No Game No Life Review

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By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)



Gaming. Over the last three decades, video games have become much more prominent in the our daily lives. From Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda to Grand Theft Auto, World of Warcraft and Halo. But unlike the early days, gaming consumes so much more of the lives of many. It can get to a point that people are actually able to make money through gaming and earn titles of being the best in a particular game. But what if you were the best and had no competition at any game? Such is the basic premise from Madhouse Studios latest anime, No Game, No Life.

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All online games fear {           } (just a blank space). Shiro and Sora, a brother and sister duo, are a group of undefeated online gamers, destroying their competition in all games online. They rarely, if ever, venture outside, spending all hours indoors gaming. One day they face a mysterious challenger in an online version of chess and, after defeating this opponent, are invited to be reborn in a world more fitting for them, where everything is decided by games. Shiro and Sora, not being the type to turn down a gaming challenge, accept the offer and are transported to the world known as Disboard by Tet, the God of that world. Here they find that the world is made of many races (humans referred to as the Imanity, elves, warbeasts, etc.), and that the humans are at the bottom of the hierarchy. So Shiro and Sora set out to reclaim power for humans and work their way up to challenge Tet for the title of the one true god.

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While anime series about gaming have been done before (Sword Art Online and Log Horizon), none have been done quite like No Game, No Life. The previously mentioned were based on the MMORPG game system, which has become very common in games such as World of Warcraft, Guild Wars and Final Fantasy XI. No Game, No Life puts the actual humans into a world that revolves around games. Here we learn what it is like to live in a new world, which has its own rules for everything. For instance, any conflict between two people is resolved with a game, taking the violence aspect out of the world. So, in essence, the world of Disboard could be said to be more of an ideal world to live in. Yet there are still class systems (among the races/species) and conflict still exists. But, for a gamer, this may be their form of a utopia that fits who they are more than the actual world we live in.

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Two hallmarks of a great series are having characters that are unforgettable and, when watching the series, you lose all track of time. No Game, No Life has both. Not only are Shiro and Sora very different, but their personalities coexist forming that harmony of ying and yang. And maybe that’s why they are undefeated at games as Blank. Then you add in Stephanie Dola, the granddaughter of the previous king of the Imanity, who is determined to gain the respect of her family’s name back, often taking big risks to do so. You have Jibril, of the Flugel race, who is the youngest and strongest of her kind, with a very positive attitude and curiosity for life. So many great characters abound, and the character designs are also impressive. Plus the story just works, and the fact that any type of conflict is rooted not in violence, but in wit and ability, is something different and respectable.

No Game, No Life runs a short 12 episodes for the first season, but the episodes fly by as you’re pulled into the story and the lives of the characters, so the series seems shorter than it actually is. But the prospects of a season two being developed would seem to be very high given the quality of the story. With so many other anime titles out there right now, No Game, No Life is something different and new, with fun characters, an intriguing story and enough action and wit to keep you entertained. This is one game worth playing to the very end.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


    One Comment

  1. xNovember 16th, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    I cannot agree more with you. I am also a rpg, jrpg and galges games lovers, so for me this was excelent and very very entertaining. I also agree with you that the second season is proximately to be out.

    Greetings and if this had a poll with stars, I will give it all the stars it had 😉

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