TUNED could become "an incredible power," but Alita, who had by that time already spent a decade as a TUNED agent, refused to buy it. Lou took her role seriously and saw Alita as her responsibility. She was deeply concerned when she lost contact with Alita after she and Koyomi fell into a sinkhole, and was anxious to get revenge on Den for "picking" on Alita. However her view started to change with Den and Koyomi's words, and she even tried to stop Alita from firing on Den so as not to endanger Koyomi. Although it went against the GIB, Lou decided to help Alita out by deleting the information on Kaos and Den from the GIB's systems. The revelation of the TUNED AR Series 2 was a shock to her, and she desperately wanted Alita to win the fight. When it turned against her, she resorted to shooting AR-2's control terminal to save Alita.
Alita later returned the favor. In Battle Angel Alita, Alita was taken to Tiphares by Desty Nova and saved Lou from being cast out of the Dust Chamber. In Last Order, Alita's initial motivation for going into space was to recover Lou's brain from the Brain Incubator in Ketheres.
When Lou first saw Kaos, she found him handsome and thought his psychometry was useful. Although she was freaked out when Den possessed him, she was convinced by Alita to help him out, which she did by deleting the information on him and Den from the GIB's systems. She was able to talk to Kaos via the mobile unit when Alita visited Farm 21, revealing that she had been touched his final broadcast and wanted to help Tiphares and the Scrapyard communicate. This inspired Kaos to see the project through. At the end of Battle Angel Alita Kaos and Lou married, but Lou's fate was altered in Last Order. However Kaos likely knows of Lou's fate because he psychometried the Alita's paper airplane that Alita threw from Tiphares.
In GUNNM: Martian Memory, Lou and Kaos welcome Alita back to Earth in the ending and reveal that they had married and Kaos had been elected the new President in Alita's absence.
Lou had placed first in her class in simulations but lacked previous experience in supporting a live human as an operator. However she proved to be a competent and reliable backup to Alita, providing her with intelligence, logistical, technical, and combat support. Her skills in piloting the mobile unit helped save Alita from Den, and her attention and quick thinking saved her twice more.
Battle Angel Alita
After Alita and Figure Four parted ways, Lou was brought in to serve as Alita's operator. On her first day at work, she made a bad first impression on Bigott by pulling a gun on him because she thought that he planned to sexually assault her by leading her down a dimly lit back stairway to the GIB. After meeting Alita, she activated Alita's ultrasonic imaging capability and deployed Lice probes to search for traps when a team of cyborg ninjas sent by Nova ambushed her. Following the fight, Lou used Support System Gabriel's laser to shoot a sniper who was part of the team.
On the day that Alita received the mobile unit, Russell unveiled the interactive interface body, which provided a proxy means for Alita to interact with Lou. They briefly got into an argument which was broken up when Gabriel detected Sentinel's bandit gang attempting to hold up the caravan that Koyomi was traveling with. Although she initially disagreed with the deviation in Alita's mission when she decided to accompany the caravan and meet Kaos, Lou was quickly won over. She lost contact with Alita after she and Koyomi fell into a sinkhole that was opened up by the caravan, and was unable to reestablish contact until Alita dueled Den. Because of the wedding dress that Alita was wearing, Lou did not recognize her at first, but was able to control the mobile unit to rush in and prevent her from being speared by Tesshaso. After revitalizing Alita with a direct connection to the TUNED com-link, she had Gabriel deliver the Solenoid Quench Gun to her. Although Alita severely damaged Den, his words had a profound effect on both her and Lou, which was reinforced when Koyomi offered herself as a shield to save Den. Lou tried to convince Alita not to fire on Den a third time, but Koyomi's gamble paid off and Alita did not fire.
Following this incident, Lou deleted the information on Kaos and Den from the GIB's systems at Alita's request to help Kaos. About two weeks later, the operators for the TUNED AR Series 2 were brought in. Lou's terminal was relocated and she was given a cold shoulder by the operators. That night, Lou listened to Kaos' final broadcast. The next day at Farm 21, she agreed to give Alita privacy by cutting the com-link. Before Kaos left to confront Nova, Lou had the mobile unit print out the blueprints for the Tower of Tiphares and tried to convince him to wait for Alita, but Kaos insisted on going alone.
