In Alita Battle Angel (2019) why does the factory not recognize Zapan as the true killer of Tanji and blames Hugo instead?

We see the Hugo "wanted" sign before Zapan is about to kill Hugo (and Alita stops him).

  • I felt my answer to this one was pretty solid. Is there anything else you want to know/want addressed before considering an acceptance?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 7 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


Zapan reported Hugo to the Factory while he was on the run. Zapan is a registered hunter, and thus has a solid reputation with the Factory as a detector of crime.

“I never killed anybody!” Hugo said hotly.

The Damascus Blade swept a gleaming path through the air, dipping downwards and then rising. On the ground, the cyborg’s head rolled away from his body, trailing a mix of heart’s-blood and cyber-blood.

“You just did,” Zapan informed him.

Alita: Battle Angel - Official Novelisation

Note that the Factory is also blaming him for 'jacking parts', so this is evidently part of a wider investigation into attacks on cyborgs that have been happening in the city. Hugo and his crew never murdered anyone, but presumably others (possibly even Zapan) did.

Tonight the latest news showed Hugo’s face in glorious high definition and very much larger than life, unmistakable and unmissable. The caption scrolling sideways below it was equally clear:

Number 9107/HUGO — wanted for jacking and murder — bounty 30,000 credits.

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