Still some time away from release, Blade Runner: Black Lotus is the latest entry in the fabled and iconic cyberpunk science fiction series. A joint American-Japanese collaboration, the anime expands the universe of Blade Runner through the veneer of the cyberpunk anime it inspired.
Several years in the making, Black Lotus follows a female replicant as she searches for clues behind her mysterious past in a world post-Black Out 2022. Along the way, she meets several other characters, some of whom may be returning faces from the franchise's original entry. With slick visuals and a star-studded voice cast, the show is sure to impress fans, as well as anyone seeking out a moody cyberpunk action-packed adventure. Here's what we know so far about the still-pending CGI Blade Runner TV series.
The Plot of Blade Runner: Black Lotus
Black Lotus is focused on a female replicant (or android) named Elle, who awakens without knowing who or what she is. However, she quickly discovers her deadly abilities, making the mystery even more pertinent to solve. Her only clues are an esoteric locked device and a tattoo of a black lotus, both of which send her on a quest to find out who she is and who left her in this situation.
The series takes place in 2032, ten years after the events of the animated film Blade Runner: Black Out. That movie also took place three years after the original movie -- given the time span, it's no wonder that classic characters are promised to appear throughout the story. The show's creators also want to go beyond what's already been done with the franchise, with the animated nature of the series likely helping to make this possible.
Blade Runner: Black Lotus' Trailer
The trailer for the series dropped a few months back, giving fans a look at how the tone and direction of the series match up with the movies. The setting very much looks like the Blade Runner series, although things don't seem quite so mysterious and noir as usual. Hand-to-hand combat action is also given much more emphasis, and given Elle's character design and the computer-generated animation, comparisons to both Battle Angel Alita and Ghost In the Shell are easy to make.
The basic layouts of the plot are also provided in the trailer, with Elle awakening unsure of who she is but quickly making use of her advanced defense techniques. From there, she becomes hunted by a mysterious man who orders the elimination of the Black Lotus, hinting that he knows far more about her past than she does.
Blade Runner: Black Lotus - News to Know
Even though it's only now nearing its air date, Blade Runner: Black Lotus was announced all the way back in 2018. Animated by Sola Digital Arts, the series is directed by Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama. Shinichiro Watanabe, who directed Black Out 2022, will serve as the creative producer.
The series will be aired on the Toonami block of Adult Swim with an English dub, and it will also be available to stream through Crunchyroll. The Japanese voice cast includes Arisa Shida, Shinshu Fuji, Takako Honda, Taiten Kusunoki, Yoshiko Sakakibara, Hochu Otsuka, Takayuki Kinba, Masane Tsukayama, Akio Nojima and Kazuki Yao, with the English cast being comprised of Jessica Henwick, Will Yun Lee, Samira Wiley, Brian Cox, Wes Bentley, Josh Duhamel, Peyton List, Stephen Root, Barkhad Abdi, Gregg Henry, Henry Czerny and Jason Spisak. Henwick and Shida are the respective English and Japanese voice actresses for main character Elle.
At this time, Blade Runner: Black Lotus is still set to have a release date sometime late in 2021. This release date for the science fiction anime series was never set in stone; merely being a tentative fall/winter release means that could likely change. However, for would-be viewers, Crunchyroll and Adult Swim will hopefully both keep to their planned schedule and bring Black Lotus to eager Blade Runner fans sometime before the blackout of 2022.
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