First Impressions – No Game, No Life

You lose the game, you lose your life!

The title already sounds like an accurate depiction of my life, so there’s no reason not to watch this. I have a thing for anything about kids being obsessed with games and tumbling into game worlds. Let’s see how No game, No Life handles it. Three times the charm with three times the bloggers, right?
No Game, No Life? Sorry, I already have “No megane, no life” as my motto. Ah, I’m already kind of a sucker for teenagers getting pulled in to different world stories. So the new(ish) popular genre of people getting stuck in games is already pretty appealing. …Some of them have been good and some of them not so good, but I’m willing to give them a try at least.
You know, this sort of show does kinda make me want to trade my fifty hour work week and become a NEET. I mean, the only Level Ups I get are pay raises, bonuses, more money in the IRA. But, I could learn to play games with my feet. At least it would help me get over the complex I have about them…the middle one is bigger than the other two.

 

Let the Games Begin

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Risking your life for sweaty bandit capes? I’m not sure this is equivalent exchange here.

Skylion // I’ve read the first few chapters of the manga, and if the anime staff can build on the developing relationships, than this one will be a keeper. I know this gets Mondaiji comparisons, and that might be more or less accurate. I enjoy the first episode enough to give it the benefit of the doubt. The character animation and backgrounds are intense aren’t they? Pink and purple get so much love. The one thing I did notice that stuck me as odd. He payed his way into a stay at the inn. Shouldn’t he have played a game for the roof over his head? I guess games cannot replace cold hard cash. There is a ton of stuff to like about this show. I like how close the Blank siblings are, very much birds of a feather. And no, they aren’t that close, c’mon. They do back each other up, understand each other’s mindset, and are willing to gamble everything to turn it around for themselves. I like that in a team.

 

The Ultimate Gaming Siblings

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Karakuri // Recently, sibling relationships in anime all seem to be borderline incestuous, though most of the times they can get away with saying that they’re step-siblings, or one was adopted or something. I don’t have any feelings either way about the trend (and I can’t exactly complain, because it can be really useful in the otoge/shoujo genre), but the siblings in No Game, No Life seem to have an awesome relationship. They’re close, but they’re more like partners in crime and equals than anything romantic. Shiro doesn’t spend every waking moment worshiping the ground that Sora walks on, and Sora seems to need Shiro for her abilities more than to have her as part of the entourage that tells him how amazing he is. Sure, she sat on his lap and was clingy in her sleep, but they were more of “d’aww, look how close they are” moments as opposed to “they’re totally going to screw each other at some point off screen” moments. Plus Sora seems to have the right amount of older brother protectiveness, since he attempted (not that it would have done anything were they in real danger) to cover Shiro when they were about to hit the ground. Perhaps this is just the typical protagonist reflexes kicking in to save someone, but the moment was cute where normally these things make me roll my eyes. …I will probably be very disappointed if these two turn out to be unrelated. 

It’s Just A Game

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Forget dual-wielding. It’s all about the quadruple-wield.

Overcooled // There’s something amazing about being such a pro gamer that you can play an MMORPG better than most even when your attention is divided between 4 accounts. Being able to beat grand masters at chess is also quite the feat. But these are such niche abilities that they don’t really help in the real world. Some of the skills are transferrable (multi-tasking and strategizing), but you’d be laughed at if you put “pro gamer” on your resume for most jobs. Achievements in games just aren’t as applauded as achievements in real life.

We aren’t told why Shiro and Sora become NEETs, but it’s likely that they were bullied. Their talents with games aren’t as inherently cool as being a natural-born soccer player or a genius at math. After all, being strong in the virtual world leaves you with no tangible rewards like good marks or a good job. “It’s just a game!”, right? So although they are borderline prodigies at what they do and watching them play games is very impressive, they end up living a pathetic life cooped up in the same room all day. They snack on high glucose foods and don’t keep track of the days. I’m not even sure they sleep more than 30 minutes at a time. I really like how the main characters are depicted as cool heroes in the virtual world when in reality they’re just two loser hikkikomoris. Will going to a game world change that?

Final Thoughts

That was a great episode, it had a good chunk of action (falling from the sky is action, man), exposition was very well executed, and Shiro is just so darned cute and smart. I can wait to see how they build this world.

