Edgerunners debut in new anime

A new anime has emerged and fans are going wild.


Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a 10-episode anime based in the Cyberpunk universe created by Mike Pondsmith and based off of the game Cyberpunk: 2077 created by CD Projekt Red. Its animation was done by Studio Trigger. It is rated TV-MA due to it containing hyperviolence, gore and nudity. It was released on Sept. 13.

Cyberpunk is a genre of science fiction that focuses on the hypercapitalism that controls society, and the cybernetic modification of both the body and mind. The technology level is incredibly advanced, but the fall of the human spirit is what limits so many people. A recurring theme in cyberpunk is the broken dreams of those that society suppresses, whether it be due to the mega corporations that control a large aspect of people’s lives or the other lowlifes of the city who are trying to fight for their own lives.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners follows the life of teen David Martinez who lives in the futuristic and capitalist Night City. He is a straight A student going to the prestigious Arasaka Academy. But he sticks out due to his poorer status and the fact that the academy is too expensive for his mom to pay for. In fact, they are behind on multiple payments for rent and utilities. To make up for these debts, David drops out and delves into the world of edgerunning, becoming a criminal mercenary for hire, or a cyberpunk.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners focuses on the criminal lifestyle that Night City provides, showing the lowest lows that people can go to to become successful. It’s a story of betrayal and broken dreams, as Night City offers no solace for anyone. It also taps into the nature of cyberpsychosis, which is insanity induced by a person’s brain not being able to handle their over modified body.

Studio Trigger does an amazing job representing the style that the cyberpunk genre possesses, whether it be stylistic text overlaid over a certain scene, or icons and subtitles to show that a person is taking a call. The animated action is speedy and fluid letting you feel the adrenaline along with the characters. As a fan of hyper violent animation like Amazon Prime’s Invincible, they really deliver on the explosively gruesome kills in the anime. Most of the violence is seen in a lighter tone, making the viewer used to the blood, which is the norm in Night City.

Music is also a large part of cyberpunk, in both heavy synths and a lot of modified futuristic sounding pop songs. The soundtrack of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners fits well and fits the tone of the scene that they are paired with, like a somber and beautiful vocal track that plays during an emotional scene.

A lot of characters are well written, like David, Lucy, and Maine. The emotions they feel and the decisions they make make sense given their situation of living in a cyberpunk universe. Though, some of the side characters are a little one-note and the show is too short to develop some of them. The exploration of desperate people in dire situations is an eye opener compared to the game, where you only follow V’s story and his fame is acquired in a cutscene.

Overall, the story is good, but due to being only 10 episodes long the anime rushes through some of the character arcs and main plot points, causing you to learn a lot of backstories through exposition.

The hopelessness that is present in the show is iconic to the Cyberpunk brand, and the ways people rebound by adding more cybernetics to their body, committing crimes and fulfilling their base desires. If it was given a few more episodes, it would have really helped give time for the characters to be developed and allow for more emotional impact in the later episodes.

Even though the show has its flaws, it’s still an amazing representation of cyberpunk, showing the high-octane action that it provides, but also underneath that, the sad truth of the people who live in a world like that.