Blade Runner: Black Lotus

Blade Runner: Black Lotus is a Japanese–American anime television series based on the Blade Runner franchise that premiered on November 14, 2021.[1][2] It is a co-production between Crunchyroll and Adult Swim, in addition to being created in partnership with Alcon Television Group.[3]

Blade Runner: Black Lotus
Blade Runner Black Lotus.jpg
Promotional poster
Created byPhilip K. Dick
Alcon Entertainment
Anime television series
Directed byShinji Aramaki
Kenji Kamiyama
Produced byScott Parish
Ben Cook
Eugene Son
Al Cuenca
Music byMichael Hodges
Gerald Trottman
StudioSola Digital Arts
Licensed byCrunchyroll
Warner Bros. TV Studios
Sony Pictures Television (International)
English network
Original run November 14, 2021 – present
Episodes13 (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

PlotEdit

Black Lotus takes place in Los Angeles in 2032, 10 years into the aftermath of the Black Out 2022, but before 2036: Nexus Dawn, and centers on a female replicant protagonist.[4] It also includes "familiar" characters from the Blade Runner universe.[5]

CharactersEdit

Elle
Voiced by: Arisa Shida[6] (Japanese); Jessica Henwick[6] (English)
A female replicant created for a secret and unknown purpose.
Joseph
Voiced by: Shinshu Fuji[6] (Japanese); Will Yun Lee[6] (English)
A mysterious figure who owns a spare parts junkyard in Los Angeles.
Alani Davis
Voiced by: Takako Honda[6] (Japanese); Samira Wiley[6] (English)
A fresh LAPD recruit.
Niander Wallace Sr.
Voiced by: Takaya Hashi[6] (Japanese); Brian Cox[6] (English)
Founder and CEO of the Wallace Corporation.
Niander Wallace Jr.
Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu[6] (Japanese); Wes Bentley[6] (English)
Brilliant scientist working for his father.
Marlowe
Voiced by: Taiten Kusunoki[6] (Japanese); Josh Duhamel[6] (English)
A deadly Blade Runner.
Josephine Grant
Voiced by: Yoshiko Sakakibara[6] (Japanese); Peyton List[6] (English)
The wife of the police chief.
Earl Grant
Voiced by: Hōchū Ōtsuka[6] (Japanese); Stephen Root[6] (English)
Police Chief of the LAPD.
Doc Badger
Voiced by: Takayuki Kinba[6] (Japanese); Barkhad Abdi[6] (English)
A black market dealer.
Senator Bannister
Voiced by: Masane Tsukayama[6] (Japanese); Gregg Henry[6] (English)
A politician with strong feelings on replicant production.
Doctor M
Voiced by: Akio Nojima[6] (Japanese); Henry Czerny[6] (English)
A brilliant doctor and professor of medicine.
Hooper
Voiced by: Kazuki Yao[6] (Japanese); Jason Spisak[6] (English)
A journalist in the pocket of the Wallace Corporation.

MusicEdit

Source: [7]

Main Title Theme Song/S1E1 End Credit Song
"Feel You Now" written by Alessia Cara & others, performed by Alessia Cara, produced by Michael Hodges
S1E2 End Credit Song
"Water" written by Sam Nelson Harris & others, performed by X-Ambassadors, produced by Michael Hodges & Sam Nelson Harris
S1E3 End Credit Song
"Home" written by Esther Jungclaus & others, performed by Walk Off the Earth, produced by Michael Hodges & others
S1E4 End Credit Song
"Evil" written by Michael Hodges, performed by Daya, produced by Michael Hodges
S1E5 End Credit Song
"By My Side" written by Alexander Tidebrink & Michael Hodges, performed by A7S, produced by Michael Hodges & Alexander Tidebrink
S1E6 End Credit Song
"After You" written by Kyle Trewartha and others, performed by Grey, produced by Michael Hodges & Grey
S1E7 End Credit Song
"Save Myself" written by Kiana Ledé & others, performed by Kiana Ledé, produced by Michael Hodges & Ghian Wright
S1E8 End Credit Song
"Intuition" written by Salem Davern & others, performed by Salem Ilese, produced by Michael Hodges
S1E9 End Credit Song
"Rescue Me" written by Michael Hodges & others, performed by Alesso & Danna Paola, produced by Michael Hodges & Alesso

Production and releaseEdit

The anime was announced back in November 2018.[3][8] The series is animated by Sola Digital Arts with Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama serving as co-directors. Shinichirō Watanabe, director of Blade Runner Black Out 2022, serves as a creative producer.[9] The series premiered on November 14, 2021, with the English dub airing on Adult Swim's Toonami programming block in the United States, and would also stream in Japanese with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.[1]

Canada's Corus Entertainment announced at their June 2021 upfronts that the series would air in the Fall on Adult Swim Canada.[10] It would later be confirmed that the series would air in simulcast with the U.S.[11]

In July 2021, both Japanese and English casts were revealed along with the announcement of a planned panel for the virtual 2021 San Diego Comic-Con.[6] The opening theme is "Feel You Now" by Alessia Cara.[12]

Sony Pictures Television distributes the series worldwide except in the United States.

