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NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 2: Favorites

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NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 2 – Quick Summary

In NieR:Automata Ver 1.1a Episode 2, “city e[S]cape,” Lily led her band of human resistance fighters against the Machine Lifeforms infesting Japan. They had to fight hard for every scrap of equipment and supplies, and the odds were slowly crushing her and her team. Then a wave of Machine Lifeforms attacked. Can she keep her team alive while they retreat? Or will this be her last command? And where are 2B and 9S?

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

Favorite Quote from NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 2

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 2: 2B seems to be showing more emotions.

2B likes to hear 9S’s voice. I wonder if she’s aware that she likes it? Or is it a programmed reaction? Both? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This episode didn’t feature a lot of frothy banter. It was too busy conveying the evolution of a species without exposition. That certainly counts as a good excuse! But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a quote worth celebrating!

2B had been unconscious (if such a term can be applied to a non-human intelligence, and I suspect it does, especially in this case). 9S had supervised her maintenance cycle, and he cheerfully welcomed her back to alertness.

She sat up and put her forehead on her hand.

“9S,” she said.


“Your voice,” she said (13:09). “It somehow puts me at ease.”

He was so shocked that he staggered backwards. His delight brought a smile to my face. But that’s not why I chose this quote. It’s because it fits well with my favorite moment from previous episode, where 2B showed clear feelings. This quote is another step in that journey, and I’m curious to see where it leads.

Favorite Moment from NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 2

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 2: Clearly, Lily knew someone who looked like 2B

I’m excited for the next episode just to see why Lily reacted like this! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Dramatized Exposition

I haven’t played the game, so I don’t know where the show’s going with the Machine Lifeform that decided to turn pacifist. But seeing his little friends die as they were watering the flowers was tough. Then seeing him die, as his red-eyes brethren overran his field of flowers, was even more tough. His eyes flicked to green just before he died.

Isn’t that just the way things work out?

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 2: I mourned the death of our yellow/green-eyed friend

I mourned his death. And I just met him this episode! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This episode had a lot of setup, in a good way. I liked watching the Machine Lifeform boot with yellow eyes. The episode let its/his evolution play out in action, not with an info-dump. Judging my reaction to his death, I think it was effective.

My favorite moment is in the spirit of that dramatized exposition. This episode introduced us to resistance leader Lily. She’s resolute, just as a leader would have to be in that situation. She’s also teetering on the edge of despair – also a trait a leader would have in that situation.

Delivery: Trusting The Viewer’s Intelligence

We saw her keep her people together after the attack. She also kept them cohesive as they retreated across the bridge. Even when the bomb didn’t go off, she didn’t panic. She rushed forward and tried to get a shot at the package in the hopes she could set it off.

You know how that ended: 2B and 9S arrived just in time. Their mechs destroyed the enemy detachment – including, unfortunately, our yellow-eyed friend who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Through all that, Lily maintained her discipline. It was only when 2B landed near her that her facade shattered. She looked stricken.

“N-Number two,” she gasped (18:39), falling to her knees.

NieR:Automata Ver1.1a Episode 2: Who was 2B to Lily?

What could make a hardened, field combat leader react like this? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

We didn’t get a flashback to interrupt the scene’s flow. No one stepped up to described their backstory. We just saw a stoic, disciplined soldier lose her cool at the mere sight of 2B. And I want to know more. To me, that’s the sign of an effective scene.

What did you think of the Machine Lifeform’s side-story? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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

  1. I got some serious WALL-E vibes from most of this episode. It’s always a joy when a show can show instead of tell, and show well at that!

    Also unlike so many anime where the Bad Guys are just a faceless, characterless evil force of nature, it was nice to see the Machine Lifeforms given some texture, and even evoking empathy.

    I haven’t played the game, but I found it odd that the Machine Lifeforms, ostensibly built by “aliens”, have very Earth-y heads up displays in English. One question I have going forward is who are these “aliens”, and are they even from another planet?

    1. That’s a good point. Showing and not telling is tough to get right, but when it works, I think it’s a lot more effective. This show got it right!

      The show has me asking a lot of questions in the best way. I noticed their POST routines are in English, too. What’s up with that? Do the red-eyed versions see the yellow-eyed versions differently? Why are the androids so human? Why do the humans on the moon sound so artificial — or is that just an android communicating on their behalf?

      For that matter, why are they safe on the moon? I would think an alien race capable to traveling in force to this solar system could get from the Earth to the moon!

      There’s lot of potential here!

  2. It’s been interesting following the series so far, having played the game when it came out years ago. The first episode practically followed the prologue of the game’s first route 1:1, but this second episode was quite different, adding a new perspective. I’m not the biggest fan of A-1’s general style and work but with Yoko Taro involved I have high hopes for this adaptation, that we’ll get something unexpected.

    1. I haven’t played the game — yet. The more game footage I see, the more I think I missed out by not playing it. I generally stick to FPSes, and I’ve always associated third-person views with console games. If I can’t play with a keyboard, I can’t play. Which is a comment about me and not the game!

      I’m disappointed that episode 3 will be the last one we get for a while. I hope the delay doesn’t last too long!

Please let me know what you think!

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