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Zapan (ザパン Zapan?) was a former hunter-warrior who later became a Factory bounty. He developed an enmity with Alita and eventually became one of her deadliest enemies following his acquisition of the Berserker Body.


Zapan's first appearance was that of a man in his late 20s to early 30s with long spiked hair who used a tall, humanoid cyborg body. While in this body, he had three different faces: his original face with his trademark symbol on his forehead, a second replacement face and one that was swathed in bandages. In the OVA Zapan's hair is pink, whereas in Gunnm: Martian Memory it is blond. His typical attire was a striped shirt, black jacket, and pants. This stays the same in Martian Memory, although with the exception of his face, his head is blue. In the OVA Zavan wears light blue pants and a black jacket.

His final body was the Berserker Body, which could change its form into any shape he desired. On the ground, its appearance was humanoid at first with an elongated head before becoming more octopus-like. In its aerial form, it appeared similar to a fly. In Martian Memory the Berserker Body first appears in its octopus form before transforming into its aerial form.


BAA02 39 Zapan vows revenge

Zapan vows revenge against Alita in Battle 9.

Zapan was known to be a skilled hunter-warrior, often frequenting Bar Kansas and conversing with fellow warriors on occasion. His philosophy was one that respected strength and had no sympathy for losers. He had the mentality of a lone wolf, not believing in cooperation between hunter-warriors to take down a bounty. He claimed that a professional avoids risks as best they can, brings their prey down carefully and efficiently, then take home their earned chips. Zapan believed that his vindictiveness was his strong point and it is believed that he was quite prideful in his abilities. This is shown when Alita manages to humiliate him by easily beating him and several others in a fight; afterwards, he immediately began to look for ways to take his revenge on her. Zapan was also remarkably intelligent and could read his surroundings easily; after seeing how strong Alita was, he would begin looking for other ways to take her down by putting her at a disadvantage instead of using a direct approach.

After meeting Sarah, her open and forgiving nature had a profound impact on Zapan, softening him and making him more human, although he still struggled with managing his anger. He was almost freed of his prior fear and hatred of Alita, showing that he is not as single-minded as initially thought to have been; Sarah's influence would continue on in Zapan as his final act was to save Alita from death before his life ended.


During his time as a hunter-warrior, Zapan did not have any significant relationships or friendships with any other residents of the Scrapyard.

Daisuke Ido[]

As a fellow Hunter Warrior, Zapan respected Daisuke Ido and was also an occasional patient of his; despite this, Zapan did not consider him to be a friend or ally. Their relationship deteriorated after Alita humiliated Zapan and was not helped by Ido's association with Alita. Zapan later used Ido as bait to trap Alita in an attempt to have her set up for insurrection when he believed that she would run away with Hugo after he became a bounty.


The relationship between Alita and Zapan went poorly from the start. When Daisuke Ido asked for help from the hunter-warriors at Bar Kansas to take down Makaku, Zapan refused the appeal and articulated his philosophy as a hunter-warrior. Although speaking for the other hunter-warriors, Alita called Zapan and the rest of them out by pointing out that he was unwilling to admit that he was scared of taking on Makaku. Despite ganging up on Alita, the hunter-warriors were no match for her. Although Alita forgot about this incident as it preceded her fight with Makaku, Zapan did not.

His humiliation at Alita's hands left Zapan vowing revenge. Recognizing Alita's superior skills, he began plotting how to take her down without confronting her head on. This leads him to start paying attention to Hugo, and he figured out that the latter was tied to a series of cyborg spinal column thefts when he noticed Hugo in the company of Vector. Zapan's opportunity came after Hugo became a bounty. He kidnapped Ido and enlisted the help of numerous hunter-warriors and a netman to trap Alita. When Alita revealed Hugo's head, this satisfied the netman but left Zapan incredulous that she would kill the man she was in love with. He quickly determined that Hugo's head was connected to Alita's life support system, but this looked like he was attempting to steal the head to the netman, and Alita retaliated by slicing off his face, causing him to fall off a building.

