Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has more than enough bloody, high-octane action to satisfy any Cyberpunk 2077 junkie. And yet, it has a somber, depressing tone that will make any choom sit down and ponder the sad nature of life in Night City.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners ~ Details

"Cyberpunk: Edgerunners" key art.
Choom, this is a cyberpunk’s life here. Ain’t no time for happiness.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a 10-episode sci-fi thriller anime series taking place in the world of the 2020 action RPG video game Cyberpunk 2077 by CD Projekt Red. Studio Trigger (Kill la Kill, Little Witch Academia, Star Wars: Visions Ep. 3 “The Twins” and Ep. 7 “The Elder”) is the animation studio behind this anime. Hiroyuki Imaishi (Kill la Kill, Promare) is the director behind this anime, with Masahiko Otsuka as assistant director. Otsuka and Yoshiki Usa wrote the script, with Yoh Yoshinari and Yuto Kaneko as character designers, and Akira Yamaoka composing the music. Lastly, Netflix is streaming this anime on their streaming platform.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners will release on September 13, 2022. You can watch this anime on Netflix, and only on Netflix. You know, because it’s a Netflix exclusive. Thus, you will need to shell out some cash if you want to watch this anime. Going off my own experiences though, this one might be worth it.

If Cyberpunk: Edgerunners piques your interest in the video game this anime takes place in, then you can purchase Cyberpunk 2077 right now for PC on Steam or the Epic Games Store. If your PC doesn’t have the graphics card to run this video game, then you can also purchase it from the PlayStation Store for PS4 or PS5, or from the Xbox Store for Xbox One or Xbox Series S/X. Note though that the game’s initial console release was plagued by numerous bugs that rendered the game unplayable. So much so that CD Projekt Red had to pull the console versions from sale, and only rereleased them back on February 15, 2022. I would suggest making sure that these new console rereleases are playable before purchasing them.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners ~ Synopsis

Needless to say: this anime is definitely NSFW.

Normally, this is the part of the review where I would give a spoiler-filled summary of the plot of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. However, this review is the non-spoilery version. Thus, I will only offer an official synopsis from Netflix here that came from the video description of that NSFW trailer above. Check it out below:

“The series tells a standalone, 10-episode story about a street kid trying to survive in Night City — a technology and body modification-obsessed city of the future. Having everything to lose, he stays alive by becoming an edgerunner — a mercenary outlaw also known as a cyberpunk.”

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners ~ The Good

"Cyberpunk: Edgerunners" Lucy poster.
Believe me, this is a good anime indeed.

The best part of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is the story. While I won’t go into details to avoid spoilers, I can give you a general idea of what to expect. First off, that NSFW trailer is entirely justified. There is some graphic sex depicted onscreen, with a lot more in the way of full frontal nudity (especially female), and even more blood and gore than that. I’m not kidding. The anime does not hold back on the gory bits. We’re talking about things like people losing whole legs, people being bisected, and people getting their heads blown off in rather spectacular fashion. The level of blood and gore reminds me of Gears of War in some ways. Both of them have an obsession with heavy amounts of action combined with almost ridiculous levels of bloody gore.

There’s more to the story than just the NSFW stuff though. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners does get into thought-provoking territory a lot, especially in how the society of Night City would work, and how bad it could be for those who don’t have the means to live in luxury. Heck, even for the corpos, the anime shows that life isn’t exactly a cakewalk for them either. Not when they constantly get caught in turf wars with other corporations. In a way, Night City is kind of a douche to everyone in it. Sparing no one in the process.

It’s not just the story though. The animation of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is great as well. Studio Trigger has always produced good-looking anime series, and this is one of them. The anime prominently features traditional hand-drawn animation, but there’s also a good deal of CGI as well. Said CGI though is very high quality. In fact, it’s so good that you often lose track of what’s traditional animation, and what’s CGI. The nice visuals really complement the excellent story, in my opinion.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners ~ The Bad

When you make an entire animated music video for the ending theme of your anime, you know there’s not much bad about it.

I think my one complaint about Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is how depressing the story is (best encapsulated by the music video for the anime’s ending theme above). Without going into spoilers, you can definitely feel the onion ninjas in the room with you by the time you finish the anime. The anime isn’t traumatically depressing. It’s just somberly so. More like Arcane than like RWBY Volume 3 in my opinion. I suspect the final episode will spawn quite a few fix-it fanfics when people see it. If you don’t believe me, then you can watch the anime for yourself and find out.

Source: Netflix