Just a few months following its initial announcement, the upcoming anime entry in Square Enix and Platinum Games’ futuristic apocalypse series, NieR: Automata Ver1.1a, has received its first official trailer.
During Aniplex’s third annual Online Festival on September 25th, fans were thrown for a loop when A-1 Pictures (Lycoris Recoil, Kaguya-Sama) released a pair of promotional trailers for the upcoming anime installment of the franchise.
A-1 Productions kicked off NieR Automata’s showcase with the introduction of the Automata’s stoic female protagonist, 2B (CV: Yui Ishikawa – Mikasa Ackerman in Attack on Titan).
As per her official character profile, 2B is a general-purpose combat android and member of of the elite military force of YoRHa Unit.
Struggling to remain faithful to the rules banning androids from having feelings, her personality is considered to be exceptionally calm and collected, even amongst her fellow like-programmed ‘Butler’ Type B androids.
Receiving his own trailer, next up was 2B’s Scanner-type partner, 9S (CV: Natsuki Hanae – Tanjiro Kamado in Demon Slayer).
One of the YoRHa Unit’s search-and-investigation specialists, 9s’ primary role is to gather information for the group’s combat models, including 2B.
Due to his position, 9S has developed an inquisitive personality. Not only that, but 9S is considered to be one of the most emotionally expressive androids – the complete opposite of 2B.
With the premiere of these trailers, original NieR creator and Ver1.1a writer Yoko Taro appeared alongside anime director Ryoji Matsuyama (Blend-S) to discuss the upcoming series’ lore and development.
According to Matsuyama, when he was first approached by Aniplex to helm Ver1.1a, he was taken aback by the fact that the project’s protagonists, 2B and 92, had their eyes covered.
This, he explained, was because eyes are considered a significant source of symbolism in anime. Nevertheless, he noted that he was thrilled to undertake the challenge of bringing their story to the small screen.
Recalling his own experience, Taro said that when he was first approached by Aniplex to create a NieR anime, he found himself that they had asked him so long after the Automata‘s release, as anime tie-ins to video games normally release together in order to “gain synergy” in the way of increased sales.
Even so said the eccentric creator, Aniplex was very insistent to Taro that the anime would be made.
“And she talked to me like she was threatening me, I guess?” Taro playfully recalled of one producer. “And I was like ‘Eek I understand!'”
Taro then announced that the title of the series would be Ver1.1a because he wanted it to be clear that the anime would be a separate entity from the game, even featuring changes to the original narrative.
“NieR: Automata was a story we created to be a game,” he clarified, “so copying it as is wouldn’t make an interesting story for an anime.”
However, when he first proposed this idea to Aniplex, Taro said they weren’t exactly happy, particularly because they wanted to please fans by making as direct an anime adaptation of NieR Automata as possible.
“‘The original creator was trying to destroy the story, and the anime staff is desperately stopping that,'” Taro described of the drama with Aniplex. “Such debate kept going back and forth for a long time.”
To this end, Taro claimed that the purpose of Ver 1.1a was to take advantage of the anime medium to go beyond the cinematography limitations inherent to video games.
“Consequently, you may find differences in the adaptation, but should you find any discrepancies between the two that don’t make sense,” he ultimately noted, before offering a bit of reassurance to fans. “I’m the one going around and breaking things for them, so if anyone is dissatisfied, it’s likely to be my fault”.
NieR Automata Ver 1.1a is on track to set the world on fire when it launches in January 2023