"Cyberpunk 2077" continues to remain a hot topic in media right now, and all for the right reasons. CD Projekt Red, the polish video game studio responsible for the IP, has been making a great effort to bring the original vision of the game to life.
Cyberpunk's recent buzz can be attributed to both the positive user feedback to quality of life changes and patches to the base game, as well as a new animated series that takes place in the very world the source material takes occurs in: “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.”
With the game having been in a great spot since a rocky early release period, now is a great time to bring fans back to Mike Pongsmith's Cyberpunk universe in the same way that Riot Games did: with "Arcane."
"Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” is a Netflix exclusive anime produced by Studio Trigger, the same Japanese animation studio responsible for projects such as "Panty and Stocking" (and the announced reboot), "Kill La Kill," "Little Witch Academia," "BNA," "Darling in the Franxx," and "Star-Wars Visions."
Fans of Studio Trigger's works always immediately note their unique approach as the animation styles, color design, and original score make each project memorable. I personally grew up watching Gurren Laggan, one of Studio Trigger's previous works, and it is a perfect example of the love and care the studio puts into their over the top projects. A quick disclaimer I can give is that anyone new to their works should be very open-minded to the explicit, captivating content they produce.
This anime is very good at stretching individual moments out in episode one and this trend can be seen throughout the entire blood ridden, emotional ride.
Viewers can notice within the first few minutes of the show that there won't be any hand holding here. If a character dies, you will see it on screen. If a character is beaten or tortured, you will experience it with them. There are few off-screen deaths and there is no shortage of them.
The show feels like things are taking a very long time to move on, not from boredom, but out of anxious feelings this show gives you through its strong emotional moments.
In episode one, viewers are given a proper backstory behind the decisions that David Martinez, voiced by Zach Aguilar, will be making from the show moving forward.
It's choice of music, a combination of (check for soundtrack), fits well when the female colead is introduced. Lucy, voiced by Emi Lo, steps into her soft paced scene showing us a personality that is expressive as her character design. The music at first threw me off as I am normally accustomed to sadder music in media to accompany a sad event, but this series is consistent in their choice of sludge metal, melodic hip-hop, and j-pixie music. Near the end of the series, it makes things feel more meaningful and allows the entire series to feel like one big ride.
Every character has their own memorable character design, which are brought to life by talented veteran voice actors, and some of their outfits are even obtainable currently to all players who have Cyberpunk purchased.
I am especially in love with Rebecca's design, which perfectly highlights the Cyberpunk experience; teal colored skin and red eyes, making it easy to note that she is entirely robotic. Even her unnecessarily large guns match her green and pink heavy color scheme. The choice of red eyes fits perfectly when you finally get to see them stretched wide open showing just how angry she can get. You'll fall in love with her the most, should Lucy not have already bewitched you by now.
The intro itself, introduced in episode two, is a long pan of the main character's silhouette as he is slowly taking off. Complimented by the song "This FFfire," this gradual progression of David's take off into a big sprint retains the attitude his character shows in the show. The angry expression he gives the camera right before the big leap in this slow motion sprint. As things slowly begin to fall apart near the climax of the song, his body splits apart as he meets his demise to a silhouette of what looks to be Faraday, a reoccurring villain in the series. And yes, you did hear Giancarlo Esposito's voice here as Faraday.
The show takes place in Night City, just like the original game. Our eyes are shown a flash of colors with images flipping in a fast sequence from the scenery in-game, but near the end begin showing portions of other characters within the show. Some of these locations, which can be found in Cyberpunk, even have easter eggs that can be discovered in patch 1.6 of Cyberpunk, titled "Edgerunners."
Overall, after having binged this show at 4 a.m. Saturday morning, I give this show a 10 out of 10. It is worth a rewatch and even encourages me to purchase the game on my Ps4.