YoRHa Musical Ver.1.2 Recap and Exclusive Interviews from the Cast and Crew

It’s been almost exactly two months since the performances of the YoRHa Musical by now, but I am finally able to share my officially endorsed article and recap of the dress rehearsal, which includes several exclusive interviews from the cast and crew!

Read the Article Here!

As a quick overview, you can find personal comments and interviews from the following members:

  • The Cast
    Ishikawa Yui (No2)
    Takana Reina (No4)
    Mochida Chihira (No16)
    Hanana Mio (No21)
  • The Music Team
    Emi Evans (vocal)
    Goto Takanori (guitar)
    Kawaji Emi (piano)
  • Extended Interview with Tanaka Reina

I may write an afterward eventually detailing my first experience as official press.

Fan Questionnaire in Famitsu Magazine

Famitsu recently sent out a questionnaire to international fans of NieR:Automata, and here’s a compilation of the comments that were chosen and printed in this week’s issue of Famitsu magazine, No.1531

I thought maybe I saw a comment that I made but…alas. lol Maybe they recognized my name and don’t consider me as “international” since I live in Japan. orz I’ll have to complain to Sugihara-san. lol J/K


[PlayerQuestionnaire]
The best part about NieR:Automata
Total number of unique users: 3856
Multiple answers possible.

  • Gameplay: 3085
  • Story: 3562
  • Art: 3008
  • Music: 3399
  • Other: 397

[Breakdown of Voters]

  • Total participants: 3856
  • Male: 3309
  • Female: 461
  • Other: 63
  • No Answer: 23

[Age]

  • 10s: 417
  • 20s: 2531
  • 30s: 814
  • 40s: 83

[Location]

  • North America: 1964
  • Europe: 1290
  • Asia: 227
  • South America: 193
  • Oceania: 154
  • Africa: 16

The twists on the above aspects were so clever and unique. ーJohn M (20 / M / Europe)

PlatinumGames creates very exciting and fun to play combat. Yoko Taro’s stories are always so interesting and compelling. The style of NieR:Automata is so different from American games, and the music of NieR games are on a whole other level above most American games. ーMichael Coleman (30 / M / North America)

Everything is excellent. What I love the most, though, it’s the way in which it usese every single feature of videogames as a mean to enhance the narrative. I’ve particularly enjoyed the moment when you cannot read the options menu because of the missing chip, or at the end, when 2B/A2 are damaged and it reflicts on the screen. ーLontrain (20 / F / Europe)

Everything was so unique and unusual. ーMsg (30 / M / North America)

The only thing missing from mosst of Yoko Taro’s games was polished gameplay, and PlatinumGames delivered wonderfully in that area. I also love the work of Akihiko Yoshida, so getting to see his designs in a Yoko Taro work was a welcome surprise. Keiichi Okabe’s musical work continues to be some of my favorite in the industry, as well as Emi Evans’ vocals. ーMimi (20 / Other / North America)

The weapon stories were an interesting way of providing some information about the world, and it was helpful because I’ve never played the first Nier or Drag-on Dragoon. ーAndrew (30 / M / North America)

Every aspect of this game was thoroughly considered. ーkstor (20 / M / South America)

The gameplay was fun, the music was amazing, I loved the story, 2B is really cool. ーMike Parks (30 / M / North America)

The hacking 8-bits parts were genius too! Especially with those 8-bits musics! ーTin (30 / M / Europe)

Parce que aucun jeu n’est comme lui. Et pour l’émotion qu’il apporte. (There is no other game like it. Especially the emotion it brings) ーCharles (30 / M / Europe)

Everything! Fantastic gameplay. Amazing story. Beautiful music. ーPhreakar (30 / M / America)

What a great example of Japanese gaming culture! Fast paced, energetic, sexy, funny, sad, touching, entertaining as hell. Great game! ーTobi (20 / M / Europe)

Yoko Taro’s “madness” is a very interesting phenomenon of videogame industry. NieR:Automata is no exception. ーDarkV (20 / M / Europe)

This game made me think about my existance in this world. Damn you Yoko Taro. ーShadi (20 / M / North America)