Well, I thought that this was off to a good start. The colours took some getting used to (and OC basically has the same thoughts about the jumpy plot as I do), but I like the character relations so far. It’s also nice that the two protagonist’s gaming prowess seems to expand to logic games too as opposed to just being really good at action ones. Hopefully this gives a lot of variation in the games that these two get themselves into. …Or if not, I think I could watch this entire thing for the sibling’s relationship alone (provided that it doesn’t stray too far into brocon/siscon territory). It’s also a plus that the two seem really happy with the world and have seemingly no intentions of going back to the real world. They weren’t happy there, so why go back?

There’s a really great concept here, but the first episode didn’t do the best job of drawing us in. There was a real lack of focus here. As soon as we started with an interesting topic, they would zip through it onto the next scene. Oh, you want to see how the siblings are good at games? Okay, let’s move on as soon as things get interesting. Enjoying this dramatic game of poker? Welp, better have it end in one turn and move along now! The ADHD-style pacing made it very difficult to enjoy any one aspect of the show. I guess they really wanted to make sure the first episode ended in a good place.

Pacing aside, I feel that this show can do really well once it settles down and gives us some real games to look forward to. Proper ones that last more than a minute, that is. The art style is flamboyant and really nice to look at, and it compliments the incredibly flashy direction style used for game battles. The short poker game with crazy sound effects and the flare of a JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures fight was really nice. If they keep that up and highlight the insanity of being in a game world, I’ll be very happy. I’m taking a bit of a risk blogging a show that might just end up pandering to dudes, but maybe I’ll get lucky. Although the preview isn’t very promising… Hopefully they tighten things up soon and give us more of what I want: games. Otherwise, this anime will be lifeless (haha).

No Game No Life 009

No Boobs, No Life

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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42 Responses to “First Impressions – No Game, No Life”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Finally…. SHIRRROOOOOO!!!! 『 』!!!

    What this show teaches: Do not gamble your clothes away. The bandits did… And obviously Steph didn’t learn…

    Tet = cute shota. Waiting for Slaughter Angel Jibril and the ubercute Puchiko-nyu. “You bastard continue to stroke my tail~~~”

    And we all want little sisters who would carefully film non-R-18 fap material for their onii-chan. Read the LN, it’s funnier than manga version.

  2. zztop says:

    No Rice, No Life!!
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ll2tjuR9nU1qbnntvo1_500.png

  3. Highway says:

    I think they should have at least tried to make more distance between this show and Mondaiji-tachi. More so than the colors. And while you guys got used to the colors (you say), for me they just got more and more oppressive as the show went on. I was also a little bit put off by too much Shiro fanservice (little kid fanservice is not very welcome to me).

    It looks like it’s got potential, so hopefully they can turn the pastels down a little and keep it interesting.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Blame the author who likes cute little sisters.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Yeah it is very Mondaiji but so is every other omg I was sent to another world to fight for my life themed anime and correct me if I am wrong but I think No Game No Life is tagged as ecchi so the fanservice is going to be there even though most of us assumed it wouldn’t be focused on Shiro as much.

      Color wise yeah a bit bright! Hopefully it changes after the first few episodes?

      • skylion says:

        I really don’t see any reason why the show will settle down, color wise. I mean it should, but that doesn’t mean it will.

        As for fanservice, well, yeah….

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        Shiro is not for fanservice! Even …Nii recognizes it and will wait patiently for 7 more years!

        • skylion says:

          It’s very innocent fanservice, really. It underlines her social withdrawl. But then…

          • Di Gi Kazune says:

            Shiro is as innocent as any one of you here… ie. -not-
            Wait until you see her make fap material for …nii…

    • d-LaN says:

      I kinda doubt it, the (pretty) colors are a part of Yuu Kamiya art style which also present in ItsuTen anime.

      I…….. honestly don’t remember any Shiro fanservice that is glaring at this point. The only fanservice I remember is Steph in a towel.

    • Mexu2d says:

      Sure No game No life has aspects like Mondaiji-tachi, but other then being taken into a world where you have to win games/ battles to survive it’s completely different. Mondaiji-tachi had a lot of violence and fighting scenes, but from what I see so far from No game No life is that violence is forbidden. Also the characters are completely different. Maybe they were right not to put more distance between Mondaiji-tachi and No game no life as we can compare, and revel further in the scenarios… :)

      • skylion says:

        I don’t think we will ever run out of X is just like Y with Z examples. For things like First Impressions, or even just first impressions, I try to let the show be itself as much as I can. That way, for me, the differences can shine that much more.

