'Alita: Battle Angel' Press Tour Introduces Stars to Virtual Japanese Idol

Alita: Battle Angel may have opened with an impressive first weekend in the United States and outside territories, but the film is still gearing up for its premiere in Japan. This has lead to some hilarious press outings for the film's stars.

One outing has gone particularly viral as the stars of Alita: Battle Angel come face to face with one of the most popular virtual idols in Japan, Kizuna A.I. You can check out the video above.

Kizuna A.I. is a special "artificial intelligence" that runs two big YouTube channels in which the virtual idol either reacts to events or plays video games. The design was created by Morikura En with 3D modelling by Tomitake and supervision from Tda, and utilizes motion capture technology to provide some pretty impressive animations. Though much of what goes into making Kizuna, such as her voice actress, the virtual idol has amassed millions of fans and subscribers.

So when Alita: Battle Angel's press tour came to Japan, a special screen was brought out in order for Kizuna A.I. to interact with the film's stars and staff. Christoph Waltz was particularly fond of this as he asked Kizuna whether or not she was engaged. She responds no, and then follows it up by asking Waltz to marry her.

Kizuna also asks Rosa Salazar, who stars as Alita, what it was like to see herself animated in CGI and the two share a pretty sweet moment. Before it's all over, however, Kizuna transforms into Alita's "Berserker Body" form and Waltz proceeds to hold her hand as they take pictures. Salazar gets into the fun as well and offers a huge and kiss, and the whole experience seemed like it was a good break from the usual press tour wildness.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau, Alita: Battle Angel opened in theaters February 14, and will open in Japan on February 22. The film stars Rosa Salazar (as the titular Alita), Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, and Jackie Earle Haley. ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis recently reviewed the film, and here's an excerpt of his thoughts:


"All things considered, the movie is an immersive escape to another world. Attempts at emotion and human connections are supplemented by amazing visual and practical effects, along with well-crafted action sequences. It's not going to be the next Avatar despite being an equally massive idea, but Alita builds its own world for a second adventure which could get audiences more invested." You can read the full review of Alita: Battle Angel here.

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.