|And 17 more hiding and/or disguised|
Maybe my expectations were too high.
There are a few things that I did appreciate about it.
They did a great job drawing direct parallels between Night City as it was depicted in Cyberpunk 2077 and the anime. There were a number of locations that looked identical to their in game depictions. That created the sense of the anime being a true part of the CP2077 world, as opposed to being "based on" it.
I appreciated some of the common cyberpunk / dystopian tropes and story elements. I won't go into them here for those who have not watched the anime. But they are common enough that anyone with an exposure to the theme and lore should have seen them coming.
Similar to the way the illustration and art directly paralleled the visual language of the game, I liked how they used the familiar factions. The gangs were the gangs. The corps were the corps. They didn't try to introduce new factions.
Lastly I appreciated the attitude of the corporate managers and executives. I don't want to get into spoilers. I think that I can safely say the dynamic between the low level employees and their superiors was perfect for a dystopian / cyberpunk setting.
I think it would have benefited from a standard television format of 13 episodes of 26 minutes each, rather than the 10x20ish. That would have given them a bit more time to either keep on with the world building or delve into side-character backstories.
I felt the plot was a bit on the predictable side. It was very reminiscent of 80's and 90's thriller/horror films.
I think the number one thing that the anime did best is that it works as a very 'intro to cyberpunk 101' crash course. It hits on a lot of the main themes, it's bright, colorful, well animated and has a easy-to-follow narrative structure that has a very 'mass market' appeal. I think a lot of non-gamers and non-cyberpunk people will get a taste for the genre without having to go back and watch a bunch of films that have NOT aged well. And that's a big win!