2B’S BIG BUTT ーKale Cahoon (20 / M / North America) *multiple duplecate comments

The story, the music. Most importantly 2B FTW! ーMaherTRY (20 / M / Asia)

Unique gameplay elements that can go from action to 2D shoot ’em up. The story is also interesting where it tried to explore what makes the androids individual beings. ーBuga (30 / M / Asia)

The music in this game is a masterpiece, I never heard any game that have this amazing music before in my life. ーHammerTank (20 / M / Asia)

Yui Ishikawa is fantastic in this game, also the combat is great. ーKi’oon (20 / M / Europe)

The Japanese voice actors’ performances of the script was fantastic. ーgrace (20 / F / Asia)

Interesting side quests. ー4yvak (20 / M / Europe)

Romeos and Juliets. ーNir (10 / M / Asia)

Emil! ーTiffany (20 / F / North America)

Yoko Taro is a mad genius. ーPandorise (20 / F / North America)

The music and story is very powerful and sad. ーBeau (20 / M / Oceania)

The Atmosphere. It’s perfect in this game. ーMakoEyes (30 / M / Europe)


◼︎ Who’s your favorite Main Character?

  • 2B: 2169
  • 9S: 916
  • A2: 770

[2B]

She is a strong and complex character. ーZMangz (20 / M / North America)

Her development, her personality. I got her tattooed on my leg. haha ーAnonymous (20 / M / Oceania)

2B’s story of opening up and becoming more “human” is very touching. ーTrevor (20 / M / North America)

She’s my waifu. ーNess (20 / Male / North America)

[9S]

I like his design and character a lot! Hacking was a lot of fun, too. ーRebecca (20 / F / North America)

I love how he degraded from a nice boy into a mad one after losing 2B. ーRebecca (20 / F / North America)

[A2]

I love A2’s personality. She reminds me of Kaine from Gestalt. ーBianca (20 / F / North America) *multiple duplicate comments

A2 was very cool and mysterious, which made it more enjoyable to find out about her. I also really liked her interactions with Pod042. ーEll (20 / M / Europe)


BECOME AS GODS BECOME AS GODS BECOME AS GODS ーSky (20 / M / America)

The really cool character designs! And the soundtrack was super good, too. ーNave (20 / M / North America)

Crazy story from Yoko Taro, amazing music from Okabe, and awesome gameplay from PlatinumGames. ーAnacra (30 / M / Oceania)

The YoRHa androids’ designs are amazingly beautiful, the areas are gorgeous, and the music is so beautiful it brings me to tears. ーVivian (10 / F / Europe)

Yuki Aoi as Pascal. ーPyotr (20 / M / Europe)

As a long time NieR and Drag-on Dragoon fan, it was nice to have some questions from both games answered while expanding the universe I adore. ーPhazonmasher (20 / M / North America)

The ending credits sequence. This was so moving to me, something that could only be done in a video game. How you had to choose to sacrifice everything, but you saw that so many people had sacrificed for you. It was a special moment and speaks to Yoko Taro’s genius. ーChristopher Dodge (30 / M / North America)

Everything. I could write endlessly, but here are the most important parts I loved:

  1. The beautiful UI and its inclusion in the game’s story
  2. The haunting music, especially the song entitled “Tower”
  3. All the continuity and references to the rest of the NieR and Drakengard universe, especially the first NieR’s Popola & Devola, A2’s stage play backstory, and Accord
    …..

Overall, the most impressive accomplishment of NieR:Automata is that it’s a story that could only be experienced in the format of a video game.Aside from being incredibly fun and satisfying to play, every element that makes video games unique is used to its fullest potential to create nothing short of a masterpiece. ーshiina (20 / F / North America) *Due to the length of the comment, the Japanese translation was shortened.

2B’s final message to 9S had me in tears. ーJK (20 / M / Europe)


◼︎ What’s your favorite ending?

