Alita: Battle Angel – A Step in the Right Direction for Anime Adaptations


Adaptation, anime, live action film, fidelity, whitewashing, Alita, Battle angel

How to Cite

Qiao, L., & Tan, E. (2019). Alita: Battle Angel – A Step in the Right Direction for Anime Adaptations. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 1(1), 88-106.


Anime adaptations may not be as common as other kinds of adaptations during the 21st century; the few that have been done and released all have been met with negative reviews from both critics and fans alike. Some of the issues raised in regards to anime adaptations are casting Caucasian actors and actresses as characters of Asian origin, and that maintaining complete fidelity to the source material has proven to be an insurmountable task altogether.  That is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the list of problems found in anime adaptations.  Despite the growing list of bad apples that have been released, one recent anime adaptation has been showered with praise and acclaim by many people, and that is the 2019 film Alita: Battle Angel.  Currently acting as a gold standard for all anime adaptations being done in Hollywood, this article looks at how Alita: Battle Angel successfully tackles the various aspects that have plagued anime adaptations in the past.


Adkins, M. K. (2015, November 10). Is Literary Adaptation Better on Film or on Television? Retrieved from PopMatters:

Ashcraft, B. (2013, April 2). Didn't Like Hollywood's Dragon Ball Movie? Well, Neither Did Dragon Ball's Creator. Retrieved from Kotaku:

Alita - Girl's name meaning, origin, and popularity. (2019). Retrieved from BabyCenter:

Benioff, D. (Producer). (2011-present). Game of Thrones [Television series]. USA: HBO.

Bondarchuk, S. (Director), & Tsirgiladze, V. (Producer). (1966-1967). War and Peace [Motion picture]. Soviet Union: Mosfilm.

Cameron, J. (Director), & Cameron, J. (Producer). (2009). Avatar [Motion picture]. USA: 20th Century Fox.

Cohen, R. (Director), & Moritz, N. H. (Producer). (2001). The Fast and the Furious [Motion picture]. USA: Universal Pictures.

Crowe, C. (Director), & Rudin, S. (Producer). (2015). Aloha [Motion picture]. USA: Columbia Pictures.

Ebert, R. (1999, December 12). Greed Movie Review & Film Summary (1925). Retrieved from

Edwards, B. (Director), & Juros, M. (Producer). (1961). Breakfast at Tiffany’s [Motion picture]. USA: Paramount Pictures.

Franklin, S. (Director), & Thalberg, I. (Producer). (1937). The Good Earth [Motion picture]. USA: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Fukutomi, H. (1993). Battle Angel [DVD]. Japan: Animate Film.

Ghahremani, T. (2013, April 1). 25 Minority Characters That Hollywood Whitewashed. Retrieved from Complex:

Ido: Name Meaning, Popularity, and Similar Names. (2019). Retrieved from Nameberry:

Janus Films. (n.d.). War and Peace Press Notes. Retrieved from

Lee, C. (2018, May 7). Alita: Battle Angel Filmmakers: There’s ‘No Whitewashing’ in This Manga Adaptation. Retrieved from Vulture:

Luketic, R. (Director), & Spacey, K. (Producer). (2008). 21 [Motion picture]. USA: Columbia Pictures.

MANAA Refutes ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Filmmakers Who Claim It’s Not Another White-Washed Movie. (2019, February 21). Retrieved from Rafu Shimpo:

McTeigue, J. (Director), & Silver, J. (Producer). (2009). Ninja Assassin [Motion picture]. USA: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Pooley, J. (2019, February 12). Alita: Battle Angel - 16 WTF Moments. Retrieved from

Randel, T. (Director), & Yellen, M. (Producer). (1995). Fist of the North Star [Motion picture]. USA: First Look Pictures.

Rodriguez, R. (Director), & Cameron, J. (Producer). (2019). Alita: Battle Angel [Motion picture]. USA: 20th Century Fox.

Ruh, B. (2012). Adapting Anime: Transnational Media between Japan and the United States (PhD thesis), Indiana University, USA.

Stam, R. (2000). Beyond Fidelity: The Dialogics of Adaptation. In J. Naremore (Ed.), Film Adaptation (pp. 54-76). New Brunswick: Rutgers.

Tamahori, L. (Director), & Wilson, M. G. (Producer). (2002). Die Another Day [Motion picture]. USA: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.