Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Creator Says They Haven’t Played Cyberpunk 2077

With Cyberpunk: Edgerunners airing, creator and co-founder Masahiko Otsuka reveal spicy details including the challenges the makers had to go through creating this anime.

Cyberpunk 2077 is a game developed and released by CD Projekt at the end of 2020. It was set amidst a dystopian society overrun by mechanical enhancements and gross inequality. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a series (a collaboration with CD Projekt) released this September on Netflix and has since received a ton of praise. The game has garnered new players after the anime was declared a hit.

Recently, Netflix conducted an interview on Youtube that showcases a talk with Masahiko Otsuka, the co-founder of Studio TRIGGER and co-writer involved with the anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. This show is undoubtedly one of the most popular anime this year.

Joey, the interviewer, first thanked Masahiko Otsuka for creating many amazing series under the studio. Otsuka-sensei is a humble person, as visible throughout the 10-minute talk. He spoke of how this venture is something rather unique, as not many anime is based on games.

Cyberpunk Edgerunners Interview
Source: Netflix Anime

Joey then asked him about what challenges he faced after the series was confirmed. Otsuka-sensei said, “Well the game wasn’t fully developed yet at the time we started production, so obviously, no one had ever played the game. Still, we received the documents on the worldbuilding and were told that CD Projekt RED would handle the basic storyline so we assumed that we could start the production with a script in hand. However, as we were making it, we started to encounter the difference between games and anime and decided that some parts should be changed for the anime so while following the basic storyline provided by CDPR we gradually improvised and created our very own flavor for the anime.”

The Anime Man also quizzed him about the different ways of handling the subject since it wasn’t a game but a series following a fixed storyline. The interviewee stated, “So while working on the anime, I felt that it’s important to create a flow to let the audience empathize more with the protagonist. The original plot was rather focussed on the whole mood. I basically understood their intention, which would work out for a game but I felt that the audience may not be able to empathize when adapted into an anime. There are places where I thought that it was necessary to show ingenuity and add some essence to an anime. That was when I truly became aware of how a game varies from an anime.”

Cyberpunk Edgerunners and Cyberpunk 2077 Comparision
Source: Netflix Anime

After a small clip from the show was played, Joey proceeded with his next question. He wondered how did those at TRIGGER tackle the adult-oriented tale. Otsuka-sensei replied, “I thought the target audience will comprise people old enough to play complex video games. We added violent elements and drastic depictions that we can’t show in an anime broadcasted on TV. I thought we could depict scenes to mirror similar images presented through the game. It’s for adults and for those in middle school and above…well, maybe it’s too much for middle school…I think that’s where the border lies.”

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The veteran writer then said that the highlight of the series was, “Well, we challenged ourselves with many new things that we couldn’t have utilized in an ordinary TV series and I guess they turned out to be the important elements in expressions and the storyline. Also, the way we built the characters was a bit different from other animes so if I had to pick, the highlight of Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is how it’s different from normal anime…the alterations we made might be fresh and appealing to the audience.”

Joey then spoke of Netflix’s involvement and whether that would affect the target audience and the tone chosen. Otsuka-sensei responded by saying, “When we were creating the story…I was also writing the scenario myself and I felt that it wasn’t really anime-ish when I was writing it. But I felt that I was able to get a step closer during the storyboard phase. The parts I felt that were like live-action turned out to be more anime-ish in the storyboard. Furthermore, the movement… the drawings added more to the anime aspect. I found it interesting, how it started off like a live-action film, and then gradually turned into a piece of animation. I think this mixture is something new and interesting.”

The interviewee then said that he hoped gamers and TRIGGER anime enthusiasts could experience a confluence of two seas and enjoy the game and the show together.

About the Anime Man

Joseph Tetsura “Joey” Bizinger is an Australian-Japanese YouTuber. His moniker “The Anime Man” is known amongst the otakus. A die-hard fan of anime, manga, and hentai, Joey has interviewed various personalities, including famous light novel authors, mangakas, studio executives, and so on. AkiDearest is his better half.


Studio TRIGGER was established by ex-Gainax, ex-employees Hiroyuki Imaishi, and Masahiko Otsuka over 11 years ago. Their masterpieces include Kill La Kill, Promare, BNA: Brand New Animal, and now Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.


Cyberpunk 2077 got a grand release primarily due to the Keanu Reeves cameo included in the game. Following the unveiling in December 2020, the game received a mixed reception. Some players feel that the game is overhyped with many bugs, whereas some praise the in-depth storytelling, the immersive experience, and the worldbuilding in the entire game. It won multiple awards prior to its release. Adam Badowski is the director, Konrad Komaskiewicz is the producer, and Piotr Tomsinski is the main programmer. Marcin Blacha and Tomasz Marchewka wrote the main script.

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners was released via Netflix worldwide on September 13. Hiroyuki Imaishi directs the anime. Masahiko Yotsuka and Yoshiki Usa provide the storyboards for the screenplay. Akira Yamaoka developed the music for the series. The show is one of the highest-rated anime shows this year. The people love it, and the critics enjoy the story too.

Source: Netflix Anime