At Comic-Con@Home 2021, Adult Swim and CrunchyRoll announced their newest team up with CrunchyRoll and Alcon Entertainment. Together, the two will take you back to the dystopian world of replicants in Blade Runner: Black Lotus.

Set in the familiar universe of the Blade Runner films, Black Lotus takes place between the two main films, Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049. Ten years after the events of Blade Runner Black Out 2022, a replicant by the name of Elle tries to uncover exactly who she is and how she came to be in the dark and dingy city of Los Angeles. However, this won’t exactly be easy considering she has all of the Los Angeles Police Department, and maybe more, out for her “retirement”.

Co-directors Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045) and Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Eden of the East, Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045) team up yet again to bridge the gap between the two Blade Runner films. Both co-directors were fans of the source material and have considered working on the project, in cooperation with Alcon Entertainment, a realized dream. Also on the creative team includes executive producer Joseph Chou (The Animatrix) and creative producer Shinichrio Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo) who worked on the original anime prequel short for Blade Runner 2049 film, Blade Runner Black Out 2022. Aramaki and Kamiyama both stated that the series will build upon the original themes of the films as well as add the struggles of the individual and hope in the dystopia. Additionally, the series will share a familiar character with Blade Runner 2049.

A large portion of the anime has been made during the onset of the pandemic. While Aramaki and Kamiyama state that it was not hard to switch to a work from home environment, they do believe it made some of the meetings hard as well as the recording. In addition, there was a lot of trust in one another and open communication amongst the team during the production due to the distance and isolation. Nevertheless, the entire team believes it is a product they all can be proud of.

Additionally, during the panel, it was brought up about how the anime series will be CG passed as opposed to what was used for the Blade Runner Black Out 2022 short. According to Chou, Blade Runner Black Out 2022 had the best of the best in animators at the time and all those who had worked on it moved on to other projects. Kamiyama added that in an effort to help capture the city as closely to the film models and make it come alive as its own character, CG was used. Aramaki added that while visiting the set for Blade Runner 2049, he felt that CG would also help capture the true feel with the correct lighting.

Blade Runner: Black Lotus is currently slated for a thirteen episode season and a release sometime in the fall of 2021 on the Toonami programming block of Adult Swim. The trailer for Blade Runner: Black Lotus dropped during San Diego Comic-Con@Home and is currently available for viewing on the Toonami YouTube page.

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