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Nier:Automata Ver1.1a is nearly here — everything you need to know

What is Yoko Taro up to?

Square Enix
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2022 has been a great year for video game adaptations, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 or the overnight hit anime Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. But 2023 is already looking to be another strong year for video games getting the adaptation treatment, most notably with PlatinumGames’ philosophical android hack-n-slash NieR: Automata being made into an anime. The show is just around the corner but a lot remains to be revealed, least of all what changes series creator Yoko Taro will make to mess with the audience. Here’s what you need to know about NieR: Automata Ver1.1a.

When is the NieR: Automata Ver1.1a release date?

In a December 2022 trailer for the anime, it was announced that the first episode of the series will premiere on January 7, 2023.

The 2017 cult-hit is getting an anime adaptation in 2023.Square Enix

Is there a NieR: Automata Ver1.1a trailer?

Yes! There have been several trailers for the NieR: Automata anime. Most of the available trailers are 30 seconds or shorter and focus on a specific character like 2B or Pascal. However, the most recent trailer gives a better look into the series as a whole. Check it out.

The longest, most detailed look we have gotten comes from the Aniplex Online Fest video, which is mostly comprised of interviews with series creator Yoko Taro and the voice actors for 2B and 9S. The eight-and-a-half-minute video ends with a sizzle reel.

How to watch NieR: Automata Ver1.1a

Fans in the U.S. will be able to stream the show via Crunchyroll. Official language from the streaming service says that the show will stream soon after the initial release on January 7th, but no details on if that means fans will need to wait hours or days to watch the show.

There has also been no news on how many episodes the anime will be. Most anime have roughly 12 or 24-episode seasons, with 24-episode seasons typically being split between two parts.

What is the NieR: Automata Ver1.1a studio?

The show will be produced by Aniplex, a company known for anime like Fullmetal Alchemist and Demon Slayer. The series will be directed by Ryouji Masuyama who has served as an animator on the Neon Genesis Evangelion Rebuild series as well as animating and occasionally directing the series Darling in the Franxx.

Game director and series creator Yoko Taro will serve alongside Masuyama as the series organizer, who will be in charge of the story and structure of the show.

NieR:Automata director Yoko Taro is attached to the anime adaptation.Christian Petersen/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Yui Ishikawa and Natsuki Hanae will be reprising their roles from the game as 2B and 9S respectively.

What is the NieR: Automata Ver1.1a story?

The premise for the anime is the same as the 2017 game on which it is based. It will follow the androids 2B and 9S on their mission to help rid the long-abandoned Earth of the dangerous machine lifeforms that live on the planet like an infestation.

The game mixed multiple gameplay styles together throughout its story as well as encouraging players to play through the game multiple times to uncover new elements of the story and see events play out from different perspectives. It explores some pretty heavy philosophical themes and asks the player to consider their role in the narrative.

Will NieR: Automata Ver1.1a have a different ending from the game?

The games of Yoko Taro all share certain characteristics. Perhaps the most famous is his penchant for multiple endings. Unlike RPGs like The Witcher 3 which have multiple endings based on character choice, the endings of Yoko Taro are not something you are supposed to experience once and move on from. Ending A of NieR: Automata is only part of the story the game provides, to see the entirety of the story the game offers players need to do multiple playthroughs until reaching ending E. These endings all have different perspectives, and differences in how the story is portrayed. So, it would be entirely on-brand for Taro to give the anime adaptation of NieR: Automata a new ending.

NieR: Automata has many endings, but the anime could have something new in store.Square Enix

Taro hasn’t said anything official but has teased fans about the possibility of story changes coming in the anime. In the Aniplex trailer, he jokes that the majority of the other staff’s work is attempting to stop Taro from changing the story of the anime drastically, straying too far from the plot of the game.

However, the name of the anime itself is a clue about big changes coming. Taro has said that the reason for the name NieR: Automata Ver1.1a was because “the title ‘NieR: Automata’ was a story we created to be a game, so copying it as is wouldn’t make an interesting story for an anime. So I brought up the idea of changing things around.”

Taro sees the anime as a separate project, one that requires the story to be told differently due to the advantages of limitations that come with anime vs the medium of games. The question is, how big will these changes be?

Who is Lily in the NieR: Automata Ver1.1a?

One of the changes fans have already been made aware of thanks to a trailer released during the NieR: Automata Fan Festival in late November 2022. The trailer is another of the short character-focused videos, highlighting the new character, Lily. She is not a character from the game and is an android resistance fighter. But the interesting thing about Lily is she actually isn’t new to the NieR franchise.

Lily’s first appearance comes from the YoRHa stage play. First produced in 2015, the play acts as a prequel to NieR: Automata and was conceived during the six-month pre-production phase of the game’s development. It stars A2, who appears in the game, alongside a squad of android fighters such as Lily. Her inclusion in the anime suggests that the events of the stage play, known as the Pearl Harbor Descent, could be shown. It also suggests A2 will get even more character development and possibly unite with A2 during the anime. Lily’s inclusion could lead to the anime branching out away from the plot of the game.

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