There are not a lot of anime series explicitly based off of tabletop RPGs – Record of Grancrest War, Record of Lodoss War, Rune Soldier Louie, and Night Wizard are some of the few that come directly to mind. None of those – I should mention, are particularly based heavily on Western tabletop RPGs (aside from Lodoss starting as a D&D campaign, before moving through Tunnels & Trolls and eventually becoming a Sword World campaign). So, it is impressive to see Cyberpunk: Edgerunners to be perhaps one of the first anime series to wear the western TRPG connection right on its sleeve. Yes, the show is tied in to CD Projekt Red’s video game – but right from the jump the series credits leads off with “Based on a world created by Mike Pondsmith” – showing how much of its influences it wears on its neon sleeve tattoo. Thankfully, Studio Trigger, who animated this, also does right by its source material far more Cyberpunk 2077 did from the jump.Continue reading
Sometimes you stumble across an anime that makes you realize that if more people had watched it the genre it’s a part of could have become tremendously different. Den-noh Coil is one of those anime series. If this show had gotten a better release when it came out, if it had gotten better exposure, this could have been a show that redefined the perception of the cyberpunk genre the same way that Bubblegum Crisis, Ghost in the Shell, and Akira did. Sadly, because of the issues with its original release, it hasn’t really hit an option for mainstream visibility until now. Hopefully the authors who need to see it will get a chance to, and will be equally inspired.Continue reading
Probably in the first time in a while, I have finished a Sword & Laser Book Pick not only in the month it came out, but I also have a review before the end of the month – such is the case for Machinehood by S.B. Divya – another first novel, and this time in a cyberpunk or cyberpunk adjacent subgenre, and it is an absolutely fantastic book.Continue reading
Blade Runner, as a franchise, has had a lasting impact on anime, particularly in the Cyberpunk genre. In the lead-up to Blade Runner 2049, an OVA – Black Out – was released to expand the setting. As a further part of those efforts after 2049’s release, Adult Swim & Crunchyroll collaborated with Shinji Aramaki & Kenji Kamiyama to put out a CGF animated series set between the Black Out OVA and 2049 – Blade Runner: Black Lotus. Crunchyroll & Adult Swim’s last collaboration – Fena: Pirate Princess, was somewhat mixed, and unfortunately, this series, Blade Runner: Black Lotus, is much the same.Continue reading
I normally don’t review shows when I drop them, though considering my reasons for dropping Babylon in 2019, I probably should have done so. Considering that, and with how far I got in Night Head 2041, I feel I’ve watched enough of the show to make it worth reviewing. And, much like Babylon, it had done enough to draw me in, in spite of some serious red flags, that I do want to talk about it.Continue reading
The last 4 volumes of the Silent Mobius Manga are, in a lot of respects, representative of everything about the manga that works, and everything that really doesn’t. We have some truly spectacular action in these volumes, but also a reiteration of some of the more considerably cringy elements of the series. There will be spoilers for the ending below the cut.Continue reading
Normally, I do a review of the video games that I’ve beaten once I beat them, on top of whatever I’m doing for Nintendo Power Retrospectives or other works. Cyberpunk 2077 puts me in a weird spot, because due to how spectacularly high-profile it was and how high profile its failings were, it’s a game that has been picked apart by hordes of other critics, like starlings attacking a freshly restocked suet bird feeder. So, on the one hand, what do I say that other people haven’t said while picking this game apart? On the other, it would be somewhat negligent if I didn’t say anything. So, here goes.Continue reading
Gunhed is a film that I remember seeing often on TV schedules for the SCI-Fi channel back in the day, but never got around to watching in its entirety. I was impressed by the film’s effects work, but I was never really able to watch enough of the film to really get the plot. At long last, though, I’ve finally gotten around to watching the movie in is entirety.Continue reading
Volumes 6 through 8 of Silent Mobius is where the shit really hits the fan. For the past 5 volumes, the fight between the AMP and the Lucifer Hawk has been pretty conventional. The Lucifer Hawk launch a terror mission, AMP fights back. Starting lightly with volume 5, but more predominantly with 6-8, the Lucifer Hawks start directly taking the fight to AMP.Continue reading
Johnny Mnemonic is a very flawed film. It’s not a garbage film that other aspiring cyberpunk movies from this time can be, but it is a movie that significantly stumbles in its execution. That said, there are chunks of this movie that help make it still a pretty enjoyable film.Continue reading
I like Shadowrun a lot – it was the second tabletop RPG I ever played and my first cyberpunk RPG. I also know it’s clunky in a lot of respects. So, when I learned about Sprawlrunners about a more fast-moving way to run a Shadowrun-like game, using the new edition of the Savage Worlds I decided to pick it up.Continue reading
I recently picked up the corebook for Cyberpunk Red, and have read through the whole book. I haven’t done anything with the rules yet, so I can’t speak to those. However, I do have some thoughts about the setting, particularly the changes in the Time of the Red.Continue reading
As part of this COVID-19 world, I’ve been trying to get through some of the manga titles on my reading list. One of the ones I’ve been working on is Kia Asamiya’s urban fantasy Cyberpunk opus, Silent Mobius.
