Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Review


Image Courtesy of Netflix

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners released on Netflix Tuesday, Sept. 13.

The launch of “Cyberpunk 2077”, an action role-playing game set in Night City, was one of the biggest flops in recent history, but for some reason “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” has the complete opposite reputation. Every time you would turn a corner in “2077”, someone would fall through the ground or their car would flip over, yet in “Edgerunners” I struggled to find a negative point. It’s extremely clear through every single detail that the creators cared deeply about the show and (hopefully) weren’t rushed to finish it.

All you need to know before “Edgerunners” is that the anime takes place in 2075-2076 while the game takes place in 2077. “Edgerunners” is about a teenager named David Martinez whose mom dies within the first episode. After her death, David finds a military grade cybernetic spine called a Sandevistan that gives him extreme speed, which he uses to punch his bully, unknowingly setting Arasaka’s sights on him. He proceeds down a spiral of adding new cybernetic enhancements and slowly causing him to go into cyberpsychosis, a state where someone gets corrupted by cybernetics and loses control.

The first few episodes go through too many plot points at once. Despite this, the show only goes on for ten 20 minute episodes. I actually liked the short length, as it allowed me to get through it in about a week, but I know a lot of people who hated the length. That covers just about everything I had an issue with in the whole series.

The soundtrack of “Edgerunners” is one of the show’s best qualities in my opinion. “I Really Want To Stay At Your House”, “Let You Down”, and “This Fffire” are all perfect picks for the Cyberpunk universe. One little detail to note about “This Fffire” is that in the edited version they used for the opening, any mention of burning the city has been removed because that isn’t an option for David or his crew. “I Really Want To Stay At Your House” works amazingly as an emotional but also upbeat song, and “Let You Down” is just a vibe. Side note, but before the show was released, Netflix released a music video for “Let You Down” that followed the story of Sasha, which I highly recommend watching as a prequel to “Edgerunners”.

The animation was done by Studio Trigger, which already was probably my favorite for the movie “Promare”. After watching Edgerunners I can safely say that their style is easily my favorite in the industry. They aren’t afraid to go against the normal and create something bold and original. I particularly like how they animated the Sandevistan effects, using keyframes instead of in-betweens creates an amazing effect.

So that’s “Edgerunners”, the anime prequel to one of the biggest flops in recent memory, and who would’ve thought it would be amazing? Most of the reason “2077” was so bad at launch was because the developers were rushed way more than they should’ve been, so it’s good to see Trigger was (again hopefully) not rushed the same way. I can’t wait to pick up “2077” after the countless updates and patches and I hope that more people will give the series a try after “Edgerunners”.