Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a Netflix anime series based on the video game Cyberpunk 2077. It follows David Martinez, a young boy who gets involved in the violent lifestyle of an edgerunner. The series is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
David Martinez is a young boy in Night City who goes to the Arasaka academy. Unlike his classmates, David isn’t rich and lives with his mother who is just a primary medic.
David is a straight-A student but he doesn’t fit in with the rest of his class. He cuts corners on his cyber implants with the help of his friend, Ripperdoc. His mother wants him to focus on his studies and climb the corporate ladder at Arasaka corporation.
One particular day, David and his mother get caught in the middle of a drive-by shooting and she’s badly injured. She’s taken to a lowly doctor because that’s the only thing they can afford and she doesn’t survive.
Among her belongings, David finds a military-grade cybernetic implant from Arasaka called the Sandevistan. He recently saw it being used by a soldier who went through cyberpsychosis and was taken down by an elite Max Tac team.
He decides to ask the Ripperdoc to implant him with the Sandevistan even though he has no experience with such complicated tech. Once he’s got the tech, he visits his bully at the academy and gives him a thorough beating.
On the train, he runs into Lucy, another person with implants. She sees his tech and convinces him to work with her. David uses his enhanced abilities to help her snag some implant chips for quick cash before passing out from the strain.
He’s taken to the Ripperdoc who gives him some immunoblockers and advises him to use the Sandevistan only 2-3 times a day. He goes back home with Lucy and the two of them discuss their dreams. She tells him about her dream to visit the moon, which is a popular tourist destination.
He is ambushed by a group of edgerunners, people with cybernetic implants, and one of them accuses David of stealing tech meant for him. David tells them that it belonged to his mother who recently died. The head edgerunner, Maine, says that his mother had got the Sandevistan for him.
David asks to join their team and pay off the debt because he too wants to be an edgerunner. They agree to have him come on and take him on a job to secure the navigation data of Mr Tanaka’s limo. Tanaka is a high-ranking Arasaka executive.
The crew is led by Maine and includes Lucy, Dorio, Kiwi, Pilar and Rebecca. They try to do the job discreetly but things get out of hand and they’re forced to improvise. David manages to get the limo to the designated location after a prolonged chase.
He then gradually gets to know the rest of the crew and learns the ropes of being an edgerunner. He also gets into a romantic relationship with Lucy. One day while they’re celebrating, Pilar is shot by a random person struck by psychosis before David and the others kill him.
David and crew set a trap to grab Tanaka itself but as they’re trying to extract the data from his head, Maine goes through cyberpsychosis and takes Kiwi out of commission. Lucy is forced to step in, being a netrunner herself, a person who goes into the network to extract information.
While she is freaked out by what she finds, Maine completely loses it outside and takes out Dorio and a whole host of officers and Max Tac operatives. David and Lucy escape but are shaken by the experience.
Some time passes, David builds some muscle and has a lot more tech implanted. He carries out jobs with Kiwi, Rebecca and his main wheelman, Falco. Lucy lives with David but she doesn’t go on jobs with them no matter how many times David requests.
David learns that Lucy grew up as an Arasaka operative, groomed to explore the old net for legacy information before she managed to escape and hide from the corporation. A fixer named Faraday who gave them the Tanaka job in the first place recruits David for a job.
Faraday used to be a fixer for the Militech corporation but gets hired by Arasaka for a specific task. Arasaka has been trying to reclaim the date stolen from Tanaka but Lucy has been taking out the netrunners trying to get that information.
Arasaka has been developing a cyberskeleton and wants David to test it out because of his proficiency and handling high-grade implants. Lucy loves David and doesn’t want Arasaka to get their hands on David.
Lucy is lured into a trap because of Faraday and Kiwi who are working together. They point David and his crew in the direction of a convoy carrying the cyberskeleton and back him into a corner, forcing him to implant it on himself.
David finds out that Faraday and Kiwi betrayed them and that they’ve got Lucy so he plans to get her back with the help of Rebecca and Falco.
Cyberpunk: Edgerunners ending explained in detail:
What exactly are Arasaka after?
Arasaka make their money off military-grade implants and they needed their latest tech to be field tested. Their main competitors, Militech, learned about the cyberskeleton and got Faraday to hire Maine’s crew to get information on it and try and set Arasaka back.
Lucy found David’s file in Tanaka’s mind and learnt that they wanted David to be the one to field test it because he handled the Sandevistan without any serious side effects.
They planned to let David take out the Militech strike team with cyberskeleton and retrieve it themselves according to Faraday’s plan but David proved too strong for them.
What happens to Kiwi?
After betraying the others, Kiwi tells Faraday that she delivered her end of the deal since David implanted the cyberskeleton. She asks for her payment and says that she’s skipping town to be away from the noise.
Faraday asks to meet her in person one last time but he betrays her as well and shoots her because he has to eliminate anyone with knowledge of the Arasaka tech. She holds out long enough to tell Falco where Faraday is headed with Lucy before being taken out.
Who is Adam Smasher?
Adam Smasher is an edgerunner who has long been a part of Night City folklore. It is rumoured that he’s more tech than human and he handled it like a natural without experiencing cyberpsychosis.
He was the person set to inherit the Arasaka cyberskeleton but when David implants himself and loses control, Arasaka recruits Adam Smasher to take the cyberskeleton off David.
Does David save Lucy?
David is starting to feel the effects of cyberpsychosis and is running out of immunoblockers as well. He still makes it to Arasaka tower with Falco and Rebecca’s help and he comes face to face with Adam Smasher.
The two heavy hitters go head to head but not before David manages to rescue Lucy and tells Falco to get her far away. David manages to hang in there with Adam but is ultimately no match for the experienced campaigner who eventually kills him.
Does Lucy get to live out her dream?
Falco escapes Arasaka tower with Rebecca and Lucy as well as their payment for the job. David also leaves a message with Falco telling Lucy that he’s sorry that he couldn’t be there to take her to the moon.
Some time later, Lucy does eventually go on a trip to the moon and experiences the beauty for real, while thinking about David and what he meant to her.