CD Projekt Red take the main stage again on Netflix’s platform creating a truly memorable and heart wrenching experience with a beautiful visual style.
I’ll be the first to note that anime has never really been my thing. I don’t dislike it by any means but I generally don’t find myself watching it all too often. I’m not a live-action purist by any means. One of my favourite films of recent memory is the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse film. What I’m trying to say is that I’m not super well-versed in the anime genre. I’ve never seen Attack on Titan or Naruto so I don’t even know anything about the popular favourites of the genre. I didn’t have much excitement when it came to Edgerunners when it was announced or even when it came out. I have still yet to play Cyberpunk 2077 but after hearing my friends keep talking about the show I finally decided to sit down one night and give the first episode a shot. Needless to say, I sat through five more episodes that night and was hooked.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is an amazing crafted, character-driven story. It documents the story of a group of Edgerunners/Cyberpunks, mainly David (Zach Aguilar/Kenichiro Ohashi) and Lucy (Emi Lo/Aoi Yûki), and certainly doesn’t shy away from exploring the reasons characters are forced into a life of crime due to the circumstances they’re born and raised into in Night City. The city of Night City is vibrant for sure but under the surface is a truly divided class society ruled by mega-corporations, two of which we see being Arasaka and Militech. Despite only having ten-episode, Edgerunners manages to balance the character-driven stories with the immense world-building the showrunners have to cram in. The benefit for the showrunners has to be that neither story exists without the other. David is a perfect example of this. Eventually growing to become an Edgerunner, David’s story starts at Arasaka Academy where we see that while he’s a top-level student many of the other students belittle him both verbally and physically for his background. Both the setting of Arasaka Academy and the story of David blend together to show us what this world is truly like under the surface and what sort of character David is and what drives him.
Edgerunners manages to balance the character-driven stories with the immense world-building the showrunners have to cram in.
David isn’t the only character of note though. The entire cast of Edgerunners is phenomenal. I should say I watched the English-spoken version of the show. I know please don’t shoot me! Thats what Netflix had as default and who am I to alter our streaming overlord’s intended viewing experience? Plus the inclusion of Giancarlo Esposito as Faraday made it a no-brainer honestly. I grew extremely close to the entire main crew as the story went on and that’s all down to the level of downtime we spend with them. They grow as a group and we get to see that. Not every character-defining moment has to be shrouded in gunfire and plot-heavy storylines. Honestly, just show me a few people chilling out with a few drinks and talking like normal people and I’ll grow way more attached to them.
As I mentioned, the character performances are brilliant throughout the show but I only have one gripe and that’s that certain phone call conversations seem weirdly phrased. I’m not sure if it’s a stable of the world or if it’s something the anime genre normally does but it felt like there was a strange amount of out of places words and duplicated words at moments. It mustn’t be out of the ordinary in that context because I haven’t seen anyone else note it but I thought I’d mentioned it as it seemed a little strange to me. I’m more than willing to admit this may be down to my own ignorance of the genre or property though.
Finally, I have to mention the phenomenal visuals and soundtrack. Cyberpunk settings are often full of neon lights and high colour contrast but this really is a defining feature of Edgerunners. Each location bustles with life and the synth score to go along with it only adds to the beauty. Character-defining songs are also a huge part of this show and I’m all for it.
Overall, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is probably the best series to come out of Netflix in a long while and it’s well worth diving into. That’s coming from someone with no prior knowledge of the anime genre or Cyberpunk videogame so it just proves how easily accessible the show is.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners: Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is probably the best series to come out of Netflix in a long while and it's well worth diving into. That's coming from someone with no prior knowledge of the anime genre or Cyberpunk videogame so it just proves how easily accessible the show is. – odhranjohnson
If you’d like to keep up to date with all of our upcoming reviews, news, and features here at Gaming Sandbox, feel free to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. If you’d like to support us financially you can do so by following the link to our Patreon!
One Reply to “Stylized Visuals & Heartbreaking Storytelling – Cyberpunk: Edgerunners”
Forget Edgerunners, it’s mildly competently made entertainment. Watch Arcane.