REVIEW: ‘Blade Runner: Black Lotus,’ Episode 13 – “Time to Die”

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Blade Runner Black Lotus Episode 13 - But Why Tho

Blade Runner: Black Lotus is a sci-fi/action joint Crunchyroll-Adult Swim exclusive from Sola Digital Arts. With Elle surviving her brush with Wallace’s newest creation, she and J are prepared to face off with the Mega-Corp executive one last time. But will the duo be able to defeat the architect of Elle’s very existence in Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 13?

I love science fiction that asks questions about deep mysteries like life, the meaning of being, and what it means to be human. Philosophy, when utilized properly, can create some astounding narratives. Combine that with the worlds that only science fiction can craft and you have some truly thought-provoking narratives. Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 13 dives into some of these waters as Elle is given the opportunity to raise a sword to her own personal God. While the episode doesn’t take the time to fully explore what these moments mean for Elle, it gives enough to create a far greater weight to the moment than would otherwise have been.

The biggest reason why this episode doesn’t dive deeper into the philosophy of its final moments stems from its choice to focus on combat. As one was left to assume at the end of the last episode, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 13 sees Elle cross swords again with Wallace’s newest replicate. This fight feels like the culmination of every sword fight, brawl, and sleek combat sequence the show has delivered. Every aspect of violence and every style of combat that has passed through this series is present during this fight. From swordplay that would make the Battousai proud, to technically impressive groundwork, and good old-fashioned bar brawling, every card the show can play comes out in this extended sequence. Perhaps the most striking element of this season-ending highlight is one that is a bit more subtle. Namely, the lighting.

Throughout this series, virtually every scene has been filled with dark shadows and harsh neon lights. This is not the case here. As the two combatants cross swords again, it is in the soft glow of what seems to be a sunrise. This lighting choice is not only striking in comparison to the rest of the series, but it also gives the sequence a heightened sense of drama. A reassurance that what is about to happen is truly important.

Beyond some exemplary lighting choices and the dazzling combat that the series has always displayed, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 13 does a great job of delivering the emotions at play in this episode. From Elle and J’s mutual concern for each other to the cruelty of Wallace, the visuals help the viewer absorb the full range of emotions that are on display here.

With that, the season comes to a close. While it wasn’t without its hiccups, it delivers in some powerful and entertaining ways. Its final episode proves to be the perfect encapsulation of everything the entire series was. I sincerely hope Sola Digital Arts has the opportunity to return to this setting again soon.

Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 13 is streaming on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim.


Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 13
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

With that, the season comes to a close. While it wasn’t without its hiccups, it delivers in some powerful and entertaining ways. Its final episode proves to be the perfect encapsulation of everything the entire series was. I sincerely hope Sola Digital Arts has the opportunity to return to this setting again soon.