Nier: Automata was released back in 2017 as a long-awaited sequel to the cult classic PS3 game Nier. And while the original game by Yoko Taro received mixed reviews – the story and the characters, as well as the music, received absolute acclaim, while the graphics and the gameplay were criticized – Nier: Automata became an absolute hit, surpassing all expectations with over 6 million copies sold worldwide.
On the fifth anniversary of the game, it was announced that Nier: Automata would be getting an anime adaptation, thus becoming the first installment of Taro’s games to receive such a recognition. In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the upcoming adaptation.
As of February 2022, a Nier: Automata anime series is officially in development. In September 2022, it was officially revealed that Nier: Automata Version 1.1a would be debuting in January 2023, with Yoko Taro working on a somewhat original and changed adaptation of the original video games’s story. A preview trailer was also released in September 2022.
The rest of this article is going to bring you all the known and unknown information related to the upcoming anime adaptation of Nier: Automata Version 1.1a, the best-selling and critically acclaimed video game. You’re going to find out about its potential release date, whether there is a trailer, what the story could be about, and much more about this upcoming adaptation which has us being very, very excited.
What is the Nier: Automata Version 1.1a going to be about?
When the Nier: Automata anime was announced in February 2022, almost nothing was revealed about it, save for the fact that it would be produced. We were given a short teaser with some intriguing visuals, but nothing more. From that, we have come to understand that 2B and Pod 042 would be appearing in the anime series, but that’s about it. We never really understood what the series was going to be about.
From the fact that 2B and Pod 042 are involved, we can assume that the anime will, somehow, be connected to the storyline of the original Nier: Automata video game. Now, we know that Yoko Taro doesn’t really like to revisit his old stories, preferring to create something new. This means that the likelihood of the anime being a simple adaptation of the game’s main narrative is very slim, which is, in our humble opinion, a great thing.
So, what can we expect? The anime is probably going to be a sequel, taking place after the game’s final ending which was unexpectedly hopeful and left more than enough room for further exploration and character development. There is also a possibility that it could be a prequel leading into the game’s main narrative, but since a lot of historical facts have been revealed through in-game quests, items and stories, we’d rather see a completely new story than something we’ve already had the chance to experience.
Still, at this moment, we don’t really know much so we’ll just have to wait and see.
How is the Nier Automata connected to the Nier games?
As we have said, at this very moment, we don’t really know how the anime is going to tie into the game. Based on the visuals, it certainly is going to be connected with the game in some way, but whether it’s going to be a sequel, prequel, or (less likely) a direct adaptation is something we’ll just have to wait and see.
Nier: Automata anime release date
The original Nier: Automata video game was released back in February 23, 2017 in Japan. It was a sequel to the PS3 game Nier, which had a separate Japanese and Western release, and was later followed by a remake of the original Nier Replicant game; this was the original Japanese edition of the first game. Automata went on to become a critically acclaimed game loved by fans, but it was also an unexpected financial success around the world. It has received universal acclaim and won several awards.
During the game’s fifth anniversary celebration, Aniplex announced that a Nier: Automata anime was in the works. A teaser trailer was revealed but no additional information has been revealed at that point. This means that we have absolutely no idea when the anime might appear and how far from its premiere we are. It could be in the early phases of development, or it could be at the very beginning – we simply don’t know yet.
This means that we’ll have to wait a while before any official news regarding a release date appear on the Internet. Based on our knowledge of the industry and its workings, we don’t think that the anime is going to appear before 2023, and we were once again correct.
Namely, in September 2022, it was officially confirmed that Nier: Automata Version 1.1a, which is the anime’s official title, would be premiering in January 2023. A precise date was not given, nor the number of episodes, but we now know when to expect the Nier: Automata Version 1.1a anime series, which is great news.
Nier: Automata Version 1.1a anime trailer
The Nier: Automata anime was officially confirmed on February 23, 2022, during the game’s fifth anniversary celebration. At the time of writing this article, it is really too early for a trailer, since the anime series is probably in the early stages of development. This means that there are no visuals for us to enjoy, at least not in the form of a full trailer. We do have a short teaser, which you can check out here:
With fragments from Okabe’s masterful music, the Nier: Automata anime was announced like this. You can see that there is no information on the release date, which means that a trailer won’t be arriving soon, either. Our guess? Late 2022 or even early 2023, at best, and we were correct. A first preview trailer was released in late September 2022 and you can check it out here:
The trailer reveals some new scenes and animation designs, the voice actors, and some production details. We can also expect character-focused preview videos starting from October 2022.