#1:  the [E]nd of YoRHa ー 1958
#2:  flowers for m[A]chines ー 418
#3:  childhoo[D]’s end ー 247
#4:  meaningless [C]ode ー 231
#5:  aji wo [K]utta ー 106

The choir version of Weight of the World has a strong, emotional impact. ーbradyonetta (20 / M / Oceania)

Having to choose to sacrifice your whole gamesave to help someone you will never meet, such a brilliant decision. Very moving. ーChristopher Dodge (30 / M / North America)

The integration of the credits with the shooter hacking game and the story was unexpected and wonderful! ーKarasu (40 / M / North America)

I unlocked it by accident and after realization of what I have done I laughed so hard… ーILYA (20 / M / Europe)

Took me off guard, did not expect that a fish would be the end of me. ーNehelichus (20 / M / Europe)

I played the first Nier, so what Emil said during the fight was pretty moving. ーNoleen (20 / M / Europe)

SINoALICE x DOD3: Harmonic Interference Chapter Introduction

There are quite a few interesting things that are included in the chapter introduction for the new SINoALICE x DOD3 chapter “Harmonic Interference*“.

* I have an alternate translation for this below…!


First off we have a couple lines by Zero:

  • “Mikhail, I will save you at all costs!”

There are a couple keywords that we can see in this shot:

  • The Wall of Jericho (エリコの壁) – This is the wall that was built around Shinjuku after the 6.12 incident to keep the White Chlorination Syndrome from spreading.
  • Will of God (神の意志) – If you take the largest kanji bit that covers the majority of the screen here and add these together, it looks like 神 aka “god”. The circle next to it is likely part of the hiragana の needed to complete this keyword phrase: 神の意志 or the “Will of God”.
  • Maso (魔素) – This is the so-called “demonic element” that comes from the Red Dragon’s remains after it is cursed by the Mother Angel aka the Queen Beast.
  • The Origin (始祖) – These jumbled kanji bits had me stumped for awhile, but thanks to a comment on Twitter, I was able to fix this part. This term can be translated as the “founder” or “origin”…It is likely referencing god as the creator of all or it could be talking about Maso and how it’s involved in the very existence of the Utautai.

There’s also a direct connection to NieR:Automata hidden here. See the text wrapped around in a circle?

You can see that it says ポッド042ポッド153デポルポボル (Pod042 Pod153 Devola Popola) listed there. The text wraps in a circle, so it’s unclear what order it’s meant to be. A couple frames after the above images, the text in this circle starts glitching out, replacing legible words with meaningless garbage.

  • Distortion in time… the great Apocalypse

  • The starting point, the Utautai

  • The Will of God

  • Special Weapons Organization (特殊兵器群) – Not sure what this is referring to, either. I don’t believe this term has been used in any of the previous titles of NieR or Drakengard… But, I get really weird vibes from this…such as something from KimiShini perhaps?? The experimental students at the Special Abilities School could be considered a sort of “special weapon” in development.
  • Mikhail
  • Dragon – This could be a stand-alone reference to the race of “noble dragons” that were forcefully transported into the Drakengard world in 856… Or it could be coupled with the aforementioned Special Weapons Organization since a new weapon was designed to support the conflict in the Kingdom of Night in 6230.
  • [A]ccord
  • Gishi[n]
  • [Ki]The letters in brackets line up vertically to spell “Anki”.

  • Falldown – This is probably a figurative reference to nuclear meltdown in terms of the multiple timelines. Or maybe it’s meant to be reversed as in the word “downfall” aka the inevitable failure of something…something like time and all of its various branches.

Here we see a bunch of items from the overall timeline:

  • EID_M0010 – Branch A, Chapter Zero, Verse 1 (March 4, 999)
    Zero and Michael storm the Cathedral City.
  • EID_M231
  • EID_M321
  • EID_M332
  • EID_M431
  • EID_M1510 – Zero, Mikhail, and Octa…
  • EID_M2310 – Branch D, Verse 1 (March 19, 1000)
    Zero and the gang search the Kingdom of Mountains
  • EID_M3210 Branch B, Verse 1 (April 1, 1000) 
    Zero and the gang search the Kingdom of Forests
  • EID_M3320 Branch D, Verse 4 (April 4, 1000)
    Zero kills Five.
  • EID_M4310 Branch D, Verse 5 (April 14, 1000)
    Zero and the gang arrive in the Kingdom of Sands
  • EID_M5320 Branch D, Last Verse (April 22, 1000) 
    Mikhail and Zero battle against the “Flower” and destroy it