Although Zapan survived his fall, his fear of Alita increased and was triggered when he saw an announcement of her challenge race against Jashugan. This caused him to rip off his second face, and had such a hold of him that he accidentally killed Sarah when she tried to stop him. Although Alita later gave Zapan the chance to get his revenge on her for the duration of a song that she played, he saw his true self as a monster "filled with cowardice, jealousy and hatred" as he was just about to attack her. The melody was "of such beauty and sorrow" that it reminded him of Sarah, filling him with such emotion and fear that all he could do was cry.[1] After gaining the Berserker Body and hearing the same song again, Zapan was not as moved as before, feeling that he had no soul left to cry as he realized that he was losing control of the Berserker Body.


BAA05 202 Sara & Zapan

A vision of Zapan and Sara reunited just before the Berserker Body is totally destroyed by the collapser in Battle 29.

After his defeat by Alita, Zapan was taken in by Sarah, Murdock's daughter, forming a key relationship in his life. She realized that Zapan's outlook was the same as that of her father's, that losers deserve no sympathy. Sarah however believed that no one in the Scrapyard ever truly won, and that it was a "duty to give happiness to as many people as possible."[2] Her compassion and understanding began to have an effect on Zapan, but his fear and hatred of Alita exerted a much more powerful hold over him. Zapan kept Sarah's head preserved in a jar that he carried with him for two years, and it was not recovered by Murdock until he hunted Zapan down.

When the Berserker Body was shot with collapser and began to disintegrate, Zapan made a final attempt to kill Alita by absorbing her. She staved this off by swallowing a vial of collapser as a last resort. However, their consciousnesses briefly merged, revealing Zapan and Sarah together again. Zapan had woken up from the nightmare that was the past two years of his life and expressed his fear at losing Sarah, who comforted him and told him to accept himself as he was, win or lose. This vision caused Zapan to briefly sprout a pair of wings as his last act and break Alita's fall, saving her.


While it is believed that the two never personally interacted with one another, Zapan was awestruck when he saw Kinuba (in reality a disguised Makaku) enter Bar Kansas, hinting that he was either a fan or followed his career in the Coliseum.



See also: Zapan's knife
BAA02 78 Zapan in action

Zapan disptaching Tanji in Battle 9.

Zapan was a highly skilled hunter-warrior who specialized in using a large knife. He was respected by his fellow hunters at Bar Kansas, suggesting that he was one of the best among them. Zapan's skills were demonstrated by his swift and efficient killing of Tanji and Van. When Tanji attacked him with an axe, he blocked the axe and kneed Tanji hard enough to hit a ceiling. Drawing his knife, he then leaped and intercepted Tanji as he fell, decapitating him and catching the head in one motion. When he landed, he threw the knife so hard and fast after a fleeing Van that he was sliced in half. After Zapan turned in the heads for the bounty, he provoked a fight with Daisuke Ido, jumping to avoid Ido's attack with his rocket hammer, knocking him out with one blow, then catching his body when he landed.

Despite a period of not working as a hunter-warrior and being on the run for two years for Sarah's murder, Zapan's skills stayed sharp. He ambushed and killed a hunter-warrior by stabbing him through the throat, then killed Tank Man by stabbing him in the head, forestalling Tank Man's own attack on him when he appeared distracted.[3] However he abandoned his knife and resorted to using a large spike as a weapon.

Berserker Body[]

BAA05 135 Zapan in flight

Zapan in flight in Battle 26.

Zapan gained vast destructive potential with the Berserker Body. He could form superheated electrical spheres and plasma capable of destroying anything. He could also create the Demon Dog out of plasma, which easily dispatched three of Murdock's cyborg dogs. The plasma could also be used as a shield, making him invulnerable to all types of attack. Zapan could absorb matter and assimilate other cyborgs, effectively killing them. His capabilities made him the only being shown to successfully fly beneath Tiphares and survive attempts by the netmen to shoot him down. Unchecked, the Berserker Body showed the capability of eventually destroying the entire Scrapyard as the Factory Army and its weapons were completely ineffective against it. The only thing that could stop it was a collapser that Desty Nova developed to break it down at the cellular level.

