I watched all of the Cyberpunk anime and the first episode of The Peripheral.
It was nice seeing Trigger do something a bit darker than their usual fare, but I really would have liked to see any queer people in it.
Japanese Cyberpunk is a genre somewhat set apart from Western Cyberpunk, it has its own themes and tropes, like runaway transformation/growth. In the 80’s Western Cyberpunk was commenting on a right-ward lurch toward Reaganism/Thatcherism, meanwhile Japan was experiencing a consuming economic explosion/transformation, and these concerns worked their way into their brand of cyberpunk. The arc the main character takes in the Cyberpunk anime could be compared to the fate of Tetsuo in Akira.
I’m going to try not to reiterate too much of my review of The Peripheral (the novel), but I will again encourage anyone interested in the show or book to read “Mozart in Mirrorshades”, the short story that Gibson claims inspired it. The full text is available at that link.
They say the past is a foreign country, and in The Peripheral, it’s a decidedly third world one. In the first episode of the show, the future extracts cheap, anonymous labor from the past. Just like having a delivery vehicle in Berkley being driven by someone remotely in Latin America, like we do today. While you watch the show I would encourage you to think about the past like a third world nation. “Mozart in Mirrorshades” is a story about temporal colonialism, but “The Peripheral” seems blind to this reading. I dont want to spoil the show yet (or, again: I already have if you read my above review of The Peripheral), but the future timeline is about to expend vast amounts of wealth that it earned by “insider trading” on its future knowledge of events, to make increasingly larger changes to the past. This dynamic is never once analyzed, and takes a back seat to the action of the plot.
I may return to this thread with more examples of what I’m talking about as the show progresses, assuming the show adheres tightly to novel. For example, not much has yet been revealed about the nature of the future, while in the book the future is the result of runaway disaster capitalism, very lightly managed by The World’s Last Police Officer. I’ll be interested to see how much of this comes through in the show, and will be watching as it releases.