More specific dates:

  • 20
  • 99
  • 200
  • 997 – Usubeni (Zero) dies.
  • 998 – Suddenly, contact from each ruling lord is lost.
  • 998 – One creates Brother One
  • 1000 – The Utautai are destroyed.
  • 2003 – A strange being appears above Shinjuku.
  • 2004
  • 2008
  • 2010 – The “origin”…
    The word they use here is “始祖” which appears to be used for the Red Dragon after it had been affected by the curse of the Queen Beast… causing Maso to appear.
  • 2016 – The drug “Luciferase” was completed to delay the progression of the “White Chlorination Syndrome”.
  • 2026 – Experimental Weapon No7 (Emil) is developed.
  • 2033 – Relapsed Gestalts (Shades) are…
  • 2034 – “Project Gestalt”

The next shot of the timeline shows a lot of glitching as much of the lines are nothing but gibberish:

  • The Great Apocalypse
    About 15 years have passed since that battle.

    A mysterious disaster occurred on the Iberian Peninsula in the year 856.

  • It is our origin, the harmonizer of the world.

  • Harmonic Interference or… Accord’s Interference

It might be important to mention here that, according to the DOD3 Complete Guide, the name for Accord is taken from French which translates to “harmony”. More specifically, the Japanese that is given is 調和 or 和音. Notice, that 調和 (chouwa) appears in this chapter title. Therefore, it may be better to translate it as Accord… maybe Accord’s Interference.

Lastly, it’s interesting how blood is used in this trailer. First, we see a small drop falling in the darkness from which the first couple of keywords appear. The camera zooms out while spinning a couple times before we’re engulfed in a pool of blood as the keyword “Falldown” appears on the screen. Bright, yellowish petals begin to race to the top of the screen that makes it feel like we are falling. Then, from the top of the screen again, comes a splatter of blood that reaches throughout the timeline. The red blood stains slowly turn black the further we fall until the text of the timeline begin to glitch. Then finally the blood splatter hits the center of the screen where the chapter title “Harmonic Interference” appears.

We know the blood of the Utautai is far reaching and likely has ties to the “Flower” entity that wants to destroy the world. Perhaps this chapter will explore yet another unknown branch in this tangled mess of timelines.

SINoALICE x DOD3 Collaboration

The other day, Square Enix released a preview for the new SINoALICE x DOD3 collaboration. Here are a couple things that we know about the details:

  • Zero, One, Accord will be playable. Upon logging in, all players will receive Zero (Breaker) as a gift.
  • DOD3 character designer Fujisaka Kimihiko has illustrated a new character for the collaboration, but the name is blurred out in the video. That being said, if you pause the video just right, you can clearly see that it says:
    「少年ミハイル」= Boy Mikhail
  • Yoko Taro has penned the story for these collaboration stages, so prepare some tissues…

Lastly, here are some photos from the PV:

 

Zero, One, and Accord will be playable characters!

New original character design by Fujisaka Kimihiko!
This is the young human form for Mikhail!
He is somewhat of a 4th “secret” character in terms of marketing.

If you look closely at the center of the “ribcage” looking part of the dragon design, you can see there’s actually a heart inside of it…!
It looks like the “red lightning” is also originating from the heart.

New original story penned by Yoko Taro!

Voice actors Uchida Maaya and Toyama Mao reprise their respective
roles as Zero and Mikhail.

Um… That’s Five’s glyph…

 

Zero: This world is surely my curse.

Chapter Title: Harmonic Interference
Available on March 26

Lastly on a couple of the screens we can see some of the story text. It’s really difficult to make the second half of it out, but so far this is what I can read. If anyone can help flesh it out some more, please let me know!

