Why Adult Swim and Crunchyroll Failed With Blade Runner: Black Lotus

On paper, Blade Runner: Black Lotus should be a grand slam for both Crunchyroll and Adult Swim. The two stronger groups joined together to release a series based on one of the more famous sci-fi series and it had Shinichiro Watanabe—the director behind Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop—helming the project. Blade Runner: Black Lotus even has famous singers like Alessia Cara, X Ambassadors, and A7s doing some of the songs featured in the anime! Yet, one quick look on MAL and other anime sites shows some poor reviews of Black Lotus so far proving this ambitious anime is failing to deliver with the anime community. That begs the question, why did Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s anime collaboration fail to be the next big anime hit?

Strange Animation Choice

Here’s something mystifying. Most otaku out there are quite vocal about their hate for all things CGI in the anime world and that’s because most CGI creations tend to look…pretty horrendous. Berserk (2016), Ex-Arm, and Hand Shakers are just a few series that prove CGI still doesn’t belong in anime. Crunchyroll—being one of the bigger anime streaming services out there—should know this and yet they still allowed CGI to be used for Blade Runner: Black Lotus…that was a mistake on so many levels and ruins the great themes found within the series Blade Runner.

Fans Wanted, Others Goodbye

Another big issue with Blade Runner: Black Lotus is who it is geared for? If a newcomer to the Blade Runner world approaches Black Lotus they will quickly learn this is not a series for those unaware of what a Replicant is and what a Blade Runner does. It isn’t a hard series to understand mind you but most anime fans won’t care for main protagonist Elle and her struggles if they don’t really know why Replicants were made and why they are considered objects.

Collaborations Aren’t Easy

Adult Swim and Crunchyroll might love anime—as evident from all the anime on Adult Swim like Dragon Ball Super and Assassination Classroom—but that doesn’t mean joining together to create one is simple. There is a lot that goes into co-producing a series like Blade Runner: Black Lotus, such as having to discuss how a series should be aired, what times it will be on, and how dialogue needs to change so audiences around the world can understand. Japan and America have had numerous issues working on series together like Aggretsuko. These issues could even cause the best anime to fall apart. Add the difficulty of the current world landscape, an anime like Blade Runner: Black Lotus becomes even more difficult to produce.

Unknown Reasons…

Blade Runner: Black Lotus, despite all the issues with it, should have still been a financial success. Not only did it have a ton of advertising—we saw a whole stall at Anime NYC 2021 just for Black Lotus—it is being released on both Adult Swim and Crunchyroll with your choice of watching the dub or sub. Realistically, Blade Runner: Black Lotus—in terms of media attention—should have been a great success but we highly doubt with the decreased viewership, the series is gaining the momentum it should have garnered.

Final Thoughts

Crunchyroll has been having some mixed success with their recent collaborations like The God of High School and now Blade Runner: Black Lotus. Does this mean collaborations can’t work? No, but it does prove how much more complicated they are to make lucrative. Blade Runner: Black Lotus isn’t going to prove against our comment but that doesn’t mean lessons can’t be learned for future endeavors.

Here’s a question for you readers out there. Is there a good anime collaboration? Let us know which ones you consider good in the comments below! For more anime articles and news, be sure to keep it locked in with our amazing content here at Honey’s Anime!

Blade-Runner-Black-Lotus-Wallpaper-1-500x281 Why Adult Swim and Crunchyroll Failed With Blade Runner: Black Lotus


Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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