‘Blade Runner’ Anime Short Coming From ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Director

The director behind Cowboy Bebop will animate a crucial event in Blade Runner lore.
By  · Published on September 15th, 2017

The director behind Cowboy Bebop will animate a crucial event in Blade Runner lore.

Cowboy Bebop is almost twenty years old, but ask anyone familiar with anime and they’ll tell you it is the G.O.A.T. That is mostly because of the genius of the director Shinichiro Watanabe. Watanabe has continued making hit after hit throughout the years including the well-regarded Samurai Champloo. Sony Pictures Japan has commissioned an anime short from the director entitled Blade Runner Black Out 2022 and it is a magnificent match of director and material.

Kotaku has translated a section of this teaser video that was shared about the new production. In it, Watanabe says, “The work that has influenced me the most in my anime profession would be, of course, Blade Runner.” That much makes a lot of sense considering Cowboy Bebop and the work he has continued to do. For those unfamiliar with Cowboy Bebop, it is an anime television series about a crew of space bounty hunters that chase bounties across the galaxy.

Sony Pictures Japan

This new animated short will take place shortly after the events of the original Blade Runner. Watanabe is keeping a fine line between creating something new and respecting the original Blade Runner without making an imitation. It would appear that 2022 has some significance in the timeline of the Blade Runner saga. On the website, roadto2049, they detail some of the most important events between the two movie entries. 2022 is the year an event known as The Blackout took place, that wiped out much of the West Coast’s technology. It is believed that replicants were behind the event and the results were cataclysmic.

This is but one of many shorts that will be released before Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters, as various characters are getting shorts fleshing out their characters.

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 will be shown on the Sony Pictures Japan YouTube channel on September 26.

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News Writer/Columnist for Film School Rejects. It’s the Pictures Co-host. Bylines Playboy, ZAM, Paste Magazine and more.