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CYBERPUNK 2077

The Netflix series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is high quality meaninglessness

Everyone is talking about Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. But is the series convincing in all respects? Anime demon Cortyn dares an analysis – and has clear criticism.

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A few years ago, the film and series adaptations of video games had a pretty bad reputation – and most of the time they were flops. The cliché has persisted for several decades since the horrible series “The Marios Brothers” or “The Legend of Zelda”.

But in recent years that has changed significantly. The Witcher series is celebrated, Arcane is considered a masterpiece even by non-gamers and the upcoming series of “The Last of Us” also looks promising.

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The latest attempt to bring a video game to TV screens is the series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners and the hype is huge. Whether it’s discussing the “best waifu of the season” or memes flooding the internet, Edgerunners has hit the ground running.

Unfortunately, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a lot less than it could have been. At least that’s my view.

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About the author:
Cortyn has been writing for MeinMMO since 2013 and has always had a special focus on .s like WoW, but role-playing games like Witcher and Cyberpoint also fall under this category.

In his spare time, Cortyn has “always” inhaled anime series like others would inhale the contents of a packet of chips and sends colleagues weird manga memes that no one else understands.

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asks mommo cortyn

The story of Edgerunners briefly outlined

Without wanting to reveal all the details, here is at least the starting position after the first two episodes:

Cyberpunk Edgerunners is set a few years before Cyberpunk 2077 and focuses on the story of David Martinez. He is considered to be highly talented and has accordingly made it to the academy of the mega-corporation Arasaka. However, the poor circumstances of his single mother make his life anything but pleasant – he is bullied and considered an outsider. After the death of his mother, he happens to come into possession of a powerful implant, the “Sandevistan”. However, it is the property of Arasaka, who urgently want the Sandevistan back.

David flees from the pursuit and then struggles through as an edge runner. He joins a troupe, does quests for clients, and begins to equip and upgrade his body with more and more implants.

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Here is the Japanese trailer. The series is also available in German or English:

Cyberpunk Edgerunners: Fans of the RPG epic are celebrating the Netflix trailer, but are also hoping for a cool story
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Those are already the two driving points of the plot. The Arasaka company, which is increasingly trying to grab David to evaluate his performance with the Sandevistan implant and on the other side David, who is making a name for himself as an edge runner with his team and fights against the danger, a “cyber psycho ” to become.

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The name “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” is a deliberate ambiguity. Because these “border crossers” act as mercenaries on the edge of legality. They carry out assignments in a gray area of ​​the law that could have consequences, but which is often simply neglected. At the same time, however, they always border on the “cyber psycho”. Because in order to accomplish their role as mercenaries, the Edgerunners equip themselves with more and more implants and upgrades that slowly but surely tug at humanity. An addiction to more and more upgrades develops until one day you fall into a madness and run amok – only to be shot by the police and military.

Studio Trigger was the perfect choice – because they can do “absurd”.

If you’re a self-confessed (and proud) Weeb and know your way around the anime scene, you’ll already know Studio Trigger. The animation studio is still quite young, has a few Gainax veterans (“Neon Genesis Evangelion”), but has already produced some of the most successful anime in recent years. The extremely wacky “Kill La Kill” is part of their portfolio, but the more colorful “Little Witch Academia” and the mecha success “Darling in the Franxx” were also created here.

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And after having teenage teenagers pilot battle robots that, for some never-explained reason, only work when piloted by males and females in doggy-style positions (you gotta love anime, right?), here’s the crazy one World of Cyberpunk 2077 be a piece of cake, right?

To answer that directly: yes.

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Cyberpunk Edgerunner's David Blood
David has to go through a lot.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners shys away from little. From the very first episode, the series makes it unmistakably clear what an uninhibited world it is set in, in which every intoxication must be even more intense and absurd than the one before. Again and again you can see some men or women in the background who are connected to devices that apparently have no other purpose than to provide sexual pleasure – in broad daylight. At the same time, others are looking for their kick by being able to realistically empathize with violent excesses of serious criminals in cyberspace in order to be a murdering lunatic themselves.

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The choice of words is also appropriate. Almost every other sentence has some (sometimes quite creative) obscene insult.

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Nudity and sex are around every corner and no one bothers. It is wonderfully successful in portraying this disinhibition and the associated loneliness in this world. Everyone acts cool and sublime, but in the end everyone stands alone and only thinks about their own benefit. True connection is rare.

Night City in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners feels brutal, gritty and doesn’t compromise the series in order not to scare off any target audience. They stayed true to the template.

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Colorless characters in a bright neon world

Despite all the love, Cyberpunkt Edgerunners is not perfect. Because where the series relies on strong images in a dystopian world and a lot of brutal action, one aspect falls by the wayside: Profound characters and their development.

When I think back to Studio Trigger’s past works, my favorite characters immediately spring to mind. When I think of Little Witch Academia, I immediately think of the sadistic-apathetic witch Sucy, who I always wanted to know more about than the anime showed. With Darling in the Franxx, I immediately picture Zero-Two, who was remembered for her dichotomy of infatuation and insane murderess, and whose character development I loved.

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Cyberpunk Edgerunner's Lucy
The visual desEsports Extrasof all the characters is cool – but unfortunately it usually ends there.

Edgerunners lacks that. I never had the desire to learn more about any of the main characters because they all seem one-dimensional and, above all, functional. They have their place in the plot because the plot requires such a role. There’s the leader persona on the brink of doom so the protagonist can somehow get to that position himself. The careless brother character only exists so that he can die and cause a violent reaction in the sister.

This is a problem shared by almost all characters in Edgerunners. They don’t seem like an organically grown team, but rather like somewhat soulless (but at least cool) characters who always serve exactly one purpose in the story.

Accordingly, many of the deaths that take place in the series feel meaningless – because no character has a plot armor. Death comes often, usually very quickly and unexpectedly, but rarely is it truly impressive. You don’t connect enough with the characters to really take them to your heart.

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The only one who stands out positively here is the cyber-Lolita Rebecca, who is lovable in brief moments and just completely insane in others rushing from one extreme to the other – and will almost certainly be the focus of every second salacious fanfic.

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Cyberpunk Edgerunner's Rebecca 2
The cyber lolita Rebecca is one of the few characters that is remembered.

The lack of more profound characters may be due to the comparatively short length of the series or it may be a conscious desEsports Extrasdecision. Because somehow it also fits into the dystopia of Night City that people don’t go through big emotional changes and develop their characters – because if you need a “development”, you just install the next cyber implant and hope that that’s not yet was the final step to cyber-psycho.

Conclusion: Edgerunners is a worthy cyberpunk anime – but unfortunately no more

In summary, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a damn fitting, brutal foray into the world of Night City, and works well even if you haven’t played the game. The series never gets boring and sprints from one action scene to the next. However, in the end I was left with an emptiness. Not because the ending was particularly emotional and not because the anime was already over. It just somehow feels like little is different after the end than when the series started. As if everything was somehow meaningless.

And that’s why I think Cyberpunk: Edgerunners doesn’t need a second season. The series is self-contained and at least I didn’t have the desire to want to see more after that. It was good while it lasted – but it didn’t leave you wanting more. Because in the end, the series was missing what usually makes me crave more: characters whose path I want to follow and about whom I want to learn more.

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Edgerunners is a firework of effects that flashes briefly and brightly and looks fantastic while it’s running – and a day later it makes you wonder if instead of an intense firework, you couldn’t have created something with a lasting impression.

But that’s just my opinion. How did you like Cyberpunk: Edgerunners?

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