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NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 10: Favorites

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NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 10 – Quick Summary

In NieR:Automata Ver 1.1a Episode 10, “over[Z]ealous,” 2B watched as a shuttle took 9S back to the Bunker for repairs. That’s when Commander White gave 2B new orders – orders that on the surface, appeared not only impossible – but suicidal. Of course, 2B decided to try to follow the orders, but even with 9S’ Pod helping her, what chance does she have? And how will Adam react to what happened to Eve?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 10

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 10: 9S was able to hack into a Machine Lifeform to help 2B

For a second, I thought it was an elaborate ruse! Fortunately, I was wrong! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’m not saying that 2B panicked. But I’m saying she was highly motivated to escape at a rapid pace. As the network came apart, the Machine Lifeforms who had been mimicking human religions continued their work. By invoking the Jonestown clause. They were going to join Eve in death, and they were going to take everyone with them.

Including 2B.

She fought hard, but the sheer number of them overwhelmed her. So she took the Pods’ advice: she made a run for it. She barely made it to the elevator before the wave of Machine Lifeforms crashed into its door. The elevator ascended, but they were far from being safe. Both Pods detected more Machine Lifeforms gathering above them.

So when she leapt from the elevator and saw a huge Machine Lifeform waiting for her, she didn’t hesitate. She attacked.

Catching her sword between its hands, the Machine Lifeform said (10:30), “Whoa, whoa, whoa! 2B! It’s me! 9S! I hacked into this machine lifeform, from the Bunker. I’m controlling it!”

9S was even more relieved than I was!

Favorite Moment from NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 10

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 10: Machine Lifeforms have reached human levels of self-deception

Well, I suppose that’s one interpretation. It’s wrong, but it qualifies as an interpretation! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Machine Lifeforms and the Human Condition

As someone who has studied human religions for most of my life (I have a dual Bachelors in English and Theology), I found this episode deeply unsettling. I mean that in a good way. The narrative has created a universe where Machine Lifeforms want to mimic humans. Isn’t that a perfect way to hold a mirror up to the human condition? A perfect way to take a see at how what we do appears from the outside?

I’ve talked before about the problem with having a degree in theology. It’s like learning about something beautiful, like Chihuly glass, among people who appreciated Chihuly glass. We’d spend hours talking about its beauty and what the beauty meant. Then, I went out into the world and found most people and shattered the glass sculptures and used them to cut each other to pieces.

Having a degree in theology is like that.

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 10: Machine Lifeforms have reached human levels of murder

Wow. Machine Lifeforms are getting really good at mimicking humans! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

To this day, I don’t get how people can say they worship the God who said, “Love one another as I have loved you” and try to say that justifies harming other humans. It makes no sense. Well, it does, but only once you understand that self-hatred’s a thing. But it’s still a bummer.

My favorite moment in this episode more or less shows that in terms of becoming human, Machine Lifeforms are pretty darned close. Might even have pulled themselves across the finish line. Because in light of what we just discussed, I assert that one of the leading traits we humans share is the ability at self-deception. Specifically, we have the ability to look at a thing and use tribal lore to twist a fact into something completely unlike what the facts actually are.

Delivery: Snatching Sophistry from the Jaws of Fact

2B and the Pods had arrived in the throne room (for lack of a better phrase). The dead Machine Lifeform mimicking Eve sat on a throne atop the dais. It was a creepy moment made more creepy when the head rolled off, thudded down the steps, and landed in front of 2B.

Dressed in vestments, another nearby Machine Lifeform raised its arms in benediction. It said (07:54), “His wondrous Grace has become a god!” All around them, the other Machine Lifeforms took up the chant.

Boom! They’re way closer to humans than they realized.

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 10: Machine Lifeforms have reached human levels of self-destruction

They’re really getting this “acting human” thing down! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Except… there’s another trait we humans have, once we decide to work together. It is the ability to decide that deception really does suck and that we can do better. It’s a realization that, to be honest, gives me, if not hope, then an indication that’s there’s a possible path forward. I can follow paths without hope. I’ve got practice doing that.

What is this magic? David Brin said, “In all of history, we have found just one cure for error—a partial antidote against making and repeating grand, foolish mistakes, a remedy against self-deception. That antidote is criticism.”

That was my favorite moment because in that instant, I saw the entirety of human history – of the struggle to be free and, even harder, the struggle to remain free. It also reminded me that there’s a way forward, if we can take it. It just requires an act of will. And lots of work.

What did you think of Adam’s transformation? What were your favorite scenes? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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