No.Title [a]Storyboarded byWritten byAnimation supervised byOriginal air date [b]
SP"Benefit or Hazard"N/AN/AN/ANovember 7, 2021 (2021-11-07)
A special behind-the-scenes look into the making of Blade Runner: Black Lotus in this 7-minute short film documentary.
1"City of Angels"Shinji AramakiEugene SonSameer HirlekarNovember 14, 2021 (2021-11-14)
The many-layered meaning of this maiden episode's title serves as the backdrop of this new installation of Blade Runner canon. In October 2032, Elle wakes up in the back of a transport vehicle, with a black lotus tattoo on her back shoulder and unable to recall her memories. She carries with her an encrypted data device as she reaches Los Angeles. Wondering around the city, she is attacked by a gang, during which she experiences flashbacks and remembers her name. As she remembers where she lives, Elle is directed to an now-unfamiliar building where she encounters Doc Badger, who welcomes her into his shop. Elle hides as her attackers barge in, asking Doc if he had seen Elle or the data device, to which he denies. After they leave, Elle asks Doc if he can unlock the device as she believes it will help her recover her memories. He agrees to help her if she prevents the gang from giving him trouble again. Elle confronts the gang and incapacitates them, killing their leader and demanding the rest leave Doc alone. This prompts another flashback of her killing the man who she recalled as attacking her in the desert. Elle returns to Doc's shop, and he informs her that he is unable to decode the device. However, he tells her an upstairs neighbor may be able to help them. He takes her to the top floor of the apartment complex, where they find Joseph drunk and passed out on his couch.
2"All We Are Not"Shinji AramakiAlex de CampiSameer HirlekarNovember 14, 2021 (2021-11-14)
With the episode name taken from one of W H Auden's most famous quotations, Elle and Doc wake Joseph and show him the encrypted data device. He reluctantly agrees to help decrypt it. As Joseph performs the decryption, Elle looks at the television, where a meeting between Senator Bannister and Niander Wallace, Sr. is shown. She recognizes Bannister as someone who hunted her in the desert. She abruptly leaves the apartment with the data device. Elle tracks down Bannister and steals a taxi to pursue him after he boards a spinner. Following him to a boxing arena, she manages to disable his security and confront him inside a private balcony. Bannister informs Elle that she is a replicant and a fight ensues. Proclaiming she is human and further recalling being hunted by Bannister, Elle manages to overpower him and drops him off the balcony, killing him. At Wallace company headquarters, Wallace Sr. discusses Niander Wallace Jr.'s lack of progress in the memory development field. Wallace Sr. receives a call informing him of Bannister's death. Meanwhile, Officer Alani Davis arrives at the crime scene of Bannister's murder. She tries to stop Elle and notices her tattoo, but gives up to investigate the scene. Later, another police officer chases Elle down an alley and she manages to escape. In the alley, she experiences an upsetting and vivid flashback of being hunted in the desert alongside other replicants. She then notices Joseph approaching her. He raises a gun and shoots her, incapacitating her.
3"The Human Condition"Masayuki MiyajiBrandon AumanRaul Carvajal SorianoNovember 21, 2021 (2021-11-21)
With the title of the episode as a tribute to Junpei Gomikawa's ground-breaking novel, Elle awakes in Joseph's apartment, who explains that he found her by using a police radio and has gone back to decoding her data device. Elsewhere after a brief scuffle, Officer Davis gets Drove to speak to her regarding his gang's encounter with Elle. Back at the apartment, Elle asks Joseph what a replicant is, believing she might be one. Joseph checks her eye for a serial number, a hallmark of Nexus-8 replicants. Since Elle is still unsure, Joseph brings out a machine to perform a Voight-Kampff test on her. When asked if she recalls being in love, Elle recalls someone who gave her the black lotus tattoo, saying it a symbol of purity. Joseph ends the test, assuring her that she is not a replicant. At Wallace headquarters, Wallace Jr. stressed that Senator Bannister's death would make it less likely for replicant production to be legalized, though Wallace Sr. is not so worried. After a rest in the apartment, Elle awakes and discovers the data device is finally decrypted, uncovering footage of a replicant hunting trip by Bannister and Hooper. Someone in the recording notes that the replicants they hunt were created to be fully submissive to humans.
4"The Doll Hunt"Shinji AramakiKenji Kamiyama,
Eugene Son
Raul Carvajal SorianoNovember 28, 2021 (2021-11-28)
Elle lays next to a pool, receiving a tattoo from her boyfriend. She awakes confused in the same location, now completely dilapidated. Once outside, she finds group of strangers who also have no recollection of how they got there. A group of hunters – Bannister, Hooper, Earl Grant, and Josephine Grant – open fire on the group calling them "dolls," and they panic and disperse. Elle hides with a girl named Miu, and they find their opportunity to take one of the hunter's buggy and flee with two others. As the hunters give chase, the male finds a rifle in the back, but is unable to shoot their pursuers. Elle loses control of the vehicle and it crashes. Elle and Miu survive the wreck and Hooper is left alone by the hunters to conduct an experiment. He kills Miu to see if Elle will attack in retaliation. After kicking her multiple times, Hooper is shocked when Elle, whose eyes are now glowing as a telltale sign, begins retaliation and stabs him to death with his knife. Elle takes his camera and hops on a transport vehicle. As her memory fully returns in the present, she now knows what she and the others are, and Elle vows to find and kill all the hunters as revenge. At LAPD headquarters, Officer Davis confronts Chief Grant about her belief that a replicant killed Bannister. Grant shrugs her statements off and asks her to leave the evidence she gathered. He examines Davis' sketch of Elle's tattoo, cursing as he tosses it back down.
