Now that Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is over, fans are looking for something new to sink their teeth into — and there are plenty of shows worth watching.
Cyberpunk 2077's anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners was a smash hit for Netflix, loved by fans of the game and of anime in general. Cyberpunk: Edgereunners was a fantastic series that showcased many of the great things the cyberpunk genre has to offer and left fans wanting more. However, since the announcement that the show would not be getting a second season, fans are wondering what shows they should watch to scratch that Night City itch.
Thankfully, there are more than a few cyberpunk genre anime shows and movies out there to fill the void. The genre of cyberpunk has a rich history in the anime scene, with many works being critical to the development and popularity of the genre. In many ways, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is simply the newest in a long canon of cyberpunk anime that have graced the screen over the years.
For those looking to explore cyberpunk anime from a more historic perspective, the anime that most people would recommend is the 1988 movie Akira. For the uninitiated, Akira is widely considered to be one of the most influential anime films of all time — a film so iconic that it is still referenced to this day. The film takes place in the city of Neo-Tokyo and follows teenage delinquent Kaneda and his fight with his former friend, the now-psychic Tetsuo. One could write an entire article about the impact of this movie, but it's best to let the film speak for itself.
In a similar vein, another great recommendation is the 1995 Ghost in the Shell movie. This film is probably more thematically in line with Cyberpunk: Edgerunners than other cyberpunk anime because of its exploration of transhumanism. The film follows a cyborg name Motoko Kusanagi who is on the search for a criminal hacker. Much like Akira, Ghost in the Shell is an incredibly influential project that's worth watching for anyone interested in the history of anime. Beyond that, it's also a fantastic and engaging movie that is sure to leave people who watch it wanting more. This is great because outside of the original Ghost in the Shell movie, there are multiple subsequent films and shows to watch, with Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex in particular being popular among fans.
If one is looking for something a bit more recent, Akudama Drive is a pretty solid choice. Released in 2020 and produced by studio Pierrot, the show follows a group of criminals as they are hired to pull off a dangerous and difficult heist. It’s a stylish and fast-paced show with memorable characters that's more than worth the watch. Another fairly recent show that people might be interested in is 2012's Psycho-Pass. This is a crime thriller set in a futuristic Japan run by a supercomputer that can calculate the criminal potential of the nation’s citizens, similar to the 2002 live-action film Minority Report. The original show follows Akane Tsunemori, an inexperienced investigator, who must track down a prolific serial killer. Similar to Ghost in the Shell, Psycho-Pass has multiple subsequent movies and series to watch for those who enjoy the original.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners may have ended, but there's still plenty of anime cyberpunk content under the sun to watch. The shows and movies presented here are only the tip of the cyberpunk iceberg, especially when it comes to anime. Hopefully, these shows can tide fans of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners over until the new game comes out — and if not, there's always hope for new cyberpunk-genre anime in the future.
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