The ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Anime Prequel Is a Cyberpunk Trip

Shinichirō Watanabe's short film is one of three explaining events between the two 'Blade Runner' films.

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Sep 27 2017, 2:02pm

The first reviews for the upcoming Blade Runner 2049 are starting to appear, and so far they're positive. But if you can't bear waiting a little over a week to watch it, though, you can now enjoy the third and final short prequel film explaining what happened in between the events of the first Blade Runner and the sequel.

Dubbed "Blade Runner: Black Out 2022," it focuses on an EMP detonation that leads to a global blackout five years from now and all manner of awful things, including legislation against replicants. It's especially notable, though, for being an anime directed by Shinichirō Watanabe, best known for the critically acclaimed 1998 sci-fi series Cowboy Bebop. In a preview posted by the anime streaming service Crunchyroll earlier this month, Watanabe claimed Blade Runner was the film that influenced him the most.

Even better, you can watch the 15-minute film on Crunchyroll for free through this link.

We've already discussed and shared the two other prequel shorts, which were uploaded to YouTube and focus on the backgrounds of Jared Leto's Niander Wallace character and Dave Bautista's Sapper. As these live-action shorts focus on characters featured in Blade Runner 2049, they're set a little farther in the future than Watanabe's creation.

Blade Runner 2049 will hit American theaters next week on October 13.