Famitsu April 25 Interview

I’ve posted several updates recently with partial interviews as they’ve become available, but with the release of this week’s issue of Famitsu magazine tomorrow morning, this particular interview will be complete.

I am extremely pressed with time and beyond exhausted from starting a crap new job that pays well below what my first job paid when I first came to Japan 12 years ago, so I would appreciate your understanding with not getting this out right away.

Famitsu published this interview in it entirety online a day or so ago, and I took what I’ve already translated and spliced everything together to form the final interview. I still want to add in some of the accompanying images as well, but that will have to wait until I get home from work tomorrow. I’m leaving out the last bit of the interview until I can finalize it tomorrow. In the meantime, please enjoy the first half of the interview below!!


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◼︎ Let’s take another look at NieR Replicant since it’s been released on Playstation Now.

Saito: Sorry for the sudden inconvenience, but Yoko is running a little late…

Oh.

Saito: But, we can start without him. (haha) You can add in his comments after the fact wherever you like. (haha) Or maybe just put them in bold.

Alright. (haha) So…… Now that the previous game is available through Playstation Now, may I ask your thoughts on it as you look back at it once more?

Saito: I’ve heard here and there that there are some people who’ve heard the soundtrack from the first game but never actually played it, so with NieR:Automata in the works, this is a great opportunity for them to try it out. It’s absolutely not necessary to play Replicant in order to play Automata—we’ve made sure of that—but still we’d love for more people to give it a try. It will only be available for a limited rental period at a reduced price, though. Even still, we’d love to get more people to experience it. I think there may have been many people who stopped playing after the A Ending, but if you hang in a little longer, the story gets much fuller from the B Ending on, so I really hope you try it out!

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You say many people have heard the soundtrack even though they’ve never played the game. It must be pretty special then, the soundtrack.

Okabe: Thank you very much. Actually, as we were gearing up for the NieR concert, I realized how much of the music I’ve actually forgotten over time. (haha) Sometimes I’ve been asked how I came to compose the music, but… The game came out 6 years ago, and I wrote the majority of it well before that—maybe 7 years or more ago? So, I honestly can’t remember what I was feeling when I wrote the score. (haha) I tried to refresh my memory by listening to the soundtrack again, but as I listen, I don’t know if I’m actually remembering anything or just experiencing the music as if it were brand new… That’s sort of what I’m going through as I write the music for Automata.

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I think you had many tracks feature an imaginary language, too.

Okabe: The lyrics were based on today’s common languages, but since the game takes place far into the future, Emi thought about how they might change through the course of time. For example, if she wanted to emphasize a sense of statelessness, she used Latin as the base language, or if she wanted to express the feeling of the ephemeral, she used French. She thought the sound of the words were more important than the actual meaning.

Saito: There are no songs that use real languages, right?

Okabe: Yes, the only one is the Ending theme, which is in English.

Was there any particular reason why that’s the only one?

Okabe: Speaking with Yoko, we wanted players to first imagine what the songs were about, and when they finally reach the end and hear the English lyrics they might get a sort of “ah-ha!” moment.

Ah, so that’s what you were aiming for. Mr. Yoshida, looking at the previous NieR from the outside, what did you think of it?

Yoshida: I thought that it seemed like I could do whatever I wanted. I rarely ever get that chance. I thought I was pretty free with “Vagrant Story” as well, but it’s relatively difficult these days for artists to have a little more control, wouldn’t you say? I think there are very few titles that let me design characters as I like. I’m very envious.

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What do you think, Mr. Taura?

Saito: I think it was about the same time we released Bayonetta when two other huge titles were released*; I sort of viewed them as rivals. (haha) Looking back now, I think the music and story was great. I feel like “man, they really fit everything in there,” since they managed to include so many different genres. Now that I’m working with Yoko, he’s always saying, “At any rate, make it strange.” I’m sure this put a lot of stress on the planner.

* Possibly a reference to Final Fantasy XIII and Dragon Quest IX.

Taura: Yes, I also question if this is alright… (haha) On the development side, we’re expected to make something different, so it’s not difficult to keep working on this.

Saito: I think Platinum Games is more than capable of making something out Yoko’s reckless behavior. Even if there’s something that makes you think “Is this really okay!?” during development; however, once they get their hands on it, the next time you see it—it will blow you away. This way, even Yoko can continue getting carried away. (haha) This time around, Yoko’s desire to create something better than the original is quite impressive. Welcome to the wide-open World of Yoko Taro.

