Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ Atrocious Subtitles Make It Almost Unwatchable

The genre and aesthetic of cyberpunk have been on the edges of the mainstream for decades thanks to stories like Neuromancer, Blade Runner, and Ghost in the Shell. It exploded in 2020, however, when CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 hit consoles. Whatever any of us might feel about that game, it was a huge deal. Recently, the promised Cyberpunk anime, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, finally hit Netflix. It is, by any metric, an absolutely gorgeous show. It has a killer voice cast in both English and Japanese. And it’s almost unwatchable when you watch it with subtitles.

And no–this is not a subs-versus-dubs argument.

The world of Cyberpunk, created by Mike Pondsmith for the original tabletop role-playing game, is rich with detail, fleshed out with a brain-frying stream of slang that is just barely close enough to understand without keeping a dictionary handy. “You can’t trust a corpo to pay you the eddies you earned, choom. Don’t be a gonk. A real edgerunner doesn’t even trust their ripperdoc. Did you check that BD?”

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Author: Eric Frederiksen