Indeed, with animated series things are much better than with full-length movies based on games. We already have, thanks Neflix, really good Arcane, Castlevania, The Cuphead Show!, DOTA: Dragon’s Blood and The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf. Well, you can add to this list Cyberpunk: Edgerunners and maybe, somewhere in the first place, okay, in the second place, right after Arcane.

Title Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
Genre anime, fantasy, cyberpunk
Channel Netflix
Series 10
Director Hiroyuki Imaishi
The roles were voiced KENN (David), Aoi Yūki (Lucy), Hiroki Tōchi (Maine), Michiko Kaiden (Dorio), Takako Honda (Kiwi), Wataru Takagi (Pilar), Tomoyo Kurosawa (Rebecca), Yurika Hino (Gloria), Kenjiro Tsuda (Doc), Yasuyuki Kase (Falco)
Year 2022
Website IMDb

This time Netflix can’t even be accused of making a fake anime because it was made by a South Korean or Malaysian studio. This time everything is fair, Netflix and CD Projekt involved a real Japanese studio – Studio Trigger – to work on the series. Trigger has produced Kill la Kill (2013), Little Witch Academia (2017), Promare (2019) and BNA: Brand New Animal (2020), and is headquartered in Tokyo. It is hard to imagine a more Japanese studio.

Maybe that’s why Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is so different from other Netflix anime series. Edgerunners is indeed more Japanese, edgier, bloodier and more violent. Over 10 episodes, the characters will send hundreds of enemies and dozens of peaceful citizens of Night City to the other world, and they will do it in the most bloody way. And they themselves will die for their dream, as dozens of cyberpunks and netrunners died before and after them. That is, we cannot recommend Cyberpunk: Edgerunners to children, on the other hand, after the events of this year, Ukrainian children probably have nothing to worry about.

There is also a difference in the drawing style. At first, the style chosen by Studio Trigger for Cyberpunk: Edgerunners can even be intimidating to watch, especially the way the gunfights, people with cyberpsychosis or the immersion of netrunners are shown. But you get used to it quickly. On the other hand, there are some really fantastically beautiful shots, such as the scenes on the moon, the night streets and intersections of Night City, or the view of the city from beyond its borders.

Of course, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has all the game elements, attributes and even mechanics familiar to players. The main character lives in the same tower as V, even in the same apartment. Walks the same streets, visits Afterlife, watches braindances, installs cyber devices at illegal Ripperdocs’. Even the way Maine’s team, and then David’s, complete tasks is reminiscent of how players can complete tasks in Cyberpunk 2077. What’s more, there’s even a direct connection between the series and the game. One of the cocktails in the Afterlife is named after the main character, his clothes can be obtained in Cyberpunk 2077, and in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners you can see that the Adam Smasher you meet in Cyberpunk 2077.

Interestingly, the story in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners feels even more coherent and more moving than in Cyberpunk 2077. Maybe because it’s really a story of love and the pursuit of a dream. And what you are capable of doing for another. It’s even a bit Romeo and Juliet because stupid kids who don’t know how to trust each other end up hurting the person they love.

Edgerunners is a finished story. There will most likely not be a sequel, unless CD Projekt and Netflix decide to tell about Lucy’s life on the moon, but that will be a completely different story. By the way, I would love to play Cyberpunk 2077 outside of Night City, and yes, on the moon too.

In short. If you liked Cyberpunk 2077, be sure to check out Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. If not, take a look too, familiarity with the original source here is more of a bonus and fan factor than a mandatory requirement. It’s a good anime and it’s the same case where patches aren’t needed, which means a lot.