Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Review – Cyberware, Mercenary, And The Tragedy In The Night City


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Cyberware, Mercenary, And The Tragedy In The Night City

  • Episodes : 10
  • Genre : Action, Sci-Fi, Drama, Psychological, Seinen
  • Airing Date : September 2022
  • Producers : Trigger

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Contains Spoilers

If you are a gamer, or at least aware of what largely happens in the gaming world, then you should’ve heard the name CD Projekt Red. Because this Polish game developer is the mastermind behind the universally-acclaimed Witcher series that took the world by storm back in 2015. Unfortunately, the next big project from this studio didn’t fare as well as their last one. They released their latest game, Cyberpunk 2077 back in 2020. And upon release, the game is ridden with game-breaking bugs.

Thankfully, CD Projekt Red keeps on working to improve the game. Nowadays, the game is in a much better condition, so new and old players can get back into it and have a smooth and exciting gaming experience.

In order to attract more players to the game, and as a way to expand the franchise, CD Projekt RED worked together with the iconic studio Trigger to create an anime series based on the world of Cyberpunk 2077. The anime is called Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, and here’s our review of this new series.

Discussion Time

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners revolves around a teenage boy named David Martinez. He used to be an outstanding student at the prestigious Arasaka Academy, but over time, he just couldn’t fit in with his wealthy and spoiled classmates. David’s mother, Gloria Martinez, works as an Emergency Medical Technician. She sometimes brought back valuable cyber-wares from work and sold them to mercenaries, also known as the Edgerunners, just so she could pay David’s tuition.

At the beginning of the series, Gloria brought a military-grade cyber-ware called The Sandevistan, to their home. She intends to sell it to Maine, one of the most prominent mercenaries in Night City. Unfortunately, just a day later, Gloria and David are involved in a fatal crash caused by a drive-by shootout, which resulted in Gloria losing her life.

David is now all alone with nothing to his name. Feeling desperate, he decided to ask a shady Ripperdoc (A medical practitioner who specializes in installing cyber-ware) that he’s known for quite some time to install the Sandevistan into his spine. The Sandevistan allowed David to move super fast, just like the Flash. Feeling that he has nothing to lose, David sees no other path to take but to become a mercenary. So begins a journey that will take David through some of the best and the worst time in his life.

Why You Should Watch Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

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1. One of The Best Cyberpunk Anime in Recent Years

When we talk about Cyberpunk anime, the first title that comes to mind would certainly be the certified classic, Ghost in the Shell, or newer titles like Psycho-Pass. Those two are the best Cyberpunk anime of their time. And now, those anime are finally able to pass on the baton of the new king of Cyberpunk anime to Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.

There are three main reasons why Cyberpunk: Edgerunners deserves this title. It is a phenomenal character-driven story, it has stunning world-building, and the visuals are simply mind-blowing. We’ll talk more about each point in the upcoming sections, but just know that you won’t find these electrifying combinations in any other cyberpunk anime in recent years.

2. A Phenomenal Character-Driven Story

Let’s start with the story first. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a character-driven story, which means rather than moving from one plot point to the next, the story progresses at the same time as the character development. In order to do that, a story needs to have well-defined, and well-rounded characters. It’ll be even better if they are lovable and relatable.

The characters in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners have all of those criteria. David, Lucy, Maine, Rebecca, Kiwi, and the rest of the main cast of characters are flawed people who dream of the stars but get lost in the way. In their effort to survive and rise to the top, they lose sight of their surroundings and get swallowed by the circumstances. Their life is a wild rollercoaster ride with incredibly exciting highs, and utterly devastating lows.

We as the viewers can see and feel their euphoria, their doubts, and their regrets, as they go through one dangerous mission after the other. By building the story around these characters, the viewers become much more attached to the characters and therefore care deeply about their fate.

3. A Stunning World-Building

From the high-tech slum where David and her mother live to the fancy Arasaka building where the most crooked people in the city planned their next scheme, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners put its story in a stunning world that comes through well-crafted worldbuilding.

We get to see the dense inner city that is filled with people who have all kinds of gaudy cyber-ware installed, we see a group of mercenaries who freely wage war in the middle of the highway just to earn some money, we see the highly-trained MaxTac officers open fire on their target with no regards of any possible civilian casualties, and we see the net-runners perform a full dive into a person’s consciousness, just to name a few.

None of these things are explained to the viewers, they simply happened. The more we follow David’s journey, the more we see what happened in the world around him. That is because Cyberpunk: Edgerunners follows the old adage, “Show, don’t tell”. Rather than describing the Night City through exposition, they let us see it through the eyes of the characters.

4. Mind-blowing Visuals

To tie everything together, we get mind-blowing visuals. The futuristic world of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is presented in bright, sharp, and dynamic colors and animation. This style perfectly represents the world and the story, and it also sets it apart from other anime that is released around the same time as Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.

CD Projekt Red certainly made the right call when they decided to work together with studio Triggers. Because as a studio that is responsible for iconic anime such as Kill la Kill and Darling In The Franxx, there’s no other studio that is more suitable to produce this anime other than Trigger. They absolutely knocked this one out of the park.

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Why You Should Skip Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

1. Nudity, Violence, and Gore

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is an R-Rated anime. You will occasionally come across nudity, violence, and gore here. The shots that include nudity in it are quite tastefully done, but it is still nudity nonetheless. As for violence, well, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is filled to the brim with violence and gore. From beating someone to death to a slow-motion shot of a man being disintegrated, you’ll find all kinds of violence in this series. So if that sort of thing is not your cup of tea, or maybe you plan to watch it with your little ones, or your little siblings, then Cyberpunk: Edgerunners might not be the right choice for you.

2. This is a Tragedy

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a tragedy. It is a wonderfully-crafted tragedy, but it is a tragedy nonetheless. There is a lot of death and anguish in this story. So if you prefer to watch an exciting anime with a positive vibe from start to finish, then Cyberpunk: Edgerunners may not be your cup of tea.


Final Thoughts

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Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is one of the best Cyberpunk anime in recent years. It has a fantastic, character-driven story, amazing world-building, and stunning visuals. Sure, this anime is tied quite closely to the game, but you can still watch Cyberpunk: Edgerunners on its own without having to play the game beforehand. Even if you rarely watch a tragic story, you should give Cyberpunk: Edgerunners a try.

Have you watched Cyberpunk: Edgeruners? If you have, what do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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