Japanese:
最初に感じられたのは痛み。
呼ぼうとする喉からは抜かれた空気だけが、
というか、何がどうなってるんだ?
右手には剣が握りしめられて、
左手を見ると……
金属の甲冑が く 光っていて。
私に私の感情と記憶
していくのを ていた。
そうだ。
僕が、私ーーは  と戦っていたんだ。
ーー友。
なくてはならない、ゼロ
English:
The first thing I could feel was pain.
As I tried to call out, only air escaped my lips.
Besides that, what’s going on?
A sword lies firmly in my right hand,
Whereas when I look at my left hand……
Some metallic armor glistens brilliantly.
My thoughts and feelings,
???
That’s right.I, I was– fighting.
??? friend.
I must… ???
Zero

Thou Shalt Not Die / Kimi Shini Tamou Koto Nakare, Chapter 33 Preview

Chapter 33, which was released on February 25, 2018, gave us some interesting new details that seem…awfully reminiscent to some aspects in the new YoRHa Boys Ver.1.0 stage play. I’ll discuss this further behind spoiler tags below.

This is only going to be a very brief look at the chapter right now, as I need to be out of the house in ten minutes, but this chapter brings back a familiar face…

Welcome back, Yanagi. It’s been a while.

As the students were preparing all night for the up-coming School Festival, Yanagi had other ideas. He round up a group of “defecting students” to stage a coup against the teachers and government that set up the whole “Special Abilities High School” in the first place. Using the gym as their base of operations, Yanagi and his gang sent out an email to an outside news agency that said there would be an important announcement made at 6am.

Leading up to that time, Yanagi and his goons were using their powers to kill the teachers and other staff near the school entrance gate. Police were alerted to the incident and went to take control of the situation, but they, too, fell victim to Yanagi’s group.

As more and more bodies littered the school entrance, Kuroi and his group finally get word from the “outside world” about what’s going on (they didn’t know because they were in a different area of the school, preparing for the festival). Also, it appears that communication going in and out of the school had been cut off… The chapter ends with Rokusho meeting up with Kuroi’s group.

What’s interesting about this is that… Yanagi began his coup because he learned that special ability students like himself were just pawns to the state of Japan. They were rounded up from all over the country, given drugs to give them special abilities, and subsequently slaughtered in further experiments. He apparently had had enough of it.

This feels very much like what No21, No3, and No6 had done in the YoRHa Boys Ver.1.0 stage play. They learned that they were just pawns to Command and were slaughtered left and right for their precious data. Maybe their coup was partially influenced by the virus, but… the similarities between YoRHa and KimiShini continue.

I’ve made a bunch of comparisons between YoRHa and the KimiShini manga as well as possible connections to NieR, so be sure to check that out here. It’s an old post that needs updating, but it brings up some curious similarities…

Yoko Taro says there may be an international NieR:Automata fan event in the works!

Could there be an international fan event in the works? Make sure you contact your local Square Enix and let them know that you want them to do it!!

14-Page Special in Famitsu This Week!

Famitsu will be running a 14-page story on NieR:Automata this week (release on Thursday).

One of the headlines reads that there is a “secret” that no one has realized about NieR:Automata yet but apparently they don’t go into any great detail about this “secret” in the article…?

The article welcomes 10 members from the development team as they discuss the various points in the game’s production. As you can see in some of the preview pages, there is a timeline that begins in 2014– I assume this is the first run of the YoRHa stage play since that was in October 2014… but YoRHa activities actually began in 2013, so it will be interesting to read if they mention anything about that in the text.

Lastly, some spoilers will be discussed, so it’s recommended to be aware of that.

  • Matsudaira Hito – Character Modeler (Platinum Games)
  • Negishi Isao – Game Designer (Platinum Games)
  • Koda Kazuma – Illustrator (Platinum Games)
  • Taura Takahisa – Game Designer (Platinum Games)
  • Yoko Taro – Director/Creator (Bukkoro)
  • Saito Yosuke – Producer (Square Enix)
  • Yoshida Akihiko – Character Designer (CyDesignation)
  • Nagai Yuya – Character Designer (CyDesignation)
  • Okabe Keiichi – Composer (MONACA)
  • Hoashi Keigo – Composer (MONACA)

YoRHa Musical Ver.1.2 – Scene 15 Monologue with No2 and No4

This is just a quick message. Comparing the script from the new YoRHa Musical Ver.1.2 with the script for the YoRHa Ver.1.1 Stage Play, this scene has *not* been changed in the slightest. Merely, my English translation has changed a little bit since then.

