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Anime at a Glance: No Game No Life

Anime at a Glance: No Game No Life
4.5
Game Name: No Game No Life
Publisher(s): Sentai Filmworks
Developer(s): Madhouse
Release Date: Fall 2014

How can it even be possible? 1200 people enter a group duel in an online game against a group of 4 players, known only asNo Game No Life_03 Blank, and are completely outmatched. A few of the 1200 player group are even employing cheats and hacks and can’t even keep up to Blank. When the match settles and the victory flag displays Blank, all of the players look at their screens in awe, anger, and even disbelief. All but Sora and Shiro at least, who are the two players that are actually known as Blank. They finally have a moment to relax after one of the most enjoyable fights in an online game they’ve had in a while. The two siblings are shut ins that are commonly referred to as NEET’s, Not in Education, Employment, or Training, and have banded together to make a name for themselves by choosing to never use a name in a game. They also never lose at any game they’ve ever played, but they get an interesting email from an unknown sender to play a chess match with them. As they never turn down a challenge, they figure out that they’re not playing some sort of advanced AI, but another person. Upon their victory, they get another email asking “Have you two ever thought you were born in the wrong world?” They get an offer to abandon their world and be reborn into a world of games. They stop to think for a few seconds to consider the email as being a fake, but quickly think about how much they dislike the reality that they live in and accept the email’s invitation.

No Game No Life_02Before they could process anything else, the room has gone black and faded into another bright world and they begin to fall from the sky, almost like the floor gave out from under them in an upper atmosphere. As they fall towards what they think is their doom, they’re greeted by someone appearing similar to child that introduces himself as Tet, the God of the world. He simply wants to teach them the basics as he’s just brought them from our world into his, and there are pledges so that everyone can live together and have fun. The 10 pledges restrict violence and murder, but are magical laws binding everyone to their words. Upon landing on the ground, they are attacked by some thieves and they begin to learn that the pledges are absolute and the thieves quickly lose all their belongings to the siblings.

Making their way to an inn and walking into the bar entrance they see a few girls playing Poker and watching as one of them is desperate and losing badly. As he walks by he warms her that her opponent is cheating and he leaves to get to his room. As Sora and Shiro devise their strategy to become the best gamers in this new world, the losing girl from earlier, Steph, barges into their room and starts giving them a hard time for not helping her out. Cheating is against the rules of the world, and if they proved her opponent was cheating, she could have won by default. As it turns out, Steph is the last line of Imanity’s royalty in this world and her Grandfather had just died and left her a nearly empty kingdom. As she continues to explain, they realize that Imanity is just like Humanity from their world, except there are 15 other races of beings in this world, known as Disboard. Not No Game No Life_01only that, but all the races are ranked, like a gaming leaderboard, in terms of their power and ability as a species. Imanity happens to be number 16 because it’s known to have been the weakest race and is the only race to not possess any magical capability.

Blank has a goal, to conquer the world of Disboard and beat the God Tet. After all, if they can beat the God of Games, who would ever challenge their superiority again?

Not surprising that another popular Anime is made by Madhouse and licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks. I gave this show a chance right as the final episode had aired and it stole an entire day from me because I couldn’t stop watching it. Yes, it has a few moments throughout the series with a lot of gratuitous fan service, but the rest of the series was so engaging and exciting that it refused to let go of me from the moment I started watching it. It’s another show in the line of others that shows off a vibrant and colourful art style that I always enjoy seeing in Anime. While it is also a few seasons out of date, it’s still a fantastic show to go back and check out, though it did leave on a cliffhanger and I’m eagerly hoping that they continue on with the series.

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