Many were pleasantly surprised when Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo director Shinichiro Watanabe would be writing and directing Blade Runner Black Out 2022, an anime short set in the year 2022, between the original Blade Runner film and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049. With Watanabe announcing that he was "paying the ultimate respect to Blade Runner, and not simply making an imitation of it", it didn't seem that fans of both series were quite optimistic, and now that the short has been officially released, they can check for themselves!

The above Japanese version was officially streamed and uploaded by Sony Pictures Japan on September 26th. While Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve gives a short introduction and prologue and epilogue are provided in English text, it's in Japanese language with no subtitles. Fortunately, Crunchyroll has an English language version available already. Perhaps Sony will make that available through other means eventually.

The short follows two replicants, Iggy and Trixie who must evade a violent human supremacy movement triggered by rising tensions between replicants and humans. Together they seek help to trigger what will be known as a massive and catastrophic "Blackout Incident", which determines the fate of Tyrell Corporation, Replicant Prohibition Act, and sets up the new film's Wallace Corp.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.