Holy hell this shit’s crazy.
When you’re getting ready to release a film (Blade Runner 2049), directed by one of the best up and coming directors of our time (Denis Villeneuve), that is a direct sequel to one of the greatest sci-fi epics of a generation (Blade Runner) that was also directed by the greatest sci-fi director of all time (Ridley Scott), you need to get the best animation director of all time (Shinichiro Watanabe) to direct an animated short inspired by said franchise (Blade Runner Black Out 2022).
Got all that? Write it down. But yes, if you’re at all worried that an animated prologue to Blade Runner 2049 was going to be just a cheap throwaway production used as a ploy by a major studio to promote a movie, that’s not this. Instead, we get one of the finest and most enthralling animated shorts of all-time to have ever graced Crunchyroll.
Blade Runner Black Out 2022 is about a 15-minute short that takes place a couple of years after the original Blade Runner with the intention to kind of give us some background as to what happened in the 20 or so years between the original film directed by Ridley Scott and the upcoming sequel opening October 6th and it’s every bit as good as advertised. Featuring stellar action direction that should be part of some sort of curriculum in every school that teaches animation production as a career with 80s/early 90s character designs produced by Shukou Marase (Genocidal Organ) that are just as gritty as anything on the market today. Coupled together with a brooding and dark setting that is accompanied by one of the most important movie scores of all time while animated by the same people that brought you Ghost in the Shell, and you have yourself a winner.
There’s not a TON of dialogue, but really, I’m ok with the less dialogue in favor of more action any day of the week and I really can’t think of a better way to prime you for one of the most anticipated cinematic experiences that is decades in the making.
Watch it here.