Black Lotus doesn’t feel like it’s part of the Blade Runner universe
There’s no blade runner cinematic universe; however, as one of the most important works in the history of sci-fi cinema, both of his films share a specific neo-noir DNA that’s pretty easy to spot. This is not the case for Blade Runner: Black Lotusan animated production from Crunchyroll and Adult Swim that, much like Deckard and K, has more than a few identity issues.
Black Lotus indeed refers to the previous blade runner characters and events, which means its problems lie not with the heart of the show’s premise, but with the precision of its execution. Indeed, although this new adventure in the world of Philip K. Dick should live up to expectations, perhaps because fans are spoiled by the wonderful cinematography seen in the past, it finds itself awkwardly between the two films as an oddity. of anime.
First impressions are everything
Both blade runner the films begin with cinematic shots that take the audience by the hand as they slowly walk through the dystopian landscape that dominates these worlds – but not Black Lotus. The CGI anime instead features Elle, its unambiguously replicating protagonist who, despite having amnesia, does not leave the viewer guessing about her exact nature, unlike her predecessors.
This marks Black Lotus’ greatest commitment: the desire to pursue character development far more than world-building, a decision that’s probably better suited to anime due to the limitations the CGI style places on it. While Black Out 2022 proven blade runner could make the jump to animation, it did so with traditional anime aesthetics rather than outdated graphics Black Lotus adopted.
Regardless of the big budget differences between hand-drawn 2D anime and this type of 3D modeling, the sad reality is that the CGI in Black Lotus does not blade runner Justice. In their respective endeavours, Ridley Scott and Denis Villeneuve managed to put on some of the best visual spectacles of their time, which means that if one wants to make a blade runner spin-off, getting the right look is key.
Black Lotus has received heavy criticism from some fans since the release of its first trailer, and after the series ended, it’s fair to say that its portrayal of a futuristic Los Angeles and the characters that inhabit it are disappointing. Black Lotus is usable in the best possible way and, within the framework of blade runner sci-fi legacy is that it has little to offer as the kind of visual experience the franchise has always offered.
We don’t just make it an anime
It’s clear Black Lotus trying too hard to push your way through Blade runner. Nevertheless, the series is also busy paying for its anime vision, resulting in what become conflicting priorities. A small but easy example to point out is Elle’s weapon of choice, the katana.
There’s little more to anime than fast-paced sword fights, but Elle’s borrowed blade feels slightly out of place in a world where modern firearms and brutal fistfights once took center stage. of each action scene. Even though the animation opens the doors to faster fights and gives directors the ability to choreograph the action in different ways, Elle’s fight doesn’t seem to fit into Blade runner. This is part of a larger problem: Black Lotus is just too clean and precise for its own good.
The Los Angeles CGI that forms the backdrop for this series lacks the essence of what made its previous iterations so compelling. This is not a living cyberpunk organism or game world; instead, it’s more of a generic video game town that occasionally sprinkles in a geisha commercial to remind viewers that it’s the same thing blade runner Harrison Ford plays the lead role. It doesn’t take enough for a show to add a few callbacks to the franchise’s origins for it to earn its place alongside the originals – because without those small details, casual viewers might not know. supposed to be the same setting.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a blade runner story, but not in the same way as Blackout East. As the only short to introduce fans to new characters, the 2017 anime still revolves around watershed events for replicants (not that kind of replicants), and even though that’s also the case for Black Lotus, the takeover of the family business by Niander Jr. drags on and shares the limelight with Elle’s journey. Both storylines are very character driven, in a show where even its protagonists fail to convey antiquated CGI.
The biggest takeaway for any future blade runner the spin-off learns the lesson Black Lotus makes it clear. The franchise’s signature debate about what it means to be human can’t just be sprinkled haphazardly over bland storylines. Blade Runner 2049 is great because it remains detached from the original while being a reflection of its true successor, whereas Black Lotus is more of a distant relative that can’t even match games in the series.
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