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Famitsu #1494: Nier Automata Special Feature

Public 1 14012
2017-08-29 06:27:40

A rough translation of the special feature interviews. Currently only contains 2B and 9S interviews, will be updated with the rest of the cast later.

Posted by @didrun

Please note that some things here (mainly the interviewer's questions) have been paraphrased for the sake of length and simplicity.

Interview with Ishikawa Yui (2B)

Q: What kind of character do you think 2B is?
A: A serious and diligent one. Due to this she feels that she can't go against her mission, which collides with her actual emotions and causes her many hardships. When I first read her lines, even while knowing that she was an android, I felt from her words and actions that she had feelings. The line "emotions are prohibited" is said because emotions exist, right? Maybe she was actually cold in the beginning, but I think that from spending time with 9S over and over again her personality gradually changed. That's why I think that she is a character burdened with suffering and grief from her painful destiny.

Q: Any specific points you took care in performing as 2B with?
A: To be honest, I didn't have the whole picture when I was recording, so around half the time I just left it up to Yoko-san's direction.

Q: It does indeed sound hard to grasp the whole picture when there are multiple endings. What was Yoko-san's direction like?
A: Whenever I play a cool (calm and collected) character, I always wonder how much emotion I should use. For 2B's lines, despite her usual coldness, there were quite a lot of scenes where she became emotional, so I would read them with emotion. Many times I would be told things like "You don't have to put that much emotion into it" and "2B is strong, so you don't have to show her weakness".

Q: This was your first time working with Yoko-san, but what was your impression of him when you first met?
A: My first impression was that he had a very polite way of speaking and was a very nice person despite his rough appearance. But when I saw his works, I thought he had a deep sense of darkness *laugh*. He'd made so many games with a profoundly solemn world view which was hard to connect to my impression of him, and it surprised me.

Q: I heard that you are pretty engrossed with the game.
A: Probably not as much in comparison to the other voice actors, but I did clear ending E. I had so much fun I even forgot that my own voice was coming from the screen. All the characters were so interesting and burdened with heavy fates, and the story they unfolded was also spectacular. It's a game that allows you to personally experience its deepness, so it makes me want to keep on playing. I felt like I was able to finally understand everything about 2B through playing the game.

Q: By the way, about your save data
A: I erased it! I thought that if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to beat the game.

Q: The contents of the concert reading had become quite a topic within the fans.
A: That's right. I heard about the change in the 5th script only right before the performance day. Hanae Natsuki's (9S's) part was also to be a recording as he was planned not to perform that night. Three days before that however he was suddenly able to come. The moment I heard this, I went "Ooh!" (T/N: This is a sound of happy surprise/expectation)

Q: Fans who were watching the concert on Nico Live were surprised at the sudden story change and sat in anticipation.
A: They were deceived in a good way. I've never heard of putting surprises inside script readings, so it was something very Nier-like as a game full of surprises. As expected [of Yoko Taro], I thought. I wondered how the audience would take the surprise that we ourselves had been given, and anticipated the reaction while tackling the reading.

Q: Did you feel any pressure to be reading in front of a large crowd?
A: As my voice was the only thing heard inside the quiet venue, my nervousness was high. But even though I was the one standing on stage, people came to hear 2B, so as to not destroy her image (and due to my nervousness) I used all the strength in my body to keep my posture. Then I had muscle pain the next day.

Q: Since it's been about a year since the recording for the game had been done, did you feel any unease in performing 2B again?
A: I had been playing the game and hearing her voice during that time, so I never forgot what it felt like. On the contrary, due to playing the game so much, I was able to notice things I hadn't noticed during the initial recording, so there was no sense of uneasiness to play as her again during the concert readings.

Q: How was the reaction of the audience?
A: Most were delighted at the entrance of Hanae-kun. While everyone tried to be quiet during the readings, the moment Hanae-kun came on stage they conveyed such a devouring sense of passion. I myself enjoyed that reaction, and combined with the contents of the script I was deeply moved.

Q: After the readings had ended, the venue announcements that you were in charge of also became quite a topic. I heard that 2B calling 9S "Nines" was your adlib.
A: Before the concluding program, Yoko-san told me that the preface and afterword was parallel to the actual contents. Based on that and the flow of the reading, I accidentally said "Nines".

Q: That adlib seemed to have shot through the hearts of many. Your co-stars also gave it high praise.
A: Apparently the word "Nines" was trending on Twitter on that day *laughs* I felt bad that I had accidentally changed the contents of what the creator of these characters wrote, but Yoko-san and related staff told me that it was actually better that way. I'm glad that everyone enjoyed it, and even now, I think that those were 2B's true feelings at that time.

Interview with Hanae Natsuki (9S)

Hanae: In the game, why can't hacking boxes be opened when playing as 2B even when 9S is right there?
Yoko: That'sbecause 9S keeps getting distracted.

Q: It's been four months since the release of the game, but what are your feelings right now?
A: I've been asked about my feelings towards published works a lot, but never as much as I've been asked about NieR:Automata. Every time I go to work, fellow coworkers tell me "I played Nier" and such. Acquaintances also send me their thoughts through LINE *laughs* It makes me reaffirm the idea that this is such an amazing game, and since 9S was the first main character I'd voiced that starred in a home console game, I've had feelings well up in my chest sometimes.

Q: You've been a fan of Yoko's works since Drakengard, but what is it that you like about them?
A: I was in elementary school when I first played Drakengard, and at that time I didn't really think deeply about it. I bought it because I thought it seemed to be interesting like "Dynasty Warriors", but there was so much blood and it was so realistic so I thought I'd accidentally bought a scary game. And when I played it, all the characters including the main one had such a surprising personality, which I thought was kind of cool. It was also interesting how every weapon had a story attached to it. I was the kind of guy that liked niche titles more than major ones, so I got addicted to Drakengard. I had a large interest in Angelus, the red dragon, and was charmed by the relationship between her and Caim (the main character).

