How has Blade Runner influenced anime?

In light of Crunchyroll’s recent announcement of a new Blade Runner anime series, it seems only fitting to consider how much Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic has influenced Japanese animation.

There’s a long history of Blade Runner influencing anime, and I took it for granted that everybody just knew this stuff. It seemed so obvious, right? But this past weekend at Anime Weekend Atlanta, when I showed a packed ballroom a video consisting of the audio to the trailer of Blade Runner synced to video from two classic anime titles heavily influenced by it, barely anybody recognized what they were seeing on account that well, not many anime convention attendees have seen these titles (or Blade Runner, for that matter)! So, let’s keep it simple and go over some basics, shall we?

Parts of the article are obviously tongue-in-cheek — JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure? really? — but if nothing else, I have this sudden urge to rewatch Bubblegum Crisis.


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