(Note: For the purposes of this review I am reading the Viz Media release – the Udon release is incomplete, and the Manga Planet release hasn’t come out yet).Continue reading
We occasionally get new Cyberpunk anime every now and then, though usually, the protagonists of those series have some degree of… license by the establishment. The Major in Ghost in the Shell is a government agent. So are the protagonists of Cyber City Oedo 808. The Knight Sabers from Bubblegum Crisis are superhero mercenaries who contract with the government. Rare are the cyberpunk anime that have protagonists who work for hire, not only outside the law but in violation of the law. Akudama Drive is one of the series that fits that theme, and utterly nails the concept.Continue reading
At the start of this year, I reviewed the first season of No Guns Life, an hard boiled cyberpunk detective anime that brings the more noir elements of the cyberpunk genre to the fore, while still retaining some shonen action. The first season put a lot of focus on Juzo, the protagonist, working on a variety of cases that built out the world of the setting, but not necessarily the backstory. Season 2 instead shifts the focus back to Juzo, along with some of the supporting cast and their connections to him.Continue reading
It’s kind of been a while since we got a major cyberpunk anime that was outside of the general orbit of Masamune Shirow. Season 2 of SAO, from the description of the arc, was something that I might describe as cyberpunk adjacent – but otherwise, I generally didn’t see much that didn’t have a connection to Shirow or one of the series he created in the listings. So, when No Guns Life came up in the Anime Chart, I figured it was worth checking out.Continue reading
This week I’m wrapping up the year with my thoughts on the last of the Shadowrun video games to date, and the best of the series – Shadowrun: Hong Kong.Continue reading
Battle Angel Alita ended – sort of – on an interesting note. Due to health issues, the mangaka, Yukito Kishiro, somewhat rushed the manga’s conclusion, quickly moving the story into the floating city of Zalem, before blitzing through the city coping with the revelation that everyone in the city has computer brains – and Alita ultimately ending up in control of the city. The sequel, Last Order, starts there, before going into an oddly different direction.Continue reading
Shortly after watching Ubisoft’s E3 2019 Showcase, I finally beat Watch Dogs 2. Beating that game, in a lot of respects, made clear what my objections are with Watch Dogs Legion. In short, effectively all of those objections are related to the narrative – in particular, how the story will play out with procedurally generated characters.Continue reading
We have a new live-action manga adaptation in theaters. How did it turn out!
This week I have a review of an anthology comic from Kodansha set in the universe of Shirow Masamune’s Ghost in the Shell.
One of my earliest reviews was of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Now it’s time to review the sequel – Mankind Divided.
Megazone 23 – Part 3 is probably the most Cyberpunk part of the Megazone 23 series. The other installments had artificial intelligences and rebelling against the man. However, Part 3 has more hacking, human cybernetic augmentation, and dealing with human society’s relationship with the planet. It’s also the weakest part of the series. Continue reading