Cyberpunk Edgerunners

Jack me into everything!

Reviewed by: Alicia Glass
Published on: January 31, 2023

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Edgerunners courier spoilers too!

Set in the dystopian cybernetic criminal world of the wildly popular video game Cyberpunk 2077, where megacorporations raise corruption to an art form and black market mercenaries called Edgerunners risk explosive insanity to make a living, the story centers on the descent of a very-poor teenager David into the world of Cyberpunks!

So, David Martinez (Kenichiro Ohashi) and his mom are about as dirt-poor as you can get, even in this filthy and sad future world of Cyberpunk, eking out an existence in the slums while mom Gloria works multiple jobs to ensure David can continue going to the prestigious Arasaka Academy. Inevitably David is bullied for his sorely lacking financial status and despises going to school there, but mom is determined not only for her sons success, but for his eventual escape from the slums after he gets a good megacorporation job after finishing school.  And all of that, the hopes and meager dreams that keep the denizens of the ghettos barely alive, is crushed in an instant when David’s beloved mother is tragically killed.

The show makes very clear that Mom, her presence and her dreams and her hopes for her son, was the only thing holding David steady in a mundane humanoid existence. Almost immediately after her death, David proceeds to dive headlong into the Edgerunner life, but not before giving the school bullies a taste of the concentrated rage he’s been swallowing. They bleeping deserved it, too.

After his cyber-tech thieving targets on the subway are stolen by an extremely fast Netrunner named Lucy (Aoi Yuki), David is introduced the real underbelly of Night City, and the Edgerunner life. Maine (Hiroki Tochi) happens to run his own semi-successful crew of Cyberpunks and Edgerunners, and being a previous client of David’s EMT mom, Maine reluctantly takes David under his wing after it becomes clear that David’s heading for a Cyberpunk meltdown of epic proportions and should be reined in or at least taught the ropes!

Rounding out the rest of the crew is – Dorio (Michiko Kaiden), Maine’s second-in-command and girlfriend; the stoic and seemingly-cold veteran Kiwi (Takako Honda); Falco (Yasuyuki Kase), the twitchy getaway driver; the particularly foul-mouthed techie of the crew Pilar (Wataru Takagi) who’s also Rebecca’s older brother; and Rebecca (Tomoyo Kurosawa) herself, trigger-happy and full of righteous energy to slaughter their enemies in true Harley Quinn fashion. Also are fringe friends Faraday (Kazuhiko Inoue), a Militech fixer who provides Maine’s crew with corporate espionage jobs, and Ripperdoc (Kenjiro Tsuda) who, as his handle suggests, installs and maintains and upgrades cybernetic implants for Main’s crew.

The show addresses many heavy topics relatable right now despite being set in a dystopian future – the treatment of our war veterans after the war is over, corporate greed and the virtual slavery of its workers, the lengths people will go to to prevent drowning in poverty, debts owed to our parents’ dreams, the non-blood families we make around ourselves, even the question of surviving versus actual living. Even surrounded by a kind of neon-noir nightmare life, Cyberpunk Edgerunners is bombastic, colorful, and zany in a “Ima kill you but in the funniest way possible” kind of way. There is a great deal of death and horrific blood-spray, but that should be entirely expected. And the soundtrack is absolutely f*cking EPIC ya’ll.

Absolutely no one needs to have played the video game in order to enjoy the show, and indeed, the video game enjoyed a resurgence in popularity from fans who binged the show and then went to play Cyberpunk 2077! Chase down and blow up those corporate villains with Maine and his crew in Cyberpunk Edgerunners, on Netflix now!