First Impressions: No Game, No Life


No bright color unused

Last year there was a series involving young geniuses being transported into a new world where they had to help people by playing various games. Fast forward to now and we have a new series that follows that same general premise titled No Game, No Life. Is it better? Worse? 

In this series, the main characters are a pair of siblings named Sora (age 18) and Shiro (age 11). They are both NEETs and very good at video games. As in they never lose: Ever. To anyone. Urban legends are being spread about them because they're so good. At one point, Sora even beats another group of players by controlling four characters by himself using his hands and feet. That's how good they are. 

One night though they receive a mysterious email asking them if they/ve ever felt like they had been born in the wrong world. After clicking a link (because who wouldn't click a mysterious link like that after getting a random email), they're taken to a game of chess. They win and are transported to a new world where all conflicts are decided through games, and thus starts their brand new life in a whole new world. 

After watching the first episode of No Game, No Life I admit that I'm a little torn on how I feel about it. The episode itself isn't terrible and the premise (while not entirely original) is decently executed. There are just lots of little things that get in the way of it living up to its potential.

The art style is the first thing that everyone who watches this series is going to notice. Animated by Madhouse, the art is unlike anything I've seen before; I don't even really know how to describe it. The color palette is very strange and almost jarring to look at. No matter how many minutes passed, I just couldn't get used to the style, and it was really distracting to say the least. Maybe some of you out there will appreciate how unique the series looks, but I had some serious problems with it. 

Then there's the creepy factor. The main heroine is only 11 years old, but she's treated like an adult. Generally this isn't a huge problem since she has the intelligence of an adult, but did we really need a lingering panty shot at around the three-minute mark of the episode? That really made me uncomfortable for the few seconds that it was on screen, and I have to feel that it was entirely unnecessary for the story. 

"Decent" is a good way to describe this episode. In a season filled with fairly mediocre premieres, this is going to stand out as memorable due to its artwork if nothing else, but I'm going to need another couple of episodes before I can be firmly swayed in one direction or the other regarding the story and writing. It seems like the series is setting itself up to go towards a pretty obvious direction, but it's always possible there's a few surprises in store. Do I recommend it? Sure. To say that I love it already though, would be crossing a line. 

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LB Bryant
LB BryantAssociate Editor   gamer profile

I've been writing about anime and manga either professionally or semi-professionally since August 31st 2005 starting on before graduating up to ICv2 and other sites more + disclosures



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