REVIEW: ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ is Trigger at its Best

cyberpunk edgerunner review

Trigger is a household name in the anime industry, and they’ve also built up quite the reputation for the kinds of projects they put out. So, many were naturally quite excited when it was announced that they are actively working on an animate adaptation of Cyberpunk 2077, which was for quite some time considered the most anticipated game release of all time. Sadly, it didn’t quite manage to stay true t that promise. A lot has happened since, but the anime under the title Cyberpunk Edgerunner revived the Cyberpunk hype. And that’s for a good reason.

From the moment Franz Ferdinand‘s “This Fffire” plays, you know you’re in for a dark tale. The opening doesn’t hide what’s about to come and sets you off perfectly for what’s about to unfold. Yet, there’s this glimmer of hope and optimism this series continues to hold throughout its run. In a way, it encompasses the game’s core philosophy better than even its original medium. Trigger’s greatest strengths are at play here bringing us their likely most “grounded” story yet.

We explore the story of David Martinez and the tragedy that unfolds his life as he finds himself in the underbelly of Night City. Even if the game wasn’t well-received, there’s definitely something beautiful and fascinating about the world they’ve created. Once you’re trapped in the nightscape of Cyberpunk, you can’t help but want to see more stories explored in this world.

It’s also very bloody and shows no restraints; just adds a little splendor to the already extremely well-animated sequences. The use of CG is also quite well-done as outside of some vehicles here or there, it was extremely well implemented into the more traditional animation. Though the highlight is the character details, something that they certainly made use of in a world filled with cybernetic enhancements.

Speaking of, they make good use of the world to tell their story and characters. We get some of the best insights into characters’ minds through the concept of cyberpsychosis. Episode 6 is a standout and heartbreaking in many ways that just adds so much to the concept of how this is familiar but also different. At the core of this story, it’s about these characters and their lives. And it does it wonderfully with the only complaint being that we don’t get more than 10 episodes.

There are some standout characters and the show knows you’ll get attached to them. Emi Lo‘s subdued Lucy offers something alluring and dangerous at the same time. You don’t blame Zach Aguilar‘s David for falling for her and taking a leap into a new world. Probably the biggest standout was Alex Cazares as the trigger-happy but delightful Rebecca, who commands the scene every time she’s around. You’ll get attached to this crew quite quickly.

There is a bit of a jump after a specific episode that feels like it could’ve used more time. While it made sense given how they were approaching the story, its 10-episode story structure felt a bit restrictive in how much time we could spend and how fast some aspects seem to pass by. You want to spend time with these characters and when the show starts taking jumps it sometimes can be distracting especially if characters go through some major overhauls in-between episodes. This isn’t House of the Dragon level of time skips but for one case it felt a bit surprising.

While Cyberpunk Edgerunners tells its own self-contained story throughout this season, it would be a shame not to tell others. There’s something gripping about this world and Trigger seemed surprisingly at home here. We get a glimpse of this world and it feels like there’s just too much to explore. Yet, at the same time, this series feels perfect as a one-time release, and wouldn’t really say I#d be mad if that was the only one we get. It had me laughing, and crying throughout; what more can you ask for?

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