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Iain Harris

Nier: Automata's Yoko Taro says the beloved RPG was "most inspired" by Neon Genesis Evangelion: "It's pretty much just a retelling of Evangelion, so there's not much originality to it"


Nier director Yoko Taro says the work that inspired Nier: Automata the most was Neon Genesis Evangelion, so much so that the RPG's story is "pretty much just a retelling of Evangelion, so there's not much originality to it."

Speaking to IGN Japan, Taro answers a question about what works he's been inspired by. After all, the interview is done alongside Stellar Blade director Hyung-Tae Kim, who hasn't been shy about sharing his Battle Angel Alita and Blade Runner inspirations. A fair, simple question, but you know Yoko Taro doesn't disappoint with his answer.

"The work I was most inspired by is Neon Genesis Evangelion," he says. "I thank you for praising Nier: Automata's story, but actually it's pretty much just a retelling of Evangelion, so there's not much originality to it. I don't really watch recent movies, so I'm mostly inspired by memories of works I saw in the past."

Kim adds: "I was inspired by Evangelion as well. It's not easy to create something that surpasses your inspiration source. In that regard, Nier: Automata has a unique taste that only you could make. I really envy that. 

"I'm a visualist and not a storyteller. I have always focused on how something looks, so I can't compare to Mr. Yoko when it comes to the story department, but I believe that Stellar Blade's gameplay makes up for that shortcoming."

Taro's signature self-deprecating humor is on display, then, though seeing Kim weigh in to offer him a compliment is some endearing content I didn't expect to be reading this morning. 

As for the links between Nier: Automata and Neon Genesis Evangelion, it's not so much how the shared commonalities of mysterious organizations fighting for the 'future of humanity,' extra-terrestrial invaders, or cool robots, but the somber themes of humanity that both speak on. That, and the fact you'll need a good lie down after finishing either of them.

As it goes gold, Stellar Blade dev says "many people felt we were out of our mind" for trying to make a full-fat action RPG in Korea's mobile-dominated market, but not Yoko Taro.

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