Blade runner: Black Lotus

It’s hard to believe that this was produced in 2022.

Because the 3D models look as if they are from 90s. Even if this was released back in 2010, I would have given a thumb down purely on the graphics alone. I’ve done my fair share of Blender works myself and know a thing or two about 3D modeling. Black Lotus gets 1 out of 10 from me in texture department.

The models don’t appear to have normal/bump maps most of time, and this is 2022. Let’s remind ourselves that this is a commercial project as well. I can perhaps see amatuer works skipping out on minor details, but this?

What is “a normal/bump map”? Well, for an example, take a close look at your skin. You will find that it is not perfectly smooth. What a normal/bump map does is apply realism to a 3D surface by adding slight bumps. Another example is cloth fiber as well as the stocking the main character wears.
In short, no character in this animation has this texture applied which is fine for cartoonish series, but this is a realistic 3D animation.

What’s worse is that some models look as if they’ve come straight from Daz3D which is a large pre-made 3D asset marketplace. I am not saying they actually used pre-made models. I am saying that some models look way too cheap for the caliber of this animation.

Animation itself is alright as long as it’s about combat. Animation for the main character is also good. I cannot say the same for other characters though. The plot…, perhaps a little overused. Nothing new or nothing too striking. It is a Blade runner series. You know what you are going to get.

Overall, this animation sucks.

Black Lotus is a Japanese/American animation. Such a combination is not common but not that rare, either.

Regardless, the story begins with a girl who apparently have an amnesia – Yeah, yeah, you can already tell Japanese influence there. They love amnesia.

As she fights to regain some of her memories, she finds out that she is a replicant, basically an engineered human, and that she was a victim of a literal men hunting session. She vows to exact her revenge on those responsible. A replicant cannot harm other humans in general, but her programming has been broken due to a trauma, meaning she is free to kill anyone but does choose to kill only those who she needs to get rid of.

There are 13 episodes to this with each episode counting for around 20 minutes. It’s actually 22/23 minutes but they spend their sweet time on opening and ending sequences.

What is disappointing ultimately is that I thought they were going to follow the same style shown in Blade runner Blackout 2022. I felt that was why they bothered to produce the short 15 min film, you know to demonstrate. Blackout 2022 looked good. It was a good mix of cartoon and CGI with a vibe of old school sci-fi environment.

But, no, what we have in the end is … an abomination that fails in almost every aspect. The story is weak. Graphics suck. What they’ve done well is that the atmosphere in the series feel perfect, and combat actions are good.
The only explanation for this failure would be lack of budget, but I don’t know what their budget was. I am assuming that they were given enough, given a fact that the crew included some powerful guys and that there has been no noise about their budget.

Overall…, watch it once. You will forget about it soon.

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