Science fiction anime fanatics are likely already familiar with the name Shinichiro Watanabe for his work on both ‘Cowboy Bebop’ and ‘Samurai Champloo’ and now the director is set to bring us ‘Blade Runner Black Out 2022’! This is going to be another short film which helps to bridge the gap between the original ‘Blade Runner‘ and ‘Blade Runner 2049‘. While many franchises have been using novels or comics to tell tales between films, it looks like the ‘Blade Runner’ franchise is really loving these shorts!

The other prequels are known as ‘2036: Nexus Dawn‘ and ‘2048: Nowhere to Run‘. While these previous prequels star both Jared Leto and Dave Bautista to introduce us to the new characters, this new one is fully animated which you can check out the style in this preview clip. It has “test animation, concept art, and a few shots of finished animation.”


It looks like all new characters here and it’s hard to tell if any of them will end up being from the previous or upcoming film. I suspect this story is going to be just giving us more of a taste of the ‘Blade Runner’ world and possibly some of the corporate entities who are in charge of it. So far, the first two shorts were introductions of a sort and I suspect this one will be the same. What it introduces to the greater narrative is another question entirely.

According to Watanabe:

“The work that has influenced me the most in my anime profession would be, of course, Blade Runner.”

For anyone who has seen his work, you can tell how the stylings fit in with ‘Cowboy Bebop’ so I’m eager to see how he jumps into the world which has inspired his work. It is kind of fun to think about his anime possibly making its way to a live action big screen release while he has now been able to turn this classic into anime.

Are you planning on checking out ‘Blade Runner Black Out 2020’? Do you think that the studio had the right idea of dropping hints at what has happened in the years between films with these shorts or would you have preferred another medium? Share your thoughts below!