The Art of ‘Blade Runner Black Out 2022’

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 poster

In the realm of movie marketing tie-ins, it doesn’t get much better than Blade Runner Black Out 2022. This third and final anthology short, bridging the original Blade Runner to its upcoming sequel, is a ~15 minute anime directed by Shinichirō Watanabe. If you’re not familiar, Mr. Watanabe is perhaps most famously known for creating Cowboy Bebop (1998-1999), an anime series lauded for its visual style, music, fight choreography, and for pushing genre boundaries. It’s pretty much always the first thing people suggest you watch when getting into anime–for good reason. Coupled with the fact that the short is scored by Flying Lotus, the expectations for this short hit a fever pitch. Well, it certainly delivered.

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 neon signs

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 investigations

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 missile

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 Mars

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 Blue Tang fish

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 explosion

All of Watanabe’s signatures are marked across the film, and it will feel very familiar to Bebop fans. Beautiful landscapes spanning multiple locations and animation styles really set the bar high in terms of animation. The color grading of scenes really hit the neo-noir theme of Blade Runner. But enough talking about it–watch the short below and see for yourself!

(Note: This is the official YouTube upload by Warner Bros., however, Blade Runner Black Out 2022 originally premiered on CrunchyRoll. I’ve noticed the YouTube version has a lot more compression artifacting than the Crunchy version. If you’re a member, or are savvy to sign up for their free premium trial, I’d suggest watching it there for the best experience.)

Blade Runner 2049 hits theaters on Friday, October 6th, from Warner Bros.