Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

  • Arc Fatigue:
    • The Vampire arc.
    • The Zenith of Things Tournament (Z.O.T.T.) arc.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Happens fairly frequently.
    • It began with the first big villain Makaku, who up until then had been a body-hijacking Complete Monster who had such a severe addiction to endorphins that he ate other people's brains. During his final fight, he drops hints at a tragic backstory, and when he and Alita are seemingly consumed in a massive explosion, she reveals that she's holding it back with the Berserker body, and asks him why he is the way that he is, and it's heartbreaking.
    • Zapan gets it, too, complete with a hallucination that his monstrous transformation and the unintentional murder of the woman he loved were both part of a horrible nightmare.
    • Den is more of an Anti-Villain, but he meets his death with one of the most moving arguments of sentience in a comic that regularly debates what it is that makes someone an individual.
    • Rakan's case is even more tragic than Zapan's when we get to know his backstory. While Zapan was at least somewhat responsible for his fate, everything that happened to Rakan was just sheer bad luck.
  • Base Breaker: Last Order in all its size and glory. Some fans (while usually noting its shortcomings) see it as a welcome addition to the series which brings in new faces, deepens the World Building and is generally fun to read. Other feel that it's an empty action-stuffed drivel that throws all the depth of the original out the window in favor of boring Flash Backs, Infodumps, mindless Tournament Arcs, and Monsters Of The Week.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Most iterations of Desty Nova have been amoral at best and have performed inhumane experiments on humans all for the sake of research on Karma. The latest incarnation, Super Nova, powered by two Brain Chips, direct access to Melchizadek, and an afro in his introduction betrayed the main characters and the other two clones of himself to Aga Mbadi, and proceeds to gleefully tell Alita how LADDER is going to send down an army after the Z.O.T.T. to wipe out The Scrapyard and capture all people on Tiphares for their brains, just before destroying Alita physically and mentally by telling her her brain was replaced with a chip and deconstructing her body, causing her remains to fall down a shaft all while maniacally laughing about it and celebrating over her despair and sadness, disturbing even his other clones. When he asks if the clones would like to work together with him and they politely decline, stating that their methods have grown too different, he uses his power to kill NovaPod and would have killed Nova X if he didn't unplug communication. All in his introduction. That, and he has yet to have been seen eating flan, Nova's usual dish of choice and what was a considerable quirk of his, showing just how different and evil he is from the regular Nova. While various Novas have been Faux Affably Evil or Affably Evil, Super Nova is just plain evil.
    • Col. Payne, who is only 'on screen' for about three seconds before getting killed; however he stays behind as Alita's nihilistic dark side.
    • We have Rakan, a merciless serial killer/rapist Space Karate master who's wanted throughout the solar system. His recent claim to monstrous fame was brutally raping and mutilating the bodies of Elf and Zwolf, who survived thanks to their backup brain chips. He seeks to do the same to his current opponent Zazie.
      • To be fair, Rakan wasn't always like this. His story resembles that of Phineas Gage, a real-life miner who, after an explosion shot a tamping iron (rod) through his left frontal lobe, became a completely different person with no impulse control.
        • Although the story of Gage is questionable in terms of its accuracy. The information we have suggests that, while there was a change in Gage's personality, it was not nearly as drastic as people used to believe. The only accounts of any emotional instability are exaggerated and only refer to the months directly after his accident, while everything else we know about his later life seems to suggest that his personality more or less recovered after a while, as is the case with many injuries of this kind.
  • Crazy Awesome: Desty Nova. Just Desty Nova.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: The entire first encounter between Zekka and Sechs. Highlights include the most ridiculously over-the-top thumb-wrestling match ever, Sechs' scribbling on Zekka's bike and Zekka's response, as well as this gem of an exchange:

Zekka: How old are you, kid?
Sechs: Two!

(everyone around them bursts out laughing)

    • Sechs, Zekka and scribbling seems to be becoming a Running Gag, with their last fight where Sechs was scribbling on Zekka himself.
  • Fridge Logic: Ido and Desty Nova are doctors that often deal with cyborg brains but in Zalem where they learned their skills, no one has a brain. They must have either practiced exclusively on children or "spare parts."
  • Freud Was Right: There are many many dick jokes to be made in this series.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: As mentioned below, manga has a shout out to Judas Priest song "Blood Red Skies", which is a Filk Song based on James Cameron's The Terminator. And look who now has his sights on making the movie based on Gunnm...
  • Magnificent Bastard: Several
    • In the original it's undoubtedly Nova and arguably Den.
    • In Last Order, Nova becomes more of an Anti-Hero (except for the Super Nova), and the position is squarely taken by Aga Mbadi.
    • Caerula Sanguis is no slouch either. We still don't know her true agenda.
  • Squick:
    • One of the contestants in the latest Tournament Arc is a mindless monster that attacks using its giant phallus. Which fires energy beams. The explanation for this is that the machine was created by beings who saw humans in the simplest way, reducing us down to what they thought was the basic human traits (eat, kill, reproduce) so they designed the machine with a giant phallus, a giant mouth and omnicidal behavior.
    • Kaos's epic Ouroboros-fuelled tripout features some amazingly nauseating and squirm-inducing visuals. THE BRAINS THING.
  • Too Good to Last: Sorta subverted in Japan, since its premature ending in 1995 was because the author was in poor health, not because of Executive Meddling. The creator has started a new series, back in 2001, called Last Order, which continues on from the ending, ignoring some of the more troublesome developments. Such as Alita being turned into a real girl.
  • The Woobie: Ed, Gally's Motorball manager. Too bad he dies a few chapters later.
    • Lou Collins, in a big way.
    • Alita herself goes trough so many horrible experiences she sometimes begs whoever has her at his mercy to just let her die.