Black Out 2022 is a Blade Runner anime prequel short by renowned director Shinchiro Watanabe of Cowboy Bebop / Samurai Champloo fame. Via Slashfilm:
The short film follows two replicants, Iggy and Trixie, as they evade angry mobs of humans who have militarized against replicants. Tensions between humans and replicants have reached a boiling point, with people disgusted by the genetically engineered beings’ inhuman natures taking it upon themselves to use the Replicant Registry to hunt down stray replicants. But with the help of sympathetic human Ren, who is enamored with Trixie, a few replicants plot to plunge the city of Los Angeles into a black out “like the humans had never seen.”
The result is catastrophic, with the falling cars and vehicles wreaking havoc on the cityscape, and causing replicant manufacturing to be banned, causing the end of the all-powerful Tyrell Corporation from the first film. Until the daunting Wallace Corp. takes its place a decade later.
The animation is nothing short of stunning, with Watanabe’s signature fluid and lanky animation style making the characters pop against meticulously detailed settings and landscapes. It’s not all hard edges and garish neon either — at one point, there is a smooth transition to Iggy’s flashback, in which we see the perspective from the replicant soldier, struggling against a torrent of sand and wind, of a foggy and surreal vision of the desert. It’s art. The dreamlike atmosphere is aided by a kinetic, electronic score from Flying Lotus, an experimental producer who earlier posted a snippet of his demo on Instagram.
The new Blade Runner film will be out this week!