To be honest, the news about the Nier Automata anime somehow caught me by surprise.
Yes, I heard about it years ago. But since I’ve never heard about it ever since, I thought that the anime may no longer be in the book then.
Well, that is until the anime finally comes out during the winter 2023 season.
As much as I anticipate the anime adaptation, I can’t help but feel that the anime would fall flat on my face.
It makes sense considering many of the anime adapted from video games aren’t that good.
Of course, not all of them are a total dud.
But seeing how most games tend to fall into 50 to 60 hours of gameplay, it’s just not possible to cram everything into a 13-episode anime.
That’s the fear that I have about the Nier Automata anime.
Yes, the game isn’t that long when you compare it to Persona 5. But it’s still a long game if you play the game until you unlock the Ending E which is the true ending for the game.
But guess what?
The anime is far better than what I expected. And it’s interesting to watch too.
What makes the Nier Automata anime exceeds my expectation
Let’s address the elephant in the room first which is the story.
How does the story fare? Is the anime a faithful adaptation of the game?
Not surprisingly, it’s not. While the story is fundamentally similar to the one in the game, some parts are slightly different from the original story.
So, what makes the anime worth watching if the story in the anime isn’t the same as the one in the game?
Well, I will have to say it’s thanks to these unique and interesting spins on the same things that you see in the game that makes the anime worthwhile.
The part where 9S is hacking the machine lifeforms
If you’ve already played the game before, then you’re already familiar with what took place whenever 9S is hacking the machine lifeforms.
When you control as 9S, you’ll hack into the machine lifeform and have this shooting game where you’ll shoot the enemies that come your way and eventually shoot the core once you get rid of the enemies.
Think of it like you’re playing the space shooting game.
But the only difference is the battle takes place in the machine lifeforms’ system. Or subconscious mind if you prefer something that sounds human-like.
The only way to destroy the machine lifeform’s core is through the hacking process.
While you can choose not to hack the machine lifeform and fight like you normally would, there are times when hacking is the only way to end the boss fight.
That seems to be the case during the fight with Eve for Ending B where 9S needs to hack Eve to stop the fight once and for all.
But here’s the thing about the same hacking thing that 9S does in the anime.
Instead of doing the shooting game stuff, you’ll see 9S diving deeper into the machine lifeforms’ system, revealing the data that they’ve accumulated so far.
Things like the data about the culture of the people who live in Façade.
It’s interesting to see that all the things that 9S discovers is tying back to all the things that you see in Nier Replicant.
The puppet show
Just to let you know that Nier Automata has so many endings, with Ending A to Ending E being the main ones while Ending F onwards are the bad endings.
While you can unlock the Ending A, B, C, D, and E by completing the main game, you can unlock those bad endings right away during the gameplay.
Of course, there are certain things that you need to do to unlock those bad endings.
But they’re not that hard to unlock.
Unlike the game where there are no cutscenes whatsoever when the bad endings occur, you’ll get to see a more elaborate of the same things in the anime instead.
That’s where the puppet show comes in where you’ll see the puppet version of 2B and 9S doing the things that will trigger those bad endings.
I find the puppet show hilarious to watch even though they’re the actions that lead to those bad endings in the game.
But the story in the anime is NOT the same as the one in the game
Sure, they can make the hacking scenes more interesting and showcase all the bad endings in a playful manner.
But it doesn’t change the fact that the story in the anime is different from the one in the game.
Why do they have to change the story for the anime when the story in the game itself is already amazing?
While the slight changes in the story may have something to do with them trying to make the story fleshes out better in the anime version, it can also be due to them wanting to tie back to the story in Nier Replicant.
Well, we don’t hear that much about what happened in Nier Replicant in Nier Automata.
The only thing we hear about what happened in Nier Replicant is during the Ending C when Devola and Popola appear.
That’s the only thing we know as far as the story in Nier Replicant is concerned.
Of course, tying back the story in Nier Replicant to the story in Nier Automata will mean that some parts of the story in the original game will have to change.
Surprisingly enough, I don’t see that as a bad thing.
In fact, it makes me look forward to the anime even more.
Where the story will take us going forward
With some parts of the story no longer identical to the original story, I’m sure that we’re going to see more changes to the original story coming our way.
Will I be changing my mind about the anime is something that I have yet to see.
But so far, I find the Nier Automata anime interesting even with the changes to the story.
And it’s even more so when the story ties back to what happened in Nier Replicant, even if it’s only a glimpse so far.
Yes, this anime isn’t for you if what you want is a faithful adaptation of the game.
But if you want to see how the story in Nier Replicant and Nier Automata are related to one another, then this anime sure is worth watching.
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