Directed by Cowboy Bebop co-creator Shinichirô Watanabe, Black Out 2022, an anime short, is easily the best of the three Blade Runner 2049 prequels. It explains an important moment in the history between Blade Runner and the new movie, exploring the replicants’ attempts to live without persecution.
While the first two live-action shorts felt more like deleted scenes from the movie, this is a 13-minute standalone story. The two main characters are replicants fighting for their lives in a human world, and they hatch a plan to disrupt human society with an EMP blast. It’s beautifully animated, and the quiet moments really are reminiscent of the original movie.
Will any of these characters show up in Blade Runner 2049? We’ll just have to find out next week. But if they do, they’ll look considerably different due to the 27-year gap.