The Crunchyroll anime awards 2023 took place on the 4th of March this year, and with it anime fans gathered to see which anime would win this year. Some placing their bets on Attack on Titan or Demon Slayer, both of which won many awards, both of which winning 6 awards each. But what fans were most anticipating from the award show was anime of the year.
Of course, just looking at the title of this article you can tell that Cyberpunk: Edgerunners won anime of the year.
This was a pleasant surprise to most including CD Projekt Red and Studio Trigger, the former of which owns Cyberpunk and supervised Studio Trigger which was producing the anime.
But this win also brought with it fans of other shows who believe that Cyberpunk did not deserve to win anime of the year. With them believing that Demon Slayer or Attack on Titan (both of which dominated the awards) deserved to win anime of the year. While I do believe that both of these anime were deserving of the wins they received. I also believe that Cyberpunk deserved to win anime of the year as well.
In this article I will say why I believe Cyberpunk deserved to win anime of the year.
The characters in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners are well-developed and multi-dimensional. David Martinez, the protagonist, is a complex character with a troubled past. He is haunted by the memories of his mother, who due to circumstances is caught in the line of fire and is badly injured. And due to her inability to afford healthcare she passes away. From there on he lives a life of crime, living in the under belly of night city and joining a gang of interesting characters who help him survive. We see his journey from a boy to man while meeting new characters is interesting and engaging.
He is not the only interesting character in the series though. Another example is Lucy, a gifted netrunner who is also on the run from megacorp, and dreams of one day leaving Night City and living on the moon. The audience gets to see the world of Night City through the eyes of different characters, each with their own motivations and backstories. From the enigmatic Fixer to David’s early gang’s leader Maine.
Beautiful Visuals True To The Cyber Punk Genre
The animation in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is top-notch. The series features stunning visuals that bring the world of Night City to life. The attention to detail in the animation is impressive, from the neon-lit streets of Night City to the cybernetic enhancements that the characters use. The ability to bring not only the tech vibe to the screen but also make it look gritty and hard to stomach when it needs to be as well. Showing Night City to not only be an incredibly beautiful city on top but also showing its dark under belly and how horrific it can truly be.
With Studio Trigger at the helm there was no doubt that the visuals would be beautiful of course. Considering they have already done some amazing work when making Kill La Kill and Darling in the Franxx. This series was bound to have great visuals as well as eye-catching action.
The action sequences in the series are breathtaking. The fight scenes are choreographed with precision and skill, making them some of the best in anime. The use of slow-motion and quick cuts adds to the intensity of the action, making it even more exciting to watch. Anyone going back to watch the show after playing the game will also be treated to quite a few Easter eggs if they keep their eyes open for it.
The themes of this anime can really hit home for some, as it goes from small and singular issues a child in school could have like bullying or lack of motivation to keep studying. To much bigger social issues as well, like healthcare for all, the ethics of technology, the power of corporations, and the morality of using violence for justice.
We see David Martinez being accepted into one of the best academies in night city but is seen to be ostracized by his fellow class mates as well as bullied by some of them as well. While that is something out of David’s control, he himself also has a tendency to skip classes and instead streaming illegal braindance while his mother works tirelessly to pay rent and keep them afloat.
There is also the issue of David’s mother’s death which seems to be something that could have actually been avoided if it wasn’t for their low financial status. This brings into question of whether healthcare should be so expensive and what should people of low income do when they are in dire need of medical assistance?
The use of cybernetic enhancements by the characters raises questions about the extent to which we can control our bodies and minds. It also explores the idea of the rich and powerful using technology to enhance their abilities, while the common people struggle to survive.
The series also highlights the dangers of corporate power. The corporations in Night City are all-powerful and control every aspect of people’s lives. The series raises questions about the role of corporations in our world and their impact on society. Overall, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners raises important questions about our world today and the future we are heading towards. It does so in a compelling and engaging way that keeps the audience invested in the story.
Studio Trigger has created one of the most compelling anime of the year and is well deserving of the anime of the year award. It combines innovative storytelling, well-developed characters, stunning visuals, compelling themes, and great sound design to create an experience that is engaging, thought-provoking, and exciting.
If you haven’t already watched Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, I highly recommend you do so. It’s a series that will stay with you long after the credits roll, and it’s a deserving winner of Anime of the Year. And with only 10 episodes, anyone looking for a quick binge can definitely put this great anime on their list as well.