My anime days are long behind me, but when I heard that Nier: Automata would have its own animated adaptation, I immediately grew interested. I love the game, considering it a masterpiece in both story and gameplay. And I'm happy that, so far, the anime show has captured much of what I love so much about the game.
In fact, I would say that Nier: Automata ver1.1a is a video game adaptation done right. So often do we see such things flop on their face, with some notable exceptions like Last of Us, meaning that you can probably understand my excitement that this anime is, in fact, a faithful adaptation... mostly.
See, it's not a one-to-one recreation of the game. There are subtle differences to flesh things out for a TV audience, since video games are inherently a very, very different medium and don't often transfer to the big or silver screen well.
The art style and acting also impressed me, even within the context of the game (which itself excels in both areas). Protagonists 2B and 9S look and sound awesome, with the former maintaining her normal brooding self and 9S keeping his curious innocence.
Everything I loved about Nier: Automata's story has thus far been present in the anime, but with added flair and flavor. For example, when 2B and 9S battle Simone, the machine who has gone mad in her quest to become beautiful, the show adds a lot more detail to the fight, such as when 9S tries to hack into the enemy.
I'm skeptical about adaptations in general, be it book to movie or what have you. Rare is the good adaptation in my experience, so I'm all the more shocked that Nier: Automata ver1.1a is as good as it is. However, I think that it helps that Yoko Taro, the creator of the Nier series, plays a role in the screenplay.
One of the best things about this show is its accessibility to newcomers and fans of the original game. It captures many of the game's themes — so far, of course, since the show is still a few episodes in — and Taro's involvement certainly helps the show remain faithful to its source material.
It's gotten to the point where I'm thrilled for each release on Saturdays at 12:30 EST over on Crunchyroll. I highly recommend Nier: Automata ver1.1a to fans of the game, and I further recommend it to people who never played Nier: Automata. If you're looking for a thoughtful anime with excellent action and characters, you have to check this one out.
This show is video game adaptation done right and set a new bar for me. I can't wait to see how it progresses.