Created by Rafal Jaki, ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ is Netflix sci-fi action anime series. Set in the corrupt and futuristic Night City, the plot revolves around David Martinez, a straight-A student who discovers a military-grade speedware called Sandevistan among his recently-deceased mother’s things. Furious at the unfairness of his world, David has the powerful speedware installed in his body and begins to demonstrate an exceptional level of tolerance to it. This garners the attention of mercenaries, feuding corporations, and a mysterious woman named Lucy. David soon realizes that if he wants to survive, he must become part of an edgerunner or cyberpunk group, led by a man named Maine.
‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ is a spinoff of the open-world role-playing video game ‘Cyberpunk 2077.’ If you have watched the anime and loved it, here is a list of recommendations that might fit your taste. You can watch most of these anime similar to ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll, or Funimation.
7. Gantz (2004)
Based on a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiroya Oku, ‘Gantz’ tells the story of two high-school students, Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato. After they die while trying to save a drunk homeless man from an oncoming subway train, Kei and Masaru find themselves in a Tokyo apartment. There are several other people there, and at one corner of the room, there is a large glossy sphere — this is the titular Gantz. Kei and Masaru discover that they are dead and that Gantz is now in control of them. The entity sends them out on missions, which almost always involve eliminating aliens roaming around the world. Like ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners,’ ‘Gantz’ has dark themes and complex sci-fi elements.
6. Akira (1988)
Like ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners,’ ‘Akira’ is a tale of human perseverance in a broken world. In 1988, Tokyo’s destruction starts off World War III. By 2019, Neo-Tokyo has been built on the artificial islands in Tokyo Bay. New Tokyo has become the epicenter of crime and violence in the world. In this turbulent city, Shoutarou Kaneda heads the notorious motorcycle gang known as “the Capsules,” who are in constant conflict with their rival gang, “the Clowns.”. When Shoutarou’s friend Tetsuo Shima develops abilities that might just be connected to Tokyo’s destruction over three decades ago, a new threat begins to loom over humanity.
5. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995–1996)
‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ is a mecha anime. It takes place 15 years after a worldwide cataclysm known as the Second Impact. The protagonist, Shinji Ikari, is brought in by his father to serve as a pilot of the Evangelion mecha machine in the war against the entities known as the Angels. Shinji joins Nerv, a special organization that was established to defeat the Angels and protect humanity. Like ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners,’ ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ fleshes out the complexities of its protagonist, becoming a better sci-fi show in the process.
4. 86 (2021–2022)
‘86’ takes place in an alternate world where the Republic of San Magnolia has been at war with the Empire of Giad for the past nine years. The Republic was on the back foot until they introduced Juggernauts autonomous units to fight against the empire’s machines. While the people of the republic believe that both sides are using autonomous units, in reality, the Juggernauts are piloted by members of the marginalized Colorata minority or the 86. Things start to change when Major Vladilena “Lena” Milizé, an Alba noble, becomes the handler of the 86 Spearhead and begins working closely with the unit’s battlefield commander, Shinei Nouzen. Like ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners,’ ‘86’ is set in a world rife with inequality, misuse of scientific advancements, and class and race exploitations.
3. Cowboy Bebop (1998–1999)
Set in 2071, ‘Cowboy Bebop’ revolves around the bounty-hunting crew of the spaceship Bebop, which includes Spike Spiegel, a former assassin for the Red Dragon Syndicate and the protagonist of the series. In the ‘Cowboy Bebop’ universe, Earth has become uninhabitable because of a hyperspace gateway accident, but humanity has managed to colonize almost all planets and moons with a rocky surface. Like ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners,’ Cowboy Bebop is a sci-fi anime that mainly revolves around a bounty hunting/mercenary group.
2. Psycho-Pass (2012-)
‘Psycho-Pass’ is a cyberpunk thriller series set in a futuristic Japan where a powerful biomechatronic computer network known as the Sibyl System is used to govern the people. The system judges people’s ability to commit crimes and issues Psycho-Passes based on the result. The story is told from the perspective of Akane Tsunemori as she and her team investigate the deeds of the cunning and ruthless criminal Shogo Makishima. The setting of ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ and ‘Psycho-Pass’ is a dystopian future where humanity’s relentless pursuit of progress has produced a disastrous outcome.
1. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
One of the most influential anime film of all time ‘Ghost in the Shell’ is set in a futuristic world where people are heavily augmented with cybernetic implants, just like in ‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.’ The story focuses on Major Motoko Kusanagi, a full-body prosthesis augmented-cybernetic human, and her Public Security Section 9 assault team as they take on an enigmatic hacker calling themselves the Puppet Master.
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