Nier Automata Ver 1.1a Gets Another Delay Because Of COVID-19


According to a new official report on the Nier Automata anime website, Covid-19 has caused a disruption in the anime schedule, and the staff has decided to postpone the broadcast of the anime starting with episode 9 and beyond. The episode was scheduled to air next week on March 25 after episode 8 aired this week on March 18.

This is not the first time the Nier Automata anime has received a delay for similar reasons, the first time being after the 3rd episode aired in January, and while the excuse is understandable enough in and of itself, the first delay has left many fans angry and in doubt as to whether Covid-19 is actually the real reason for all the delays.


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Entertainment news outlet Bounding Into Comics reached out to an anime industry insider to get some answers on the matter, and the problem turned out to be much deeper than it first appears. First of all, the Japanese animation industry was overly dependent on Chinese subcontractors for most of the moving images and finishing touches, but due to the infection, outsourcing work has come to a complete halt.

Currently, most of the subcontractors were in China and Korea, but companies are now trying to compensate for this loss by contacting other foreign countries. However, this would take them a few years at least to succeed in this new work process, and there are also delays due to creators shifting to working from home.

Anime fans are used to seeing many corrections and quality improvements between the broadcast version and the Blu-ray version of an anime. The director explains that the delays in a broadcast do not really mean that the quality is improved, but rather that they are a grace period to deliver a product in time for broadcast. Studios usually set an initial budget for Bluray corrections, but end up using most of it before release, which ends up delaying BD releases as well.

Staff overlap is also an issue raised in the interview, where the same staff can be seen working on multiple titles at once, as seen recently with Studio MAPPA’s extensive schedule. The director adds that this is also a routine problem in the industry, and has been for over 20 years, but production companies have no intention of fixing it, as they need to meet a set sales target.

All this puts into perspective what a delay due to COVID-19 means, and not necessarily because someone got sick, but because of other factors as well.

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