Zapan used two different cyborg bodies: his original body and the Berserker Body. He effectively had three different faces in his first body.

First body[]

BAA02 91 Zapan

Zapan in his first body in Battle 8.

Zapan's first cyborg body was that of a tall man with distinctive spikes on the head running along the cheeks and chin. His first face was his most recognizable one and featured his trademark symbol on the forehead, a hook and cross. Zapan's abilities as a hunter-warrior suggested that this body was quite powerful and fast, which was demonstrated when he swiftly and efficiently killed Tanji and Van. He also survived the effect of a fire bottle bottle that Hugo hit him with, sustaining only minimal burns to the face.

After Alita sliced off Zapan's first face and he fell off a building, he survived the fall and obtained a second face. This face had a less aggressive appearance and was missing his trademark symbol. Zapan tore this face off when he saw the announcement of the challenge race between Alita and Jashugan on TV.[4] He later covered his damaged face with bandages and reapplied his symbol to his forehead. After tracking Zapan for two years, Murdock brought him to bay in the sewers. When Zapan failed to capitalize on a chance that Alita gave him to attack her with her back turned, the dogs tore his body to pieces and decapitated him, severely damaging his brain.

Berserker Body[]

BAA05 135 Zapan in flight

Zapan in flight in Battle 26.

Zapan's brain survived and was recovered by Barzarld.[5] When Desty Nova released the lock on the Berserker Body's Berserker mode, it went out of control and absorbed Zapan's brain. It became far more powerful than when Alita possessed it, due to the unlocking of the Berserker mode and Zapan’s obsessive madness for revenge, which brought out its full destructive potential. Zapan could form the body into any shape he desired through the manipulation of electromagnetic fields, such as assuming a winged form capable of flight, or shifting into a humanoid form. As more and more material was absorbed, the Berserker Body grew in size. In its final form it was large and octopus-like. The body disintegrated after it was shot repeatedly with collapser.


Zapan's history is not known. The only mention of his past was when Master reminded him that he had pitched in the most chips to help rebuild Bar Kansas.[6]


Battle Angel Alita[]

Makaku Arc[]

When Daisuke Ido and Alita in her new Berserker Body visited Bar Kansas there were many other hunter-warriors present, but Zapan was the only one who was named, revealing that he was one of Ido's patients. When Ido proposed that the hunters band together and go after the infamous criminal Makaku, Zapan flatly refused, claiming that hunter-warriors are lone wolves and that Makaku was none of his business. He claimed that to be a professional involved carefully choosing one’s prey and minimizing risk. This did not sit well with Alita, who questioned Zapan’s rationale and suggested that he was a coward. This provoked a brawl with the other hunter-warriors, as Alita refused to back down. During the fight, Alita managed to get hold of Zapan from behind, manipulating his arms and legs and using him to slice up the other hunter-warriors before sending him and the other fighters out of the bar in a heap. He saw a disguised Makaku enter Bar Kansas, but was able to escape unscathed.[7]

Hunter-Warrior Arc[]

