While CDPR deserves a lot of credit for why Cyberpunk Edgerunners, the new Netflix anime, is so good, given that they built Night City and wrote the script, they’ve almost made a pretty big blunder.
If you’ve seen the series, you probably agree with the feeling that one of the best characters, if not the best, is Rebecca, the small, gorilla-handed, LMG-toting goblin member of the gang. But CDPR classified her as something else, a loli, and therefore didn’t want her on the crew. Trigger, however, pushed back.
In a recent Twitch event, CDPR explained what happened:
“She’s the best girl, but I feel a little guilty saying it because I was one of the people on the creative team who voted Rebecca out of the original cast during pre-production. CD Projekt Red got the character design for Rebecca first and they were like, ‘She’s a loli. Lolis don’t exist in Night City. It doesn’t fit the Cyberpunk 2077 aesthetic.”
Response from Trigger, according to the developer: “No, the loli must stay.”
This whole exchange has sparked some controversy among Cyberpunk fans, given how loaded the term “loli” is in anime, which refers to an underage character who can sometimes be sexualized. The debate is whether Rebecca is a loli or not, as Trigger’s quote is second hand, not how they probably classified her.
Some say Rebecca is not underage and is just a petite woman designed with a petite frame. However, I do remember an excerpt in Edgerunners where Rebecca is denied entry to the Afterlife bar, presumably because she is too young, but if the legal drinking age in Night City is still 21 in 2077, she could be 18. be -20. Later there is a time jump from what I assume is at least a year or two, so she would be even older. In terms of the character being sexualized, early on there is one segment where Rebecca appears in underwear (although in that scene she threatens, not seduces the main character), but she is never actually naked like the other women on the show, Kiwi and Lucy .
The end result paid off, though, as even CDPR agrees that Rebecca is “the best girl” and they’re glad she’s been included in the series, as the character that perhaps resonated with fans the most. 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 by Adam Smasher who jumps off Arasaka Tower in pursuit of David, shortly before also killing David himself. There’s one particularly gruesome moment where we see Rebecca smashing open with her brains on the floor, but I’ve heard some desperate fans hoping she might be “put back together” for a season 2. I… doubt it .
In short, listen to Trigger. They know what they are doing.
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