Episode Review: NieR:Automata Ver1.1A Episode 3

Rise of the machines
Well it seems that A-1 is once again plagued by the delay curse just like Eighty Six. After episode 3, the series will go on an indefinite hiatus due to the covid infection situation in Japan. They will rebroadcast ep 1 to 3 from Jan 28 onwards, so you can expect at least 3 weeks worth of delay. It is the price to keep up the quality that the series has been maintaining, so it’s a fair compromise. Anyway, let’s get into this episode.

2B and 9S new mission involved investigating the machine lifeform’s sudden change in the desert area as well as looking into the reason why the liason with the Resistance went cold. At the start of the episode we got introduced to the familiar NPCs that we encounter in the game: the weapon merchant and the chip merchant, as well as Jackass – well we have a lot to talk about this gal later. Also it seems that Lily will be replacing Anemone as the Resistance leader in the anime as well. Also it’s great that we got some nods for Popola and Devola, although the two hasn’t so much as said a word since we encountered them.

About Jackass – whew this gal is a blast. She’s a data analyst maniac that’s for sure. Going crazy for data and info that she can obtain at a beat of a heart. Whenever she sees an opportunity to gather data, she jumped at the chance. In the game, she has some connection with Commander White, and it seems that Commander White is also a bit concerned about the Resistance – at least for the reclamation of Earth campaign. Along the way, we also see the subtle development in 2B regarding her emotion and relationship with 9S. It’s going to be a very gradual process, but it’s definitely worth going over once the series conclude.

Then we head to the desert, and oh boy this time it’s definitely more than meet the eyes. We got some fight on the surface which is okay, but not as excellent as episode one. While everything still looks smooth and fluid, the level of details isn’t as vivid as episode one. And 9S got bamboozled once again when he tried to hack the machine lifeform. They are definitely not just random organization of data like he initially thought anymore. It’s clear that they have gained some sort of “self awareness” and has now begun to change. And then we got to the juicy underbelly of the desert – an entire underground “cavern” that is as gigantic as a small town. Got to say, A-1 really knocked it out of the part with the background and scenery in this series. The machine lifeform pillars look supe details and eerie. The atmosphere and the combination with the OST really enrich the viewing experience.

The machine lifeforms we saw in this episode is even crazier than the previous ep. Their changes are much more drastic and human-like compared to the machine lifeforms we saw before. They were literally having identity crisis as a collective, and trying to mimic human behaviours such as nurturing a baby and intercourse – which was both hilarious and insanely scary. Even more, they have culminated into a strange cocoon that gave birth to Adam. The ball of robots that form underground was eerie to look at – along with what the machine lifeforms were saying – a sort of mass hysteria amongst robots – is unheard of. This episode really capture the unexpected and astonishment of 2B and 9S perfectly. I’m sure viewers who have already played the game already saw this coming, but they will surely feel akin to the first time they played the game, a sense of unnerving anxiety when confronted by something created by another unexplainable entity.

Nier: Automata ver 1.1A is progressing well in terms of plot. However, they are tripping a little with the action scenes. I for one wouldn’t mind if we get a little more. What we got is already good, but knowing A-1, they definitely could have enhanced it even further, considering they did a very beautiful job in episode 1. Even so, the detailed frames still look beautiful, and the CG modeling aspect of the series is still stunning. And the skit they included at the end of the episode has been hilarious and well done. The voice actor of 9S definitely had the most fun doing it. Hopefully the delay is only 3 weeks and everything will continue then.

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