Zapan next appeared after Hugo was leaving Ido’s clinic after conducting some repairs. He warned Hugo about Alita, then after Hugo left, swore vengeance on Alita for humiliating “the great Zapan” at Bar Kansas. While later staking out Hugo’s place, he observed Vector drop Hugo off. This lead him to suspect that Hugo might be connected to the series of spinal column thefts that had lately been taking place because of Vector’s position as the top black market broker who controlled the Scrapyard’s illegal parts. In disguise, Zapan selected Hugo and his team for a lube job, and caught Hugo in the act of attempting to paralyse his spine. While Zapan interrogated Hugo, Tanji tried to attack him with an axe. Zapah blocked the axe and kicked Tanji hard enough to propel him high into the air and hit the ceiling. Drawing his knife, he jumped up to meet Tanji's falling body, decapitating him in midair. Upon landing, he then threw the knife hard and fast enough to slice a fleeing Van in half, applauding himself at the feat. When he turned to face Hugo the latter threw a fire bottle at him, which burned off his cloak and caused suffered superficial burns to his face. Zapan was unable to recover fast enough to catch Hugo but knew that he would soon become a wanted man.

BAA02 188 Zapan loses face

Zapan's face is sliced off in Battle 10.

When he went to drop off the heads for their respective bounties, Zapan came across Alita and Ido, who happened to be leaving Factory 33. Although Alita did not recall him initially, he broke the news that Hugo would soon be a bounty after revealing that he was one of the recent spine robbers. After Alita ran off in search of Hugo and Zapan collected his chips, he taunted Ido, instigating a fight. Ido hit him with the shaft of his rocket hammer, knocking out a couple teeth, but Zapan dodged the follow up strike and knocked Ido out, catching him when he landed. He then alerted numerous other hunter-warriors and a netman that Alita was planning to run off with Hugo, setting up a trap for Alita by tying Ido to a pole atop a high rise to prevent her from fleeing. Alita was caught in the trap, but appeased the netman by displaying Hugo's head. Incredulous that Alita had apparently killed him, Zapan went to check for himself and discovered that she had hooked her life support system to Hugo’s head, keeping his brain alive. His actions however, appeared to the netman as an attempt to rob Alita of her bounty, a violation of Factory Law, and Alita seized the opening by hitting with a strike that sliced his face off. Zapan fell off the building they are standing on and was presumed dead.

Zapan Arc[]

However Zapan survived his fall and did not sustain damage to his brain. He eventually met a woman named Sarah and forgot his past as a Hunter Warrior along with his animosity towards Alita. After acquiring a new face, he began exhibiting a more benevolent side to him and arguably became more human as a result. Several months later, Zapan was working with Sarah helping to serve soup for homeless residents in the Scrapyard when he notices a nearby television promoting a motorball competition later that night. He sees Alita's face on the screen and began to remember his encounter with her. Screaming in terror, Zapan was driven mad and began frantically tearing apart his new face. Sara tried to stop him, but in his madness Zapan swung his arms around wildly and accidentally decapitated her. Coming to his senses, he realized what had just happened and ran off, taking Sarah's head with him. He eventually placed it in a jar of formaldehyde and began mourning her. Zapan then received a bounty for the murder and would go on the run for the next two years. to be tracked by Murdock, Sara's father and a hunter-warrior.

BAA05 50 Zapan decapitated

Zapan's decapitated head falls into the sewers in Battle 24.

His face now swathed in bandages, Zapan made his way back into the Eastern District, where he cornered both Tank Man and another hunter-warrior; he killed them both after learning that Alita had killed Makaku and was more powerful than the other Hunter-Warriors. Quickly killing the two, Zapan took out Sarah's head and begged it to give him the strength to kill Alita. Consumed with fear at the knowledge of the feats that Alita had accomplished, he sought out a drug dealer for something to take his fear away, but ended up killing her as well after she showed an unhealthy interest in Sara’s head and suggesting that she was a necrophiliac. His attitude towards Sara at this time also reflected that he was somewhat ambivalent about her, hating her as much as he loved her. After Murdock appeared, he tracked Zapan to the sewers, where he was brought to bay with the four dogs. Alita, who had been following, decided to give Zapan the chance to take his revenge on her. Playing a song on a portable keyboard, she turned her back to Zapan and told him to do what he wanted to her until she stopped playing. Zapan was about to stab Alita with a spike, but became completely paralyzed with fear and self-realisation, leaving him unable to do anything. Murdock’s dogs then tore him to pieces, severing his head, which fell into the sewers.

