Cyberpunk Edgerunners is a surprising and exciting anime that dives down even further on the world of it’s game Cyberpunk 2077, although if you’re like me, and you’ve never played the game, this anime is a prequel, connected to the game, making it a perfect introduction to the world of Cyberpunk and it’s main focus, Night City.
This anime was incredibly immersive, every little detail, from the designs of the modifications, to the wild and vibrant color palette, to the beautiful scenery of Night City, the show hooks you immediately, making it go by super fast because of how many things are happening, yet how it takes the characters and develops them at their own pace. The story follows a kid named David, and how technological advances, a highly capitalistic society, and the influence of others mixed with your own grief, can drive someone to a life of crime.
Night City might be the biggest part of this story, it deals with a lot of darker themes, constant cycles, sex, drugs, abuse, and overall the need for connection and how some friends, become family. Cyberpunk Edgerunners is very sad, and exciting and action packed, leaving you wanting more but keeping that sense of completion in its end. It is highly emotional, its characters are also extremely interesting, the relationships that they build and the overall dynamic really shines through in this
Romance serves as that balancing element in rhe story, a potential escape for David based in something real, even idealistic. for all their ridiculousness, when a bright-eyed punk proclaims he’s gonna fly his love interest to the moon, in that moment he and the director damn well mean it. The raw emotion and clear pain that the anime portrays with the reject cynicism like the human body does cybernetic implants. It only makes the tragedy of its narrative arc sting more impactful. The animation and style provided by Studio Trigger, mixed with its incredible score by Akira Yamaoka, give that chunky and heavy EDM aesthetic that goes all the way through, the rough and thin lines mixed with the incredibly well animated fight choreography is insane.
Despite all of that, the show does choose well where to lean on storytelling, dealing with a lot of the psychological horror of existing in the space of Night City, risking your mind while using bodily augmentations to get an edge over other gangs, while giving a bleeding-heart romantic edge to David’s story, and actual stakes and emotional weight to the hectic gunfights he throws himself into with abandon. Cyberpunk Edgerunners is a must watch for both fans of the game and anime fans alike. you can watch it now on Netflix.