REVIEW: ‘Blade Runner: Black Lotus,’ Episode 10 – “Clair de Lune”

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Blade Runner Black Lotus Episode 10 - But Why Tho

Blade Runner: Black Lotus is a sci-fi/action joint Crunchyroll-Adult Swim exclusive from Sola Digital Arts. Despite having killed all those involved in the doll hunt, Elle still finds herself haunted by nightmares. But it seems she isn’t the only one whose past keeps her up at night. Seeing Elle struggle to make peace with what has come before prompts J to share some of the details of his past in Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 10.

With a lot of question marks swirling around J ever since he was first introduced in episode two, this episode’s story coming to focus squarely on him is a welcome decision. The revelations surrounding J and why he got out of blade running are well executed and thoroughly interesting. Despite this episode’s complete lack of action, the episode flew by as I found myself engrossed in J’s tale. The story works wonderfully as an explanation for J’s motives and why he’s so compassionate toward Elle.

While diving into the past has been a repeated occurrence in the series, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 10 stands out from the rest of the series due to the nature of the emotions that are explored in J’s story. While there certainly is a pain in J’s past, his story is free of the stark terror that haunts Elle’s memories of the doll hunt. Yet despite the less frightening nature of J’s past, it seems his choices have left nearly as many scars on him as other people’s choices have left on Elle.

Something that came as a surprise treat in J’s past is the presence of music in his story. In particular, a song at a lounge J frequents during this sequence. This piece of music, titled “Last Goodbye,” is performed by Alessia Cara, who also performs the show’s intro theme “Feel You Now.” This leads to some curious thoughts about whether the opening theme song is supposed to be performed by the character seen here or not. If so, it would change the tone of the opening as well as some of the show’s focus from Elle to J.

Alongside J’s story, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 10 puts one of the final pieces of Elle’s mystery into perspective. Namely, we finally get a look at the mysterious individual that Elle remembers giving her a tattoo. The reveal brings more to the plot going into the show’s final two episodes than I expected it to.

The highlight of the episode’s visual presentation comes during the performance of “Last Goodbye.” As the lounge singer performs the piece, the animation allows the character to move smoothly to the beats of the song and convincingly project the song’s emotions. The design of the character herself is also executed beautifully. While I’ve often complained about the lack of originality in the show’s character designs, here it doesn’t hurt in the least. The character looks like the quintessential beautiful, mysterious lounge singer. This classic look combines with the music performed wonderfully.

With this dive into J’s past, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 10 manages to keep the series strong run toward the finish going. With so many great moments in the last several episodes, I find myself getting ever more hopeful that this series will stick the landing when we reach the finale and deliver something special.

Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 10 is streaming on Crunchyroll and Adult Swim.


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

TL;DR

With this dive into J’s past, Blade Runner: Black Lotus Episode 10 manages to keep the series strong run toward the finish going. With so many great moments in the last several episodes, I find myself getting ever more hopeful that this series will stick the landing when we reach the finale and deliver something special.

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