Nier: Automata Ver1.1a Is Reshaping The Standard For Video Game Anime

The renaissance of anime adaptation is upon us.

Story Highlights

  • Nier: Automata Ver1.1a is an excellent adaptation that is redefining the standards for video game anime adaptations.
  • The adaptation is a great visual treat for gamers who prefer playing the game in high-quality settings.
  • The direction and pacing are handled well, unlike most rushed video game adaptations.
  • The anime focuses on the character development of various characters, including 9S and Lily setting the standards for focusing on side characters in video game adaptations.

Video game anime adaptations were known to be unsatisfying, and they ruined the game’s essence. They had a bad reputation for their poor pacing and direction. There have been many low-quality adaptations of video game masterpieces leading to dismayed fans. Video games like Danganronpa, Higurashi, and Persona 5 were given poor justice in the anime. 

However, recently we have been getting great video game anime such as the recent Cyberpunk Edgerunners, which gained massive popularity due to its execution. While some were afraid that the Nier: Automata Ver1.1a might ruin the video game’s direction. The adaptation has been great so far, and it might reshape the standards for future adaptations. 

Appealing Visuals

Nier: Automata anime visual quality
Anime Visuals

The amazing visuals faithful to the game have contributed to the success of the Nier: Automata Ver1.1a. While some CGI emulation does seem shabby and unnatural. The adaptation does an excellent job of maintaining the quality and depth of Nier: Automata’s open world.

The anime paid great attention to detail for various locations found within the game. The forests, the destroyed buildings, the desert, and other areas were designed well. Gamers who appreciate great visual depth within the game would always appreciate great animated visuals.

The amazing animation quality has made the Nier: Automata Ver1.1a a visual treat for the fans. The adaptation has captured the essence of the video game visuals in a spectacular way. Various scenes within the anime were designed in parallel to the cutscenes found in the video game. 

Great Direction And Pacing

Emil In Nier Automat anime

Quality standards are often not maintained when it comes to direction and pacing for many anime adaptations. Most adaptations mainly focus on showing as much as they can, giving little care to the pacing, the result is often a poorly rushed adaptation mainly for fanservice that shows highlights from a game, but details are missed.

While many adaptations do a rushy job of presenting the plot, Danganronpa, Higurashi, and Persona adaptations are some examples of rushed adaptations. Nier: Automata’s great pacing makes it a cut above the rest.

The poor direction standards seem to be changing recently with Nier: Automata and Cyberpunk Edgerunners anime. Many feared that Nier: Automata anime might not give justice to the plot’s presentation in the game. However, the direction team has shown excellence.

The video game presents the plot in various endings. The main plot is shown in the ending A to E routes. Nier: Automata Ver1.1a merges routes A and B together. Furthermore, the director claimed that the adaptation will not follow the game’s story completely, so it would be interesting to see how it changes as the anime continues.

Nier Automata Ver1.1a is paced well, unlike many other rushed adaptations. The episodes seem to be taking things slowly, focusing on various details to build on the game’s themes. For example, An episode was dedicated to showing the lifestyle of the machine lifeforms lived and how they expressed emotions as they raised a flower garden.

Adds Depth To Game’s Plot

Nier Automata plot depth
Nier: Replicant Cameo

Nier Automata Ver 1.1a utilizes the source material from the game well. However, the storyboard is adding more backstories for some characters making the plot more impactful. The game focuses greatly on the character of Lily, who was well-known by manga and stageplay fans.

Lily’s past, along with some new characters, was shown. The backstory was well-written and added much more depth to the game’s central plot. More versions of androids were shown who supported Lily in the past.

Many themes that were introduced later into the game were introduced in the initial part of the anime. We can see Yorha resistance refusing to provide aid to the Androids. The Androids were left to fend for themselves, abandoned by Yorha.

Yorha is shown to be a selfish organization from the start caring about nothing to achieve its goals. While in the game, the resistance is shown to be a support group. In the adaptation, Yorha is treating the resistance soldiers as sacrifices to the machine lifeforms. There is animosity between Yorha and the resistance.

Scenes that were easily missed in the game were brought into focus in Nier Automata Ver1.1a. Some players missed the fact that the masks the machines in the deserts were wearing belonged to the people in the land of “Facade.” The anime highlights that part and Facade makes a cameo in the adaptation.

Furthermore, Nier Automata Ver1.1a had a few additional scenes, such as 9S dives into Emil’s head. In Emil’s memories, events from the game “Nier: replicant” play, thus giving the game another great cameo.

Adapting the source material is great, but fans always appreciate new stories and plots within an adaptation. It’s possibly the reason why Cyberpunk Edgerunners attained success as well. The video game anime standards are getting upscaled and new adaptations would have to work harder to impress fans. 

9S’s Character

9S character development
9S in Simone’s consciousness

The 9S’s route in the video game was a bit rusty and dull for many gamers. His gameplay involved finding and shooting down the core of a machine lifeform, after which the emotions of the machines were presented. Not much depth was given to 9S’s dives in the video game. 

However, in the anime, each dive is much more immersing for fans. Each dive is designed and directed well, making the experience more worthwhile. The visuals in each dive are immersing, and they actually show the emotions of lifeforms in a way the game was unable to show.

Take, for example, the battle with Simone when 9S dives into the lifeform. The machine’s consciousness is shown to be chaotic and disturbing. The entire scene was directed well that showed Simone’s emotions out of control, making the viewer sympathize with the lifeform at a deeper level.

Many adaptations fail to highlight the character development of many characters, especially if they are not the main protagonist. Nier: Automata is raising the bar high for various other anime reiterations by adding much more depth to various characters and their development.

9S is often shown to be distrustful of the machine lifeforms. This aspect of 9S’s character is highlighted multiple times in the anime. The cheerful robot acts coldly in Pascal’s Village and refuses to help two sisters in distress until 2B stands forward. 9S also ruthlessly killed machine lifeforms who were pleading for their lives.

It would be interesting to see how 9S’s character develops further as the anime progresses. Nier: Automata Ver1.1a is giving the character justice that the video game might have failed to give. Many players ended up dropping the game at Route B at 9S’s section. However, 9S’s part in the adaptation is certainly interesting. 

Final Thoughts

While many feared that Nier: Automata Ver1.1a  might not be successful and might ruin the game’s appeal. It seems to redefine the standards of video game anime adaptations. The direction, plot, pacing, characters, and visuals are top-notch. 

The adaptation got a great response from fans across various social forums. Recently, we also saw great success from the Cyberpunk Edgerunners anime as well. It might be interesting to see more video games reiterated into anime if the standards of quality are maintained in the future. 

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Rabiya is a versatile writer at eXputer who can cover everything from guides to tier lists and the hottest news in the gaming industry. Rabiya earned her Bachelor's in English Literature, further enhancing her writing skills. With hundreds of hours on Persona 5 and Genshin Impact, Rabiya has proudly played video games for eight years. Follow Rabiya's gaming activities on her Steam and Xbox Profiles!

Experience: 2+ Years || Mainly Covers Tier Lists & Guides || Education: Bs English Literature, Ms. Applied Linguistics, Writing & Editing Course, English for Journalism.

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