The next day, Lou looked forward to Alita's confrontation with Nova, but they were both shocked by the appearance of AR-2. Bigott then revealed the purpose of the TUNED AR Series 2, prompting Lou to wish Alita luck. When the fight turned against Alita, Lou implored Bigott to stop it, but he ignored her. Realizing that Alita would be killed, Lou pulled her gun on AR-2's operator and demanded that AR-2 be stopped. Just before AR-2 was about to decapitate Alita, Lou shot her control terminal, freezing her and allowing Alita to recover and kill her.
Lou was consequently dismissed from the GIB and sent to be dealt with by the Medical Inspection Bureau (MIB). The knowledge of Lou’s sacrifice and Bigott’s promise to let her go free after apprehending Nova motivated Alita to complete her original mission.
When Alita was brought to Tiphares by Nova in her new Imaginos Body, she found out that Lou was to be cast out of the Dust Chamber for forming a friendship with a surface dweller, and managed to save her just in time. Lou was the least traumatically affected by having the secret of Tiphares unveiled to her, the only side effect she suffered being the cessation of her hiccups. She quickly got over the shock and remembered that an initiation was to take place that day, accompanying Alita and Nova to the initiation room. Here she announced the secret of the bio-chips with Nova's help, but it was not well received. Melchizedek then opened its partitions and revealed itself. Alita's offer to cooperate with Melchizedek was opposed by Lou as she blamed it for the loss of her brain. After Melchizedek effectively committed suicide, Lou tried to prevent Alita from sacrificing herself, but Alita decided to go ahead, telling Lou not to forget about her. After witnessing the creation of the Life-Tree when Alita injected herself with a trigger given to her by Nova that allowed her body to undergo a transmutation and prevent Tiphares from crashing into the Scrapyard, Lou had the last word.
It was revealed in the Epilogue that Lou's steadfast love and support of Kaos eventually led to their marriage. This was later retconned in Last Order.
Alita was reminded of Lou when she was woken up one morning by Pam Mahan, who greatly resembles her. It is suggested that they share the same genetic stock, a common occurrence on Tiphares. Lou's body was found by Nova II in the Disposal Division of the MIB Core, with her brain bio-chip missing. Finding out that Lou's brain was likely part of a larger matrix of brains housed in the Brain Incubator in Ketheres, Alita decided to accompany Nova II, Sechs, Elf, and Zwölf to Ketheres to retrieve it, even though this brain will only contain Lou’s memories prior to her initiation. An avatar of Lou was later encountered by Alita when she dove into Melchizedek three months later. When Super Nova proposed that Alita trade her brain for Lou's, Alita at first agreed to the trade, but then changed her mind after Payne questioned her actions. Lou's brain remains in the F Box that had previously housed Alita's brain.
Melchizedek Infiltration Arc
Lou was one of the many characters from Alita's past shown when Melchizedek, appearing as its avatar of Arthur Farrell, reached out to her consciousness after her ego was shattered and her Imaginos Body dissolved following Super Nova's Seca attack.
Following the Semifinals, Alita gave Deckman 100 the F Box and instructed him to revive her despite the fact that in doing so, Lou would not have any of her memories of her time in the GIB and would not know Alita. Three months after Deckman 100's revolt on Ketheres was resolved, Lou was regenerated and joined Figure Four in the chamber where he was waiting for a flesh and blood Alita to be regenerated. After giving him some taiyaki, she was asked about her experiences inside the Brain Incubator. Lou could only remember her name being called but did not know by whom, back when Alita had infiltrated Melchizedek. Shortly after, Alita's regeneration was complete and Lou witnessed her reunion with Figure.
Lou appears in Gunnm: Martian Memory. After Gally arrives at Factory Farm 22, she accesses a hidden GIB communications relay in an outside wall of the farm, meeting Lou, who is the only operator to appear in the game. The circumstances of her dismissal from the G.I.B. are altered, as she is taken away by an M.I.B. Machine before Gally fights GR-2. After arriving on Zalem, Gally rescues Lou before she is sentenced to be cast out. During the intervening five years following Gally’s defeat of the Brain Queen, Lou works with Kaos to build the Tower of Tiphares and during this time they are married. At the end of the game, Gally invites her to to celebrate the departure of Leviathan I
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