While it may not seem like it at times, there are moments in history when something bad can actually lead to something great when the right team is on it. Especially when this “something” is a piece of media and can be adapted and translated into a variety of different ways. A great example is the Sonic Boom video game. That thing was AWFUL, but then the animated series that it was based on was actually pretty nice according to those brave enough to watch it. Now, we can add Cyberpunk 2077 to that list because the game was FLAWED at launch, and yet, when the anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners arrived on Netflix, it was great.
In fact, many people are calling this the “best part of the franchise,” and it’s not hard to see why. The visuals are stunning, the voice acting is great, and the story is a fun one to get through. The team at Studio TRIGGER was the ones behind it, and obviously, they have a LOT of experience making great anime. But it does raise the question of how could this game be so much better than the video game?
Well, the head of Studio TRIGGER answered that by noting a very basic fact: no one had played the game when they made the show.
“Well, the game wasn’t fully developed yet at the time we started production, so obviously, no one had ever played the game.”
The lead noted that CD Projekt Red, the dev team behind the video game, did provide them with various documents about the world and what the game would be like so they knew what to base things on. Originally, the anime was to be more tied to the video game, but then things went in a different direction:
“We were following the basic storyline provided by CD Projekt Red but we gradually started to give our opinions on how to interpret it into an anime.””
One of those “opinions” was to make the audience connect more with the protagonist as a whole. Apparently, there was a certain “mood” that CD Projekt Red tried to imbue in the anime, but Studio TRIGGER felt it would be better to go a different way since it was going to be in the anime format this time around.
Of course, the great irony here is that they were right in literally every change they made for the anime. The praise has been overwhelming for Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, while Cyberpunk 2077continues to struggle to get itself to the level, it was meant to be.
So what is the lesson to be had here? Well, sometimes, a lousy property can produce good things. It just depends on who’s making it and what their goal is.