Adult Animation Revolution: Studio Trigger Leveled Up ‘Cyberpunk Edgerunners’

by Tito W. James


The strongest series from Studio Trigger to date and an amazing addition to the cyberpunk genre.

May all video game animated series be this good.


Based on the video game by CD Projekt Red and animated by Studio Trigger (Kill La Kill, PromareCyberpunk: Edgerunners is an anime that follows a street kid who becomes a mercenary called an Edgerunner to survive the high-tech world of Night City.

While I’ve critiqued Studio Trigger in the past for being style over substance, Trigger’s stylized action and sexy humor match perfectly with the seedy Scifi underworld of CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk. The unique partnership with Netflix also allows Trigger to utilize more graphic content that would be censored on a traditional channel.

Thankfully, all of the aforementioned explicit material is used to push the characters and story forward. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners delivers a story with true emotional stakes, where the violence has consequences, and the erotism shows maturity. According to director Hiroyuki Imaishi, he wrote the series like a live-action movie, then storyboarded it as an anime. I think this is why the show has the grounded emotional core that contrasts well with the more stylized action Scifi elements.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners wears its influences of Ghost in the Shell, Akira, and Bladerunner on its sleeves. Director Hiroyuki Imaishi and Studio Trigger have not only paid homage to the great cyberpunk stories that came before but made a worthy contribution to the cyberpunk genre as a whole.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is now streaming on Netflix.

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