Episode Review: NieR:Automata Ver1.1A Episode 5

A feeling of peace
After that ending in episode 4, we were left with quite a melancholic ending to the episode. However, this one started off with quite a different vibe. 2B is still somber and reserved about the mission, but 9S – after destroying the machines in in cold-oil – became like a cheerful boy who’s on a road trip. Compared to the mystical and visual impact of the last episode, this one is quite tranquil as we visit Pascal’s village. But underneath the peaceful pretext is a maelstrom of emotion waiting to burst.

9S this episode is pretty strange – compared to his merciless demeanor in the last one. This time he acts like a child that’s taking a road trip with his onee-san. The pair is on a non-combat delivery mission to Pascal village, and the peaceful walk really show us the effect of the last skirmish. 2B has become reserved from combat because she’s worried about 9S. She’s fine with the whole hack-n-slash business but last time, 9S got hacked and almost bit the bullet if not for her, so 2B becoming concern is very understandable. Furthermore, the pair of mother-daughter machines at the end there definitely affect her psyche more or less.

9S having fun and acting all juvenile is also quite unusual, it’s like he switched memories or personalities. But still, he still act mostly in-line with his “model” description. Pretty uplifting mood he’s in while 2B is quite somber.

The we get to Pascal village and learn about his backstory as well as how the village came to be. We also got a sense of how long the “war” has been going on and boy, that’s a freaking long time. Furthermore, the “kids” at Pascal village as well as the other residents are basically a human-like community by now, with their daily activities the same as a small society. The only thing that set us off is their robotic voice that are flat as hell. I think that’s also a charming point of the series.

And of course, once the machine lifeforms mimic human society, conflicts of interest break out when they form their own individuality. The “manufactured” selfishness spread through them like a plague, even though they are just “simulating” humanity. At first, it was hard to discern “genuine” emotion from simulated ones, but after a while, you can see it becoming “real”. 2B definitely feel this more than 9S, as she has been deliberating within herself about the android’s mission and the machine lifeforms. Pascal is a war robot, so he definitely got his fair share of pain and losses, so now he just want to spread peace all around. But life is often ironic, the machines that experienced peace firsthand resort to conflict eventually.

Episode 5 is definitely a breath taker, to calm down after that ep 4. Not much stuff happening plotwise, aside from setting up some Adam and Eve which probably won’t come until the finale. The art is still good, but also because there’s no action scene this episode. The skit at the end is pretty funny too. From the artifact setup this ep, we can expect some more plot advancement next week.

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