'Blade Runner 2049' Anime Prequel Is out & Is Stunning

Blade Runner 2049's premiere is still a few weeks away, but fans don't have to wait to get a taste of the Blade Runner sequel's world. The anime prequel Blade Runner Black Out 2022 is out today and it is stunning.

The 15-minute short film by Shinichiro Watanabe of Cowboy Bebop fame takes places three years after the original Blade Runner and offers a bit of backstory for the events leading to Blade Runner 2049. The short tells the story of Trixie and Iggy, NEXUS series 8 replicants in a world where replicants are registered and frequently brutalized by human beings.

The short leads up to a blackout-causing EMP blast that throws the world into chaos, cripples Los Angeles, and with Iggy and Trixie’s help, damages replicant registration records beyond repair. Black Out 2022 is the third prequel for the upcoming Blade Runner 2049 following, 2048: Nowhere to Run starring Dave Bautista and 2036: Nexus Dawn starring Jared Leto.

In addition to stunning visuals and intriguing backstory, Black Out 2022 includes careful nods to the Blade Runner the addition of Gaff, voiced by Edward James Olmos reprising the role from the original film. Fans of Cowboy Bebop aren't left out, either. Watanabe, who has previously credited the original Blade Runner for heavily influencing his own work as a director, includes a fight scene in the film and Cowboy Bebop fans will easily recognize the influence of Jet Black in Iggy while Trixie's fight style is very similar to Spike's.

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 can be watched in its entirety on Crunchyroll.

Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters October 6th.

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