5"Pressure"Shingo NatsumeEugene SonRaul Carvajal SorianoDecember 5, 2021 (2021-12-05)
Blade Runner Marlowe stops a bus, where a replicant resides inside. Marlowe pulls out a shotgun and fires at the replicant before getting out of the bus and shooting again, killing him. Meanwhile, Chief Earl Grant reports to Niander Wallace, Sr. that Elle had survived the hunt and promises to eliminate her. Back at the apartment complex, Elle again asks Joseph for his help in tracking down the hunters and he agrees, but advises that she drop the pursuit. Later, as Elle sharpens the katana from Doc's shop, Joseph uses an Esper to help identify the remaining members of the hunting party. Receiving a phone call tip, Joseph tells Elle he is busy and tells her to ask Doc Badger to print the photos of the hunters. Grant commands any available officers to hunt down and eliminate Elle, referred to by the department as Black Lotus. Officer Davis suggests he warn them that Black Lotus is potentially a replicant, but he firmly insists that she is human. As police officers flood the streets searching for Elle, Grant learns from Davis' evidence that Elle may have connections to Doc Badger. Grant orders a SWAT team on his shop. The SWAT breaks into the shop, but find only Joseph inside who has orchestrated the bait and switch, while Doc Badger prints the photos for Elle up in Joseph's apartment. Grant receives a call from his wife, who is concerned about the rogue replicant and requests more protection. Meanwhile, Elle makes her way toward the Grants' apartment complex, where Chief Grant's wife, Josephine, resides.
6"The Persistence of Memory"Tensai OkamuraMargaret DunlapRaul Carvajal SorianoDecember 12, 2021 (2021-12-12)
With Salvador Dalí's painting serving as the apt title to the episode, Josephine expresses insecurity with her husband on their apartment's current security detail. Officer Alani Davis sees Chief Grant leave headquarters and tails him. Meanwhile, Marlowe tells the officers to release Joseph, as they will not find anything on him. Marlowe receives a call from Chief Grant, ordering him to go to his apartment. Josephine spots Elle inside her apartment and runs to an office, grabbing a handgun and firing, but missing. Elle manages to subdue her and tie Josephine to a chair, who insists she was only a spectator in the hunt and that they were invited by her husband's friend, Doctor M, and does not know who planned it. Chief Grant arrives at the apartment and tracks them into the office. He puts his gun away in attempt to make Elle put her guard down, and suddenly attacks her. After a brief struggle, Elle manages to stab Grant with her blade. As he dies, he fires his gun, which misses Elle and hits his wife in the chest. As Josephine dies, she tells Elle that her emotions are not real. Alani Davis arrives into the office with Elle having already killed her hunters. Marlowe arrives and crashes through the window while the two have a conversation. There is a brief standoff between Marlowe and Davis, but he quickly brushes her off saying "Blade Runner. My target." He pursues and fights Elle through the apartment, which ends up in the kitchen. His shotgun is fired into the wall, breaking open a gas line above the stove. Elle uses the opportunity to spark a flame, causing an explosion that blasts her out of the complex, but she catches her fall on a series of wires. On the streets, Elle ponders Josephine's last words, thinking that if her emotions were not real, revenge should hurt less.
7"Reality"Naoki KusumotoAlex de CampiRaul Carvajal SorianoDecember 19, 2021 (2021-12-19)
Injured from the explosion, Elle stumbles back to Joseph's apartment, where he treats her wounds. Officer Davis arrives and Elle hides in an adjacent room. Davis tries to question Joseph about the Black Lotus case and mentions his past as an Blade Runner, but he denies this. Extracting useless information from Joseph, Davis exits the apartment. Joseph goes to retrieve Elle, but finds that she has left through a window. At Wallace headquarters, Niander Wallace, Jr. indicates to his father that he has been locked out of his office. Due to Elle's slayings, Wallace Sr. intends to cover the company's tracks, as their company created her. Wallace Sr. informs his son that the company will be selling its Tyrell assets, including the replicant program. Wallace Jr. insists that his replicants are flawless and that Sr. would soon realize this. Elle makes her way to Doctor M's work office building. Inside, she incapacitates a guard and trips a laser, which allows Doctor M to stun her. She awakes restrained to a machine, which Doctor M and his colleague Goodman use to view her memories, making note that some are remembered by Elle differently than were programmed and some were given to her by someone else who must be highly skilled in memory implantation. While trying to question her directly, Elle, who has secretly broken free from the restraints, grabs Goodman. Doctor M shoots Goodman in the shoulder and Elle unhands him. He attempts to shoot her again, but a bullet hits the machine, which releases smoke, allowing Elle to move in on him. Holding her blade to his neck, she learns from Doctor M that Niander Wallace, Sr. orchestrated the Doll Hunt. Security guards burst into the room and Elle fatally slashes Doctor M before knocking out the guards. A frightened Goodman confirms to her that Wallace Sr. organized the hunt and that her memory of being by the pool with her boyfriend was real.
