Yatta! A new storyline for Nier fans around the world.
But before that, I wanted to chat about the video game again for newer fans. In order to complete the video game, players had to complete three play-throughs. Each one meant players experience the world of Nier Automata through a different character’s point-of-view. The first was from 2B’s, the second was from 9S’s and the third, well, when that character shows up, you newer fans will know.
It’s important to bring attention to this because, in the first episode, Yoko (director) made a drastic change where both 2B and 9S’s original play-throughs showed up on screen simultaneously. That was already an indication that the plot would change slightly. However, after this episode, it’s become abundantly clear that there’s an entirely new and original story unfolding for veterans and newcomers alike!
After last week’s episode, I did some digging, and turns out a lot of players and viewers were tentative. But after a gorgeous episode like this, I’m sure this will help appease some of the unease people had with the CG animation and the episode being a copy of the prologue (which I didn’t have any issue with). This anime is probably going to be a masterpiece in my books and here’s why.
First off, the “City Ruins” story. What a beautiful subplot. When “Rays of Light” (song) kicked off the scene with the damaged machine, I couldn’t help but be pulled right back into the game. The backgrounds and details are doing a fine job of bringing the game’s beauty to life. I remember exploring that area really slowly wanting to take in this version of ‘Earth’. But what’s most important here is the reveal that machines are sentient beings. In the game, this happens much later but I’m glad they’ve brought this conflict to light earlier than I expected. It’s another reason showing how the story is changing. While machines were put on Earth by Aliens to suppress the human population, a handful of them is able to unlock an ‘emotions’ matrix within their system allowing them to learn, feel and build connections either with one another or with other beings. Essentially, they become almost self-aware and seek out contentment, seek out ‘life’. With just a single piece of paper that fell from human trash, this single machine was able to build a community, a garden full of Lunar Tears, and find joy in its robotic life. A machine’s life is more than one of war. With this now established, this story can go in an infinite amount of directions. II can’t help but think ahead to different chapters in the game that might converge with this story but I’ll leave that for another time. But let me leave you with this: If you weren’t moved by that machine’s story, can you really call yourself human?
The other story in this episode is that of the resistance a small group of humans who have remained on Earth to reclaim their home and fend off the machines. They’ve been unsuccessful and rarely if ever, receive support from the Council of Humanity stationed on the moon since they are an independent rebel faction. However, they do have twin androids helping them with their objectives and both are Android healers. I can’t believe we also got to see Diavola and Popola (originally from the first NieR game) this early in time. I would never have thought seeing them this early on. I imagine they’ll be taking on an active role alongside Lily and her resistance.
Lily () is a brand-new character. She’s features in an ongoing NieR Automata manga series which I’m unfamiliar with. She’s the resistance’s commander as far as we know and she has a disdain for the YorHa, especially number 2 androids. I’m looking forward to additional information and a backstory about her character.
Now, onto the good stuff. OK, well all of it is good stuff but my favorite bit was watching 2B wake up from her maintenance with 9S. He’s been tasked to work alongside her and when she wakes up she says the very words I was hoping, praying, but not expecting to hear: “Your voice, it somehow puts me at ease.” This is what kicks it all off. Her upset fist from the first episode and this single line, reveals just a glimpse of what lies in the depths of her character. It’s a sad thing that these androids are built only to serve humanity’s purpose. They aren’t agents of their own lives, thoughts, or feelings. They’re to be ‘used’ at the discretion of the Council of Humanity.
I wonder how Lily and 2B will impact each other. Will they forever see each other as enemies or will they help one another succeed in their missions? Whatever’s about to happen, I’m ready to watch. Week after week. So you can bet I’ll be here to gush over what I think will be the series of the season.
Yoko Taro, you asshole. 🙂
That’s my singular thought with this episode.
They might not be making us watch the show 3 times, but I’m probably going to do it anyways. This is absolutely amazing and more than I could have hoped for. There are little things that are different from the games like the hacking, but I can just “tch” and move one.
I get the feeling this show is just fanservice for the gamers. To me as an anime-only, it’s just nonsensical so far. Terminator meets the Animatrix? At least both of those shows’ scenarios seemed vaguely logical. But this one? Guess I’ll give it one more episode
As someone that has played the game; this episode now has taken a different turn and am excited where the series will go from here. Showing the capacity for the Machine lifeforms for empathy and growth sets up one of the central themes and is done so rather early on. With the inevitable appearance of another central character, I am curious how the series will juggle the different perspectives on dealing with the different questions and themes.