The 2023 Crunchyroll Awards have announced winners for each category and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has taken the crown. It has been named the 2023 Anime of the Year and picked up an additional award! This new offering from Studio Trigger has proven to be a must-watch series.
In this year’s Crunchyroll Awards, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners competed with Attack On Titan Final Season Part 2, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Entertainment District Arc, Lycoris Recoil, Ranking of Kings, and Spy x Family. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has been revitalizing interest in the video game that inspired it, garnered multiple nominations from Crunchyroll for this year’s awards, and is now victorious in competition with other hit anime.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Edges Out Its Competition
Released in September 2022 on Netflix, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and has a screenplay written by Masahiko Otsuka and Yoshiki Usa. Inspired by the game Cyberpunk 2077 from developer CD Projekt Red (which was in turn inspired by the role playing game by Mike Pondsmith), the series follows David Martinez as he joins a group of edgerunners, becoming one himself. The series features cybernetic enhancements, a dangerous city, and tragic dream chasing.
What makes the series’ win so impressive is that many of the other series are based on manga which have been popular for a couple of years, if not more. The other original anime that was in the running is Lycoris Recoil. Being an original series could have been a disadvantage, but Cyberpunk: Edgerunners shoved through that possible barrier and pulled ahead of its best-selling manga series counterparts, like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and Attack on Titan.
What Makes Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Stand Out?
In addition to Anime of the Year, Zach Aguilar also won Best Voice Actor Performance (English) for his role as David Martinez though he is also known for his work as Tanjiro Kamado in Demon Slayer. Aguilar has provided voices for numerous anime and video game series, including One Piece, Hunter x Hunter, Your Lie in April, KILL la KILL, Sword Art Online, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and One Punch Man, among others. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners only has ten episodes, making it the shortest series in the group as well, showing how efficient its storytelling was in a short span of time. It features music composed by Akira Yamaoka, who composed the music for the Silent Hill video game series. Other aspects of the show’s soundtrack are pulled directly from Cyberpunk 2077, adding a new layer of meaning to the game’s soundtrack and playing experience. It may not have won the Best Score category, but the game’s soundtrack and the newly added original score certainly didn’t hurt the series in the long run.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a stunning new entry into the broader cyberpunk genre, following in the steps of Akira and Ghost in the Shell. It has compelling characters, intriguing cybernetics, a gripping and dark setting, plenty of action, humorous moments, and a riveting animation style that sets it apart from other anime series. While tragic, as Night City tends to be, it is definitely memorable and engaging. A second season isn’t coming per CD Projekt Red district manager Satoru Honma, but more stories from Night City could be very welcome if lightning could strike the Cyberpunk franchise twice. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ Best Anime of the Year win at the Crunchyroll’s 2023 Anime Awards is well-deserved.
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Source: Crunchyroll, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners