Spoiler warning because I suck. Please watch the show if you don’t like spoilers.
When I was younger, I watched Pokemon and that was fine. A few years later I kind of got into Sailor Moon and Digimon but for some reason for a girl my age that wasn’t fine anymore. I got made fun of and teased about watching Anime and that stuck with me. Even though there is *so* much around that isn’t just pocket monsters and magical girls, having this notion of not being allowed to watch it because of what other people thought sucked. I am a pretty nerdy person and I get fixated on things quickly if I enjoy them thanks to my neurodivergent brain but at the time, not knowing why some of my fixations lead to shame. I’m older now, I’m trying to get back parts of myself I lost. I’m trying to remind myself that I am allowed to enjoy things even if other people think I shouldn’t, because I feel like I lost out. So Anime is for everyone, although Cyberpunk: Edgerunners isn’t, it’s excellent, but its pretty gory, violent and the opening episode has some pretty heavy sexual content. It is also emotionally soulcrushingly devestating and to quote a friend I know have the post Edgerunners depression debuff.
I’ve listened to a lot of out of context talk for Cyberpunk 2077 particularly given how poorly the game was released. In short, Sony had to pull it from it’s PSN store because the game was absolutely awful on PS4 release. As in, it was completely unplayable. That was in 2022, and now people seem to have a bit more respect and acknowledgement for what seems like a pretty good game. I certainly have my interest piqued after watching the Netflix anime show Cyberpunk: Edgerunners which is a prequel set a year prior to the videogame.
I watched the entire 10 episodes in about three days roughly. Each episode is around 20-25 minutes long so it is very easy to binge and it is worth every single second. I was sent the above music video which is the track that plays during the end credits of each episode and it completely sets the tone. It’s an excellent track which is stuck in my head and has lyrics that perfectly sum up some of the characters intentions, feelings and emotions.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners follows David, a young student living in Night City, home to those that love body modifications including cybernetic implants, high tech corporations and many, many secrets. David witnesses something pretty tragic and faced with debt, a school bully and no one by his side he gets fixed with a miliary grade implant that gives him the ability to move incredibly fast. He has an affinity for it but for everyone the more implants, the higher the risk of cyberpsychosis – a side affect where the modifications fry your brain and make you go completely insane, often leading and ending in a murderous rampage. David balances on the edge of sanity whilst using his gear throughout the series but with Lucy, a netrunner or hacker by his side and the rest of the merc crew he joins as a way to earn money he keeps himself in check.
I never expected to feel quite so much in just ten relatively short episodes and to come away still thinking about it. I woke up this morning with the above songs in my head still. I have been listening to the songs on Spotify including a couple of playlists with various tracks from the show, the videogame and songs inspired by the show it seems. So much is packed into each episode and even though things move on pretty fast it was easy to keep up with all the characters. I don’t think I could survive in a city like Night City without a crew of people by my side keeping me in check. The relationship between David and Lucy feels really intense because the episodes are short but in a city where things can simply end so quickly, it’s no wonder people just go with what they are feeling.
My favourite character is Rebecca with all her chaos goblin energy. She’s a small, feral thing that’s fast to anger and has many guns. Her adrenaline spikes during missions and she can often be found wielding a gun looking far too big for her manically laughing. It’s not unusual for me to be drawn to these kind of characters as someone with an affinity for chaos myself.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is available to watch on Netflix. It’s well worth the time and emotional exhaustion.