Still, with this announcement has come plenty of details about the show already, which is set to debut on the streaming service in September of this year. Fans are excited to learn more about how it ties into the games and how it expands the property in new ways.
With the first trailer Netflix released for the series also came a release month: September 2022. For a series that's only three months away at the latest, it's a little surprising that nothing more definitive has been announced. Considering the marketing push is only just starting, though, it may not be as surprising as it seems.
Keeping news under wraps until so close to the release date could either be a smart move to manage expectations and give Cyberpunk fans a nice surprise or a sign of a rushed production. Regardless, unless the series meets delays in the same way the video game did, it will arrive on screens in just a few short months.
For those who've never played Cyberpunk 2077, or those who might have found the story disappointing, the good news is that Edgerunners will feature a standalone story that, while taking place in the same universe and city as the video game, won't require previous knowledge to watch.
Many of the best cyberpunk films, like Akira and 2012's Dredd, are standalone classics that leave their mark without overstaying their welcome. So, even for fans who've never tried cyberpunk or anime before, Edgerunners could be a good introduction to the genres. For fans who did enjoy 2077, however, this is also a great way to experience more of what this universe has to offer.
There's been no news yet on whether Edgerunners will be a single season or multiple, but if it's a massive hit there's no doubt Netflix will ensure new seasons are part of the streaming service's offerings for years to come. What's guaranteed to release are ten episodes for the first season.
A ten-episode order is fairly common for Netflix animated shows, and the lower the number of episodes, the more time for the team to develop each one, which leads to a less-rushed development and overall higher quality of a show. After all, despite only releasing nine episodes Arcane is among the best animated TV shows ever made, so that doesn't necessarily reflect quality, just how much viewers will see.
One thing many of the films and TV shows that influenced Cyberpunk 2077 have in common is that they look at the role technology plays in society and how technology's use or misuse affects the inhabitants of that society. Sometimes, as in The Matrix, the person is a kind of "chosen one."
However, the cyberpunk genre is at its best when it takes the perspective of an average person living in the world and uses them as the audience's lens to explore the story's greater themes. Edgerunners has two protagonists, and one of them, David, is a streetkid (one of the factions 2077 players can start off in) who, according to the press release, "chooses to stay alive by becoming an Edgerunner."
The show has so far only identified two characters in its press material: David Martinez and Lucy. Based on the information released, David is the protagonist of the series and a reflection of what an average Night City citizen's experience is living in the tech-obsessed world. For some reason, his life is in danger and can only be saved by becoming an Edgerunner.
On the other hand, Lucy is a netrunner, a hacker with a direct computer-brain interface that allows them to exploit systems on the go. Nothing about Lucy's backstory has yet been revealed, but the marketing materials seem to indicate that she and David come to work together. With those skills, she's clearly a valuable ally.
Citing a Twitter post, IGN reported on the fact that David Martinez is actually referenced in the original game, with Cyberpunk 2077 featuring a drink in the Afterlife nightclub called "the David Martinez." As few details about the character have been revealed yet, it's unclear what his connection to the drink could be.
While it's possibly either a coincidence in name choice or the creators having chosen the name based upon the drink, both scenarios are unlikely. This means that the TV show's story was in the works for a while and that David will rise to be famous in some form within the world.
The biggest flaw with regards to increasing technology-dependence, as cyberpunk films see it, is how it slowly takes freedom away from the people and isolates them from both each other and themselves, creating a mental prison of sorts. The solution is nearly always about a fight for freedom of some kind.
David's choice to become a mercenary known as an "edgerunner" is still shrouded in mystery, but since the official synopsis uses the term "outlaw" when explaining what an edgerunner is, it seems like this choice was influenced by a desire to fight for freedom from the system. That word has such a Wild West connection that it can't help but conjure up the image of cowboys and gunslingers.
Fitting with Cyberpunk 2077's M rating, the show has already been rated the TV equivalent of TV-MA. That's no surprise given the footage already seen, with one moment showing a shot of blood spurting onto David's face. This is no show for children, despite animation often being associated with that demographic.
It's not unprecedented for anime to explore mature themes, with even the American-oriented Matrix spinoff film The Animatrix featuring blood and gore galore in certain segments of the anthology movie. The original Ghost in the Shell anime, a cyberpunk staple, also has a TV-MA rating, so allowing for mature themes and imagery can definitely make for a great anime. Fans can take this as a good sign.
One of the anime studios behind Star Wars: Visions, Trigger has been around since 2007 and fostered a talented team over the years. Aside from Visions and Edgerunners, it's most known for developing the Little Witch Academia (no relation to My Hero Academia) and Kill la Kill franchises.
The studio has the team needed to make a compelling anime series and have already proven themselves to audiences with those three previous projects. The praise that CD Projekt Red employees have given to the studio's art style and development in a behind-the-scenes video on YouTube promoting the upcoming release only further speaks to what they can do. The first trailer's art is gorgeous enough to back this up, too.
CD Projekt Red, the developer behind Cyberpunk 2077, is not only "producing" the series in a nebulous sense, but their behind-the-scenes video revealed that employees from the company are actually on the creative team working with Studio Trigger to make the anime a reality.
It's reassuring for fans of the game's story, and of the studio as a whole, that it's taking a co-equal role in making this happen, since it indicates a high level of creative investment on their part. No matter what piece of media it is, if it's created with care and a love for the source material, it's guaranteed to be better than if it had been made without that.