BAA05 91 Zapan gains Berserker Body

After gaining the Berserker Body, Zapan cannot remember his original face in Battle 25.

When Ido visits Desty Nova in order to buy back Alita’s Berserker Body which Nova now owned, Nova shows him an experiment he was about to undertake to see if man could conquer his own karma. It was a brain which was found by his assistant Barzarld in the sewers that had sustained level 7 damage. Nova’s nanotechnological expertise however, was able to restore it to level 3. Nova revealed that he restored this brain to see how it would fight its karma. Ido, recognizing Zapan’s distinctive mark on the bandages that used to cover Zapan’s face, tried to destroy the brain, but was subdued by Eelai. This made Nova even more anxious to carry out the desires of Zapan’s brain, which cried out for revenge and power. He unveiled the Berserker Body and released the lock on its Berserker mode. The body started to run amok, seeking out a power source and a brain to fuse with, causing more and more damage to Nova’s lab. Nova was unable to inject the body with destructive nanomaterial to break it down, and Ido attempted to do so just as Zapan began to manifest himself in the Berserker Body. Zapan could not remember his original face, but incorporated his symbol into a new face with one of his eyeballs. He killed Ido and destroyed Nova's manor before setting off in search of Alita.

Zapan transformed into his aerial form and flew above the Scrapyard. This attracted the attention of four netmen stationed in front of Factory 99, and they fired on him. The shots had no impact on Zapan however, and he destroyed the netmen before firing on Factor 99's front gate, but did not completely destroy the Factory itself. He interrogated the surviving netman and learned the location of Bar New Kansas. Landing outside, he transformed into his humanoid form and killed a homeless woman to use her blanket as a disguise before entering. Inside, he asked for Alita, but on being told by Shumira that she was not there, nearly killed her, but got Gonzu instead. As the hunter-warriors present attacked him, Zapan formed a plasma sphere and killed them all, absorbing their remains. He then interrogated Master, who tried to talk about their past together, but Zapan only paused briefly before nearly killing Master when Murdock intervened with his dogs. Assigning Fury to protect Koyomi and Shumira, Murdock battled Zapan with his remaining three dogs, Glory, Valor, and Hubris, but Zapan formed the Demon Dog out of plasma, which mades short work of them. Face to face with his daughter’s killer, Murdock tried to kill Zapan with a powerful grenade that demolished Bar New Kansas and the complex it was part of, but Zapan shielded himself and flew off to embark on a rampage through the Scrapyard. He demolished Ido’s clinic and wiped out the defending Factory Army. A vast section of the Scrapyard was leveled with untold numbers of people killed and more left homeless.

BAA05 209 Death of Zapan

The death of Zapan in Battle 29.

Zapan finally came face to face again with Alita after she returned to the Scrapyard from the remnants of Nova’s manor. He heard the same song that she had played back in the sewers and recalled how he was filled with such cowardice, hatred, jealousy, and fear, because the song had reminded him so much of Sara that he was moved to tears and unable to carry out his revenge.[8] Knowing that his hold on the Berserker Body was weakening and that it would obliterate the Scrapyard, he fell for Alita’s ambush and she managed to damage him with Ido’s rocket hammer. Zapan however, succeeded in fusing his body with her left arm, forcing her cut to it off. He then managed to pin Alita beneath some rubble and was about to kill her with plasma, but she cut off her lower body and succeeded in reaching her revolver, hitting him with two rounds of collapser-tipped bullets. Again Zapan tried to finish her off with plasma, but his left arm exploded from the collapser. After Alita stabbed him with her Damascus Blade, Zapan morphed into winged form, taking them both up into the sky where he began to fuse with Alita in a final attempt to kill her. Alita managed to swallow some collapser, halting the process, but not before they shared a few moments of shared consciousness in the form of a vision of Sara comforting a troubled Zapan. Because of this, Zapan overcame his hatred and with his last act before the collapser finished him, formed a pair of wings, breaking Alita's fall and saving her life.

