The anime recreation of Blade Runner by the Cowboy Bebop director was expected to be a stunner, but, it did much better than our expectations. The recent short anime titled Blade Runner Blackout 2022 is an awesome 15 minutes compilation of powerful one-liners, acrobatic fight scenes and it also has the moral dilemmas associated with the Artificial Intelligence because it is Blade Runner.
This anime is based three years after the original movie and a few dozen prior to the upcoming sequel. The Blade Runner Black Out 2022 is following two androids who are on a mission to black out Los Angeles of 2022. This is a world where a database has been made public to help find and kill replicants/androids.
This is a well-synchronized plan which amazes the viewer and it features two replicant characters bringing down a huge data center using a stolen gas truck and stunning gunnery. They planned to ensure that no back-up files remain for the records that they destroy by causing a powerful EMP explosion.
Those who are familiar with the galactic bounty hunter film Cowboy Bebop are well aware of director Shinichiro Watanabe’s prowess with rhythm. The 1982 brought to life the Blade Runner’s world featuring hi-tech special effects and great characterization, and that’s been the heartbeat of this Watanabe version as well.
The anime has fluid fight sequences, however, contrary to Spike from Cowboy Bebop or the breakdancing samurai Mugen from Watanabe’s film Samurai Champloo, the androids of Blade Runner Black Out 2022 are expert fighters. The replicant Iggy doesn’t fumble even a little despite firing shotguns.
His fellow replicant, Trixie seems to be well trained and knocks down enemies with her athletic combat skills and that’s not typical of Watanabe who loves to film improvised fight scenes. This means Watanabe is flexible and how he made androids indulge in fights typical of him and still managed to make it look awesome.
The dialogues of Blade Runner Black Out 2022 seem to be off color at times, but, that’s not unusual for a version of Blade Runner. There are dialogues like “Life doesn’t mean living” which sounds heavily philosophical. In a scene which shows Iggy recollecting his time during a war and felt the futility of it all after realizing that he was also a replicant soldier, “[We’re] nothing more than toy soldiers in a sandbox,”
This brevity helped a lot in certain cases. One of the humans who were sympathetic to Trixie assisted the duo in succeeding with their mission. In fact, in contrast to others, he is sympathetic to all androids and a bit unhappy about being a human.
“Humans are selfish, stupid liars,” he says, just before being a part of the heist against his own kind. “But replicants are different, so pure, so perfect. Never betrays. More human than human.”
Despite the very short animation, these conversations make it huge. Watanabe has taken small and likable steps towards making fans happy. There is Shinjuku, a bright, cyber-geisha like character the 2022 Los Angeles.
There are various visual frames of the city, littered with spaceships and electronic signage, etc. are all a homage to Blade Runner director Ridley Scott’s work. Apart from that, there isn’t anything much to notice. No doubt that the Blade Runner Black Out 2022 is an excellent and probably the liveliest adaptation of the cyberpunk story that has been created in a long time.