Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Review

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Review

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime series cover art
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

I’m Still Not Playing the Game

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners was almost out for an entire year before I finally watched it. This was one of the most popular anime to come out in 2022. But, I wasn’t all that interested in it at first.

Still, I did say I would watch it. And a lot of people I know, including many in the DoubleSama Discord server, said it was good. So, is Cyberpunk: Edgerunners as good as everyone says? Yes, it is. However, I still have no interest in playing the game it’s based on.

Apparently, this series is the prequel to Cyberpunk 2077. Though, I have no idea how much of what happens in the anime carries over to the game. I’d imagine the main connection is the setting. And maybe a few characters from the anime appear or are mentioned in the game.

Rebecca pointing a gun from the anime series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
Rebecca pointing a gun

But, what’s the plot of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners? The series is about a gang doing gang-related things in Night City. And, those gang-related things attract the attention of the military-industrial complex. You see, Night City is run by a few defense contractors/private military corporations.

These organizations don’t particularly like the gangs of Night City’s underworld. They don’t take too kindly to having their equipment and data stolen and sold (or used in crimes). And, when the gangs are packing gear on par with the military organizations, things can get out of hand.

This is the world David Martinez finds himself in. After his mother’s death, David implants military-grade Sandevistan cyberware into his body. However, Maine, a gang leader, had his sights set on that particular piece of gear. And so, David ends up joining Maine’s crew as a way to both pay Maine back and prove his worth.

Meet the Edgerunners

Before David joins Maine’s Crew, there are six key members. The most important of which is obviously Maine himself. Maine is a large, buff man who looks like an 80s action movie star. He was also the one David unknowingly stole the Sandivistan cyberware from.

Dorio is the second-in-command of Maine’s Crew. Like Maine, she’s large, buff, and fights at the front. Dorio and Maine are also in a relationship of some kind. Though, I wouldn’t call it anything serious.

Kiwi is the first of two netrunners in the group. A netrunner is someone who can link into the internet or data servers with their mind. When Maine’s Crew needs to steal sensitive data, Kiwi is the one who does it while the others protect her.

It’s also Kiwi who brought the second netrunner, Lucy, into the gang.

Kiwi, Dorio, Maine, and Pilar from the anime series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
Kiwi, Dorio, Maine, and Pilar

Lucy is the female lead of the series. She’s the one who brings David into Maine’s Gang. Though, she originally does so because David stole Maine’s Sandivistan.

Despite the initial betrayal, Lucy and David develop a romantic relationship. However, I actually liked Lucy more in the first half of the series when she was less worried about love.

Pilar is almost the least interesting member of Maine’s Crew. I’d say that honor goes to Dorio. But, Pilar’s role is pretty much to be the gang’s creep. I’m pretty sure he also does some kind of hacking. Either way, he’s a weird dude.

Rebecca is Pilar’s sister and the best character in the series. Well, at least in the second half when she gets more screen time she is. Rebecca is a loose cannon who’s unpredictable on the battlefield. She also hates her brother and has a crush on David.

Oh, and Lucy is the obligatory “legal loli.”

Fly (Lucy) to the Moon

This is the part of the review where I go over what I liked and didn’t like about Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. And, this is also the part of the review where I spoil everything. If you haven’t seen the series yet, I recommend you watch it.

So, first I want to expand on what I meant when I said Lucy was good at the start and Rebecca was good at the end. These two characters kind of swap being in the spotlight around halfway through. And, they’re both good when they’re the main female character.

I felt that this worked well for Rebecca because her character got stronger as the series went on. By the time we got to Rebecca’s death, she was my favorite character. However, the opposite happened with Lucy. She started off cool, then got pushed to the side and didn’t do much.

Lucy kissing David from the anime series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners
Lucy kissing David

Probably my favorite thing about this series has to do with Rebecca’s death. Well, it’s the fact that the only surviving member of Maine’s Crew at the end is Lucy. And why does Lucy survive? Because she leaves the edgerunner life behind and wants a normal life with David.

I really like when things don’t work out for our heroes in the end. Too many series have happy endings that are boring. Cyberpunk isn’t one of those. We actually get to see the main characters struggle and fail to overcome challenges. This culminates in them losing to Adam Smasher in the final episode.

We also got to watch David’s descent into madness due to too many cyberware enhancements. Earlier in the series, we saw the same thing happen to Maine. But, because David is the protagonist, I assumed he was “built different.” It was refreshing to see that he wasn’t.

Conclusion

There were people saying that Cyberpunk: Edgerunners was the best anime of 2022. Were they right? I think they might be. I ended up giving this series a 9/10, which makes it tied for my highest-rated anime of the year.

The only other anime I rated that high were Mob Psycho 100 III and the Mushoku Tensei Special. But, those are both part of larger series that help to build them up. Since Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a standalone anime, I might have to say it’s the best.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to share it with everyone you know. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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