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Figure first shows up in Angel of Death as a rail mercenary for the Tiphares trains. One of the few all-human characters, he manages to survive in a heavily cyborg world by his anti-cyber martial arts capable of bypassing armor. He shows an interest in Alita, and is pretty firmly rebuffed. After being saved from Knucklehead by her, he tries to defeat her in combat due to his intolerance of her tako lips (Yeah, right.) He loses badly, but impresses her with his refusal to give up. After surviving the Boiling Metal battalion and suffering the loss of Yolg together, Alita and Figure become involved, though she leaves him behind with a promise to return to pursue her Tuned duties in Angel of Chaos. He returns in Angel's Ascension. He is a native of Alhambra, a fishing village in the ruins of skyscrapers. I guess California got covered by the sea in the Big One.

Personality wise, he's the usual good-natured jerk, a portrayal that any occasionally insensitive person can understand quite well. His refusal to ever give up is typical heroic fiction fodder, but what truly interests me is his philosophy. Although he only shows up in roughly one book of the series, he gives a unique worldview to the book and provides a good foil to Yolg's cowardice and Desty Nova's educated nihilism. It's a mix of extreme freedom and fatalism. He expresses it best when hiking out of a desert carrying Alita.


"Leave me behind... I couldn't bear it if you died because of me..."

"No way!"

"But... couldn't you cover more ground if you leave me behind...?"

"Heh - I'm free to carry the woman I've fallen for... Free to go left or to go right. And if I die, it was my destiny."

Not the most profound of words, but with contemplation they can become an interesting moral viewpoint. They just ring a bell for me. Perhaps for you too.

Return to Gunnm metanode.

The Figure Four is a submission hold in professional wrestling.

1) Victim is lying on his back, prone.
2) Executor lifts up one of the victim's legs.
3) Executor turns around outward while still holding the victim's leg, which has the effect of bending that leg at an acute angle and placing it inbetween the executor's own legs.
4) Executor sits down on the mat. At this point, one of the victim's legs should be straight, while the other one is crossed over the straight leg's knee, perpendicularly to it (in the shape of a "4", hence the name of the hold). In addition, one of the executor's legs is crooked under the loop of the "4".
5) Executor takes his free leg and places it on top of the victim's crossed ankle. This locks the hold in place.

For some magical reason, the pressure is reversed if the victim manages to roll himself and the executor onto their stomachs. It's total balderdash, of course, but it's just one of those times in wrestling when you have to suspend your disbelief and just go with it.

Ric Flair uses this hold as his finishing move. Greg Valentine also used to use the Figure Four. A few wrestlers (most notably The Rock use it today, but not as their finisher.

The figure-4 can also be used as an arm lock. It's basic and effective. I'll first describe the "vanilla" version I learnt first during learning jiu jitsu.

  • Standing about 1.5 ft to the lockee's, uke's, victim's or whatever-you-want-to-call-them's right side 90 degrees from each other, take their right wrist in your right hand. The wrist is held in the same orientation as if you were shaking hands, but obviously you're further up the arm.
  • Slide your left foot closer to the uke's right foot
  • Simultaneously stretch your left arm across the uke's throat or chin as a distraction and stretch your right arm so their right arm is extended. This is like an exaggerated early morning yawn-and-arm-stretch.
  • Once fully extended, bend your left arm and bring it under the uke's right arm, under their elbow. Grasp your right forearm firmly with your left hand, knuckles upwards.
  • Their elbow should now be being pushed the wrong way by your arms in a T-shape, the inside of their forearm uppermost. If you aren't in this position, you grasped their wrist wrongly. It’s in a roughly “4" looking shape, which is where the name obviously comes from.

This practice version can be turned into some neat-o moves, and here are a few faves:

  • This technique is best used for backfist type strikes. After blocking a backfist with a double forearm block, grasp the wrist with the closer arm, and then apply the lock.
  • It can be done facing the uke, with their right elbow being pushed upwards using your left arm from below, your left arm holding your right forearm, with your right hand on their right shoulder, for support. Use this version to "get them on their toes”, then turn in with your right shoulder to their right armpit for a shoulder throw/ippon seoinage.
  • After applying the lock, relax the pressure a little, slide your left foot in an arc, allow them to bend their arm back but then apply a shionage throw, with optional leg sweep. This throw, for those that don't know the term, means four directional throw, and involves folding the arm back to the shoulder and beyond, so the body is thrown off balance. It’s a basic aikido technique.
  • It's a good ground move too.

PLEASE don’t muck around with this kind of thing - it’s a potentially damaging hold. If you want to learn this kind of stuff go to a judo, jiu jitsu, aikido or wrestling etc. class. It’s good fun, I assure you.

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