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Yoko: Sorry I’m late.

Ah! Thank you for coming! We sort of began already…

Saito: We were just talking about what a stupendous creator you are.

Yoko: Somehow, I really doubt that. (haha) Oh, are you going to take photos as we talk?

Just the beginning portion.

Yoko: Okay, hold on a second… Let me get ready. (shuffle, shuffle…… takes out “that” mask) Okay, ready.

Thank you very much for bringing your mask. (haha) I’d like to ask your opinion of NieR Replicant now that it’s available on Playstation Now.

Yoko: ……Did you ask something?

Saito: You can’t hear with that thing on. (haha)

Can—you—tell—us—your—opinion—about—NieRReplicant?

Yoko: I remember all the horrible things that happened because of it the most.

That’s the first thing you think of? (haha)

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Saito: It wasn’t that bad. (haha)

Yoko: The development phase was pretty rough.

Saito: Oh, that’s what you meant.

Yoko: We had a tough time putting the Library together. It took a long time putting everything together, especially around the half-way point, but by the end, things finally started to line up. No one really had any clue what the overall picture of the game was trying to express.

Wow, so it must have been pretty shaky until the very end.

Yoko: Yes, but as the director, I had to get the approval from Square Enix or else we’d have nothing. I worked as hard as I could to deceive them.

All: (haha)

Saito: Little by little, he showed us what he came up with, but once all the elements were set, he went in and “fixed” many things by rearranging the order of events.

Yoko: Yes, I fixed quite a lot of the content because I didn’t think it was very interesting. At that time, the English localization was progressing quite rapidly… and they had to edit a huge portion of the script once I had changed things. I think the gorgeous director of the localization team was ticked. I remember kneeling down at their feet at the end. (haha) That is my #1 memory of NieR.

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You had that hard of a time? How did things turn out in the end, then?

Yoko: Huh!?

How—did—things—turn—out?

Yoko: Once it was finished, I never wanted to see it again. You see, once we say it’s complete, I can’t ever go back and change anything… So, if I ever looked at it, I would want to change something. That’s why I didn’t want to see it for a good half-year or so, no matter what. A half-year later, I was able to look at it from the outside and actually watched the opening movie for the first time. Even Okabe’s music—I didn’t listen to the soundtrack for at least a year after it was released.

Because it brings back those tough memories?

Yoko: I simply get tired of it. (haha) Once the game was released, I listened the heck out of the soundtrack, so much that I got sick of it again.

Okabe: Even during the end phase of the game he was like, “I’m tired of this. (haha)

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NieR Merchandise Now Available Through the SQEX e-STORE

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Items are now available for purchase on the SQEX e-STORE here. Everything seems to still be in stock, but the scripts appear to be on back order.*

*All items besides the Emil pin and sticker set are currently on back order.

Also, please note that these items are only sold within Japan. SQEX is not accepting any international orders at this time.

New Updates to the Official Website and New URL

The official NieR:Automata website has been updated and it looks beautiful and is easy to navigate. It currently only has a page for World, Character, Movie available at the moment, but it will eventually have other pages for News, System, and Battle. They’ve also added a couple extra photos from the image board. You can still hear J’Nique Nicole’s theme here as well.

Also, please note the new URL: http://www.jp.square-enix.com/nierautomata/

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After Concert Interview

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This is an interview conducted after the NieR Music Concert & Talk Live by multiple outlets, each one coming from the same material, but releasing slightly different versions. The following is a translation of the review by Game Watch.

  • It’s also interesting to note that, although there may only be one interview, multiple venues covering it may release differing results, quotes included.

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Updates from the Concert

Yesterday was the fantastic NieR Music Concert & Talk Live event in Roppongi. It was a perfect mix of music, interesting stories, and many new revelations about NieR:Automata.

My thoughts are rather scattered at the moment, but here’s a quick look at the show! I’ve just added a ton of the photos that I took, too! 😀

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NieR Voice Actress Performs in a Stage Drama

Kadowaki Mai, the voice of NieR’s Emil, just wrapped up a week-long stage performance in the dramatic comedy “Sekai no Hate wa, Pants no Hate da” (The end of the world is the end of panties) by Moratorium Pants (モラパン). It was a really funny play that took a look at the lives of many different people who are all connected by a single city. The story takes place during the early morning hours until daybreak.