8"The Davis Report"Shinji AramakiEugene SonRaul Carvajal SorianoJanuary 2, 2022 (2022-01-02)
On request of the L.A. civilian police oversight commission, Officer Alani Davis is interrogated by Investigator Alan Chen due to her proximities to the deaths of Senator Bannister and Chief Grant. She recounts her investigation and pursuit of Black Lotus. Chen expresses doubt in Davis' account and her assertion that Black Lotus is a replicant. Davis insists that Black Lotus is different from Nexus-8 models and concludes that someone has illegally resumed replicant production. Davis discovered that the Grants' and Hooper's vacation dates lined up and Hooper's last-known coordinates placed him in the Nevada desert. Chen agrees to investigate the area, where they find the remains of replicants. Although Chen suggests that she will be commended, upon her return to the LAPD, Davis learns she has been placed on leave for at least three months due to alleged delusional behavior. She finds a newspaper that reports rumors of Tyrell assets being put up for sale by the Wallace Corporation.
9"Free Will"Masayuki MiyajiBrandon AumanRaul Carvajal SorianoJanuary 9, 2022 (2022-01-09)
Regretting orchestrating the Doll Hunt, Wallace Sr. states to Jr. that they need to end this, and his son responds that it's already ending. Wallace Jr. bids his father farewell and leaves. Elle returns to Joseph's apartment and informs him on her intent to assassinate Niander Wallace, Sr., a task that Joseph believes to be impossible, suggesting that Elle should leave the city. Elle informs him that she plans on carrying out this plan with or without his help. After she leaves, Joseph speaks to someone on the phone, asking if he were to go through with the plan, would "she" be freed afterward. Elle gains entry to the Wallace Corp inside of a delivery truck. She enters the building's ventilation system and drops into a hallway, where she incapacitates two guards to enter the elevator. She shoots a camera inside of it, which alerts Wallace Corp's security agent Hignight to the breach, prompting him to lock all doors and elevators and seal Wallace Sr. in his penthouse. Elle manages to escape the locked elevator from the ceiling shaft. In the server room, she is confronted by a group of guards and escapes thanks to sniper support by Joseph. She reaches the aviary where Marlowe arrives, crashing through the aviary windows with his spinner. After a brief scuffle, Marlowe manages to gain the upper hand and attempts to execute Elle, manages to injure her, but is shot in the shoulder by Joseph allowing Elle to escape while Marlowe smiles wryly in the direction of an unseen Joseph. Allowed entry by a hand scanner that identifies her as Wallace Jr., Elle enters the penthouse and searches for Wallace Sr. who manages to shoot her several times with his handgun. Writhing in pain, Elle asks Wallace why he organized the hunt, but Sr. instead expresses his misgivings about her insistence to have free will as a replicant. Elle tells him that she can feel pain despite being a replicant. Delighted at this, Wallace Sr. opens fire, but Elle dodges and a struggle ensues, ending when Elle forces Sr.'s gun underneath his chin and fires. Hignight and several security guards arrive to the penthouse to find Elle diving out the window and caught by Joseph, who flies them away on his bike as she huddles close to him gratefully.
10"Clair de Lune"Kazuya MurataMargaret DunlapRaul Carvajal SorianoJanuary 16, 2022 (2022-01-16)
Elle awakes in Joseph's apartment and is frustrated at her inability to forget. Acknowledging that replicant memories do not fade, Joseph points out that sometimes human memories also linger. In a flashback, Joseph sits at a bar as he listens to a singer named Selene perform. He follows Selene to her dressing room, where Selene immediately reveals that she has figured that Joseph is a policeman. Admitting that she did not run because she was always curious of what her short life as a replicant would bring next, she tells Joseph to come back the next night. Joseph continues to visit the bar several nights in a row without retiring Selene until he encounters Marlowe, who inquires about his failure to retire his target. Figuring that he has fallen for her, Marlowe demands Joseph retire her that night, or else he take care of it himself. Marlowe proceeds to tell Selene that it will be her last performance. As such, Selene bids farewell to her audience before singing one last song. Outside, Joseph and Selene kiss before Joseph shoots her dead. Back in the present, Joseph tells Elle that he cannot shake this memory, that he remembers the bar every night. In her memories, Elle recalls being with her boyfriend at the pool and asks him why he has not been searching for her. The boyfriend suggests that perhaps it is she who should be looking for him. Elle proclaims her desire to find the man in her memory, prompting him to retrieve a device from Doc Badger's shop, which allows her to draw a sketch of the man. Elle takes all night making the sketch, to which Joseph recognizes as the man as Niander Wallace, Jr. As Jr. puts a black lotus tattoo on another replicant at the same pool, Joseph calls him. He learns that their arrangement was to help Jr., as Joseph had originally believed. Joseph proceeds to ask what happens next.
11"All the Best Memories"TBATBATBAJanuary 23, 2022 (2022-01-23)
12"Artificial Souls"TBATBATBAJanuary 30, 2022 (2022-01-30)

ReceptionEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes the series has a Tomatometer rating of 67% based on 6 reviews and an audience rating of 52% based on 29 reviews.[13]

On IMDB the series has a rating of 5.6/10 based on 1,154 reviews.[14]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ English titles are taken from Adult Swim.
  2. ^ Adult Swim lists the series as premiering on November 13, 2021, at 12:00 a.m. (24:00) EST/PST, which is effectively November 14. The English dub airs simultaneously in the United States and Canada, while the English sub launches simultaneously on Crunchyroll.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Mateo, Alex (October 7, 2021). "Blade Runner: Black Lotus Anime Premieres on November 13". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 7, 2021.
  2. ^ Evershed, John (2020). Adult Animation Finally Breaking Free of its Comedy Shackles (PDF) (Report). High Concentrate, LLC in Squarespace. p. 26. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Gurwin, Gabe (November 29, 2018). "BLADE RUNNER ANIME SERIES COMING TO CARTOON NETWORK, CRUNCHYROLL". IGN. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  4. ^ "Blade Runner: Black Lotus Co-Director Interview, Toonami Special Edition, Adult Swim Con". youtube. Archived from the original on 2021-11-18. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  5. ^ Petski, Denise (November 29, 2018). "'Blade Runner' Anime Series Inspired By Movie Heads To Adult Swim's Toonami". Deadline. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Mateo, Alex (July 7, 2021). "Blade Runner: Black Lotus Anime Reveals English/Japanese Casts". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  7. ^ "Blade Runner: Black Lotus episodes, end credits". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 2022-01-13.
  8. ^ Yoo, Noah (November 29, 2018). "Adult Swim Announces New "Blade Runner" Anime Series". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  9. ^ Otterson, Joe (November 29, 2018). "'Blade Runner' Anime Series Set at Adult Swim, Crunchyroll". Variety. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  10. ^ "Corus Entertainment Debuts its Biggest Slate of Specialty Series Ever". CNW Group. Corus Entertainment. June 8, 2021.
  11. ^ Home | Adult Swim
  12. ^ "Crunchyroll Unveils Blade Runner: Black Lotus Anime's Opening, Visual (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2021.
  13. ^ "Blade Runner: Black Lotus". Rotten Tomatoes.
  14. ^ "Blade Runner: Black Lotus". IMDB.

External linksEdit