There’s maybe nothing I love more than the Blade Runner “franchise.” I’ve talked about them more than once here at Cosmic Circus, and I’ll definitely be talking about them for the rest of my life. Following the disappointing turnout for Denis Villeneuve’s brilliant Blade Runner 2049, I was unsure we’d ever return to the dystopian Los Angeles that I had fallen in love with. I was okay with that, though, because this isn’t a “franchise” that needs oversaturating. But, I was still very excited in late 2018 when Deadline reported that Crunchyroll and Adult Swim would be partnering to produce a new animated series in the Blade Runner universe.
So here we are, now almost 3 years out from that initial announcement, and we have our second trailer for Blade Runner: Black Lotus. The first trailer was released earlier this year in July, and the only word on a release date was a title card that reads “This Fall.” But now, alongside a brand new trailer released at NYCC, we’ve got an official release date. The first episode will premiere on November 13; additionally, they will release the subtitled Japanese version on Crunchyroll and the dubbed English version on the Toonami block of Adult Swim. See the new trailer for Blade Runner: Black Lotus here:
Along with the trailer released at NYCC came an official synopsis on Crunchyroll’s website here.
Los Angeles 2032. A young woman wakes up with no memories and possessing deadly skills. The only clues to her mystery are a locked data device and a tattoo of a black lotus. Putting together the pieces, she must hunt down the people responsible for her brutal and bloody past to find the truth of her lost identity.
When I first heard about this show, I was absolutely excited. The thought of an animated television show was exciting, and visions of neon bathed Samurai Jack-via-Blade Runner filled my head. But, what I failed to realize was that the show was produced by the same company who made Ultraman and that the show would be 3D animated.
I have no prejudice against 3D animation or anything like that, not at all. One of my favorite films of all time (Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse) is beautifully 3D animated; but what I didn’t expect was for them to aim for realism in the animation. I don’t want to pretend that it’s real people, I want to be immersed in the animation.
All of that to admit that it’s really just my fault for creating false expectations in my head. As I said, I was picturing Samurai Jack and the way that Genndy Tartakovsky uses lighting combined with the world and environment and themes of the Blade Runner universe. But, the team had a different vision, and I’m excited to see what co-directors Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama have in store for us.
Blade Runner: Black Lotus premieres on Crunchyroll and Adult Swin’s Toonami on November 13th.