Greetings, my chooms and choombattas! Anime is like a sea of content, at times you find a hidden gem amongst the heap, and the anime I’m here talk about today is Studio Triggers’ Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. This collaboration between CD Projekt Red and Trigger has been going on for some time now, but due to the lackluster and buggy (almost unplayable) released of Cyberpunk 2077 in late 2020, the anime has been- for the most part stayed out of the public’s eye. Though, to my surprise, this new anime manages to capture the look and feel of Mike Pondsmith’s neo-noir world.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners doesn’t really follow the typical shonen archetypes commonly seen in many popular animes on air today, even more closely resembling to seinen anime instead. Pretty much like animes such as Cowboy Bebop and Ghost in the Shell that came before it-taking place in a neo-noir futuristic world; Cyberpunk: Edgerunners explores the ideas of grief, lost, tragedy, and the cost of innocence.
Edgerunners is a 10-episode standalone story of David Martinez- a street kid in trying to survive in a technology and body modification-obsessed society. After having everything taken from him, and with nothing else to lose, David decides to become an edgerunner (mercenary for hire) also known as a cyberpunk, the stuff of legend in Night City.
So, why should you watch Cyberpunk: Edrunners? Well, I’ll give you four reasons why:
1. The premise
The Cyberpunk genre has a huge fan base (whether you realize it or not) that loves everything associated with the genre, and this anime has this and more. If you’re a fan of the film classic like Bladerunner or animes like Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, and Akira, you’ll instantly love what this series has to offer. Having the story of a streetwise kid, trying to survive the dystopian future of gives the viewer (us) a great perspective into that world. And for returning players of Cyberpunk 2077, David’s tale almost parallels that of our own in the game.
2. The production
With Netflix and CD Projekt Red , the company behind the game, at the helm here, it has to be said that there has been a good budget at hand for the animators to work with, and a quick look at the trailer should give you an idea of the production values. Animation company Studio Trigger are such a safe pair of hands when it comes to this style of animation, that viewers can rest assured there will be plenty of jaw dropping scenes to marvel at. It is also obvious that the 10-episode series will not shy away from the bloody and violent side of the game, so diehard fans can stop worrying that the series will be aimed at a family audience.
3. You don’t need play the game to enjoy it
If you’re not familiar with the Cyberpunk world, and the game franchise that has spawned this series, there’s no need to worry. The 10-episode series is a completely new story, so you do not need to know anything before watching. However, fans of the games will perhaps be one step ahead of casual viewers, with well-known iconic imagery, concepts and characters from the game making appearances too. Something for everyone here, but no previous experience required.
4. The animation
Going by the trailer of the series, it can’t be denied that the animation of the anime looks great. The fast-paced editing, visual themes, and violent imagery will make you take a look at the trailer again and again. Studio Trigger is handling the animation, so it goes without saying that the audience will have a blast binge-watching all ten episodes.
Anyways, this anime is amazing to watch if you’re looking for something to binge with its innovative visuals and Triggers distinctive art style. Also, a great treat for many (myself included) who have spent hours playing Cyberpunk 2077, as there many are nods to the game littered through each episode with the neon lit Night City being an integral character. Furthermore, Egderunners can also be a great jumping off point for many who have yet to experience the world of Cyberpunk.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is available on Netflix as of the time of this writing. So, what’re ya waiting for, Choom? Night City’s a waitin’ for ya.