Why Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (Netflix) is a sweet series
About explicit anime, Transition Management, comedians, Obsidian, and more.
The series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners has been on Netflix since the end of last year. What do I think of the series? What image does the series give of the possibilities of bionic cyborg techniques? Is the series comparable to the computer game?
I also write about a great book by Trevor Noah, the tool Obsidian, and Transition Management.
PS. If you can understand Dutch, this is my podcast about these topics.
The series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (Netflix) is a collaboration between CD Project Red (the creators of the computer game Cyberpunk 2077 from Warsaw, Poland) and the highly acclaimed anime artists from Studio Trigger from Tokyo, Japan. It scores a 8.3 on IMDb.
Where the game Cyberpunk 2077 was certainly disappointing in the beginning compared to the sky-high expectations, this was the other way around with the series. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the animations, a great storyline and a few deeper themes.
It soon becomes clear that physical upgrades with technology cannot continue indefinitely, and that you ultimately pay a price for this.
In the 10 episodes you follow protagonist David Martinez. He lives with his mother in the city of Night City. David attends a prestigious boarding school, but doesn't fit in with his corporate and spoiled classmates.
After a life-changing event, David decides to become an Edgerunner, a mercenary with unprecedented bionic enhancements to his body. He rises up in a team with other mercenaries, in which everyone has a specialty.
Maine is the leader and takes care of David;
Lucy and Kiwi are excellent hackers;
Rebecca is an extremely violent young girl in a school uniform (?);
Falco is a sort of cowboy driver with a thick American accent.
Brutal and sweet
The explicit violence and nudity make the series brutal. At the same time, I also thought it was sweet. Despite the fluorescent, bright and fast images, it is also a story about humanity. The humanity that David still has, even as half a robot.
In essence, the series is about David's love for his mother, the bond with hacker Lucy, and the attachment to gang leader Maine.
I enjoyed playing the game Cyberpunk 2077 (read my review). It made watching the series even more fun.
But is it necessary to play the game first and then watch the series? No. The series is easy to follow on its own.
It is mainly small things that refer to the game, such as places in Night City, the Delamain taxi service with autonomous cars or hostile gangs that you encounter. You don't need the experience of the game to watch the series.
Some other fun things about the series that I want to share with you:
Actually, David does not play the main role, but the city Night City is the real star of the series. Wow, they did that beautifully!
You can't keep expanding the bionic improvements indefinitely. With pharmaceuticals, so-called blockers, you ensure that technology does not take over your mind. But this also has a limit.
Fixers are intermediaries who give you jobs. In the series, a Farraday, with three superimposed bionic eyes, is the main intermediary. In the English version, Giancarlo Esposito is the voice actor. Esposito is one of my favorite actors. He is also known for Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and The Mandalorian, among others.
In short, if you can handle the violence and other graphic images, then Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is definitely a viewing tip!
📺 Media & Tech tips
Interesting articles, books, podcasts, videos, documentaries I recommend to check out!
1. INSIGHT / How do drastic and irreversible shifts in systems in society come about? How are these tilts controlled and how can you influence them?
These are questions that concern Jan Rotmans, professor of Transition Studies at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Transition science is an interesting theory to look at systems and changes. Incidentally, Rotmans does not claim that all changes succeed. The current system, with all its interests and power, may eventually adapt or prove too strong.
But also: as an individual you have more impact than you think. Because people make systems. More in this paper he wrote with Loorbach in 2009.
2. BOOK / South African comedian Trevor Noah has been the host of the American satire program The Daily Show since 2015. His memoir, the book Born a Crime, is a gem.
He talks about the effect of Apartheid on society and his own youth in particular. The core of the story is the relationship between Trevor and his mother. Despite the violent events, the book is very funny.
Tip: Trevor Noah recorded the audiobook himself. Especially the passages in the African languages are enjoyable.
3. TOOL / For years I have used Evernote to keep track of my notes. Think of interesting books, articles or notes that I make. But I thought Evernote had become way too slow about two years ago. Speed is especially important for knowledge workers like me.
After some research and experimentation with programs like Notion and Roam, I came across Obsidian. At first the program seems a bit intimidating, but I find the power of Obsidian impressive.
So: if you are still in doubt, try it out! And for inspiration, check out this 9 minute video in Dutch of how I work in Obsidian.
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