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NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 12: Favorites

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NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 12 – Quick Summary

In NieR:Automata Ver 1.1a Episode 12, “flowers for m[A]chines,” 2B and 9S had barely survived Adam’s onslaught. But even as they tried to help Lily and the other members of the resistance treat their wounded, they received terrible news: scanners still registered Adam’s presence! So 2B and 9S had to descend with their pods into the crater that Adam’s crash created. Can 9S keep going, since he’s missing some important parts? What did the scanners pick up? And will Commander White get away with using the laser – without authorization?

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

Favorite Quote from NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 12

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 12: 2B was enormously relieved 9S lived

2B felt weak with relief. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Remember my favorite moment from episode 1? Where 2B tried not to show emotion, yet she still clenched her fist? We’ve come a long way from that moment. I think it’s a tribute to the show’s story engineering that the clenched fist saw its resolution, first in my favorite moment from this episode (see below), and second from my favorite quote.

Sorry for presenting them out of order!

2B just had to snap 9S’ neck. She had just lamented that it always ended like this. We’re not sure what that meant, but one thing was for sure. The weight of tragedy weighed on her. So it weighed on me, too.

When 9S came back on line through the action of the “personal data” he had left “in the machine lifeform side,” 2B could scarcely believe it. But it was obvious 9S had come back – who else would prattle on like that? To 2B, something inane like that, as a sign 9S survived, had to be the most beautiful music.

2B came up to the construction he had become, put her hand on it to steady herself, and nearly collapsed, saying (10:00), “I’m so glad.”

The android who had to pretend to be emotionless now acted as much like a human as any I’ve ever met. What a great way to end the first cour!

Favorite Moment from NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 12

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 12: 2B had to kill 9S to fulfill his wishes -- which were not to murder everyone he knew

2B seemed to have lived through this moment too many times before. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: The Weight of the World as ED Number 1

Have you ever listened to the song they played during the first end credits (it started playing around 10:16)? It’s beautiful in a tragic way. The song’s called “Weight of the World” (link takes you to the English version of the song on YouTube). I think it’s sung from 2B’s perspective.

The wong wastes no time setting the mood:

I feel like I’m losing hope, in my body and my soul, and the sky, it looks so ominous

The part that hits me the hardest is when she says:

It’s like I’m carrying the weight of the world

I wish that someday, somehow, that I could save every one of us, but the truth is that I’m only one girl

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 12: Weight of the World was a perfect ED song for cour 1

This episode puts a happy moment like this in a somber context. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Seriously, listen to the song, if those lyrics seem at all interesting. The image of 2B, alone, realizing that she’s alone, but still committed to her mission really speaks to me.There’s a part of the Japanese version where the singer gets so into the song that her voice falters (05:17, in the linked YouTube video) – and it was acoustic perfection. So, yeah, I think the song was the perfect note on which to end the first cour – especially with what we saw during the second half, which basically set the stage for the second cour.

Delivery: 2B Completes One Stage of Her Journey

My favorite moment shows that 2B has become human in a way that’s heartbreaking. Which is probably redundant, but don’t mind me.

2B and 9S thought they’d defeated Adam. Despite 2B faltering at the end, taken in by Adam’s sadness and the senselessness of all the killing, 2B still managed to plunge her sword into Adam’s head – but only with 9S’ help. 

Instead of celebrating, though, 2B had to watch with horror as 9S convulsed. His eyes turned red. They both knew what that meant: 9S had become corrupted. He knew when it had happened – when he had slain the dream Adam during his captivity. The knowledge, though, did nothing to help him.

As the corruption spread, he begged 2B to put an end to him. 9S did not want to become a murderer. He especially didn’t want to harm or kill 2B.

The solider in her knew what she had to do. The human emotions (hell, let’s just call them emotions – it’s not like humans have a monopoly on them) rose up in horror. But, in what’s probably the most human thing she ever did, she lowered herself onto 9S. With his blessing, she wrapped her hands around his neck. And she twisted.

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 12: Having to kill 9S broke 2B's heart

This is a very human moment. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

9S’ remaining arm went limp. She lowered her head over him and wept. Credit to Yui Ishikawa, the voice actor, for making an emotionally wrenching scene even more poignant. 

“Why does… it always… end like this?” she asked, her tears dropping on 9S’ still face (08:00).

The journey 2B began as a supposedly emotionless android arrived at one possible destination – her expressing those emotions, having killed the one who most helped her free them. 

It was a helluva ride. I’ll be back for the second cour, though I’m not sure I’ll review it. Concrete Revolutio did something similar to me. It became something so personal, it’s difficult to review. The themes here, the dark and despairing world, really speak to me, and I’m not sure I should give voice to the part of me that listens most intently. Or maybe I should. We’ll see!

What did you think of what 9S learned at the end? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to share in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 12: Favorites

  1. That whole sequence at the end with 9S indicates several things.

    First, all those documents that flash by far too quickly? I took a moment to pause and read them, and it is confirmed: humanity is long since extinct. However, to keep the androids fighting and not going insane, Project YorHa has created the illusion of humans still living on the moon. I believe the Commander said something about the necessity of of a god to believe in, even if it was false, or something along those lines.

    Unfortunately, it seems that something from the machine lifeforms managed to infect their system and is now running the show, directing Project YorHa, impersonating the authority which the Commander bows to. It’s basically just playing with everyone, using the androids and the war like toys. Almost no one is in a position to even suspect a thing, and it can fiddle with the memories of those who stumble onto it.

    So we have a devil impersonating a false god which the androids obey all but absolutely, just to mess with humanity’s defenders atop humanity’s grave.

    1. I went back and paused them, too — wow. I suspect something like that, but seeing that’s actually canon is chilling.

      The show getting darker. I like that ascetic, but man, is it depressing!

      I think your summary of the situation is spot on.

Please let me know what you think!

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