2.07 - Guilty Angel

Title of Battle Angel Alita, Last Order, volume 7.
[Cover title: The shell breaks]
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On her way to the incubator block, Alita encounters a strange man, Tzykrow, erst the instructor of Kammer Gruppe. From him we learn that two centuries before the present-day events, Yoko infected Melchizedek with a highly-potent virus, the Guinevere program. Such a terrorist attack became known in history as the Camlann Tragedy. That generated a psychological meltdown in the supercomputer, maddening it and killing 450,000 people. Yoko was captured by Caerula Sanguis, then a freelance agent. Because of that, Grunthal was destroyed, Panzer Kunst was outlawed and Yoko was thrown alive into Earth’s atmosphere. Entering in suspended hibernation and remaining that way for more than two hundred years, her remains would be found by Daisuke Ido in the junkyard.

The conversation between Alita and Yoko (actually a psychological conflict between two different personalities in the same mind) is touching. We learn that a traumatized Yoko had never been able to identify her protectors, like Erica and Gerda, envying Alita, as her current identity is loved by everyone.

Tzykrow, now nothing more than a Trinidad’s puppet, decides to kill Alita, using sophisticated Panzer Kunst weapon attacks, but Alita has a new recourse: the plasma bite. During this combat, we learn the names of several Panzer Kunst techniques (always in German, but many of them are probably misspelled; at least, none of my dictionaries has been useful). Anyhow, Tzykrow survives.

In Z.O.T. Tournament, Elf and Zwölf defeat Darbhanga, but then they have to face a completely insane Punchinello: Cannibal Spring Legs Jack. Insane but rogue, he induces Elf to suicide in Russian roulette. Wearing the fizziroy body, Sechs re-enters and annihilates the clown. But the nightmare is not over. Whophon, an apprentice who became the master and is now a sort of religious leader, orders the suicide of more than one hundred girls, who are daughters of people in high positions, before the audience. Extremely powerful, but also extremely egocentric, Whophon is inclemently destroyed by Sechs.

 Meantime, we learn about a quixotic and senseless project developed to generate saints. The only result was the creation of phantasmagoria and nightmares, opening the gates of hell in the form of a single person. Surprisingly, Aga Mbadi is completely immune to such obscenities and eliminates the source, closing the fiendish passage. What sort of man is Aga Mbadi, after all?

This is perhaps the richest volume in the entire collection.

The cover:
Software: Painter8, Photoshop CS

This is the cover illustration for Gunnm Last Order volume 7.

I have a tendency to seriously think about what to draw, so often I get bogged down with my work. So, this time I took care not to be too serious and drew it.

This is the Gally who wore her broken stealth suit in the battle in the center of Jeru. Her stealth suit is more broken apart than the one in the story, and it is a deformation technique for an illustration: as a hyperbolical expression.

I had drawn Damaged Gally before. It was the picture of Gally with a broken shoulder. This time, it is the point that there is not much to look tragic and cruel in the picture, because she just got the broken suit. The picture had the characteristics of the picture composition: the subject Gally is trimmed off with boldness. It is a rare case for me, because many cover illustrations of my works had the composition with the whole body in frame.

I usually put her both arms on the screen, as it is as if dolling back, but the picture was like a wide-angle photograph, so I wanted to express dynamism and I dared to decide on the composition. The picture color scheme was the combination of blue and green. It was the same as my previous work, Soul Survivor?, but this time the area of the bluish-purple suit and the blue green background got a larger share of the picture. Warm colors as red were used for accent, so the picture leaves a different impression from Soul Survivor.

The pipe group of the background was painted dark cyan at first, but I checked for printing reproducibility* with Photoshop. This color was almost printed gray. I knew this color cannot be reproduced on printing,  and I desaturated this color considerably. Gally’s inner suit was painted very dark green at first, too, but I thought this was too flashy and changed this color to pale blue by Photoshop’s Hue/Saturation Control. It was finished under the condition at that point in time, but when I looked at the printout from a distance the day after, I noticed that the color could not be distinguished from background color, so I changed it to yellow green by Photoshop’s Hue control. It made a difference between the color of her inner suit and background color.

Printing reproducibility: Normally, a reproducible color range of a monitor is wider than printing (there is some variation from a printing method, an ink and paper quality). So, some display colors on the monitor cannot be reproduced exactly on the printing. They are colors of defective printing reproducibility. Photoshop has the function that checks for these colors.

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