We’ve had brief looks at Black Lotus, Blade Runner’s return to animation after Shinichiro Watanabe first gave us a glimpse of 2049's world with his own animated prequel short. Now the legendary Bebop director is back producing a full-fledged series in its noir-cyberpunk world, and we have a really good peek at just what it’s doing.
Crunchyroll stopped by New York Comic Con 2021—in-person and virtual this year—to deliver the first full trailer for Black Lotus, produced by the Ultraman Netflix anime studio Sola Digital Arts, and directed by Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex’s Kenji Kamiyama and Ultraman’s Shinji Aramaki. Set in 2032, after the events of Watanabe’s Blade Runner 2049 short “Black Out,” the series follows a young woman who discovers that she’s actually a replicant, Elle (Arisa Shida/Jessica Henwick), and is quickly thrust into a dangerous underworld ruled by cruel thugs and the wealthy elite.
The trailer’s light on plot—other than the fact that Elle wants revenge for what’s been done to her and plans to, well “kill them all” (them mostly left vague). But it’s heavy on vibes, and those vibes are at least feeling very Blade Runner so far. Aesthetically, the show’s doing a pretty good job of encapsulating in particular the feel of the original Blade Runner’s world; neon-soaked but still dark and dingy where 2049 was a bit more effervescent. Throw in the moody synth soundtrack, some action, and a Voight-Kampff test for good measure, and you at least have a show that looks like it can walk the Blade Runner walk.
We’ll just have to see if it talks the talk when Black Lotus begins airing on Adult Swim’s Toonami block (with its English-language dub) and on Crunchyroll (in Japanese with subtitles) simultaneously from November 13.
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