Nier: Automata Version 1.1a anime plot
As we have explained, we don’t know – yet, at least – what the Nier: Automata anime is going to be – a sequel, a prequel, or an adaptation. The overall story of Nier and the connected Drakengard universe is enormous with a lot of details, characters, an side-stories. We know that Yoko Taro is working on the script and that the story is not going to be a direct adaptation of the video game, but we don’t know how much is going to be changed.
In our opinion, it is one of the best stories ever written in the world of video games and the unpredictability of Yoko Taro’s genius narration makes it impossible for us to predict the plot of the anime series. We hope to see a new story, a continuation of the original game, but we might also see a prequel or a direct adaptation, as we have explained.
In order to introduce you to the world of Nier: Automata, we have decided to bring you a short overview of the game’s plot so that you know what to expect, regardless of what the anime turns out to be.
First, you have to know that Nier: Automata shares the same post-apocalyptic universe as the original Nier, taking place after the game’s fourth ending. There is no direct narrative connection to the rest of the series, but Automata has the traditional dark atmosphere and different story lines present in the Drakengard series.
The story takes place thousands of years after Nier and involves a war between the remnants of humanity and an army of invading machines from another planet. The initial invasion forced humanity to flee to the Moon. Humanity eventually sent combat droids called YoRHa back to Earth in order to fight the invaders through a proxy war.
These androids are deprived of real emotions and names, but they have particular attitudes that differentiate them from each other. YoRHa is commanded from the Bunker, a reconnaissance base orbiting Earth, and also from the self-sufficient Resistance on the surface of the planet itself.
The game opens with characters 2B and 9S (female and male androids respectively) paving the way for a future foray into machine territory, working on orders from the Commander to eliminate threats to the local Resistance. With the help of the leader Anemone, the twins Devola and Popola, and later Pascal, as well as other androids, 2B and 9S defeat multiple threats arising from the machine side.
During their missions, they witness the birth of Adam and Eve and then fight them. Both are physical manifestations of the network of machines that reveal to them that their creators (extinct aliens) were destroyed by a rebellion of the same machines centuries ago. 2B and 9S also meet android A2, who is on the run from YoRHa, being accused of treason.
It is revealed that many of the machines have begun to learn of human culture and feel emotions or gather in organized groups, and some, like Pascal’s group, have grown tired of fighting and wish for peace so they set up small peaceful villages. After Adam captures 9S, 2B fights him and kills him.
Deprived of its brother, Eve goes mad with grief and drives machines under its command into a frenzy. 2B and 9S kill Eve to end the turmoil. However, 9S’s body becomes infected with Eve’s logic virus, but he manages to transfer his own consciousness into a new S-type body, resulting in Ending A-flowers for m[A]chines.
The second chapter follows the same opening narrative but from 9S’s perspective, offering a new look at Adam, Eve, and the machines as 9S can see into them with his hacking tool. 9S encounters a technical problem performing a standard server synchronization and stops the PBX connection procedure for both himself and 2B.
While investigating the cause, he discovers that humanity had actually become extinct long before the alien invasion began (due to the events of NieR). A server on the Moon (built in the year 5,100 by the androids) containing the history of mankind and the incomplete genome is all that remains of them. YoRHa and its mission were actually created to prevent the androids from losing their morale and continue their existence defending the legacy of humanity.
The android Zinnia was the one who designed this plan around the 11,930s, based on the human idea of a “God” in the heights that would function as sustenance for civilization.
However, after reaching the conclusion of not activating the plan anymore because it was very risky, he was killed by one of his two creations, android No. 9 that put the plan in motion (with some changes, to leave a vulnerability in YoRHa that would be activated in the case of certain events that endanger the objective of the entire operation) and who in turn was executed by android No. 2 in a futile attempt to stop the already started YoRHa project.
Finally, defeating Eve in the story once again results in Ending B – or not to [B]e.
The third chapter continues the story, initially switching between the perspectives of 2B, 9S, and A2. Adam and Eve’s deaths throws the machine network into chaos, leading YoRHa to launch a full-scale invasion to contain the machines. 2B and 9S are part of the vanguard, but a logical attack from an unknown virus causes every YoRHa unit sent as reinforcement to become hostile towards the protagonists.
The two retreat to the Bunker, which is subsequently overrun; the “problem” that was found by 9S was, in fact, a security hole in YoRHa’s virus defenses, leaving the entire HQ and its members vulnerable to external attacks from the machines. Being infected, the Commander orders 2B and 9S to return to the surface before self-destructing the Bunker.
2B and 9S are separated by an attack from the YoRHa infected during the descent, and 2B ends up infected with the logic virus. Saved from YoRHa by android A2, 2B uploads her memories into her sword and tasks A2 with completing her mission. Unaware of their conversation, 9S witnesses A2 killing 2B in an act of compassion but he mistakes the situation and furiously swears revenge against A2 for “murdering” 2B. Simultaneously, a huge tower created by the machines rises above the earth.
