In September we received Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Netflix and Studio TRIGGER’s adaptation of the action role-playing video game, and it’s possibly one of the best series of 2022. It tells a story about a street kid (David) attempting to survive in a future city obsessed with technology and body modification. With nothing to lose, he decides to survive by becoming an edgerunner, also known as cyberpunk.
It was a nostalgic ride for those who had previously played the Cyberpunk game, but it was also an entirely new experience for those who ventured into this world for the first time. We’re introduced to a new cast of loveable rogues who have to survive and succeed in the ruthless Night City. So, in this list, we'll go over the top five strongest characters in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
As the right-hand man to Maine and the glue that holds the crew together - Dorio is more than your average, run-of-the-mill lieutenant. She is portrayed as a mentally and physically strong woman with a sweet, motherly side that shows she is in touch with her emotions and cares deeply about her teammates. She carries some heavy-duty Cyberware, as her Gorilla Arms paired with Cyberoptics and Cyberlegs make tearing through opponents as easy as a hot knife through butter.
Dorio, despite her overwhelming power, has other advantages to share with her edge-running crew. Her devotion to Maine and the others exceed what we initially expect, and she constantly proves herself a valuable member of the group, which makes her demise at the end of the series all the more heartbreaking.
Maine is the veteran edgerunner who leads the motley crew and takes in David after his mother's tragic death. Before becoming a contract killer, he was a military soldier in the NUSA Armed Forces, and his past military experience is still visible in his adventures as an Edgerunner. Despite his ambitions to become a Night City legend, his loyalty and leadership for his team always come first.
While Maine's mental fortitude is nothing to laugh at, his sheer size and power are even more impressive. He is a monster of a man with explosive brute strength that is bolstered by multiple cybernetic enhancements such as the Crusher, L-69 Zhuo, and his most-used piece of cyberware, a Projectile Launch System. Apart from being a fair leader who believes in giving everyone an equal pay cut after a job, he also has a very likeable personality and serves as a father figure for most of the crew.
3. James Norris
James Norris is a disgraced military official who previously served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the New United States Armed Forces. Although we only see a sliver of him in action in the first episode's opening scene, his rampage demonstrates the sheer destructive power he wields while using his cyberware. He employs the Sandevistan, a cybernetic enhancement that allows him to move at superhuman speed and is ideal for intense combat scenarios.
We get to see the one-sided massacre that took the lives of twenty-seven people, mostly NCPD security personnel, as Norris' cyber-psychosis causes him to go on a blinding rage at the Militech building in Corpo Plaza before MaxTac arrives. Norris was instantly paralyzed by a quick hack and thereafter killed by a bullet to the head. The scene was so graphic that it was recorded and edited as a braindance for distribution by well-known BD editor Jimmy Kurosaki.
2. David Martinez
Following Gloria Martinez's death, David initially decides to chrome up to beat up Katsuo Tanaka, the son of a high-ranking Arasaka executive who bullied him at school and even called to mock his mother's death. He ends up hammering him with one punch and breaking his nose, but shortly after is expelled from school. He then joins Maine's crew as an Edgerunner, alongside Lucy and the others, and goes from an unskilled, solitary teenager to one of the wealthiest and most powerful mercenaries in Night City. And it's mostly thanks to his Sandevistan combined with his one-in-a-million, high tolerance for cyberware, and ability to withstand more pain than most.
David later adds more cyberware to his arsenal, beginning with Syn-Lungs to help with stamina…then, Gorilla Arms, a Projectile Launch System (borrowed from Maine), Fortified Ankles, Cyberlegs, and a Prototype Arasaka Cyberskeleton that eventually led to his cyber-psychosis. He develops into an extremely powerful Edgerunner, capable of temporarily holding his own against the Legendary Adam Smasher
1. Adam Smasher
Even if he only had a brief appearance in the concluding action scenes, Adam Smasher's cameo as the big final boss clearly shows that he is unquestionably the strongest character in the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners series. He is Arasaka's security chief and a full cyborg. After being shattered by a rocket explosion in the past, he was rescued by Arasaka, who stripped him of his flesh and transformed him into a full-body cyborg.
Adam has no empathy for anyone, including his boss and coworkers. While his lack of emotion may be detrimental to others, it makes him the ideal cyborg because he can implant as much cyberware as he wants into his body without succumbing to cyber-psychosis. He's the ultimate killing machine, and even David Martinez's Sandevistan couldn't scratch the surface of him. He exists solely to repay Arasaka by doing the "dirty laundry" and killing any enemy the corporation requests.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is an exhilarating anime of survival and sacrifice that satisfies on a lot of levels. It has the shounen we all love, mixed in with a dash of romance, and is eye-catching from start to finish. So this list has the strongest characters Night City has to offer, and although we had some close calls when curating this, we’d love to know what you think of the list and who you’d have ranked differently. Please let us know in the comments below!!