Battle Angel Alita tells the story of Alita (“Gally” in the original Japanese version), an amnesiac female cyborg. Her intact head and chest, in suspended animation, are found by cybermedic expert Daisuke Ido in the local dump. Ido manages to revive her, and finding she has lost her memory, names her Alita after his deceased cat. The rebuilt Alita soon discovers that she remembers the legendary martial art Panzer Kunst, although she doesn’t recall anything else. Alita uses her Panzer Kunst to first becoming a mercenaryHunter-Warrior, killing cyborg criminals in the Scrapyard, and then as a player in the brutal sport of Motorball. While in combat, Alita awakens memories of her earlier life on Mars. She becomes involved with the floating city of Tiphares as one of their agents, and is sent to hunt criminals down. Foremost is the mad genius Desty Nova, who clashes with Alita before becoming her ally.
The futuristic dystopian world of Battle Angel Alita revolves around the city of Scrapyard, grown up around a massive scrap heap that rains down from Tiphares (Salem in the anime). Ground dwellers have no access to Tiphares and are forced to make a living in the sprawl below. Many are heavily modified by cybernetics to better cope with their hard life.