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Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is an animated Polish-Japanese TV-series based on the CD Projekt Red videogame Cyberpunk 2077, released on September 2022 on Netflix. Its story is placed one year before the video game scenario. The series has been animated by Studio Trigger under the supervision of CD Projekt Red.
David is a street teenager living in Night City, a big corporations ruled dystopic city where corruption and crime is the daily basic. His mother, a paramedic, tries to help him rising in his social escalation by paying him the prestigious Arasaka Academy, but everything is lost when they’re took into a drive-by shooting and his mother gets killed in the car accident. Alone, David discovered that his mother was selling cybernetic implants salvaged on dead people to pay him his study. He finds in her stash a military-class implant which he tried to sell, but after a series of events he ends-up to install it on his own body. Later, he joins a band of edgerunners and get involved into more and more dangerous missions.
I’ve played Cyberpunk 2077 but until now, I still haven’t finished the game. This futuristic GTA-like game was fine but I don’t know why, I can’t find the motivation to explore it. The universe setting is nice and very detailed, using the usual themes of the “cyberpunk” kind. So, this animated series is very close to the video game.
Animated by Studio Trigger, the direction is nervous and fast, it’s a visually amazing show with a lot of action and impressive shots. There are not a lot of CGI usage which is very rare today, the only one I’ve clearly seen what the road pursuits. Just like the video game, the anime series is highly violent and gore, it’s an adult animation show. There are also some sexual content or nudity, but not that much, it remains a Japanese animation show with its usual censorship. One of the nicest feature of the anime is the usage of the video game’s HUD on screen with the phone calls and the various in-game displays we could see during the gameplay phases.
The story is pretty nice, but if you haven’t played a little the game, you’ll be lost. There is absolutely no introduction for the viewer, the show expects them to already know the universe setting. It could be a little confusing for people who never played the game. As far as I have played the game, I could find some references to it in the animated show, but I don’t recall any character unless a cameo of one of Delamain’s cab. So the series didn’t want to connect to much with the video game story. Of course, as the video game was a very dark story, the anime is not difference and every action and violent scenes are very crude and everything can going for the worse in a second.
A very good show, perfectly installed and connected with its original material, which tells a nice story of a naive street kid who escalate into the most dangerous activities of Night City.
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