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Battle Angel Alita: The Last Order Omnibus 2 Manga Review

5 min read

Battle Angel Alita The Last Order Omnibus 2
Battle Angel Alita The Last Order Omnibus 2
Who’s ready for a tournament? I hope you are because it’s gonna be a long one.

Creative Staff
Story: Yukito Kishiro
Art: Yukito Kishiro
Translation/Adaptation: Lillian Olsen/Fred Burke

What They Say

Nanotechnology made humanity immortal, and the resulting population explosion pushed the Solar System’s resources to the breaking point. As a result, new births are banned and even the planets’ disparate governments cooperate to annihilate any children already born. With the tournament looming, Alita and her comrades find themselves caught between a spacefaring refuge for young innocents and a bloodthirsty mob intent on killing the children for sport!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Picking up with Alita in Kethares, we begin the second monster omnibus with a quick story involving a lost child. The lost child is found by Alita and quickly delivered to the police to help him find his way home. However, in the world of Battle Angel Alita, children are considered a risk and most are promptly put to death by various means. This revelation to Alita has her racing to try and recover the child before it’s too late. Unfortunately, the boy was returned to his combat training group and sent to a combat chamber to play wargames. Of course the war games are extreme, since there are several adult combatants with astronomical strength each battling to capture all the flags of the various teams. Since a small platoon of small children was sent in there, we can guess the outcome.

Battle Angel Alita increases its sadistic side with this volume. Nothing ever goes right and it is tragedy after tragedy. These tragedies play a dual purpose for our lead character in that she both resolves to try and stop the senseless violence but she also attracts a form of PTSD in the process that makes her contemplate the consequences of her actions before her own personal aims. There is some really stunning character growth here that really helps make Alita a more complete character that invests the readers in her exploits. These moments of development are steeped in all out war throughout its entirety and this combination proves to be quite effective. During the course of Alita attempting to clear the combat chamber as a form of revenge for the murdered children, she gets enlisted by Ping to enter the Zenith of Things Tournament, or Z.O.T.T., as a distraction for Ping to hack into the Kethares system and spark revolution. The tournament then takes complete focus as it occupies two-thirds of the massive 600 page book. The tournament itself acts as a conduit to explore Alita’s newfound fears and anxieties while also featuring a grand scale for non-stop action and violence to act as the entertainment. The true star of the tournament however, is Sechs, not Alita. Sechs gets a new, full-size, body so that she can compete adequately in the fierce battles ahead and try to understand her purpose in life.

I found everything to be extremely entertaining as these specks of character development for both Sechs and Alita and the growing plot of Ping, mixed in with all of the political shenanigans going on in the background with Mbadi, are surrounded by some of the most beautiful and brutal action around. The artwork continues to be an absolute standout! It is extremely remarkable just how clean and clear the art always is even when mired in a flurry of speedlines, guts, and shockwaves. The downside though pertains to the volumes presentation though. In a completely opposite reaction to the omnibus format from what I felt with the first volume, the format is a detriment here. In the first volume, the omnibus format allowed us to get up to speed with the wrap up to the original series and get our foothold in this new world. There just wasn’t a whole lot of standout elements to immediately hook readers but the large format gave us everything we needed to become interested in seeing where the story goes from that point forward.

However, with this second omnibus, it’s too overwhelming. Battle after battle, repeated themes to show the character development, and the sheer length of the tournament itself (still ongoing by the end of the book, by the way) just begin to make everything feel extremely repetitious. I had to take frequent breaks while reading it because it just felt like we were going through the motions over and over again. The action is so non-stop we need it to stop. If this book was read as three separate books released over a period of time, or smaller omnibus versions, we would become wrapped up in the perpetual propulsion of the series and crave for more. But sometimes more is not what you need and this book’s pummeling pace beats readers into the ground much like the contestants of the tournament itself.

In Summary
This is a tough call. The chapters in this book are great! This is shaping up to be one of the most punishing series in terms of unrelenting violence and a grim as fuck worldview while still maintaining levity that keeps it from becoming pure schlock. It’s actually really good! But holy cow was it a rough read to try and get through. The omnibus is just too big and it makes consuming these chapters a real chore. Perhaps it’s only because I have to plow through it so I could remember its contents for this review. Being able to read at a leisurely pace, a few chapters at a time or something, should make it much more palatable. I’m sure that is how most people will read this book so it really is kind of a non-issue. But by plowing through the whole thing, particular flaws are revealed that lessen the overall impact of the story. It become very repetitious in how it deals with the individual characters motivations and ordeals. Repetition can be a good thing but it happens too much here. A highly recommended series that is far from perfect but certainly worth the read in my opinion.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A-

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: August 13th, 2013
MSRP: $19.99

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