After spending years in a development limbo, the film adaptation of Battle Angel Alita will finally be hitting theaters and may eyes will be on the film's release in Japan given its manga origins.
Anime fans will most recognize Kamishiraishi for her role as Mitsuha Miyamizu in Makoto Shinkai's Your Name. That film was such a bit hit upon release, it quickly cemented itself as one of the most successful anime films of all time in Japan and the United States. With Kamishiraishi backing Alita: Battle Angel's Japanese release, it could very well go on to have the same kind of success in both regions also.
Originally scheduled to premiere July 20, 2018, and then December 21, 2018, Alita: Battle Angel is now currently slated to premiere February 14 in the United States. Alita: Battle Angel is directed by Robert Rodriguez, produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau, stars Rosa Salazar (as the titular Alita), Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, and Jackie Earle Haley.
While fans have had mixed reactions to Alita: Battle Angel's footage so far, its original creator Yukito Kishiro is optimistic about the series' future once noting that a Hollywood adaptation is like a "dream come true" for him. Honoring Kishiro's original work extends to the cast as well as Salazar told ComicBook.com that, "I'm glad that we stuck to the vision, I'm glad that we could all hold up what Yukito Kishiro did...That was always the goal. And it wasn't a surprise, it was... We did take images and moments directly from the manga, and did our best to translate them."
Battle Angel Alita (known as GUNNM in Japan) was originally created by Yukito Kishiro for Shueisha's Weekly Business Jump in 1990. The series is set in a post-apocalyptic future and follows Alita, a cyborg who is found in a garbage heap by a doctor and rebuilt. Completely devoid of her memory, all she has to cling to is a legendary cyborg martial art known as Panzer Kunst. With this knowledge, Alita decides to become a bounty hunter. The series has since been licensed for an English language release by Viz Media, and collected into nine volumes.