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Get Ready for ‘Blade Runner 2049’ with New Anime Short from Shinichirō Watanabe

Brand-new 2D animated short from the director of ‘Cowboy Bebop’ stands as a prologue to director Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated follow-up to the classic 1982 ‘Blade Runner.’

Warner Bros. Pictures has released a brand-new animated short that stands as a prologue to Blade Runner 2049, the highly anticipated follow-up to the classic sci-fi feature directed by Ridley Scott in 1982.

The anime short, dubbed Black Out 22, is directed by Shinichirō Watanabe of Cowboy Bebop fame. It delivers a wallop, detailing events three years after the original Blade Runner movie in which Nexus replicants are hunted down and killed by humans.

Three years later, a massive online database continues to catalog and facilitate the hunting and killing of replicants until a group of replicants organizes the titular “black out” that not only detonates a nuclear warhead in low orbit above Los Angeles -- generating a huge electromagnetic pulse that knocks out all electrical devices in the region -- but also destroys all the backup records on the ground.

Check out the Watanabe’s short film in the player below:

Much like in the original film, Black Out 2022 also touches on what it means to be human. No doubt, this topic will be a key part of director Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 when it arrives in U.S. theaters on October 6.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.