More than a decade later Zapan made a cameo appearance when Alita was trapped in Desty Nova's Ouroboros Program and she tried to anticipate which enemy from her past would confront her in the first dream scenario.[9]

Last Order[]

Sechs later thought of Zapan during Alita's fight with Toji in the Combat Chamber[10] and Alita recalled him during her fight with Tzykrow.[11] Zapan was one of the many characters from Alita's past shown when Melchizedek, appearing as an afterimage of Arthur Farrell, reached out to her consciousness after her ego was shattered and her Imaginos Body dissolved following Super Nova's Seca attack.[12]

Other appearances[]


Zapan makes two brief appearances in the OVA. He is not named, but is listed in the credits as Zavan.[13] In Rusty Angel, he is one of the hunter-warriors at Bar Kansas when Grewcica confronts Gally and Daisuke Ido. In Tears Sign, he uncovers Yugo as a spinal column thief by posing as a customer. Zavan finds out Yugo’s name because his accomplice Tanji mentions it, unlike in the manga, where he knows that Hugo is one of the kids setting him up to steal his spinal column.

Gunnm: Martian Memory[]

Gally vs

The final boss fight against Zapan in Martian Memory.

Zapan is a sub-boss and later a boss character in Gunnm: Martian Memory. Gally fights him three times in his initial body: after he challenges her when they first meet, outside an abandoned factory where Hugo is hiding, and after he becomes a bounty. After he gains the Berserker Body, Zapan can spawn multiple Demon Dogs as enemy characters and becomes a boss himself. He first appears in his octopus form and can fire plasma balls from his hands. He then transforms into his aerial form when his health is taken down a certain level. Gally fights him using a revolver received from Desty Nova, which has unlimited bullets.

Zapan's Berserker form is later revealed in the game to be the form that people who are infected with Berserker cells can assume. After he is infected, Potemkin is transformed into a bipedal Berserker form which Zapan also appeared in in the manga.

Alita: Battle Angel[]

In the live-action film 'Alita: Battle Angel, Zapan is portrayed through motion capture by Ed Skrein.


Zapan's hunter-warrior registration number was F44-269.[14] The bounty on him was 50,000 chips.[15]


Zapan is named after one of the seven kings who ruled over the four regions of hell according to 16th century demonologists.[16][17] His namesake is most likely Zagan, a great king and president of hell described by Johann Weyer in the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum who commands 33 legions of demons. Zagan's depiction as a griffin-winged bull that turns into a man after a while is similar to the transformations Zapan undergoes after he obtains the Berserker Body.

Trademark symbol[]

BAA05 66 Zapan mark

Zapan's trademark symbol in Battle 25.

The hook and cross symbol that Zapan wore on his forehead is the logo for the rock band Blue Öyster Cult. It appeared to signify the destructive side of his personality and he could remember its likeness more than his own face. He bore the symbol in all but the second of his incarnations. In the Berserker Body he generated it on his face with one of his eyes at the center where the dot is.


  1. Battle 28 - Zapan recalls the incident.
  2. Battle 29
  3. Battle 23
  4. Battle 23
  5. Battle 25 - Nova mentions this.
  6. Battle 26
  7. Battle 4
  8. Battle 28 - Zapan recalls the incident.
  9. Battle 49
  10. Phase 23 - Payne appears to Alita during her fight with Toji.
  11. Phase 39 - Alita recalls various characters from her past who called her Alita.
  12. Phase 62 - Melchizedek calls out to Alita's fading consciousness.
  13. Accessed 2007-08-20.
  14. Battle 10 - Netman 2 mentions Zapan's hunter-warrior registration number.
  15. Battle 23 - Zapan's bounty is generated after he kills Sara.
  16. Battle 26 - Zapan's name origin is explained.
  17. Accessed on 2007-03-21.
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