No Game No Life Season 1 Anime Series Review (2014)

This is the first Anime Series Review that will be part of the new category of reviews that will be appearing up in Controller Company. Unlike the Tv-Series review, this category reviews the whole season instead of an individual episode. For the first anime series, No Game No Life is the one I have decided on reviewing as I just finished the series just two days ago. Let’s go to see the review!

The basic premise is of a duo of step siblings Sora and Shiro, two hikikomoris who specialise in playing all types of games. Each sibling has contrasting strength and weakness, but they always play as one, also known to other gamers as [Blank] or [Koohaku]. One day, they are reborn into another world lead by a God who declare that every single conflict or decisions have to be settled with games. With these rule in mind, Sora and Shiro sets off to conquer as many nations and to eventually challenge the gods.




First of all, the artstyle is very bright and often oversaturated, giving it a pretty unique feel compared to other animes. It can be overly bright in some scenes where there are many contrasting bright colours that serve to distract you from the events that have been happening though. However, overall, they are delicately balanced and does not cause much distraction during crucial scenes, where these colours are more subdued to present a more serious tone. The characters are drawn semi-complicatedly, it’s kind of in-between where there are quite a number of details in the drawing but not as complicated ala Death Note but also not as simple as Crayon Shinchan. More or less, it resembles just a slightly to Swords Arts Online, though both have a completely different artstyle and colour tones. Animation wise, it’s filled with lots of great graphics with mixture of CGI and traditional animation, but the CGI is thankfully kept to a minimum. During the cool moments or when there are lots of actions, they are shown smoothly and also creates the cool tension that common shounen animes possess.




Next, the characters themselves are very varied, especially the important ones. Even with the bright colours, they are fairly easy to distinguish among one another. It also helps that all of them have different hair colours and dress in their own unique way. I also love the individual personalities that all of them have which contrast and complement one another. None of the characters behave the same way and this is what makes their interactions interesting. Most importantly, the main characters Sora and Shiro have their awesomeness and nerd moments which creates a very cool fusion that create memorable moments where you will be amazed at their skills but also laugh at their timidness as hikkikomoris. As for the rest, some are there for slight fan-service and harem, but most of them are actually unique enough to help make the story interesting and hilarious at all times.

(Do note that due to Japanese’s special culture, the relationship between the siblings and other characters can be considered weird in Western Culture.)



The story itself has quite an original idea, where the world contains rules that everything must be solved through games. I quite like the idea myself, as it differentiates from other adventure or RPG-inspired animes that have been on the rise lately. No Game No Life interjects its serious plot with many light hearted moments, which help set the pace of the story. In my opinion, they have done a great job in this department that each episode actually manages to keep me interested till the end , with some bits of cliffhanger to let me anticipate the next episode. Aside from that, the funny moments are done well, where none of the jokes felt forced but natural. It also establishes all of the races immediately with the game rules being repeated in crucial moments to make you feel the world is truly alive and also affected by politics. The story may not be as deep as others but nevertheless, it manages to create a compelling setting filled with awesome characters.

It’s music is a blend of traditional Japanese tracks during the Warbeasts scene and more of J-Rock influence soundtracks which fits the story and artstyle. Furthermore, there are some RPG-inspired soundtracks during the normal periods or funny moments that help to lighten the mood.





Categories: animation, Anime ReviewTags: , , , ,

Anthony L Tjandra

A photographer and videographer that aims to capture the Heart behind the moments.

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