Expect the unexpected: NieR Automata anime teaser breakdown and impressions

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Not much is known about the NieR: Automata anime at this time, but there’s a few things in the teaser that has this NieR fan intrigued. Here’s what we can learn from the NieR: Automata anime teaser.

Expect the unexpected: NieR: Automata anime teaser breakdown and impressions

First off: there’s going to be major spoilers for NieR Automata ahead.

Series creator Yoko Taro is meticulous with his work. He’s a true auteur.

Everything has meaning in his stories and game worlds, and even his self admitted cash grabs contribute to them. NieR Automata is his magnum opus, and an anime adaptation of the game is no small feat.

NieR Automata (the game) pushes the boundaries of narrative in the medium of video games. Mechanics of NieR Automata are integral to the story, all the way down to the menu system.

The story has to be told as an interactive experience, as the themes of reincarnation and the cycle of life and death are expressed in a way only a game could deliver.

How would an anime adapt this, when a massive part of the NieR Automata story has to do with user input and experience? I don’t think it will be a straight retelling of the game’s story. It’ll be a new dimension to something we know of in the game’s lore already.

The teaser opens with the iconic phrase from the beginning of NieR Automata. “Everything that lives is designed to end. We are perpetually trapped in a never-ending spiral of life and death”. We then see an illustration of 2B, standing alongside POD 042.

The teaser doesn’t tell us much, but the anime’s official website has a bit more. It contains a short synopsis of the game’s setting, but not the story.

Interestingly, the blurb only mentions one character: 2B. I’m expecting her to be the focus of the anime, and provide a story we’ve seen mentioned but not presented.

Other NieR Automata spin-off material cover stories not presented in the game. For example, one of the stage plays is about A2’s past and another covers YoRHa’s male androids. The light novel contains vignette stories from the game’s universe.

These small, poignant stories contribute to the overall themes of NieR Automata. While 2B is the face of Automata, the game’s real protagonist is arguably 9S.

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In the game, it’s revealed that 9S is one of the androids who catches onto the true nature of YoRHa. It’s 2B’s job to eliminate him when finds out too much, which she has done countless times.

We see the culmination of this regret, despair and helplessness, but we only play the last couple of loops. There’s a whole history of this that I’m expecting to learn more of in the anime. Think of something like 50 First Dates but really depressing.

It’s not known how much Yoko Taro will be involved in the adaptation. Even if I’m completely wrong, I’m excited for whatever story we do get to see. The NieR franchise as a whole rewards long time players, and anything less for this adaptation will be disappointing.