Based on CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077, this animated adaptation is considered partly responsible for the popularity surge the game enjoyed over the course of 2022. (That and a series of patches that finally ironed out the many issues the game suffered at launch).
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners was developed by Studio Trigger, the Japanese animation studio known for Kill la Kill, Little Witch Academia, Star Wars: Visions and more. The show’s premise goes as follows:
In a dystopia riddled with corruption and cybernetic implants, a talented but reckless street kid strives to become a mercenary outlaw — an edgerunner. —From the official Netflix description.
The story follows teenager David Martinez, a student at the Arakasa Academy who through a string of unfortunate events becomes an edgerunner—a mercenary who has become bionically enhanced with illegal modifications. The show is set in the same universe (Night City, in the Free State of California) as Cyberpunk 2077, about a year before the events in the game, though Edgerunners is entirely a standalone work. The show was co-created by Mike Pondsmith, the creator of the Cyberpunk universe. Check out the official trailer here.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners was always meant to be a 10-episode miniseries, and will not be getting a second “cour” or season despite the show’s success. On Rotten Tomatoes, it still enjoys a 100% rating with an audience score of 96%. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners also won many accolades including “Anime of the Year” from multiple outlets, and was nominated for “Best Adaptation” at The Game Awards 2022. But perhaps the biggest honor of all came in the form of some pretty high praise from non other than Hideo Kojima, who said of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners,
I just watched "Cyberpunk Edgerunners" in one sitting! Awesome! Great! Under the recent domestic anime situation, there was a feeling that famous Japanese studios were consumed by the overseas market, but not this one! This is a miracle of squeezing the trigger to the world! pic.twitter.com/Q2fzRJDAVw
— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) September 20, 2022
Netflix has really been on a roll with these video game anime adaptations, with the likes of Castlevania, The Cuphead Show! and Arcane: League of Legends in its catalog. And many more promising video game-to-television crossovers are coming in 2023 and beyond. Among them: Fallout, Sony’s Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War series, and A Plague Tale. We should all be especially stoked for that last one given the success of The Last of Us, because of the similarity between those two game franchises. Other recently announce small screen adaptations include those for Tomb Raider for Amazon and, reportedly, Hogwarts Legacy courtesy of HBO.
Featured image via Digital Mafia.