When the Alita: Battle Angel trailer hit last Saturday, it was impossible not to notice the character Alita’s anime-style eyes.
[GIF via 20th Century Fox]
While talking to IGN Brazil, Sin City director Robert Rodriguez explained the decision to give the character these peepers, saying, “The manga anime eyes that we’ve seen since the ’30s and Astro Boy has never been done photorealistically. So, usually when we see an anime translated, it doesn’t feel like that.”
Continuing, he adds, “The early artwork I saw that Jim [Cameron] had, before it was even technically possible, had that in her [Alita]. It was so striking and so arresting, I thought, ‘My god, we have to do that. We have to be the first to bring a true manga and anime character to life.'”
You can see the full response below:
Here is how people have been reacting to the trailer on Reddit.
And the response on Twitter:
The Alita: Battle Angel IRL anime eyes are truly horrifying. Some styles only work when drawn. pic.twitter.com/esrguGBshR
— Joshua Wittenkeller (@TheJWittz) December 8, 2017
As a long time fan, I get that Alita from Battle Angel Alita has huge eyes, but this (from the upcoming live action movie) is a bit much pic.twitter.com/y2kuhT8HNH
— Zen (@ZenAndCyrrene) December 8, 2017
— FANDOM (@getFANDOM) December 8, 2017
I really love the eyes of Alita in the upcoming movie. The character is a cyborg and in the comics everybody can tell. By messing with Rosa Salazar’s eyes in this way I feel the filmmakers have created a sense of otherness that the audience can’t escape. It is a bold choice. pic.twitter.com/5VAgKzBtUo
— Ian Slutz (@panzerHut) December 12, 2017
I’ve never read the manga, but I find it hard to believe that Alita is the only character with large eyes because it’s *manga.* As far as big animu eyes goes, hers aren’t even that large. See reference. pic.twitter.com/k8xe5Si0zs
— Katie-senpai (@katiecosplays) December 12, 2017
For those not familiar with the source, this is what I mean. Alita does have really big moe moe eyes.. but Ido and many other characters also have exaggerated features.
— Shattered-Earth (@Shattered_Earth) December 8, 2017
— Jessica Porg-bot (@JessicaChobot) December 8, 2017
She already fits Alita's innocent look already just by looking herself, they didn't need to change her eyes up at all pic.twitter.com/LdKtpAeoxz
— QOTSA (@mujabes) December 8, 2017
Uk the more I watch the Alita Battle Angel trailer, the less the eyes really bother me. Instead I just notice how cool the rest of it looks, and it's hard to deny stuff like this gif is what works about anime. :3 pic.twitter.com/p2iCupnQPY
— Stephen Shin (@stephenweirdy8) December 12, 2017
I'm not finding Alita's eyes as disturbing as many here seem to find…
— FrancescoFrancavilla (@f_francavilla) December 9, 2017
"Give Alita a chance! the eyes represent blah blah blah"
I see this the same as I would the idea of watching an entire film where the main character is CGI face Leia or Tarkin. Sometimes it just doesn't work.
— Kate ☕️ (@KateVsTheWorld) December 10, 2017
What makes me angry about Alita having big eyes is the fact that they decided to give her those eyes INSTEAD of having her actual most defining feature that people IN the Alita universe comment about which is her having big puckered lips, noone talks abt her eyes in universe cont pic.twitter.com/iCDPB9guFE
— DEBIRUMAN DAAAAA (@smugtallguy) December 9, 2017
Lots of dumb takes going round about Battle Angel Alita. I think James Cameron knows the history, thin & superficial as it is, of ‘anime eyes.’ It’s just an aesthetic choice to give one particular character a particular weird ‘doll look’. Whether it works, now, that’s debatable
— Jason Thompson (@mockman) December 10, 2017
Big Eyes (2014) dir. Tim Burton
Alita: Battle Angel (2018) dir. Robert Rodriguez pic.twitter.com/lOCrnaVqvm
— Martin Kessler (@MovieKessler) December 9, 2017
Looking at the trailer for Alita again, and I've got to wondering just how much that particular stylistic choice was based on a misunderstanding of the nature and function of why eyes are often exaggerated in anime?
Pictured: Ghost in the Shell 1995. pic.twitter.com/YyVAGfn9xG
— Christmas Sloth (@CaseyExplosion) December 11, 2017
Fake woke Twitter is still trying to argue Battle Angel Alita’s big eyes as some form of white washing. Even though it’s a choice ripped from the pages and the typical look of an anime character. pic.twitter.com/86AJk87Y34
— Prodigy (@maskedProdigy) December 10, 2017
you: "Gally/Alita's eyes are too big in the 2018 movie trailer, ugh!"
— Lynn Hamilton (Spooky Pixel) (@spookypixels) December 8, 2017
— Jordan Ross (@TheJordanRoss) December 8, 2017
I'm so excited for this movie and I really don't want people to try and make something out of nothing with this. They aren't making fun of "Westerner's or Europeans" I promise you.
— ????Momokun @ Fate Hell ???? (@OMariahMallad) December 11, 2017
Everyone’s worried about Battle Angel Alita’s giant eyes. Meanwhile my brother and I are like “there better be a fucking rocket hammer.”
— Scott Kurtz (@pvponline) December 8, 2017
Alita: Battle Angel opens on 19 July 2018, big eyes and all.