The Internet’s Best Reactions To Alita’s Eyes

The Internet’s Best Reactions To Alita’s Eyes

Critics seem divided over Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron’s new manga adaptation Alita: Battle Angel, with some saying it “lives up to its potential” and others calling it “protracted [and] soul-challenged.”

PREVIOUSLY: Favorite Alita: Battle Angel Scenes Chosen By Its Filmmakers

However, most of the moviegoing public is too distracted by one glaring element of the movie to decide whether it looks good or not: the lead character’s eyes. The live-action actress Rosa Salazar’s face has been altered to have giant real-life anime eyes in every scene. As with anything divisive in pop culture, there have been tweets and memes abound on social media. So, here are The Internet’s Best Reactions To Alita’s Eyes.

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This Twitter user posted a GIF of Alita’s eyes from the anime in closeup in response to all the people saying the character’s eyes are “too big” in the new movie. This GIF shows that they are actually pretty accurate to the character, even if they don’t translate too well into live-action.

RELATED: Alita Could Have Been A Hit (But James Cameron Chose Avatar Instead)

The filmmakers should be praised for at least taking a risk and doing something that’s never been done before, but maybe there’s a reason it’s never been done before. Maybe those big, inflated anime eyes should stay in animated form and in the pages of manga, because they don’t look so cool on a real person’s face.


Rosa Salazar was actually a familiar face before Alita: Battle Angel gave her what could potentially be her big break (or the death of her career). She was the girl who stole the car and ran off with Machine Gun Kelly in Netflix’s Bird Box.

She has also appeared in the Maze Runner and Divergent franchises and had a role in American Horror Story. One Twitter user suggests that the actress’ eyes look innocent enough as they are without being turned into a giant puppy dog eyes with CGI effects. Based on this side-by-side, they could be onto something there.


This supposed “behind the scenes snapshot of Alita: Battle Angel” sees voice actor and YouTuber SungWon Cho offering us a satirical look at the making of the movie. Obviously, he’s wearing giant paper eyes over his own eyes for comic effect, with the comparative size of his glasses only adding to the visual joke.

But this probably isn’t far off what Rosa Salazar had to wear on her eyes during the shooting of every scene for the visual effects artists to have the right reference points to enlarge her eyes – an effort that likely cost millions of dollars and countless hours of hard work for what many people believe was a waste of time.


This Twitter user is willing to give the movie a chance with the eyes. He sees it as a “bold” cinematic translation of the manga itself. In the comics, which a lot of people commenting on the eyes have ignored, everyone can tell that Alita is a cyborg, because she doesn’t look like anyone else.

The anime eyes differentiate her from everybody else and make her stand out. If, like some people have complained, they make her look unnerving and creepy and not like a real person, then the filmmakers did a good job, because that’s the point of the story.


Alita: Battle Angel director Robert Rodriguez has explained the unusual choice to do live-action anime eyes in an interview with IGN Brazil: “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…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.’” Still, was it a good idea? This facial expression says it all…


The woke members of the Twitterati had a field day when Scarlett Johansson was cast to play the lead role in the live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell. Casting a white actress in a Japanese role was instantly called out as an act of whitewashing, and they did have a point.

RELATED: Does Alita: Battle Angel Have An After-Credits Scene?

However, some of those same critics have been trying to do the same thing to Alita: Battle Angel, calling the anime eyes a kind of cultural appropriation. This Twitter user points out that this is as ridiculous as it sounds, because anime characters’ eyes are not supposed to look like the eyes of real people.


This Twitter user compares the use of CGI on Alita’s face to the digital resurrection of Peter Cushing and de-aging of Carrie Fisher in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The scenes with those characters came off as creepy as they slipped into the uncanny valley and weren’t wholly convincing. But at least in Rogue One, it was just a handful of scenes.

In Alita: Battle Angel, it’s the lead character. Her name is literally in the title. It’s hard to invest in a character whose face is partly CGI – it’s like she doesn’t really exist. “Sometimes it just doesn’t work.”


This Twitter user compares Alita’s eyes to those in Tim Burton’s 2014 biopic Big Eyes, the true-life story of a man who took credit for his wife’s paintings of people adorned with the titular big eyes. He also cites the movies academically, giving the years they were released and the names of their directors, which is a degree of class higher than most tweets. Most tweets aren’t even spelt correctly.

Interestingly, both of these movies have Christoph Waltz playing supporting roles. Did he tell his agent to sign him on exclusively to projects that have characters with weird CGI eyes?


This Twitter user says that the more times they watch the trailer for Alita: Battle Angel, the less they are bothered by the CGI anime eyes. They just take some getting used to, that’s all. Once you’ve seen them enough to be used to them, you notice everything else going on in the movie.

Perhaps this would happen pretty early in the movie and, once you get past the eyes, you can enjoy the movie. Those eyes are an acquired taste, and once you’ve acquired it, you’ll see the awesome action hero behind the eyes and all the spectacular sequences she’s a part of.

NEXT: Will Alita: Battle Angel Get A Sequel? Here’s What The Story Would Be

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