We’ve been waiting since February, when a cryptic teaser went up hinting at an anime adaptation for the popular Japanese action-RPG Nier: Automata, for more details on the promising project. This weekend, we finally got not one, but two character trailers and some info on the upcoming anime.
During Aniplex Online Fest 2022, we finally got a look at the Nier: Automata anime, named NieR:Automata Ver1.1a. The broadcast showcased two short character trailers for the video game’s central characters, 2B and 9S, which mirrored their original gameplay trailers. The anime is slated to release sometime in January 2023. You can watch the full NieR:Automata Ver1.1a broadcast below:
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The anime adaptation of the popular video game is being handled by A-1 Pictures, the anime studio behind game developer Hideo Kojima’s new favorite series, Lycoris Recoil, and other anime video game adaptations like Persona 4: The Golden Animation, Granblue Fantasy The Animation, and 2016’s Ace Attorney anime.
During the broadcast, game director Yoko Taro, appearing as a disembodied head, shed some light on the meaning of the anime’s code-like name, saying it relates to the fact that the show’s storyline will deviate from that of the 2017 video game.
“The anime title has the affix ‘Ver 1.1a’ 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,” Taro said during the broadcast.. “So I brought up the idea of changing things around.”
NieR:Automata Ver1.1a’s director, Ryouji Masuyama, recalled that an executive with anime production company Aniplex was taken aback by Taro’s narrative switcheroo idea. Apparently, Taro replied by saying that, out of concern for fans, “We want to make as few changes as possible,” so the Nier/Drakengard faithful can breathe easy knowing that the anime isn’t going to go full stage play or Final Fantasy XIV: Dark Apocolypse. It likely won’t be adding an entirely new plotline into the already-packed lore of the universe, so you can put down your yarn and pinboard…for now.
For those wondering if Nier: Automata’s banger soundtrack will make an appearance during emotionally devastating scenes in the anime as well, fear not because the game’s composer, Keiichi Okabe, and his music production studio Monaca will be handling the music for the anime as well.
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Speaking of returns, it was confirmed that voice actors Yui Ishikawa and Natsuki Hanae will be reprising their roles as 2B and 9S respectively. Time will tell whether the English-language performers, Kira Buckland and Kyle McCarley, will reprise their roles as the android duo as well, seeing as how Crunchyroll recently confirmed to Kotaku that it is replacing McCarley as the voice actor for Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama in Mob Psycho 100, which is slated to release on October 5. McCarley claims his departure is a result of the world’s largest anime streamer refusing to sit down and discuss negotiating a potential contract for future anime shows to be under SAG-AFTRA union contracts.
NieR:Automata Ver1.1a’s release date will come a couple of months after the Nintendo Switch port of the game, Nier: Automata: The End of YoRHa Edition, which will release on October 6. The End of YoRHa Edition will include previously released add-ons like the “3C3C1D119440927" DLC as well as some new console-exclusive costumes.