The creators behind Blade Runner: Black Lotus, the new anime series from Crunchy-roll and Adult Swim, promise to honor the world of the previous films while introducing something new.
During Thursday night’s virtual panel at New York Comic Con, those behind the ambitious 13-episode series explained the show would meld Blade Runner’s central exploration of what makes us human with a classic tale of revenge.
But Co-director Shinji Aramaki is quick to say “the story is not just a revenge story.” He says the goal of the series is to also expand the meaning of blade runner.”
“You can only tell that story so much, says Executive Producer Joseph Chou. “It expands on that. What happens then? … How does it affect the society as a whole?”
The protagonist of the new series is Elle, a female Replicant who is not dissimilar from Ghost in the Shell‘s Kusanagi Motoko. “The protagonist doesn’t know her own story,” Black Lotus‘ Co-Director Kenji Kamiyama explains. 1995’s Ghost in the Shell was visually inspired by Blade Runner and Kamiyama previously wrote on several recent Ghost in the Shell projects.
“Blade Runner more than any sci-fi film from Hollywood influenced Japanese animation the most,” Chou says, explaining why he feels anime is a fitting media to continue this story.
“It was challenging to keep the established Blade Runner world and not create new stuff,” Aramaki says. For instance, one problem they faced was the future world of Blade Runner doesn’t have internet because the original film predated the internet. The creators say they struggled with no internet in their future where people still use old-fashioned telephones as if there was a blackout that eliminated the internet.
“There is a gap between rich and poor,” Aramaki says of the original film. “We thought we’d dig deeper into that. “
For Chou though, the focus is on the existential questions of the Replicants: “would they have souls if they’re manufactured?”
The panel ended with the new trailer to the series:
Blade Runner: Black Lotus premieres on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim on November 13th.
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