Series Review: Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

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I went into this show blind, not knowing anything about the established lore except that Cyberpunk started as a tabletop RPG. I have never played an RPG because I could barely get a dungeons and dragons group together. I haven’t played the video game either because of the debacle that game turned into. After watching Cyberpunk Edgerunners, I will be desperately trying to convince my D&D playgroup to allow me to run some games in this system. I can only hope that this show gains popularity so that there will be interest in the RPG.

The show takes place in a dystopian future. The city is run by corrupt corporations that are constantly at war with each other. If you are lucky, you can land a corporate job and live a normal life. But most citizens aren’t lucky and are forced to live in the slums of the city, fighting for scraps. There is no easy way to get out of the slums. If you aren’t homeless or dying from drug addiction, the only way to survive is to join one of the city’s many gangs. The corporations use these gangs as paws to serve the corporate agenda. 

The story focuses on David. His mother struggles to keep him in a prestigious school with the hopes that he can climb the corporate ladder and have a good life. But destiny has other plans for David, and a car accident robs him of a mother. Now alone in this cruel world, David is left with mounting and crippling debt. In his desperation, he joins the gang that will become his family. Will David find his new meaning with his gang? Will he be able to climb the ranks of the underworld, or will he be another wasted pawn for the corporations?

I loved everything about this series. The art was beautiful, the narrative is great, and the music is fantastic. The voice acting is good for the most part, but the dialect is a bit odd. I believe that the creators were trying to invent a futurist dialect, but it comes out a little awkward. That said, I appreciate the attempt and wouldn’t change it for any other dialect. This is a well-made animated series, but one that is full of nudity, violence, and gore. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Cyberpunk Edgerunners is a hyperactive vision of a dystopian future run by corrupt corporations who only care about money. It makes some very valid commentary about income inequality, skewed opportunities, and the issues with capitalism. It is very well done, and my heart still races from the experience. My only true complaint is that I have already finished the series. 

Do yourself a favor, and watch this series. If it is appropriate of course.

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