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Shinichiro Watanabe Directs Blade Runner Short


You’re familiar with Shinichiro Watanabe, famed director of Cowboy Bebop, correct? A lot of anime was inspired by Blade Runner….what would a Watanabe ‘toon look like if it was a direct adaption?

We’ll find out in a little more than a week, when “Blade Runner: Black Out 2022” premieres. Directed by Wantanabe, the short will act as a bridge between the original 1982 landmark and its upcoming sequel. According to Ridley Scott’s lore, in 2022 an “EMP detonation caused a global blackout that [had] massive, destructive implications all over the world.” In Wantanabe’s short we’ll get to see those implications.

The short follows two others that have already been released — all three are prequels to Blade Runner 2049, which comes out October 6. While this new short focuses on an event, the previous two were centered around characters from the new film, played by Jared Leto and Dave Bautista respectively.

Don’t strain your brain trying to figure out how there could be a futuristic city like this, full of lifelike robots, in just five years — Blade Runner clearly runs on an alternate timeline. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the short.

The best part about the anime Blade Runner short is that, being a movie promotion, it’ll be free to watch. It’ll also be exclusive to Crunchyroll, unlike the first two shorts that came before it (you can watch those here and here). The short makes its debut on September 29, one week before Blade Runner 2049 opens.