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BLADE RUNNER: BLACK OUT 2022 – A Reimagining from Shinichiro Watanabe

In November 2018 it was announced that acclaimed anime director, Shinichiro Watanabe will help create an animated Blade Runner TV series for Adult Swim and Crunchyroll.

Called Blade Runner – Black Lotus, the show will take place 10 years after the event of the prequel short Blade Runner – Black Out 2022. The press release from Crunchyroll is as follows:

Inspired by the critically acclaimed Oscar-winning film BLADE RUNNER 2049, BLADE RUNNER – BLACK LOTUS will feature thirteen 30-minute episodes produced by animation studio Sola Digital Arts (Ultraman).

Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) and Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex) will direct all episodes of the premiere season. Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) is a creative producer.

Released as a part of 3 prequel shorts released in 2017 for the then upcoming Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villenueve), Black Out 2022 is the best of the three.

For any fan of Watanabe will tell you, his style has a fluidity of movement (just watch Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and Space Dandy to understand what I mean) that is for my money unmatched in his field.

So why then am I bringing this up nearly 2 years after the event? Because I rewatched Blade Runner 2049 the other day, and instead of trying to get those who missed it to see it (which I will do till the day I die), I wanted to make those who aren’t aware of the existence of this brilliant piece of animation.

Featuring a soundtrack from Flying Lotus, this is what Blade Runner is. A starting point to explore the world of the film nobody saw in 1982, but everyone talks about for 30+ years afterward.

And if it makes you want to watch the aforementioned Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and Space Dandy, then that’s a win also. I am pretty sure all but Cowboy Bebop is on Netflix, but what with the live-action remake from Netflix coming in the next year or so, don’t be surprised if that makes a reappearance on the platform.

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