Episode Review: NieR:Automata Ver1.1A Episode 6

A past not forgotten
In episode 6, we explored Lily’s backstory. Previously her background was explored in the Pearl Harbor Descent Mission in one of the Nier Stageplays. Even for some game players, Lily’s story isn’t exactly well-known, so a brief introduction here is pretty appreciated. Furthermore, her story about the past mission with YoRHa gives us a new perspective on the cooperation between the Resistance and the YoRHa team, as well as the origin of the other Type 2 Android – A2.

We started the episode with some light-hearted banter with 9S. 2B is also playing cute in this episode so that’s nice. But it was quickly switched to a depressing memories that dwells within Lily. A story about a previous cooperation between YoRHa’s android and the Resistance. Both teams actually have various characterization that actually made us like them even though they’re only in this episode.

The interaction between the Resistance and the “previous” type 2B’s team were very interesting. Instead of like the machine lifeforms where they just “adopt” a cooperative and societal lifestyle, the girls we saw in Lily’s memories are anything but. 2B is cheerful and over-eager for cooperation. Type 21 is the tech android that’s a bit reluctant with the cooperation but eventually warm up to them. Number 16 has a competitive and rough personality, which clashes right away with the android of the same type in the Resistance team. Number 4 is pretty reserved and didn’t display any clear emotional pattern, but she’s shown to be the sacrificial player. The Resistance team also has their own eccentricity, especially Lily. And her dark past was revealed through very fast flashback that will most likely elude your average viewer, but we dug around and found out.

Lily was revealed to be a comfort android (for physical purpose) of an Android Officer in the Army of Humanity. That’s when Captain Rose of the Resistance rescued her. As Lily isn’t an android built for combat, the team usually protected her and put her in the rear. That created an inferiority complex in Lily and made her despite her inability to fight alongside others. And when she was infected by the machine’s logic virus, it exposed her to everyone in the Resistance as well as the YoRHa soldiers. The Lily we saw in the past is a 180 from the current one, and we actually saw how she developed into a true leader of the Resistance, and it’s a really emotional and heroic story – on the surface.

A handful of androids going up against 300,000 machines – that’s not an easy fight in any routes. And of course the whole team got eliminated. The way they fell is pretty brutal and bloody, actually reminding me of Ideon when a blast blew a Resistance’s head off. The team was cornered multiple times, and each time a Resistance and YoRHa pair stayed behind to hold the line and buy the team more time. The previous rivalries and doubtful relationships have turned into camaraderie and teamwork. They got each other’s backs, even knowing that they are heading to a dead end. And that YoRHa sent them on this mission as sacrificial pawns and expected them to all die. This was a plan to test the combat androids performance, which is why they didn’t send any reinforcements from the Moon. Also Commander White definitely didn’t seem “okay” with the Council of Humanity decision to send her own kind to their destruction.

After Number 4 self-overloaded her reactor, the whole mountain and the server was destroyed. Everyone but Lily perished…or so she thought. Lily regarded that day as the day she changed forever, and the memories from that time will keep haunting her as “nightmares”. 2B did raised a question if one of her comrades was still alive, what would she think? And we – as the viewers – know that one person did indeed survived. We saw a glimpse of a long-and-white-haired YoRHa soldier with a mole near her mouth. And it’s definitely our A2.

This episode once again packed a lot of information and development. That it would certainly benefit from a second and slower viewing to grasp all of the details. One thing Nier did quite well is it doesn’t drop fragments across too many episodes, but rather sprinkle them close together. You only need the previous episode and this one to piece together crucial information that explained Lily’s initial reaction towards 2B and 9S. The linear development has been very nicely done in this series and there’s never a boring moment even though 2B’s not jumping around flashing her thighs and slashing robots. Furthermore, that special ending was amazing – they give life to the Resistance characters and showed that their memories will forever live on inside Lily.

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