53 of 53 chapters read
However, during a period of boredom I suddenly came across it and decided to give it a try. And I was very surprised.
The story starts out like a typical shounen series, with an amnesiac cyborg girl being found in a scrapyard. She is then repaired by the guy who finds her, who becomes a kind of father for her. continuing on, she meets lots of people, friends and foes, while pursuing bounties in a dark, steampunk styled post apocalyptic world, all the while wondering about her missing memories and the nature of her "Panzerkunst" abilities.
From here, the story takes many very unexpected twists, and Alita herself undergoes extensive personal growth.
The further the story goes, the less predictable it becomes, leaving you craving for the next chapter, showing all sorts of themes, psychological and philosophical, with the occasional comical relief. The only thing that saps the story's rating would in my opinion be the rushed and somewhat silly ending (Although this is remedied in the sequel, Battle Angel Alita: Last Order), leaving the story's score at 8/10.
As with many other mangas, the art gets progressively better throughout the series, but is at all times extremely detailed and delivers a great portrayal of emotion- at least, for the characters that still have their human faces intact.
Another selling point would be the great number of exotic looking cyborgs, who are all deeply detailed and more or less originally designed.
Still, the art, while being very good, is not among the best I have seen, and receives a score of 8/10
The characters are what really made me love the series, as almost every character, including even the small fry antagonists from the early volumes, have their own interesting stories, and after learning of their background, you get to see why they act as they do, and you see how they change throughout the story. The most interesting character is, naturally, Alita herself, who change dramatically through the manga. She starts out as an innocent girl with a carefree and optimistic view on everything, and then goes through different phases, experiencing friendship, love, sorrow, hate and eventually realizing the burden that comes with her power.
I also found it refreshing to see a main character who does not hesitate to massacre her enemies. There's far too many of those already.
Without a doubt, the brilliant cast of characters and their deep stories and personalities provide this manga with a top score in this category, 10/10.
For the overall enjoyment, I believe what I have written above speaks for itself.
Some things that I find noteworthy however, is the fact that I never found any of the often lengthy battles to be boring. While many other action packed series leave me hastily breezing through dull and exaggerated battles performed by pretentious combatants, I actually read BAA's battle scenes panel by panel.
And really, a one eyed and one legged Alita going medieval and ripping people to shreds with a giant spear-thing, all while displaying a wicked grin, is jolly good entertainment, wouldn't you agree? 9/10
Despite a somewhat rushed ,and in my opinion, disappointing ending, this manga is still a brilliant read, mostly thanks to the mechanized angel herself and all the other lovable and despicable characters, and receives from me a whopping score of 10/10.
Recommendable! read more
3 of 3 episodes seen
The story of the movie's three episodes is absolutely nothing to write home about, as there is no exciting plot with twists and turns. Rather than focusing on epic storylines and grandiose plots, 5 Centimeters per Second, like the rest of Shinkai's creations, focuses on a small core set of characters and their relations to each other. The main selling point is how the characters interact, and how precisely and skillfully their emotions is portrayed.
The art is as one would expect from Shinkai. The backgrounds and the various scenes are depicted in a more beautiful way than in any other anime I have ever seen, and many great works of art pale in comparison to the beautiful, living scenes Shinkai delivers. All the little details from the magazines in the shops to the rime on the windows and the clouds in the sky blend perfectly, and is in my opinion, the thing that defines this movie as the masterpiece it is. Especially the skies look unbelievably beautiful, and really creates the atmosphere in the movie. The characters on the other hand, are far more sketchy, at least compared to the environments, yet the whole thing meshes perfectly together once you get used to it. And that shouldn't take long.
The sound does not stand out too much, except for the insert song right at the end, but rather blends into the wholeness of the movie, and becomes a part of it. If you do try to simply listen to the music, it is rather good, but the truly wonderful thing about it is how it becomes one with the scenery, the characters and everything, and does just what it is supposed to do: help create the feeling and the atmosphere of the movie.
As with the story, the characters are not the usual kind of characters I would give top ratings to. They are not especially exciting individuals with dark mysterious pasts or epic quests, but rather normal people just like (most of) us.
Yet, it is this normality that is the winning factor of the characters, they are normal people with feelings, hopes and dreams, and it is these hopes, dreams and feelings that bears the entire movie. And the most important thing, the characters are presented in such a way that you truly feel you know them, that you can understand them and sympathize with their cause.
With the beautiful art, the atmospheric sound and the simple, yet complex characters and their all too familiar emotions, 5 Centimeters per Second portrays the melancholic feelings of loneliness and uncertainty, the empowering fire of hope and love, and the harsh ceaseless march of reality in such a way that one can truly feel it and recognize it. It is a beautiful and simple, yet complex story of emotions, hope, sadness and distance between people.
This inevitably tragic story portrays perfectly how reality marches ever onward, heedless of peoples hopes and dreams, and how happiness is always just out of reach.
A masterpiece indeed. read more