「a mountain too [H]igh」

I’m over the moon that NieR is back. I was lucky to have Pancakes reach out to me to let me know it was airing again or it would have fallen through the cracks.

We’ve finally reached the Amusement Park chapter. For me, this was the first chapter in the game that really made me feel like I was part of this post-apocalyptic world. The Desert chapter where Adam was introduced was fun but hadn’t pulled me in just yet. I think it’s because I moved through the previous chapters really fast. But when I got to the Opera Singer, called the Songstress in the anime, I was stumped. I must have battled her a dozen times over because I didn’t realize that every time she attacked with her yellow orbs, I’d go back into the hacking system. All this to say, the reward was worth the effort but that’s something for us to wait for in the next chapter. There was something about this episode that completely threw me off. They’ve definitely added depth to these characters that were too subtle for me to catch in the game. It’s what I love and, right now, kind of hate about this anime. It slows down moments to give us that emotional pull we need which also means the adaptation does a great job of sticking it to us right where it hurts.

I’ve always been a fan of 9S and 2B. But there’s something about seeing them in an anime that completely changes the perception I initially had of them from the game. 2B has always been a been distant and observant while 9S was always more perky, expressive, and content with his role as part of the YorHa. One thing I hadn’t noticed was his unwavering faith in humanity’s mission to rid the Earth of all machine life forms.

It was honestly shocking to me to see 9S be so cruel and cold towards machines begging for their lives. Even if they are playing copycat with what the humans had done in the past, they were of no harm to him. If you ask me, his faith is a little inconsistent. He should have acted the same towards the non-aggressive machines that greeted them at the entrance of the amusement park. To be fair, he did almost get corrupted by the machine he was fighting so it was right after the heat of the battle and his hatred for the machines was at full height. And he just saw his comrades tortured and displayed for aesthetic reasons.

It’s interesting to re-experience these machines and their ‘desires’. Most of what we’ve seen in machines so far is a thirst for trivial things like lust, desire, beauty, and material things. Some of the machines seem to create real connections with the things and life forms around them but other machines get caught up in the part of humanity that is a little more narcissistic, vain, and superficial. The machines get lost and corrupted in this superficiality whereas those that learn to truly co-exist within their environments thrive and build community. I do really appreciate that this anime is taking the time to dive into the psyche of these machines. In the game, we were only ever privy to the mini-games (arcade-style) when hacking the robots but here we get to see exactly what it is these machines are struggling with, and why they are killing in the way that they are. It’s pain. They’re in pain, hence why this latest machine is asking 9S to help them by killing them.

I do wonder how they will adapt 9S’s character for the next chapter. What did you think of this episode? Are you glad the series is back on?

One Comment

  1. Beautifully animated as always. Still not sure what makes these machine lifeforms tick. Guess that’s part of the mystery.

    Now then, about 9S. What he did at the end was certainly surprising. His words at the start gave insight, but I really think there was something off with his actions at the end. Feels different from the 9S we saw in the first episode. So much so, that I have to wonder what’s it like in game. Presumably we would be playing as 2B as I’d find it disturbing if the character I’m controlling actually did what he did. Quite interesting to learn that someone who has played it also finds his action surprising.
    On the flip side, I think I’ve gotten to understand 2B a lot better.


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