Post Reply No Game No Life
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34 / M / CR HQ
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Posted 6/13/14 , edited 11/11/14
by cardboard_shark

Anime has always had an insatiable desire to turn the proverbial dial to eleven. Why have a robot when you could have a giant robot? Why have an animal mascot when you could have a talking animal mascot that shoots fireballs at the bad guys? Or, in the case of No Game No Life, why play normal chess when you could play chess with self-aware, human sized pieces in order to decide the fate of an entire nation?



No Game No Life follows in the footsteps of countless other shows that have sought to create drama by drastically raising the stakes of card, board, and video games. Our heroes are the eccentric shut-in siblings Sora and Shiro. Younger sister Shiro possesses a genius-level intellect, while older brother Sora is a master of getting inside his opponents’ heads and using a game’s rules to his advantage. Together, they’ve become an urban legend in online gaming, beating cheaters fair and square through a mix of skill and strategy. Leaving their account names empty only adds to their air of mystery, and gives them the nickname “Blank.” Naturally, when these two NEETs find themselves transported to an alternate world where all conflicts are resolved through games, they’re in no hurry to go home.

At first, it seems like Sora and Shiro have found their version of paradise. Cheating, along with any use of force, is strictly forbidden, and the losing party must honor whatever wagers have been made. It seems like the ideal world for a skilled and clever gamer, but not everything is as it seems. Unable to use or detect magic, humans are constantly defeated by elves, angels, and other fantasy creatures. Cheating may be grounds for an instant loss, but your opponent can’t call you out on something they don’t understand. This puts us at the bottom of the barrel, but sets up Sora and Shiro as an unlikely pair of heroes.



The Blank siblings take on a variety of magic-wielding opponents in delightfully over-the-top versions of classic games, and use clever (and often hilarious) tactics in order to win. The rich, colorful art style adds to the sense of fantasy, drawing the viewer deeper into the crazy conflicts. Even if some of the humor can be hit-or-miss, the overall experience is expertly crafted to put a big, goofy grin on your face. Whether you prefer your games in a computer or on a table, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the “brains vs. magic” showdowns.

The gaming elements alone would likely be enough to sustain No Game No Life, so it’s all the more impressive that the series puts in the effort to develop a strong group of characters. In between bouts of otaku-oriented humor, the cast is given room to breathe and be themselves. Sora and Shiro have quite the interesting backstory, which lets the show examine the difficulty of being a genius in a world full of normal people. Supporting characters also get their moments in the spotlight, displaying competence and conviction that elevates them beyond simple comic relief. The games may make No Game No Life fun, but the characters play a big part in making it good.



No Game No Life may borrow parts of its premise from Yu-Gi-Oh!, Sword Art Online, and a thousand other series, but it’s unique in its execution. The games, jokes, and animation give it instant appeal, while the characters help pull the emotional and intellectual weight. It’s definitely worth watching, but be warned: it may cause you to give inspirational speeches to your plastic pieces the next time you play a board game.
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61 / F / California
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Posted 6/14/14
A good break from the stuck in the video game world idea...which I do enjoy. Humor and thinking, fantastical and fanatical, overlord who is mystery and childlike...good combinations plus great visual color.
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Posted 6/16/14
This series is a real delight. In all honesty is has its own rhythm and is absolutely hilarious at times. it is a refreshing and original take on the "games universe" and is a worthy watch.
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Posted 6/16/14
I want to see it!
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22 / M / California
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Posted 6/16/14
This is a way better review than I could have ever given, thanks for taking the words right out of my mouth and making it into a five star dish.
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66 / M / America's Heartla...
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Posted 6/17/14 , edited 6/17/14
Sounds like a fun series! Nice review.

However, I did a search and apparently this show is not available on Crunchyroll. :(

Why is Crunchyroll posting reviews for programs we can't watch?
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19 / M / Ireland!
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Posted 6/17/14
It is available on CR and it a lot of countries but just not yours! Sadly.. It's an absolute amazing series to watch! So you may go down the illegal way if you want to watch it.. *Whispers* "Torrent it!.."
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60 / M / Earth
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Posted 6/17/14

Cabermon wrote:

Sounds like a fun series! Nice review.

However, I did a search and apparently this show is not available on Crunchyroll. :(

Why is Crunchyroll posting reviews for programs we can't watch?
If you're in the States (near Chicago?) you should be able to watch it here on CR... /no-game-no-life
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66 / M / America's Heartla...
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Posted 6/17/14

asharka wrote:


Cabermon wrote:

Sounds like a fun series! Nice review.

However, I did a search and apparently this show is not available on Crunchyroll. :(

Why is Crunchyroll posting reviews for programs we can't watch?
If you're in the States (near Chicago?) you should be able to watch it here on CR... /no-game-no-life


Ah! That works! Thanks for the link, asharka.

I don't know why the search function would not find this series on Crunchyroll's own site! Guess I should report this to the mods.

I will be watching now! Thanks again.

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23 / M / Little Garden
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Posted 6/17/14
My favorite show in the spring season 2014! Just frustrating that I can't watch it here...
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24 / USA
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Posted 6/22/14
This anime has me hooked *^*
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30 / M
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Posted 6/29/14 , edited 6/29/14
I agree with your review wholeheartedly. This is definitely one of my favorite shows this season. One thing though, while violence is strictly prohibited in the new world cheating is not. The rule specifically says that getting caught cheating means an instant loss. In other words, if you're going to cheat do it intelligently, and conversely you have to keep a close eye on the other party in case they cheat. It's a case where what isn't said is just as important as what is said.
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20 / F / Europe
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Posted 7/25/14
This anime really seems interesting! I'll probably watch it whenever I have the time.
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