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Gorgeous 'Blade Runner' anime short introduces new Replicants

”Blade Runner Black Out 2022,” directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, shows what happens when angry humans start killing a new model of long-living Replicants.

"Blade Runner Black Out 2022" has plenty of Easter Eggs from the original "Blade Runner" film. 
Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

The animosity between humans and Replicants drives the original 1982 film "Blade Runner" from Ridley Scott, and apparently, the upcoming sequel "Blade Runner 2049." In a spectacular new animated short, "Blade Runner Black Out 2022," we see what happens when Replicants fight back.

The full-length "Blade Runner" animated short, the third and final short prequel to "Blade Runner 2049," was posted Tuesday exclusively on Crunchyroll anime site. It's so beautifully animated and directed that I wish we'd get a "Blade Runner" anime TV series from this team.

The almost 16-minute short is directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, best known for his work on "Cowboy Bebop." It begins in 2022, three years after the original film and after the Replicant Nexus 6 models are expired, but Tyrell Corp has released the series 8 models into the local and off-world markets. 

Unlike the previous models that lasted only four years, these Replicants have a much longer natural lifespan. But humans aren't happy about Replicants that live as long as they do, and they begin protesting their existence. 

The protests turn into violent riots with humans using the Replicant Registration Database to find, capture and kill the Nexus 8 models, often by burning and hanging them in public. But the Replicants fight back. 

Enter new characters Nexus 8 Replicants Iggy (a military combat model) and Trixie (a pleasure model), who team up with a pro-Replicant human Ren, and create a massive power outage dubbed the Great Blackout of 2022

Iggy is a Nexus 8 military combat model of Replicant who decides to fight back against humans in "Blade Runner Black Out 2022."

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

The animated short has plenty of cool callbacks to the original "Blade Runner" film, including Trixie's acrobatic skills, which are similar to the original pleasure model Replicant Pris', and cameos from characters Harry Bryant and Gaff (voiced by the original actor who played him, Edward James Olmos) from the Replicant-Detect department of the LAPD. 

Previous short prequel films released to introduce "Blade Runner 2049" included background stories on the characters Sapper played by Dave Bautista and Niander Wallace played by Jared Leto. 

"Blade Runner 2049" is set to debut in theaters in Australia on Oct. 5, and in the US and UK on Oct. 6.

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