Winter 2023 Anime Preview Guide – NieR: Automata Ver 1.1a

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What is this?

In the distant future, 5012. The sudden aerial invasion of Earth by Aliens and their creations, Machine Lifeforms, brought humanity to the brink of extinction. The surviving number of humans took refuge on the moon to stage a counterattack using android soldiers to retake Earth. However, the war comes to a stalemate as the mechanical life forms multiply endlessly. In turn, humanity deploys a new unit of android soldiers as the ultimate weapon: YoRHa. Newly sent to Earth 2B he joins up with 9S, the analyst currently stationed there, where they encounter a myriad of mysterious phenomena in the midst of their mission.

NieR: Automata Ver 1.1a is based on the popular NieR: Automata video game of platinum games and independent developer Yoko Taro and published by Square Enix. The anime series airs on crunchyroll Saturdays.

How was the first episode?

Rebecca Silverman


Would you have rated this higher if you were familiar with the games it is based on? If I have to ask myself that question, it’s usually a good sign that the adaptation may be missing something. It’s not foolproof, but this episode barely conveyed enough about the world of the story to make me feel invested in it or its characters. I’ll admit that seeing right before 2B and 9S hit black boxes and explode is pretty effective, but I can’t help but think that it would have been more effective if I had cared about the characters.

However, this certainly doesn’t hurt the style. Even when I was wondering who the hell decided that 2B should have a slit-skirt minidress with a chest window and stilettos while 9S had shorts and comfy flat-soled boots, it was hard not to admire the way 2B it moved. And even though we did see his skirt a few times when he was doing roundhouse kicks, he didn’t feel unnecessarily fanservice; cleavage shots from her felt more exploitative, mainly because she was standing around in those moments instead of actively fighting the enemies that wanted to kill her. The juxtaposition between her personality at the beginning of the episode and the end when she reunites with 9S only to find out that he has no recollection of their time together is also very well done; in the slight contraction of her hand to his as he walks past her, you can read a world of longing.

If the whole episode had had the nuance of that scene, it would have worked better. That also means that now that we have an idea of ​​the characters, later episodes can be much more emotionally engaging as we see 2B try to reconnect with 9S when they both lose their memories seems pretty high. Learning more about the setting that has led to educated automata being emotionless as they fight for the humans who created them is an intriguing idea, if only because it opens the door to themes we see more commonly in Mary Shelley’s novel. Frankenstein. I’m not sure, however, that I wouldn’t be better served by playing the games, which is ultimately the problem with this episode.

Nicholas Dupree


I feel like I should know more about NieR: Automata I have friends who have been in love with the game for years, but the only concrete things I could tell them is that it involves robots, it has a killer soundtrack, and people are really worried about 2B’s ass. And just like when I finally saw that legendary butt, watching this anime adaptation(?) has left me wondering what the problem is.

Maybe that’s unfair; after all, this episode is essentially a long, cold opener establishing the basics of our world and characters. In that sense, he does his job perfectly well, and by the end, he knew the basic, tragic dynamic of our main characters and the vague status quo of this dystopian world. I didn’t have much reason to worry, as most of the episode was a series of escalating action sequences that left little room to build any relationship between those characters or even give us a good idea of ​​who they are. I know that 9S is talkative for an android and is willing to sacrifice himself for others and for the mission. I know that 2B is attached to 9S, presumably because she teamed up with him on missions she doesn’t remember. That may be enough for fans who have the whole game in mind watching these early beats, but as a neophyte, I just couldn’t get too attached to any of these sexy gothic robots.

The animation is generally a disaster. Every element is absurdly polished: 2B and 9S look just as flashy in 2D animation as they did in their original incarnation. All of his fight scenes are hectic and dynamic in scope. The problem is that they clash terribly with CGI environments, robotic enemies, and even their own mech suits. The characters never look like they’re in the same dimension as the rest of the world, and it’s jarring to see every time 2B is on screen with the large flat-lit robotic enemies they’re fighting. The CG alone is fine, and the character art is great, but they’re never in concert, which is bad news when 80% of this premiere is fighting.

There’s a good chance this isn’t for me. Translating game stories to linear television is a thankless task most of the time. what i got about automata is that its nature as an interactive medium is central to its overall themes. So this may have been done just as a treat for existing fans to relive their favorite moments and see these characters all over again. If that’s you, and it works for you, more power to you. But I’m not interested in seeing more of this show.

James Beckett


NieR: Automata is, almost any day, the title I would choose for my favorite video game of all time. I love him very much, and I could go on for many, many hours about everything he does (and the rest of the Drakengard/nier franchise) so special. NieR: Automata Ver 1.1a is, so far, almost a 1:1 adaptation of the beginning of the game’s story, with a couple of additional details that people who have played the game will recognize from other parts of the campaign. the crew in Photos A-1 I’ve put a lot of time and work into making this show look positively stellar as well, with the only visual flaw I can think of being the awkward integration of the CGI model of the hero 2B in some of the shots of her fight in the Unit of War. Flight. Keiichi OkabeThe score for is also intact, which is a good thing since it’s one of the best of all time, and we also have the prominent members of the games’ voice-over cast, which means the core elements of the story and world have been preserved and represented more or less impeccably.

Why, then, do I still have reservations? Don’t get me wrong, the premiere of Ver1.1a it’s pretty good, and will likely wow newcomers to the franchise, not to mention the many fans who need more. nier In their lifes. The point is that much of what makes games produced by Yoko Taro just as good is the way they combine their gameplay, world-building, narratives, and metatextual elements to tell stories that can’t be fully replicated in other mediums. I won’t spoil anything from either Drake Nier games, but the nier the games specifically have some of the most powerful climaxes I’ve ever experienced in any story. They’re inextricably linked to the way the player interacts with the software, which is a feat that even the prettiest anime can’t replicate.

The character interactions between 2B and 9S offer another example of an area that cannot be easily transmuted into animated form. Much of the charm and pathos of their relationship comes from the constant back and forth they share for dozens of hours. Most of that happens while the player is interacting with the game in other ways (fighting, fishing, dying in the most comical ways imaginable, etc.). On a show like this, which will only have a few hours to do its thing, we either have to stop the action so our leads can react to each other, or we have to divert attention from the action to prioritize banter in the middle of combat. for the viewer. It’s a slight shift in priorities that probably won’t matter too much as long as A-1 can keep up with this top-tier production scale. Still, it’s another thing that makes me wonder if it’s really possible to tell this story in a different medium without losing what makes it great in the first place.

On the other hand, I have repeatedly read that the team behind Ver1.1a hasn’t been afraid to make some significant changes to the story to suit the medium of serial animation, hence the “1.1a” in the title, so I look forward to seeing more of the show to see how (and if) they can do NieR: Automata in his own unique version of one of my favorite works of fiction of all time. If nothing else, this series will hopefully convince more people to play the game. nier games, which I will definitely count as a win.

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