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Nier: Automata anime trailer diverges from the original game, sets 2023 premiere

A-1 Pictures is behind Nier: Automata Ver. 1.1a

A blindfolded android girl with platinum white hair holds a katana in one hand while a box-shaped robot with arms floats behind them. Image: A-1 Pictures/Aniplex
Toussaint Egan is an associate curation editor, out to highlight the best movies, TV, anime, comics, and games. He has been writing professionally for over 8 years.

The upcoming anime adaptation of Nier: Automata has not just one, but two new teaser trailers and a release date, seven months after it was first announced in February.

Revealed Saturday during the Aniplex Online Fest 2022 livestream, both trailers offer a first look at the adaptation’s version of 2B and 9S, two of the android protagonists of Nier: Automata who fight as soldiers in the elite military force YoRHa against an invasion of alien robots on behalf of humanity.

Both trailers reveal that Yui Ishikawa and Natsuki Hanae, who provided the voices for 2B and 9S, respectively, in the original 2017 game, will reprise their roles in the anime.

The series will be produced by A-1 Pictures, the studio behind such anime as Sword Art Online, Kaguya-Sama: Love is War, and Lycoris Recoil, and be directed by Ryouji Masuyama, known for his work on anime like Blend S, Gurren Lagann Parallel Works, and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt.

In a conversation between Masuyama and Yoko Taro, the director of Nier: Automata, Taro announced that the anime adaptation of the game, titled Nier: Automata Ver. 1.1a, would feature notable changes and divergences from the game’s original storyline. “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 in a behind-the-scenes video. “So I brought up the idea of changing things around.”

Released in 2017, Square Enix and PlatinumGames’ sci-fi action-RPG Nier: Automata won the hearts of fans worldwide for its fast-paced combat system, branching philosophical plot, and its frequent fourth wall-breaking twists in story and game mechanics.

The commercial and critical success of Nier: Automata prompted the release of Nier Reincarnation, a mobile game spinoff sequel set in a strange infinite tower known as the Cage, as well as Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139..., a remaster of the original 2010 game Nier.

Nier: Automata Ver. 1.1a will premiere in January 2023.

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