Q: And after that, Nier was released.
A: At that time I had no idea that Drakengard and Nier were related. It was only when [I played] 9S's story that I looked up "Nier Replicant/Gestalt", realized that they were related to Nier, and then played Replicant.

Q: How did you feel about Replicant?
A: It was super interesting. The world view and atmosphere were amazing, and together with things like the setting which can only be experienced in this piece of work, I received an impact like I had watched an epic movie. And when I told Yoko-san and Saitou-san and I was playing it, they told me that they wanted me to play from the second route all the way to the end in one go. And when I did so, I received an even bigger impact. More than just things being different from what I imagined they would be, it just made me feel sad.

Q: What about Drakengard 3, which was released after Nier?
A: I played it. It went in a surprising and completely different direction than 1 and 2. Despite there being so many cute characters, the succession of dirty jokes overwhelmed me haha. But things like fighting together with your dragon and bonds between characters were very Drakengard-like and were great.

Q: You are pretty engrossed with the game [N:A], right?
A: Yes. I erased my data three times, and in some of those playthroughs I had 100% completion, so I can't even calculate the amount of time I'd spent playing *bitter laugh*. By the way, I'm playing through the PC version now. The momentum of this PC version is pretty amazing. It's always been at the top of the rankings in Japan.

Q: You really have played it a lot haha. Why are you addicted to that extent?
A: The action just felt good. Even though I'm just pressing buttons, I can do stylish attacks and never felt lame during movement and attacking. And of course, the story is also great. The bonds shown between 2B and 9S and how they try to find their purpose as androids while 2B lies about her true self was very saddening and impressive to me.

Q: So it was better than you expected?
A: That's right. There were quite a lot of developments that betrayed my expectations, and after playing the demo I didn't expect there to be so many shooting sections haha. I didn't know about hacking, and I did want to win, but it was challenging. There were many surprises like the ones in the Forest of Myth from the first game.

Q: Nier has a unique kind of misery to it, doesn't it.
A: Yeah. Enemies each had their own stories and the music really fit them. There were many scenes I cried at just due to the music.

Q: Please give us some impressions about 9S.
A: At first, I thought he was just a cheeky character than hated machines. While he had always had an abundance of emotions, being together with 2B had given him human-like qualities. But he's a poor guy, I think. After 2B died, he fought alone, and as the story progressed his emotions went wild. Those scenes were my personal favourite.

Q: During your playthrough, did you feel like 9S had an ambiance similar to Drakengard characters?
A: In cutscenes that 2B was in a lot, 9S would grin, and his resemblance to Caim then gave me the chills. Aside from that, another scene were 9S left an impression on me was the exchange with Adam ("You're thinking about how you want to **** 2B, aren't you?"). When I read that, I realized "9S was this kind of person?". I came across that kind of scene a lot. And, after the concert readings, the strategy guide and the novel, my impression of 9S changed. The more I know about him, the more I think "I should have done this scene that way" and such.

Q: Which one of his lines left an impression on you?
A: The scene with a lot of 2B's memories where he said "This is my treasure!" left an impression on me. Not only was it hard to say (T/N: lit. "It was painful to form it into words"), but the scene after that where he kept on stabbing 2B made me sad acting it out.

Q: 9S yelled quite a lot in the latter half of the game. Was that hard for your stamina?
A: It was very hard. The first parts we recorded were the cutscene parts, and he yelled quite a lot inside cutscenes *laughs*. And, in the scene where he was dying after getting stabbed by A2, I feel like I'd screamed enough for a lifetime haha. So to be honest, when I was first reading the script, I was uneasy, wondering if it was going to get interesting. I knew the basic story but wasn't sure about it as a whole. 2B seemed to die way too quickly, and 9S seemed to get angry way too hastilyI was wondering if this was going to become a proper game. But according to people who had been involved in recording for the previous game, the previous recording was done in the same way; you don't really get a lot of feedback during the recording, but when you actually play the game it'll be interesting.

Q: How did you find hacking to be?
A: I didn't know about lock-on until halfway through the game haha. It was fun after I found out though.

Q: Can you tell us about your favourite subquests and weapons?
A: I laughed a lot in the lost sister subquest. The "Please tell me how to make childreeeeeeennn" line was really cute. Quests relating to the first game also brought tears to my eyes. As for a weapon that I like, in the first game I had always been using the Phoenix Dagger, so when I found it buried in the desert I got really excited *laughs*. While I liked new weapons too, when playing as 9S the spear throwing motion was really strong, so I mainly stuck with the Phoenix Dagger.

Q: The way you get the Cypress Stick is pretty special, right? It's even called 'The Hanae Method'.
A: Since you float upwards for just a moment when you use "Mirage", and since that was the first pod skill I bought, I thought I'd try to use it to get to various places. There was a treasure box at a high place inside the forest kingdom, so I thought I'd do some air attacks and use mirageand I ended up reaching the box. It was actually pretty easy, you know? Just do a jump attack, then Mirage, then another jump and you're there.

Q: Let's talk about the concert. The script change caused a lot of surprise. Were you aware of it from the beginning?
A: I also had no idea until pretty much right before the readings. Moreover, I hadn't been planning to participate in the last program at all. But since I was suddenly able to go, I was able to get some new lines from Yoko-san.

Q: And finally, what would you want from new works from Yoko-san?
A: I'd like to play a game with the same world view as Drakengard and Nier, or something in a different timeline, or even a derivative of that. Please think about it, Yoko-san!

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