Comic-Con@Home 2021: A First Look Into The Future With ‘Blade Runner: Black Lotus’

by Ben Martin

 

Blade Runner is hands-down the cult sci-fi property I love the most. While it admittedly took me a couple of viewings to warm up to the original 1982 film, I quickly fell in love with the movie and the world it establishes. Blade Runner seemed like the perfect one-and-done. That is until Blade Runner 2049 (2018) came out a few years ago, and in my opinion, succeeded its predecessor. But, because it is hardcore a sci-fi-based neo-noir, Blade Runner has not offered too much when it comes to ancillary projects and products set in that world. Well, that will all change this Fall with the upcoming anime series Blade Runner: Black Lotus!

Comic-Con@Home 2021 brought us a panel for the upcoming Adult Swim series moderated by the co-creator of Toonami on Cartoon Network and development executive on Blade Runner: Black Lotus, James DeMarco, and featured co-directors Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama, executive producer Joseph Chou, voice director Wes Gleason, and the voice of Elle/the series lead, Jessica Henwick. All of them seemed legitimately passionate about bringing the LA of the future into the medium of anime on the small screen, which is what I love to see. More importantly, though, they delivered plenty of information to get us even more excited. The most significant to me is that Blade Runner: Black Lotus will take place after the major blackout of 2022, which occurred after the original film. Capitalism has collapsed, society is deeply divided, and the world is in more dire circumstances than ever. This time, we don’t get a story from the perspective of a titular Blade Runner, though. Instead, the focus is on Elle, a Replicant on the run.

Beyond the narrative teases, the creators assured fans that they will maintain the tone and pacing of the films as they translate it to a new format — one mixing traditional anime and 3D computer animation to best match the aesthetics we’ve come to expect in the Blade Runner universe, all the way down to the lighting. To wrap the panel up, the group revealed a look at the key art/teaser poster and a trailer! Now, I’m admittedly hit-and-miss when it comes to anime style, but I can’t wait to see Blade Runner: Black Lotus after seeing this panel.

Blade Runner: Black Lotus will premiere simultaneously on Adult Swim and Crunchyroll this Fall.

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