Everything you need to know before watching the NieR:Automata Ver1.1a anime

Screenshot from the NieR:Automata Ver1.1a anime.

Action RPG, limitless hack-and-slash brawler, text adventure – at any given time, all of these phrases can be used to describe the global phenomenon that is Nier:Automata. With the base game being an outstanding fantasy drama containing over 30 hours of immersive storylines and gameplay, franchise director and original creator Yoko Taro's penchant for combining creative action sequences with engaging storytelling has now been given a new platform with the announcement of the TV anime, NieR:Automata Ver1.1a.

There's an uncanny amount of hype surrounding the anime's release, given how widely-praised its predecessor is. The universe unfolds in the distant future where an unprecedented extra-terrestrial invasion almost drives mankind to extinction. The remaining survivors take refuge on the moon and plan their counterattack by using their ultimate trump card – android soldiers known as YoRHa.

The show primarily follows the androids 2B and 9S as they continue their relentless battles on a lifeless planet Earth while being forced to make decisions that could alter the course of their world as they know it.

As is the case with every game-to-anime adaptation, such as Arcane and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, there has also been a lot of speculation about how the show will pan out, and what direction it will take.

For starters, the plot will have major changes from the original game. Yoko Taro, who is in charge of series composition, revealed during Aniplex Online Fest 2022 that the NieR:Automata anime wouldn't copy the game's story since it wouldn't be as interesting. 

If you're familiar with the game, you can't help but agree with him.

A big part of what makes Automata such a modern classic is how it presents its story, the mechanics of which can only be fleshed out properly in the medium of video games. Some of the most emotional and tear-jerking moments are made possible due to the choices that the player makes. All of the possible endings subvert expectations and hint at hope in a world that is otherwise devoid of humanity.

Under these circumstances, NieR:Automata Ver1.1a would feel like a missed opportunity had it not strayed from the path the game graciously blazed for it years ago.

But even though the anime won't remain faithful to the source material, fans can still be prepared for a myriad of emotions to hit them when they least expect it. Certain characters and choices are designed to make the audience feel anger, remorse, disgust, and everything in between.

The harshness of the world is translated onto the screen with a smart use of washed-out tones that mimic how bleak and disposable the characters' lives are. The teasers also hinted at a similar use of grayscale mixed with the right number of colours. The art and animation seem to be a major step up from the modestly budgeted base game as well, which might be a chance to bring to life a vision that was never able to reach its full potential.

It is difficult to predict whether or not NieR:Automata Ver1.1a will be able to live up to the promises of the franchise. However, one thing is certain. Regardless of the direction it takes, the awaiting anime fans will definitely be in for an action-filled treat.


ComicBook (Sept 26, 2022). Nier:Automata's Anime Will Have an Original Story

Ayaan immerses himself in dinosaur comics and poorly-written manga. Recommend your least favourite reads at ayaan.shams@gmail.com