Shinichirō Watanabe is one of the most iconic anime directors in the business, thanks to his work on the beloved Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop. But his latest work is an intriguing sidestep: a 15-minute short film set in the world of Blade Runner.
The third and final prequel movie set between the events of Blade Runner and the upcoming sequel, 2049, Watanabe’s Blade Runner Black Out 2022 covers a period hinted at in the previous two shorts. It’s the year when a gigantic EMP blast knocks out power to the cities across the world, leading to a rise in anti-Replicant sentiment and eventually a complete prohibition of Replicant creation—one lifted in the years before Blade Runner 2049 through the actions of the movie’s new villain, Niander Wallace (Jared Leto).
You can watch the full thing over at Crunchyroll at the link below for free in lower resolutions, but if you want it in full quality you’ll have to sign up for the anime service. [Crunchyroll]