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The Nier Automata anime has been given a trailer and a release date, and it will ‘change the situation.’

“Isn’t it about to start?”

The anime adaptation of the open-world philosophical-robot genre mash Nier Automata was announced in February, and we now have some details. The anime, Nier Automata Ver 1.1a, will be directed by Ryoji Masuyama (director of Blend S, key animator on Arietty), and will highlight the return of voice actors Yui Ishikawa and Natsuki Hanae as 2B and 9S, in both. It’ll be accessible in January 2023.

As part of Aniplex Online Fest, an eight-and-a-half-minute video was shown that included character trailers for both 2B and 9S, footage of the voice actors discussing the anime (seeing them react to their characters in anime form on first seeing them is cute), and a conversation between Masuyama and original game director Yoko Taro. Taro explains the name of the adaptation by saying, “The affix ‘Ver 1.1a’ was decided to add to the anime title because the title ‘NieR: Automata’ was a story we created for a game, as well as copying it would not make an interesting story for an anime. So I recommended that humans change stuff around.”

Masuyama is quick to downplay adaptation changes, later declaring, “The game movies are already extremely beautiful and complete, so there was a part of me that didn’t want to mix with them too much. So it’s not exactly porting it into anime as well as filling in the gaps, but obtaining it close to the movie scenes, including all the places where we made changes…”

Taro, on the other hand, side, is happy to troll fans by summing up the behind-the-scenes process as “the original creator was trying to destroy the original story, and the anime staff is desperately trying to stop that…” Eventually, he explains that, despite the changes made to the anime version, he hopes that game players will watch it as well. The fact that the anime side, starting with the director, sincerely did care about the game struck a chord with me. And I’m the one going around breaking things for them, so if anyone is displeased, it’s likely my fault.”

Nier Automata recently made news due to a hoax in which a gathering of modders pretended their creation was a recently found secret area. What began as a promotional stunt rapidly “got out of hand,” as the modders put it, thanks to the devotion of Nier’s fan community. (The secret church mod is now playable.) It’s a one-hour homage to Nier: Replicant and Drakengard 3.) For Yoko Taro’s sake, let’s hope their reaction to the anime is much more quantifiable.

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