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NieR: Automata – New Information and First Reveal of Live Gameplay

As we approach the 6th anniversary of the original NieR, at long last, the “NieR Music Concert & Talk Live” will be held this weekend on Saturday, April 16. Although music from the first NieR will be the main focus of the concert, we will get the first chance to hear the new theme song as well as additional information about the game and its story. New information will be discussed during the “Talk Corner”.

Information regarding the new information with Producer Yosuke Saito, Director Yoko Taro, Composer Okabe Keiichi, Character Designer Yoshida Akihiko, Game Designer Taura Takahisa will be reported on Famitsu.com at a later date. This is the portion of the interview that relates strictly to the concert.

Please look forward to the May 5th, 2016 issue of Famitsu, on sale April 21, for an 8-page spread on NieR: Automata detailing the additional information not included here.

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NieR:Automata Theme Song Vocalist Revealed

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There will be a new interview in the May 5, 2016 issue of Famitsu magazine (on sale April 21) detailing a ton more info regarding the up-coming music concert. A portion of this article has been published on their site online, which I will be translating soon.

They released the name of the non-Japanese vocalist in the new theme song as J’Nique Nicole or Nikki.

NieR Merchandise on the e-STORE not available internationally

I sent an inquiry a couple days ago to the SQEX e-STORE regarding international sales of NieR merchandise when it becomes available online, and I just heard back from them. This was their reply:

e-STOREで販売しているすべての商品は、日本国内向けのため国外への送付や、国外からの
ご購入はできません。また、ニーアグッズに関しましても現時点ではe-STOREのみでの販売を
予定しております。

Essentially, whatever items that become available in the e-STORE (from noon on April 22) are only valid to those within Japan. SQEX will *not* be conducting any international sales nor shipping internationally. T_T

I’m going to continue to cross my fingers for all the international fans that should these initial goods sell extremely well, SQEX will see how many people love this series that eventually anyone outside of Japan will get the chance to own some of these items!!

Nakagawa Nami’s Birthday Live and More!

Nakagawa Nami, the incredibly talented vocalist and sometimes voice actor who sang for the NieR and Drakengard 3 soundtracks, will be celebrating her birthday on Monday, April 4th. For this special occasion, she put a really great concert together with other members from mo2. Also read more on Nami’s possible involvement with NieR: Automata below!*

*Confirmed: Nakagawa Nami will be singing for the Automata soundtrack. She sang the theme from the PGW trailer live at the NieR Music Concert & Talk Live.

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NieR Music Concert and Talk Live NicoNico Tutorial

How to view the concert online…

At first I wasn’t sure if those outside of Japan would be able to purchase Net Tickets to watch the NieR Music Concert and Talk Live event online due to the specific payment methods, but after a closer look and a semi-confirmation from Producer Yosuke Saito, I have changed my opinion.

Therefore, I’ve made these following images to help guide you through how to prep for the event! Please feel free to post your questions or comments here if there’s anything unclear with these images! <3

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It has arrived!

I haven’t been in the best mental state for quite a while, and these games and other fan activities help me tremendously to forget all the depressing, negative things. I was so overwhelmed by the comments on my recent personal post in which I detailed a little bit in what’s been going on in my life. Thank you, everybody, for just chatting a moment and giving me your good vibes. It really means a lot to me!! I am a firm believer that even the slightest bit of positivity and encouragement can go a long way. <3

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What’s been going on…

I very rarely talk about myself here. I like to put a little distance from my personal life and my “official” pages, but I’ve gotten a few questions recently that have wanted me to divulge a little more into my life in Japan.

Since this can easily turn into a huge, unnecessarily long novel, I’ll present this in a sort of outline form (this is where my “left” brain takes control).

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NieR Event Sells Out in Seconds

Individual sales for tickets for the NieR Music Concert and Talk Live went on sale today at noon but were nearly instantly sold out. Personally, I was able to access the site through Ticket Pia and able to get as far as to select two tickets, but apparently by the time I could click “Confirm” they were then unavailable.

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NieR Concert & Talk Live – First Wave of Tickets

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Pre-orders for the upcoming NieR Concert & Talk Live event closed last Wednesday and the results were released this past Friday at noon.

Unfortunately, it seems as though many more people tried to get tickets than were available, so I’ve heard many people lament about not being chosen. I was among these people. Oh, no!!

Regular ticket sales will open on March 7 from noon, so good luck to everyone for your second chance!!

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