In 1982, Philip K. Dick’s Androids dream of electric sheep was adapted into a movie, the now iconic Bounty hunter, which is recognized as a major influence on contemporary pop culture, especially anime. This trend came full circle when Denis Villeneuve, director of Blade Runner 2049, asked anime superstar Shinichiro Watanabe to produce an anime that related to his own movie with a backstory, and the result was the short film, Blade Runner: Black Out 2022.

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It’s not just the issue of cops or androids either. The anime also borrows the design, character archetypes, and futuristic aesthetics, so there are echoes of Bounty hunter in a variety of genres instead of just mecha and science fiction. It may come as a surprise to see how much of an influence Ridley Scott’s dystopian vision had on an entire media and animation culture, so here’s a list of the best.

10 Cowboy Bebop (1998)

Cowboy Bebop Nail Gun

A Blade Runner is something of a bounty hunter, which is Spike Spiegel’s profession of choice in Cowboy Bebop. Spike has a lot in common with Deckard and not just in the realm of his chosen profession. They both have similar comical but moody demeanor and go after their prey with intelligent, methodical precision that is often smarter than it appears and relies less on physical strength than brain. The futuristic environment Spike travels in as he travels from planet to planet is kind of like the out-of-world colonies referenced in the live-action film but never explored.

9 Silent Möbius (2002)

Silent Mobius cast

8 Akira (1988)

When Akira enters the conversation, it’s usually about how the movie influenced future media, of which anime is only a part. In this case, we look back and wonder what inspired the animated movie that powered an entire generation of cyberpunk. I like it Bounty hunter, the plot centers on a human who has been enhanced and recently escaped from custody.

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Both stories have the common theme of a protagonist who walks the line between law and crime, who has a natural distrust of authority figures. The design of post-WWII Tokyo is also eerily similar to Deckard’s dark and grungy San Francisco.

7 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Diamond is Unbreakable (2016)

The striking and fantastic world of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure continues with this recent season. This time around, instead of the set design or general aesthetic, there is a specific character who intends to call Rachel, one of the main characters in Bounty hunter. Josuke Higashikata, Jotaro’s partner for most of the show, copies Rachel’s gaze down to the smallest details. His hairstyle is the most distinctive feature, but he also has the same costume and even facial features similar to the iconic Android Nexus 7.

6 Armitage III (1993)

This series is also known as Armitage: Poly-Matrix, as the original series was compiled into a movie and released under that title in 1996. A “Third” is a manufactured human, essentially a robot that looks like a human being. The twist in this story is that the main character, Armitage, is a tough cop who goes after “Thirds” and she turns out to be a Third herself. Bounty hunter has similar plot twists in the sense that there are some doubts as to whether Deckard is a replicant and who or what Rachel really is.

5 The Vision of Escaflowne (1996)

Zaibach Imperial Palace

A fantasy series that overlaps with steampunk, the connections between the dark world of Bounty hunter and the brilliant and fantastic Escaflowne designs are not obvious at first. However, when it comes to depictions of the evil Zaibach Empire, the animators use the same severe architectural style as the Tyrell Corporation.

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The images of the palace of the Zaibach Empire in The vision of Escaflowne that show his intimidating face mimic similar shots that Ridley Scott used in the film to denote the power and influence of Tyrell and his corporate empire. The scenes of Emporer Dornkirk looking at his city are also reminiscent of the same rough, futuristic streets.

4 Patlabor Police Mobile

They patrol the lives of Labors, robots that were built to work heavy and often dangerous industrial jobs, so naturally the law enforcement police force among this class of workers would be known as Patlabor. This is similar to the messy and unsavory kinds of work replicants are often used for in Philip K. Dick’s universe and Ridley Scott’s portrayal. The story is told through the eyes of one of the police officers, Izumi Noa, who is accompanied by her Labor Patrol, Alphonse.

3 Metropolis (2001)

Metropolis 2001

Tima looks like a girl, but the twist of the story is similar to that of various characters in Bounty hunter. The viewer takes it for granted at first that the characters he sees are human, only to have their true nature revealed as the plot unfolds. In both stories, the robots or replicas are seen as part of a lower social caste. Metropolis he even tells a similar story, beginning with the hunt for a criminal on the run from the law, much like Deckard when he’s suddenly recruited to watch the replicants go astray.

two Chewing gum crisis (1987)

Meet the Knight Sabers, a team of LEOs who use special robotic exosuits to fight crime, often in the form of violent and unruly robots. However, instead of global environmental degradation or a post-war apocalypse leading to the segregation of humans and robots, it was a devastating earthquake that caused the city of Tokyo to literally split in half.

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The main antagonist of this story is Genom Corporation, a powerful entity that references Tyrell in Bounty hunter. They build the Boomers, useful robots that are often used by dangerous people to do bad things. It is a more optimistic view of the future than in Bounty hunter but the influence remains unmistakable.

1 Ghost in the Shell (1995)

Ghost in the shell is only surpassed by Akira when it comes to charting its impressive sphere of influence. The design of New Port City is clearly similar to the urban nightmare featured in Bounty hunter and the story is told from the point of view of a LEO, Mokoto Kusanagi, who could be a combination of the characters Rachel and Deckard. She is also a police officer in a clandestine unit who questions authority and seeks a definition for her own existence. The conclusion, which features an open ending, is also eerily similar.

NEXT: Ghost In The Shell: 10 Philosophies That Most Influenced The Cyberpunk Franchise

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