      • Highway says:

        I usually don’t play the “It’s like *other show* with *slight difference*” game, but this one really did put off almost exactly the same feel. It didn’t help that I watched it right after Hitsugi no Chaika, which has an OP by Iori Nomizu, who also did the OP for Mondaiji, and I ended up linking the two things together.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    “No Game, No Life” The title singlehandedly describes, in general, everyone of this generation. Even the more seasoned individuals are getting pulled in. Japan is no longer playing it safe by beating around the bush.

    There were no expectations going in and I found myself liking it a lot. These two sleep deprived, overpowered NEETs, Sora and Shiro, easily put other shut-ins to shame. Sasami-san@Ganbaranai’s Sasami Tsukuyomi, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo’s Ryuunosuke Akasaka and Hataraku Maou-sama’s Lucifer/Urushihara come to mind. One mystery that’s never been solved is how these NEETs bankroll themselves to further their isolation from the rest of the world.

    The getting pulled into another world, especially when those concerned are bored with the one they were in to begin with, screams Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? And the male lead is calm and overpowered, no less.

    One thing about Sora that raises interest. He’s been described with Communication Disorder, meaning he should be socially inept yet he handled everyone including that inn keeper like he goes outside everyday talking to people face to face. Disboard’s Ten Commandments seem iron clad and enforced but has loopholes that can be exploited. Cheating is prohibited but it’s not the case if you don’t get caught. A lawyer would definitely make use of that.

    My only problem is that the coloring for the animation is too bright. I’m no authority on the subject but I think it might cause seizures for some people.

    • skylion says:

      He might be “suffering” from a self-described Communication Disorder; kinda the thing a NEET would do, right?

      • Overcooled says:

        Yeah, he probably made it up to describe how much he sucks at interacting with people in real life (or just hates it, most likely). A very NEET thing to do to explain away your anti-social behaviour. I guess it’s easier to be outgoing when you’re in a game world and you have no other choice but to challenge people to games.

        And I’m really shocked so many people dislike the colour scheme. I love it!

      • BlackBriar says:

        Ah, so he’s fully self aware as a NEET. For some reason, I thought he’d deny some aspects about himself.

    • Highway says:

      “Cheating” is always prohibited (it’s kind of in the definition, if it’s allowed it’s not cheating), and it’s always the case that if you don’t get caught cheating, then you can cheat.

  5. Mexu2d says:

    I’VE ANTICIPATED THIS SHOW SO MUCH, AND I WASN’T DISAPPOINTED…. :)_

    • BlackBriar says:

      Was it only this one you were anticipating or others as well? So far, there have been a few that have passed the grade. Like Hitsugi no Chaika and Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin.

      • Mexu2d says:

        YH, i know, i was anticipating those as well. And their really good. but I’ve been wanting to see an anime with two siblings that are NEETS for a long time. Since my Aunty is a NEET I get to see more insight on why it’s great to escape reality on the occasion.

  6. Krono says:

    Gotta say this was an awesome first episode. I’m definitley going to keep watching.

    I really like how close they made the siblings. Like they were 2 parts of a whole (I may or may not have messed up that phrase) to accomplish their goals.

    I’m looking forward to some awesome games.

    PS I really want Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? to get another season.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m glad they’re close, but not so close you get the skin-crawling incest vibe. I hope they stay as a good combo and show us some intense gaming skills.

  7. BlackBriar says:

    Can someone help me out? Spammy has had a comment of mine for the longest while.

  8. akagami says:

    I’m digging this. I really like the visual style, and the animation was pretty good and consistent _during some parts it reminded me of Shaft’s handiwork). Like Karakuri mentioned, I liked the sibling dynamics. Kind of reminds of me times with my siblings, when we had each other’s back and nothing could stop us 。^‿^。

    I thought the pacing was fine for this type of show; while it definitely was a faster-pace I found it still flowed together, unlike Blade and Soul.

  9. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Have just died from cute overdose from 2nd episode…

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