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Crunchyroll and Adult Swim Reveal an All-Star Cast for Blade Runner: Black Lotus

First look coming to Comic-Con@Home this July!

Blade Runner 2032

Announced back in 2018, Blade Runner: Black Lotus is set to premiere later this year on Adult Swim (in English) and Crunchyroll (in Japanese w/subtitles). The original anime series is a collaborative effort between Adult Swim and Crunchyroll, and today, we got a look at the voice talent for the series. English VAs are on the left with Japanese VAs on the right.

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  • Elle, a female replicant created for a secret and unknown purpose, will be played by Jessica Henwick / Arisa Shida
  • Joseph, a mysterious figure who owns a spare parts junkyard in Los Angeles, will be played by Will Yun Lee / Shinshu Fuji
  • Alani Davis, a fresh LAPD recruit, will be played by Samira Wiley / Takako Honda
  • Niander Wallace Sr, founder, and CEO of the Wallace Corporation, will be played by Brian Cox /  Takaya Hashi
  • Niander Wallace Jr, a brilliant scientist working for his father, will be played by Wes Bentley / Takehito Koyasu
  • Marlowe, a deadly Blade Runner, will be played by Josh Duhamel / Taiten Kusunoki
  • Josephine Grant, the wife of the police chief, will be played by Peyton List / Yoshiko Sakakibara
  • Earl Grant, Police Chief of the LAPD, will be played by Stephen Root / Hochu Otsuka
  • Doc Badger, a black market dealer, will be played by Barkhad Abdi / Takayuki Kinba
  • Senator Bannister, a politician with strong feelings on replicant production, will be played by Gregg Henry / Masane Tsukayama
  • Doctor M, a brilliant doctor, and professor of medicine will be played by Henry Czerny / Akio Nojima
  • Hooper, a journalist in the pocket of the Wallace Corporation, will be played by Jason Spisak / Kazuki Yao

To add to the all-star cast is the creative team behind the anime series. Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) and Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) are working together as co-directors, with Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo) working as a creative producer. Watanabe, back in 2017, had worked on the anime short Blade Runner 2022, much to the delight of Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve.

Below is an interview with Kamiyama and Aramaki about the upcoming anime series, the decision to make it 3DCG, and, um, who amongst them is a replicant.

Honestly, if you’re going to make a Blade Runner anime, this is a damn good team to have.

“To make this series we thought about how the key to Blade Runner is its world concept. That mood it has, we felt that expressing that mood was really crucial. We wanted to maintain continuity, you could say, in how the Blade Runner world looks and feels.” -Shinji Aramaki.

While the cast list and the production team are cause for much excitement, I’m kinda amused at the fact that we still don’t know much about the series itself. What we do know is that the 13 episode series will take place between the original film and its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, by taking place in the year 2032. This also means it takes place after the Blade Runner 2022 short that Watanabe worked on. According to io9, the series will “delve into some of the mysteries that the original Blade Runner initially planted in the minds of fans.” The article went on to quote executive producers Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson with the following:

“The Blade Runner universe is an incredibly deep well for story and character with its world and mythology that audiences have been debating and talking about since inception. We are excited to continue exploring that world via this anime series.”

Even if the series is set to release this fall, I can’t find a single trailer. The entire project is kinda mysterious. Besides the vague, one-sentence descriptions, we don’t know who any of these characters are or even what they look like. All we can do is look at the references to the Blade Runner universe we get, such as Elle being a replicant created for a “mysterious purpose,” Niander Wallace Sr and Jr, the Wallace Corporation, and the deadly Blade Runner, Marlowe.

I actually kinda like that we don’t know all that much. We don’t even know who we’re looking at in the main image of the anime series.

If you are eager to find out more about the upcoming series, there will be a first look at Comic-Con@Home. Starting at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Friday, July 23rd, fans will hear directly from the creative team and some of the voice talent. The panel will include both Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama along with Joseph Chou (executive producer), Wes Gleason (voice director), Jessica Henwick (voice of Elle), and Jason DeMarco (co-creator of Toonami/senior vice-president and creative director for Adult Swim/moderator).

Are you excited for the newest entry into the Blade Runner universe? How do you think it’ll tie into everything we’ve come to know about Blade Runner so far?

(Image: Crunchyroll/Adult Swim)

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Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)

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