REVIEW: “Blade Runner: Black Lotus,’ Episode 2

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Blade Runner Black Lotus Ep 2

Blade Runner: Black Lotus is a sci-fi/action joint Crunchyroll-Adult Swim exclusive from Sola Digital Arts. Having secured Doc Badger’s safety from the local mob last episode, Doc attempts to fulfill his side of the bargain by enlisting the help of his neighbor J to crack the encryption on Elle’s device. But when a news report catches Elle’s eye, she is soon off following an impulse that she may have a new lead in discovering who she is in Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 2.

As the credits rolled on episode one of Blade Runner: Black Lotus, I was left wondering whether or not the show would drag out the mystery of Elle’s amnesia or clear the beat quickly. The approach to this plot point feels like a crucial focus for the tempo of the story. As long as Elle is left completely in the dark, the longer the story would likely stay in a slow burn, noir-style mystery. If they got this point out of the way, it would leave the series to dive further into the whys and hows of Elle and some of her more impressive talents. While Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 2 certainly doesn’t reveal all of the secrets surrounding Elle, it fills in an ample amount of the blanks as it sets the story in a new direction.

Without going into spoilers, I can say that that the reveals in this episode were a genuine surprise to me. What they will mean to Elle as the series progresses will be interesting. Already struggling with the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding her, this new information won’t be easy to digest.

Along with the narrative bombshell that Elle discovers, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 2 also introduces a couple of new cast members to the story. While neither have enough screen time to allow the viewer to get a clear picture of who these new personalities are or whether they will ultimately be friends or foes for Elle, they each seem to provide a new personality to the show’s growing cast.

An area where Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 2 manages to improve upon the first entry is in the visual department. While the character models remain solidly in the good space, this episode got to show off some new elements that help lift the visual appeal of the show. Most eye-catching is the sleek design of the hover cars that get some special attention this episode. Both the overall look of the vehicles, as well as the animation put into their landing/taking off look sleek and well designed.

While there is less action in this episode than in the pilot, there is an expansion of what style of fighting we see when it does come. As opposed to the large-scale throwdown that saw Elle slicing her way through numerous well-armed enemies last time, we get encounters that are far closer and more personal this time around. Given how much of the show’s visual strength comes in its fight scenes, a good variety will help them continue to shine by staying fresh.

When all is said and done, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 2 builds on its previous chapter and takes the series in a new direction. Its willingness to reveal what it does keeps the tempo of Elle’s search for truth up, helping the narrative feel as energetic as the fights that punctuate its story.

Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 2 is coming to Crunchyroll and Adult Swim on November 9th.


Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 2
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 2 builds on its previous chapter and takes the series in a new direction. Its willingness to reveal what it does keeps the tempo of Elle’s search for truth up, helping the narrative feel as energetic as the fights that punctuate its story.