The story is then split between A2 and 9S, with their respective Pods 042 (previously owned by 2B) and 153 interacting with each other. A2 continues 2B’s missions regarding the machines, but on their way, Pascal’s village is attacked and the machines start to go berserk. During a struggle, as A2 and Pascal avoid an attack by the hostile machines, the “children” of Pascal’s village commit suicide in fear of being killed.
A2 has the option to wipe Pascal’s memory or kill him at his request (or simply walk away leaving him alive and not erasing his memory, causing Pascal to hate A2). Meanwhile, 9S is investigating the tower and discovers that he is preparing to launch what he assumes to be a missile aimed at the server on the moon.
9S is haunted by the loss of YoRHa and 2B, which makes him mentally unstable. He eventually gains access to the Tower with the help of the sisters Devola and Popola, who sacrifice themselves to defend the raid from the attacking machines. In the story it is revealed that the twin androids are the last surviving versions of a type of android that was manufactured in pairs with the aim of supervising the failed Gestalt Project, created in order to protect humanity from a deadly plague that was expanding.
And although the sisters that made the mistake did not exist for millennia, all the members of that model suffered from the discrimination, hatred and violence of other angry androids who blamed them for human extinction. They were intentionally re-programmed to experience a feeling of perpetual guilt.
A2 follows 9S into the tower, where they meet the Overseer of the machines (an AI that evolved from the experiences gathered over time by the machines on Earth), who confronts them both. A2’s backstory is revealed here.
She was the sole survivor of a precursor YoRHa unit that was specifically designed to be destroyed in action (in the “Descent of Pearl Harbor” mission where her entire unit was vastly outmatched by the siege of the enemy machines) and to collect useful data in the creation of future YoRHa combat units.
Meanwhile, 9S discovers that the entire machine logic virus attack and vulnerability in YoRHa’s headquarters was part of a plan to perpetuate humanity’s ruse of survival and trap machines and androids in an indefinite cycle of war. At the top of the tower, A2 reveals to 9S the truth about his partner, 2B: that her royal designation was indeed “2E” (“E” standing for Enforcer, a type of android created to hunt down traitorous YoRHa targets), so she was actually a unit designed to tag along and eventually repeatedly kill 9S whenever he found out the truth about humanity and YoRHa.
2B suffered a lot from her role and therefore wanted to help 9S via A2. 9S, now driven mad by the truth, 2B’s death and infected with the logic virus, challenges A2 to fight. The player must then select which character he will control. Choosing A2 results in Ending C – meaningless [C]ode: where 9S is defeated and A2 heals him of the logic virus, then sacrifices herself by destroying the machine tower, while Pod 042 carries 9S to safety.
Choosing 9S results in Ending D – chil[D]hood’s end: 9S and A2 kill each other, and in 9S’s final moments, the Overseer of the machines tells him that the function of the tower has been changed, i.e., evolved; he is firing an ark containing the collective essence of the machines, including the still-living Adam and Eve, to find a new world in the stars. 9S is invited to join them.
Once both endings (C and D) are achieved, during the end credits, Pods 042 and 153 discover that the data for 2B, 9S, and A2 is intact and can be retrieved. Faced with this situation, the Pods carry out a dialogue on whether it is correct to delete that information based on all their experiences, something that according to the YoRHa regulations they are obliged to do.
If the player decides to keep the data on the androids, Pod 042 must hack one last security barrier of extremely high difficulty (unless help is requested from other players online) where he must defeat the creators, triggering Ending. E – the [E]nd of YoRHa:
The Pods reassemble the memories and experiences of the three androids and rebuild their bodies. Even despite the possibility that the three of them will simply repeat everything, the Pods have Faith that they will forge a new future.
Nier: Automata Version 1.1a anime cast
The cast and crew behind the Nier Automata anime series have yet to be revealed. Namely, the short teaser revealed practically nothing, save for the fact that an anime series is in the works. We know that 2B, the female protagonist of the original game, as well as her traveling companion, Pod 042, are going to be in the show, and it was confirmed that Yui Ishikawa will be reprising her role. The same goes for Natuo Hanae, who will once again be voicing 9S. We’re also hopeful what Keiichi Okabe might return to produce the score for the series and that some of his in-game compositions make a cameo in the anime.
Which studio is making the Nier: Automata Version 1.1a anime?
The studio behind the Nier: Automata anime was revealed to be Aniplex, one of the major anime production studios, who is also behind notable titles like Bleach, Naruto and Boruto, Darker than Black, Erased, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, and many others. We don’t know who’s going to animate the series as of yet, but Pierrot and Ufotable are certainly among the major contenders for the role.