Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, the Netflix anime tie-in to the video game Cyberpunk 2077, has won Anime Of The Year at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards 2023. The series, created by Rafal Jaki and directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, beat out the ever-popular Demon Slayer and Spy X Family, to take home the coveted prize. The win marks another high point in the show's already impressive run, with the series earning a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and receiving praise for its inventive visual representation of in-game concepts.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners' victory is not without its surprises, as the show only won one other category besides Anime Of The Year — namely the Best Voice Acting Performance award, for Zach Aguilar, who voices David on the show.
In contrast, Spy X Family had a pretty good night, winning Best Comedy Anime, Best Supporting Anime Character, Best Anime Ending Sequence, Best New Anime Series, and more. Other notable winners included Lycoris Recoil (Best Original Anime), Demon Slayer (Best Animation), and One Piece (Best Continuing Anime Series).
Premiered on Netflix in September 2022, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a collaboration between CD Projekt Red, the developer of the video game Cyberpunk 2077, and Studio Trigger, the animation studio behind popular anime series like Kill la Kill and Promare. The series is based on the video game and serves as a prequel to the game, taking place about a year before the events of the game.
The series is set in the Cyberpunk universe created by Mike Pondsmith, and it features six districts, each with its own precise living requirements, controlled by several megacorporations, including Arasaka and its rival Militech.
The anime's story is primarily set in Santo Domingo, the oldest, poorest, and most industrial district of Night City, where the plot revolves around David Martinez, an impulsive but talented street kid who becomes an “edgerunner” (high-tech, black-market mercenaries who survive on the wrong side of the law as cyberpunks) after losing everything he has in a drive-by shooting.
Although Cyberpunk: Edgerunners received highly positive reviews upon its release — with praise directed at its characters, animation, and world-building — CD Projekt announced in October 2022 that the anime would not be receiving a second season, stating that the series had always been planned as a standalone work; however, they stated that they were open to collaborating with Studio Trigger for future projects.