Blade Runner 2049 has already received two short prequels, but the next one is a little different. It’s an animated short from Cowboy Bebop director Shinichirô Watanabe, streaming on the anime site Crunchyroll.
The anime prequel is called Blade Runner Black Out 2022, set three years after the original movie. If you’ve seen the other prequels, you may already know what the title means. In 2022, an EMP detonated somewhere on the West Coast of the U.S., crashing financial markets and corrupting electronic data. No one really knows who caused this catastrophe, but many people use replicants as a scapegoat. Black Out 2022 will cover some of that backstory, and you can catch a glimpse of it in this new Japanese trailer.
The first two Blade Runner 2049 prequels were interesting if you’re already invested in the timeline, but this is the first that actually seems appealing in his own right. Shinichirô Watanabe’s name lends some credibility to the project, and the setting makes it feel more like a standalone story than a deleted scene with actors from the main movie.
Blade Runner Black Out 2022 arrives (ad free) on Crunchyroll on Sept. 26.