0.01 - Ashen Victor
[Japanese original title: Haisha; the French title is Ashman]
A side story in the world of motorball.
Set in the bleak world of The Scrapyard, decades before everyone’s favorite manga cyborgy sweetheart came on the scene, Ashen Victor is an action-packed sports drama revolving around the life-and-death game of motorball.
In this unique miniseries, adopting a dark style reminiscent of Frank Miller, Yukito Kishiro reveals a whole new facet of his talent.
[Transcribed from the back cover]
As in Gunnm the setting is the Scrapyard, although the events chronicled here predate the entrance of the lovely cyborg Gally/Alita. Following the tortured tale of “Crash King” Snev who has gained this title following a gruesome accident during motorball and the many crashes that followed which he somehow lived through. Snev is borderlining on insanity when one of the very few people that believe in him is killed to help continue the ulterior motives of his motorball financial backers. This is a dark tale as Snev struggles to learn the truth and confront his inner demons. To help emphasize this point Yukito Kishiro mostly drew this story using a lot of pure black shadowing and almost jagged line work.
http://www.animenfo.com/mangatitle,122,qxzrua,0.01 - Ashen Victorl
The style: (text translated from Spanish. Check the original in )
The drawing style is an evident homage to Frank Miller – except for the eyes and the women, typically Kishiro’s. This drawing style, based on chiaroscuros and some – scarce and particularly well carried out – touches of plot, give an oppressive atmosphere to the story. The dynamism of the drawing and the rhythm of the story transform it into a brilliant revision of the underplot of motorball, little developed in Battle Angel Alita.
The design of the bodies is quite solider that the one that we see in the 3rd and 4th parts of Gunnm – forced, partly, so that Alita does not seem too much out of tune. Would our favorite cyborg be the same one if her body were a tank? The sensation of dynamism has also improved; in general, the sensation is more realistic, and they allow to think of a technological evolution. It is necessary to keep in mind that it is about players of third division.