Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

Netflix Show ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ is the Toast of China’s Internet

Even though ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ has yet to be released in China, online chatter indicates the show will find a welcome fanbase if it eventually arrives

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2:42 PM HKT, Fri October 7, 2022 1 mins read

Netflix’s latest anime series, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, has captivated worldwide audiences since it first premiered on September 13. It has also generated an incredible amount of online chatter in China, despite Netflix being unavailable in the country.

Based on the Cyberpunk 2077 video game produced by Polish video game developer CD PROJEKT RED (also behind The Witcher role-playing games series), the anime is set in a dystopian, technologically advanced metropolis.

david martinez Netflix Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime

David Martinez, protagonist of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. Image via Netflix

The story follows David Martinez, a youth who is kicked out of a top high school due to financial difficulties, as he struggles to survive in a city full of ​​cyborgs. With nothing to lose, he becomes an ‘edgerunner,’ a mercenary criminal also known as a ‘cyberpunk,’ and begins a gangster-like life with his new crew.

To ensure high production value in this highly-anticipated series, Netflix teamed up with Trigger Inc., a well-established Japanese animation studio that also produced the animated anthology series Star Wars Visions.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has quickly become a hit for its distinctive art style and unique characters. The occasional raunchy scenes and attention-grabbing, gory fights have also kept audiences on edge throughout the show’s 10 episodes.

Even though the anime program has yet to be officially released in China, it has already garnered a sizable fan base. A related thread on the microblogging platform Weibo has received 1.84 million comments and almost 2 billion views. On the Chinese review platform Douban, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners currently holds an impressive rating of 9.1/10.

Clips and compilations from the anime have also received millions of views on China’s largest video site Bilibili.

Netflix Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime

Fan-made videos pertaining to Cyberpunk: Edgerunners on Bilibili

The anime has also been very well received in the West and has scored a 9/10 on IGN and 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Ratings aside, the subreddit group r/Edgerunners has amassed around 20,700 users since the show’s debut. What’s more, 102,000 fans voted for their favorite female lead on an official Twitter poll.

The success of the Cyberpunk: Edgerunner series has also revived enthusiasm for the video game. Its number of online players increased by sixfold in the past two weeks. During a livestream session, Paweł Sasko, the original game’s quest director, was on the verge of tears while discussing the difficulties he encountered when the game first launched and how much he appreciates the love and positive feedback he’s getting now.

Netflix has previously attempted to attract Gen Z audiences by collaborating with well-established anime creators to release content related to classic game titles.

In 2021, the streaming giant released Arcane, an anime based on the League of Legends backstory. ‘Gu Yong Zhe’ (孤勇者, ‘The Lonely Warrior’), the theme song for the Chinese version of Arcane, was so popular that almost every elementary school student can hum its tune today.

Cover image via Cyberpunk: Edgerunner’s official Twitter

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