Unknown main character animated in the Blade Runner universe :(Images: Sony Pictures Japan)

While Blade Runner: 2049 is in full PR and marketing mode for the film (see below for some of the latest teaser videos), there was a surprise trailer in the visual blitz: a Blade Runner anime short by anime legendary director, Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Kids on the Slope).

In the Sony Pictures Japan clip, tests animations, concept art backgrounds, character design work, and a few seconds of the completed short were shown.

According to the Cinema Today Japan’s website, this animated short is set in..

“…a mysterious large blackout which occurred on the West Coast of the United States and in which the food supply was stopped by replicants. However, a scientist named Wallace developed an ecosystem that solves the shortage by using artificial agriculture.” Cinema Today Japan

Respectful but forging a new path

Watanabe-san is very keen on showing respect for the world of Blade Runner but also not trying to create an imitation through anime of the property

“The work that has influenced me the most in my anime profession would be, of course, Blade Runner.”, he said.

Images of the production team, concept art. (Images: Sony Pictures Japan)

Background concept art from the Blade Runner short: (Images: Sony Pictures Japan)

Other Japanese anime ‘all-stars’ linked to short

While the anime auteur is helming the short, Cygames Pictures will be producing (and looks like they are currently recruiting animators). Rounding out the list is renowned character artist Shukou Murase (Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Wolf’s Rain) on the visual side.

For the score, the famed electronica artist Flying Lotus was be tapped.

Blade Runner: 2049 trailers (Images: Sony Pictures Japan)

Blade Runner Black Out 2022 with be airing on Sony Pictures Youtube Channel starting September 26th.