Cyberpunk: Edgerunners — an unexpected treat

Arcane is now my gold standard for animation in terms of world building and storytelling, I loved that show. With Cyberpunk: Edgerunners I’m not quite as gushing about it as everyone else seems to be, but I understand the hype.

I mean, yes it’s good, and yes it appears to be a lot like the world from the video game. So those of us that played and loved the game should feel in safe hands. Night City looks and feels right. And the whole cyberware aspect to the story fits, in terms of doing what you must to survive — the rags to riches tale versus corporate power, with the likes of Arasaka up against street gangs and fixers works, and fairly closely mirrors that of the game.

For me, where it slightly fell short was that nothing felt particularly surprising in terms of storytelling. Various key beats were all quite signposted, which you could argue is not necessarily the worst thing in the world.

On top of that, some of the music choices didn’t entirely work for me, in terms of the tone not fitting the scene (from time to time the music would be very upbeat and quirky, when events in a previous scene had just been dark and intense. It was a little jarring).

Finally, the ending of the story was pretty downbeat. I guess it was meant to be heartfelt and bittersweet, but to be honest it left me feeling despondent more than anything else. I suppose that was the aim. Night City takes and takes and leaves nothing behind. I perhaps just wanted a bit more of a note of hope, a slightly happier ending (like the one you get in the video game if you pick the right path).

Ultimately, though, for the first season of a show I had no idea was coming out, it was a good one. Plus it has helped flesh out the whole Cyberpunk universe that seems to be springing up — whether through CD Projekt Red that make the game (a story expansion called Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty is coming out soon), or Netflix, or a bit of both.

I give this season 4/5 stars.

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