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Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Could Be Studio Trigger's Best Anime So Far

CBR 9/26/2022 Nicky Rodriguez
© Provided by CBR

Studio Trigger is perhaps one of the best-known anime studios to date. The studio has earned a powerhouse reputation through its energetic and vibrant animation and visual design. Its shows are easily identifiable by these features, but also by their unique and exciting characters, stories and action. With memorable hits like Kill la Kill and Little With Academia, their first feature film Promare and their work on Star Wars: Visions, it's no wonder that Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has managed to elicit as much high praise, and perhaps even more.

Whether newcomers to the show are directly familiar with the Cyberpunk 2077 game or not, there's still plenty to keep them hooked. Studio Trigger is known for creating some of the most splashy anime out there, but could Cyberpunk: Edgerunners be its best show yet?

RELATED: Metal Gear Creator Hideo Kojima Praises Netflix's Cyberpunk Edgerunners

True to form, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners features the dynamic colors and animation that make many of Trigger's series stand out. These aspects help ground the anime firmly in the sci-fi neo-noir world of the game, matching the aesthetic while still maintaining the same flair that has come to define the studio. The high-octane action that comes with the edgerunner lifestyle is only aided by the fluid animation and visual effects, and it all lends to fleshing out Night City and creating a uniquely immersive entry to the anime's source material. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners levels up the already meticulous world-building skills seen across other Studio Trigger productions to craft an anime that manages to fit into the world of the game seamlessly, while also standing out on its own.

Aside from its stunning visuals, the series also stands out for its unique score by Akira Yamaoka, best known for his composition work for the Silent Hill game franchise and feature films. A great score can make for a unified experience between story and animation, and the music in the series -- insert songs included -- create an atmosphere that is distinctly Cyberpunk 2077.

Another standout talent that easily contributes to the quality of this anime is its director, Hiroyuki Imaishi. His directing style is marked by an unmistakable punchiness that effortlessly leads the frenetic choreography and animation that defines some of his signature works, like Gurren Lagann, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, Kill la Kill and Promare. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners embodies the best qualities of Studio Trigger's repertoire in its 10-episode run, while also perfectly balancing its storytelling elements to create a successful singular experience. However, do any of the studio's previous projects come close to matching Cyberpunk: Edgerunners ' appeal and praise?

RELATED: Cyberpunk: Edgerunners Shares Many Parallels With Its Parent Game Cyberpunk 2077

Some of the most iconic works to come out of the studio are certainly the ones that feature Imaishi's unique direction. His directorial work on Gainax's Gurren Lagann earned him an award at the 12th Animation Kobe festival, and his skills only continued to evolve in future works like Studio Trigger's first original anime, Kill la Kill. While the studio debuted the Little Witch Academia short film in 2013, Kill la Kill helped put it on the map with its unique premise, charming absurdity and fast-paced action.

Still, the studio's feature-film debut, Promare -- also directed by Imaishi -- is perhaps the closest in level to Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. Up until this point, Promare could be seen as a solid culmination of the visual and technical qualities that the studio had come to be known for. The dazzling thrill ride even went on to earn a nomination for best-animated feature in the independent category at the 2020 Annie Awards.

Whether it's an original work or not, Trigger brings an inimitable flair to everything the studio creates, making its titles immediately identifiable and unforgettable. With every anime project Trigger puts out, it's continued to hone its craft, creating a notable reputation for excitement, quality and visual spectacle. The studio's latest installment is no exception, and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners surely represents the tightest execution of the Studio Trigger formula so far.

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