While CDPR deserves a lot of the credit for why Cyberpunk Edgerunners, the new Netflix anime, is so good, given that they built Night City and wrote the script, they almost made a pretty huge blunder.
If you’ve watched the series, you will probably agree with the sentiment that one of the best characters, if not the best, is Rebecca, the tiny, gorilla-hands, LMG-toting goblin member of the gang. But CDPR classified her as something else, a loli, and didn’t want her in the crew as a result. Trigger, however, pushed back.
In a recent Twitch event, CDPR explained what happened:
“She’s best girl, but I feel a little bit guilty to say it because I was one of the people on the creative team to actually vote Rebecca out of the original cast during pre-production. CD Projekt Red first got the character design for Rebecca and they were like ‘She’s a loli. Lolis don’t exist in Night City. It doesn’t fit the Cyberpunk 2077 aesthetic’.”
Trigger’s response, according the developer: “No, the loli must stay.”
This entire exchange has sparked some measure of controversy among Cyberpunk fans, given how loaded the term “loli” is in anime, which refers to an underage character which sometimes, may be sexualized. The debate is whether Rebecca is a loli or not, as the quote from Trigger is second-hand, not how they actually classified her, most likely.
Some are saying that Rebecca is not underage and simply a small woman designed with a petite frame. I do, however, remember a segment in Edgerunners where Rebecca is refused entry into the Afterlife bar, presumably because she’s too young, though if the legal drinking age in Night City in 2077 is still 21, she could be 18-20. Later, there’s a time jump of what I assume is at least a year or two, so she’d be even older. In terms of the character being sexualized, there is one segment early on where Rebecca appears in underwear (though in that scene she’s threatening, not seducing the main character), but she’s never actually nude like the other women on the show, Kiwi and Lucy.
The end result, however, worked out, as even CDPR agrees that Rebecca is “best girl” and they are glad that she’s included in the series, as the character who may have resonated the most with fans. The problem, of course, is that (spoilers, spoilers, spoilers), like most of the cast, Rebecca does not survive the events of the series, as she is crushed to death by Adam Smasher who jumps off Arasaka Tower in pursuit of David, shortly before also killing David himself. There’s a particularly gruesome moment where we see Rebecca smashed open with her brains on the ground, but I’ve heard some desperate fans hoping maybe she can be “put back together” for a season 2. I…doubt it.
In short, listen to Trigger. They know what they’re doing.
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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.