Game director recently said the series was finished, but there’s still room for an anime.

It’s usually pretty easy to guess which video games will get anime adaptations. Titles with a large cast of characters, preferably checking off a long list of the in-vogue tropes among the otaku/fujoshi community are regularly fast-tracked along the game-to-anime path. That’s why we see so many anime adaptations of visual novels and mobile gacha games, many of which are planned as mixed media franchises from the very start.

But every now and then an announcement comes out of left field, and today’s is one for a game known for its shocking twists and surprises, as Nier: Automata is being adapted into an anime TV series from Aniplex.

First released in 2017 for the PlayStation 4, the Square Enix-published title is the masterwork of director Yoko Taro, whose mix of merciless nihilism, bizarre humor, and brief moments of graceful hope makes his games unlike any other. While Nier: Automata delivered satisfying combat and diverse play mechanics courtesy of developer Platinum Games’ action expertise, it’s really the game’s story and themes that make it special, as its characters search desperately for answers to the questions of what it means to be alive and exist while a violent war wages between androids and robots (and if it seems ironic to draw a violent distinction between androids and robots, that’s one of the many points Nier: Automata wants to make).

▼ “Everything that exists is designed to perish” says the teaser video’s on-screen text.

Speaking of the teaser trailer, its description includes a link to an official Twitter account for the Nier: Automata anime TV series. Clicking it, though, brings up this.

While denying fans’ desires while telling them “That doesn’t exist. Try searching for something else” would fit perfectly with Nier: Automata’s themes, it seems this is actually just a case of benign typo in the link formatting, as there really is a Twitter account up and running for the TV series.

Nier: Automata being adapted now is a surprise for a couple of reasons. Though the game is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its release in Japan this month, in today’s otaku marketplace, where trends flare up and burn out at a fever pitch, five years is often just long enough to be considered “old” without yet being “nostalgic,” especially for a game like Nier: Automata that didn’t receive much in the way of post-release DLC. What’s more, it was just three moths ago that Yoko Taro himself said “The Nier series is now finished!”

▼ However, he did qualify that statement with “But, you never know. I might do more if I get a big ole’ pile of money,” and Aniplex is well-known for having some of the deepest pockets in the anime industry.

That said, it’s not clear how much, if any, involvement Yoko Taro is going to have in the anime project, especially given his somewhat cryptic treatment of the news through his Twitter account, where “An anime adaptation…” was all he had to say.

No release window or other details for the Nier: Automata anime has been announced. One thing we can probably assume, though, is that Yoko Tato himself probably won’t have any objections to the new wave of fan art the anime is likely to trigger.

Source: Nier: Automata anime official website via Jin
Top image: Nier: Automata anime official website
Insert images: YouTube/アニプレックス YouTube チャンネル, Twitter
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he hopes his Nier: Automata save data helped someone else see the game’s true ending.