Friday, January 16, 2015

No Game No Life Review

No Game No Life Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

With that said, thank you, and onto the review:

Ah, look what we have here. Possibly one of the most hyped shows of 2014. I've heard of the show only once before I knew it was premiering in the spring, and when I kept on looking, I saw  a lot of people easily saying how fantastic this anime was. I noted that maybe I should watch this show in the future, and put it onto my to watch list.

I did have some worries before going into this. That an over-used seiyuu was voicing another lead male, there might be a little too much fanservice in this show for me to handle, and that I was afraid I wasn't going to like it as much as other people.

So what did happen in the end?

I'm going to get this straight off the bat: This show is pretty epic.

Though there are a few issues with it in general, there was a whole lot of gold inside. The characters, the story, the animation. There was a lot to like in this series, and I'm glad I figured it out.

Let's go into the story now. Are you ready to hear about it?


Brother and adopted sister Sora and Shiro are a gaming team known as Blank. In online games, Blank is unbeatable, and have a ton of wins under their belt. One day after a massive game, a god from another reality named Tet challenges them to chess. When they win, Tet offers them a chance to live in a world where games decide everything. When they accept, they are sucked away into a world known as Disboard.

In Disboard, conflicts are solved by playing games. With it comes 10 pledges, in which all people in Disboard must follow in order to assure the world to be violence free. Once Shiro and Sora arrive, they stay true to their alias, and do their best to make sure they don't lose. After winning a game that decides the king of Elkia, both Sora and Shiro become king together, and this gives them the right to challenge the other 15 nations. But they have a ultimate goal in mind: to one day challenge Tet himself.

The story for this anime was very fascinating. The system in which the world runs on is a great solution to solve conflicts without violence. The rivals that the brother and sister duo play against all have different personalities, which works really well.

The only episode in which I had a problem with was the end of Episode 8 and 9. Sora disappears all of a sudden, but further on in the episode, we find out why he's gone, as he is playing a game with Kurami that sadly I forget the title to. But the beginning of this episode is incredibly weird, as Stephanie and Jibril automatically forget that Sora ever existed, which got me really confused. I do like how this whole event was explained later on, but I still found it a little off compared to the rest of the show.

Let's now go to characters:


The main characters in No Game No Life are all very diverse. Some of them are instantly likable right off the bat, but others might take a little while to warm up to.

We'll begin with the brother and sister duo:

Sora is 18, while Shiro is 11. Both of them each have their own strengths as to why they have countless game wins under their belts. Sora is great at strategies and cold readings, while Shiro excels at calculations and just pure logic.

The two are most known in the gaming world as Blank, which stands for the spaces in their in-game names. Both of them are undefeated, and they both drive to win every game they can.

Since you know, Blank never loses!

Some people will possibly get annoyed due to the fact that Blank must win every game they compete in. At first, this seem a bit odd to me, as they both strive to not lose each game, just because of their motto. However, you can see why they happen to win most games, even by a hair. Sora often calculates enemies' weaknesses or cheats that they preform. And it's really entertaining for Sora to admit these with all but a grin on his face.

I found Sora and Shiro to both be very likable characters. They are very intelligent, and I would be super afraid to play against them. Sora is a great game player who can understand opponent's cheats, as well as trick them with such skill and procession.

I know of some users on MyAnimeList who have put either of these two on their favorite characters list. And it's easy to see why.

Stephanie's turn:

Stephanie is the granddaughter of Elkia's previous king, a king who was believed to be very foolish. However, this king was actually very smart, especially with the Eastern Federation. But I shouldn't spoil that for you.

While Stephanie does know a lot about games, she lacks a lot of intuition to play them. She also normally loses. Stephanie strives to help Elkia thrive due to her grandfather's "foolishness", and for them to regain her grandfather's honor, as well as humanity's. 

After Sora and Shiro win against Kurami and become co kings, Stephanie becomes their assitant and helps with Elkia's politics. After they find hidden journals of her grand-father, Shiro and Sora now have help to win against the other species.

Beside this, Stephanie is also used for some pretty good comic relief. I like her character, but I felt that she wasn't the strongest. Sometimes, she was used too much for a punching bag, and less goes towards her development.

However, when she fired the final shot in the game against The Eastern Federation. NAILED IT!

Finally, Jibril:

Jibril is a Flugel, which are a special angelic race known for ruthlessness of Tet's rules. Though Jibril is over 6,000 years old she is actually the youngest out of her species. Also include the fact that she's the most powerful out of the Flugels.

Jibril first appears in Episode 6 when Sora and Shiro challenge her to a game of Shiritori. When she loses, she is asked to give up Elkia's library where some useful information can be found, and teams up with the other main characters. She is useful for providing magic, as well as transportation.

I think Jibril is my favorite character in the anime. Not only does she have a really cool design and is a very unique creature in this anime, she also has some great moments of comedy. There were some moments in the series where she just made me LOL. I think that she was well developed, and she can be a great help, especially with some information on the Eastern Federation.

Other characters include Kurami, her elf friend Fil, the eight year old leader of the Eastern Federation, her grandfather, the shrine mistress of the Federation, the previous king of elkia in flashbacks, and the god of this whole entire world, Tet.


The animation for this series was done by Madhouse, who are also known for Highschool Of The Dead, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Trigun.

One thing that you've probably noticed by now from this series is how colorful it is. The character designs, the settings, literally everything is vibrant, bright, and overall has a lot of substance to it. The people behind the animation really put their hard effort into making this series stand out from the crowd, and it shows.

I also didn't notice a lot of errors, but there was some fanservice revolving Shrio that viewers have complained about. I don't think they shown it off as bad as *COUGHCOUGHAsiaCOUGHCOUGH* but it still is a bit weird.


The score for this series was composed by Super Sweep, which is made up of a group of composers. This is their first anime score they've done together.

There was a lot of electronic elements to the score, just to give the people who hate that kind of music a heads up. I didn't care though, since I LOVE anything electronic. The group manages to actually mix elements very well, such as electronically based beats, along with various other instruments. It was super fun to groove out with the various score pieces.

And the opening. WURK!

Voice wise, it's pretty well casted. Though Yoshitsugu Matsuoka is cast as yet another lead role, he does better here as Sora showcases a lot of his range. It's nice seeing him not doing a stereotypical role for once. Yoko Hikasa sounds super cute as Stephanie, and Miyuki Sawashiro (SLAY!) keeps her awesome regime as Izuna, though it isn't her best role.

Highlights include Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Ai Kayano, Yoko Hikasa, Yukari Tamura, Naomi Shindo, Miyuki Sawashiro, Mamiko Noto, and Rie Kugimiya.


I somewhat regret not watching this show earlier. But at the same time, I'm glad that I watched this as shows to watch into the beginning of the new year. It had a lot of things I like in a good anime. Fantastic story, great characters, funny scenes, and it will have a lasting impact on me.

If you haven't watched this anime yet, I highly recommend you to. I think a lot of viewers will find something to love from it.

Score: 9.5/10


Interesting story.

Great characters.

Fantastic comedy.

Amazing animation.

Awesome voice cast.

Good score.


Sora and Shiro's way of gaming may annoy some viewers who hate perfect characters.

The beginning of Episode 9.

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