I remember fans being so excited about the launch of the Cyberpunk 2077 game. It was one of the most hyped releases in a long time, and why wouldn’t it be? Considering it was coming from CD Projekt Red, the team behind the critically acclaimed Witcher series, people were rightfully interested in how this was going to pan out. And honestly? It didn’t do as great as expected. But the one thing that can’t be denied is the setting, which is why an anime like Cyberpunk: Edgerunners was announced; fans were intrigued.
Turns out, Netflix’s Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is absolutely a prequel to the Cyberpunk 2077 game and it was all foreshadowed from the very start. The show is set a year before the game starts in 2077, so the two stories are happening almost simultaneously. Looking to dive deeper into the lore of Night City, the anime was going to be a wild ride from start to finish. With the animation project being headed by Studio Trigger, anime viewers and game enthusiasts alike were anticipating a stellar release.
And that it absolutely delivered. Most fans of the game agree that Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a pretty faithful adaptation of the game’s aesthetic. There is no actual source material for the anime to be adapted from, considering Cyberpunk itself is a tabletop RPG (Role Playing Game). So, both the game and the anime are original scripts that only use the setting and aesthetic for their plots. With a focus on a cybernetic future rife with capitalism and color, it’s something that lends itself to being adapted as an anime pretty easily.
The fact that it just happens to be canon to the game is a bonus. Each character, location, and even soundtrack in the anime is something that was already featured in the game to some capacity. Its release has gone down pretty well, to the point where it’d bring in new players for the game itself. And I can see why, it’s a damn good show. But where does it stand in the game’s timeline? Let’s discuss it!
Edgerunners: How Canon Is It To Cyberpunk 2077?
So, let’s get the basic facts out of the way. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is technically a prequel but it’s more than that. It honestly functions as a standalone story set a year before the events of Cyberpunk 2077 in the year 2076.
The show follows David Martinez, a student at the Corporate School, as he deals with the sudden death of his mother by donning a military-grade implant that increases his reaction speed to the extent that time around him slows down. All of this is because he wants to make a living as an Edgerunner, a mercenary of the dystopian future that he resides in. This is his story and how he becomes renowned in the merc world.
While the show does feature cameos from characters notable in the setting such as the Queen of Fixers, Rogue, and cyborg boogeyman Adam Smasher, the series has little to do with the actual events of the game. So, expecting a Johnny Silverhand cameo is a little less unlikely, but not impossible.
The anime is notable for utilizing several sound effects and elements present in the game such as the call-up display HUD. Some have even gone on to compare the wonky driving in one of the episodes to a tongue-in-cheek reference to the game’s floaty driving mechanics. It is all taking inspiration from previous future dystopia anime such as Ghost In The Shell and Akira.
And thanks to Studio Trigger’s forays into the genre, people knew they were getting a bold and flashy Night City to equal the one in the game.
How Is the Cyberpunk Anime Faring With Game Fans?
So far, the people that were fans of the game are seriously impressed by how good the anime is. It is rated highly on multiple game and anime forums. But the craziest phenomenon is how it’s bringing new players to the game itself.
As stated before, Cyberpunk 2077 was a letdown for a lot of people because of various technical issues that were patched up in later expansions. However, more fans are willing to give it a chance thanks to how successful the anime has been.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has breathed new life into the Cyberpunk franchise, that’s for sure!