Battle Angel / GUNNM
"Battle Angel" (or "Hyper Future Vision Gunnm") is a two volume OVA from 1993. Based on an original comic/manga by Yukito Kishiro ("Gunbuster"), it was directed by Hiroshi Fukutomi("Yakyuko no Uta", "Captain Tsubasa J", "Those Who Hunt Elves"), and featured awesome character designs by Nobuteru Yuki ("Angel Cop", "Battle Royal High School", "Five Star Stories", "Lodoss War").
Welcome to Scrap Iron City: a garbage heap; a place where the trash from a large, floating, futuristic city, Zalem, falls, and the cast offs of civilization gather to live off the detritus of their “betters”. In the worthless debris, a scavenging cybernetics genius, Dr. Ido, finds the remains of a female cyborg.
Ido rebuilds the girl and names her Gally. With no memory of her past, she lives as a sweet little attendant in Ido's small neighborhood, self-run, cybernetics hospital. However, Scrap Iron City is a place where dreams die, people live by destroying others, and those who foolishly believe they can claw their way out are disemboweled and sold for spare body parts. Ido does not live by nicely fixing and helping others. He really makes his living by hunting bounties as a "Hunter Warrior" (bounty hunter) for the "Factory", a automated system that seems to run both Scrap Iron City and Zalem. While shadowing Ido on the prowl, an inner knowledge of a cyborg fighting technique, Panzer Kunst, is awakened within Gally; as well as a desire for carnage and violence. Gally, somehow, instinctively knows that she belongs as, and desires to be, a Hunter Warrior.
"... tonight I felt something new, like I was really alive for the first time!"
"Battle Angel" has a futuristic cyberpunk setting, and super cool designs. However, the problem with "Battle Angel" is that, despite its script's indications to the contrary, Gally and Ido aren't shown as being any better or more heroic than any of the other horrible characters in the anime... to some extent, they're worse. It does seem as if Ido just rebuilt Gally because he wanted to play with a little girl robot, and Gally seems to be completely O.K. with unquestioningly killing anybody who shows up on her bounty list as long as she doesn't like them. However, if the bounty is her boyfriend, it's OK to rip other people's spines out, since we never knew those suckers anyway. And so, our heroes appear to be sociopaths. In contrast, supposed villain Chiren's desire to prove herself to Ido and to get back to her position in Zalem, and rival bounty hunter Gime's actions to just complete his bounty and get rid of his competition, seem a lot more normal, as well as relatable.