This is my translation directly from the musical script that was sold at the show:

No2: Our memories… are pseudo memories.

No4: They’re false memories programmed in order to promote diversity and evolution on the battlefield.

No2: In my memories, I lived in the country with my grandma.

No4: In my memories, I hung out a lot with my friends at school.

No2: Everyday, grandma and I would tend to the farm and knit… …The cold of the rain, the ferocity of  storms. The silence of the snow. The gentle warmth of spring…

No4: After school, we’d go eat the most delicious things, have fun dressing up, playing games…

No2: Since we lived in the country, I couldn’t have everything I wanted. But because the other villagers looked out for me, including my grandma… stranely, it wasn’t so hard.

No4: As long as I had my friends, I could endure my studies. We’d laugh day after day; no matter what hardships came our way, we were able to overcome them.

No2: ……My grandma taught me “kindness,” a gentle heart to cares for others.

No4: ……My friends taught me “hope”, a strong heart to laugh even in the face of difficulty.

No4: Holding tightly onto these false memories, we fight.

No2: But they are also our precious memories.

No2 & No4: The time… draws near…

No2 & No4: Our final moments… are about to begin…

NieR:Automata 1st Anniversary Live Broadcast

More details regarding the continuous, two-day celebration for the NieR:Automata 1st anniversary have been released. The broadcast will be broadcast from 7:00pm on Sunday, March 3 until sometime after 7:00pm on Sunday, March 4.

They said they intend to livestream the game through the very end… but which ending could they be referring to, I wonder?


Watch the show live on NicoNico here!

Check below for the tentative list of those who are scheduled to appear!

Saturday, March 3
7:00pm~

  • Saito Yosuke (Producer)
  • Yoko Taro (Director)
  • Taura Takahisa (Game Designer: Platinum Games)
  • Matsushita Yoshikaze (Yoshi) (Character Modeler: Platinum Games)

7:15~9:00

  • Ishikawa Yui (NieR:Automata: 2B; YoRHa Musical: No2)

11:00~

YoRHa Musical

  • Mochida Chihira (No16)
  • Hanana Mio (No21)
  • Maikawa Miyako (Commander)
  • Tachibana An (Anemone)

Sunday, March 4
3:00am~

YoRHa Boys Stage Play

  • Saito Naoki (No9)
  • Murata Hisashi (No21)
  • Eda Shinichiro (No2)
  • Doi Yuuto (No6)

7:00am~

  • Matsushima Hatsune (Talent)
    …among others

11:00~

  • Saito Yosuke (Producer)
  • Ushizawa (Game Let’s Player)

3:00pm~

  • Takahisa Taura (Game Designer: Platinum Games)
  • Matsudaira Hito (Character Modeler: Platinum Games)
  • Yasumoto Hiroki (Pod042)

7:00pm~

  • Saito Yosuke (Producer)
  • Yoko Taro (Director)
  • Okabe Keiichi (Composer)
  • Taura Takahisa (Game Designer: Platinum Games)
    …among others

YoRHa Musical – Notes and Spoilers

This post is a Work In Progress.
Updated: 18.02.15 20:50


I had the rare opportunity to participate as PRESS for the YoRHa Musical dress rehearsal yesterday. Although I was busy concentrating on taking photos, I was still able to follow along with the musical and have a couple bits of news regarding how the musical is different from the previous plays.

Below will be a bunch of spoilers on this topic and also the details on the story. If you haven’t followed my previous articles on the YoRHa stage play, I suggest you check out this page and the links at the bottom first.

First off, here’s a non-spoiler that was revealed by stage director Matsuda Ichidai on twitter:

▲ He says that Yoko Taro wrote the Japanese lyrics to the songs that were originally only in Emi’s “chaos language”. This includes No2’s solo to the song “Voice of No Return” and No21’s solo to “Grandma”.