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‘Cowboy Bebop’ Director Shinichirō Watanabe Has Made the Most Stunning ‘Blade Runner’ Anime Film — Watch

Flying Lotus helped create the score for this 15-minute animated short film you need to see to believe.

Denis Villeneuve has been celebrating the upcoming release of “Blade Runner 2049” all month long with the release of short film prequels that help bridge the thirty-year gap between Ridley Scott’s original and his highly-anticipated sequel. Ridley’s son, Luke Scott, directed the first two short films, the Jared Leto-centric “2036: Nexus Dawn” and the David Bautista-starring “2048: Nowhere to Run,” but Villeneuve has recruited Japanese anime master Shinichirō Watanabe to helm the final prequel, “Blade Runner Blackout 2022.”

Watanabe is famous for directing the successful anime series “Cowboy Bepop” and “Samurai Champloo,” and he’s joined by experimental musician Flying Lotus who handles the score. The short film also features additional music by Gerald Trottman, Kuedo and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. The story depicts the lead up to a blackout that led to the prohibition of Replicant production. The short is streaming in its entirety right here.

“Blade Runner 2049” opens in theaters next weekend, and critics are already raving about the sequel. First reactions have called Villeneuve’s movie “breathtaking,” “mind-blowing,” and “better than the original.” Audiences will get to see what the fuss is about when “Blade Runner 2049” is released on October 6.

You can watch the entire anime by heading over to the Crunchyroll website right now. Check out a behind-the-scenes preview below.

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