No Game No Life

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No Game No Life
No Game No Life Blu6.png
The cover of the sixth Blu-ray volume from the anime adaptation of No Game No Life, featuring the protagonists Sora and Shiro in the center
ノーゲーム・ノーライフ
(Nōgēmu Nōraifu)
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Light novel
Written by Yuu Kamiya
Published by Media Factory
English publisher
Demographic Male
Imprint MF Bunko J
Original run April 25, 2012 – ongoing
Volumes 6 (List of volumes)
Manga
Written by Yuu Kamiya
Illustrated by Mashiro Hiiragi
Published by Media Factory
English publisher
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Monthly Comic Alive
Original run January 27, 2013 – ongoing
Volumes 1
Anime television series
Directed by Atsuko Ishizuka
Written by Jukki Hanada
Music by Super Sweep
Studio Madhouse
Licensed by
Hanabee
Network AT-X, Tokyo MX, SUN, KBS, TVA, BS11
English network
Original run April 9, 2014June 25, 2014
Episodes 12 (List of episodes)
Anime and Manga portal

No Game No Life (Japanese: ノーゲーム・ノーライフ Hepburn: Nōgēmu Nōraifu?) is a light novel series by Yuu Kamiya. It is published under the MF Bunko J imprint with six novels released between April 25, 2012 and April 25, 2014. The author and his wife, Mashiro Hiiragi, adapted the novels into a manga series for Monthly Comic Alive in 2013. Later that year, an anime adaptation of No Game No Life by Madhouse was announced. It premiered on AT-X between April and July 2014, and was simulcast outside of Japan by Crunchyroll. The No Game No Life franchise was localized in North America by several companies: Seven Seas Entertainment licensed the manga, Sentai Filmworks the anime, and Yen Press the light novel series.

The series follows Sora and his younger step-sister Shiro, two hikikomori who make up the identity of Blank, an undefeated group of gamers. One day, they are challenged by the god of games to chess and are victorious. As a result, the god summons them to Disboard, a world which revolves around games. Intent on maintaining their reputation as the undefeated gamers, Sora and Shiro plan to conquer the sixteen ruling species and to usurp the title of god of games.

The series began receiving recognition in 2014. The light novel circulated 1.1 million copies and ranked in the yearly magazine, Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!; all three of No Game No Life‍ '​s mediums made appearances in top selling charts. English reviewers for the anime were generally turned away by the first episode, citing the unlikable protagonists and the heavy exposition. However, reviewers who have completed the series generally praised the character dynamics, game strategies, and animation, while panning the fan service featuring the underage Shiro.

Plot[edit]

Sora and Shiro are two hikikomori step-siblings who are known in the online gaming world as Blank, an undefeated group of gamers. One day, they are challenged to a game of chess by Tet, a god from another reality. The two are victorious and are offered to live in a world that centers around games. They accept, believing it to be a joke, and are summoned to a reality known as Disboard[Jp. 1]. There, a spell known as the Ten Pledges prevents violence and enforces the rules and outcomes of games. The two traverse to Elkia[Jp. 2], the nation inhabited by humans, and befriend the duchess Stephanie Dola. Learning about Elkia's decline, Sora and Shiro participate in a tournament to determine the next ruler; after winning the crown, they earn the right to challenge the Disboard's other species as humanity's representative.LN 1.4 Their next goal is to conquer all sixteen species in order to challenge Tet to a game.

Characters[edit]

Sora () and Shiro ()

Sora is an eighteen-year-old male who excels at strategies and cold readings while his eleven-year-old step-sister, Shiro, excels at calculations and logic.LN 3.0 The two are known as the undefeated gaming identity Blank (空白 Kūhaku, stylized as『  』) due to their trademark of using only spaces in their in-game names. Following the death of their parents and feeling ostracized by the world, the two suffer from a degree of agoraphobia and became hikikomori.LN 1.0 When the two are separated from each other, they begin to suffer panic attacks.LN 1.1 After Sora and Shiro are summoned to Disboard, they decide to uphold their undefeated reputation as Blank by defeating Tet. Sora is voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka and Shiro by Ai Kayano.[1] A 2014 poll by Charapedia ranked Shiro and Sora as two of the most intelligent anime characters of all time.[2]

Stephanie Dola (ステファニー・ドーラ Sutefanī Dōra)

Stephanie is a teenage girl and granddaughter to the previous king of Elkia, the nation inhabited by humans. She has a lot of explicit knowledge but lacks the intuition to win games.LN 2.1 Her grandfather was infamously known for losing games and giving up Elkia's land. As a result, Stephanie strives to restore the honor of her grandfather and humanity. When Sora and Shiro are crowned, she becomes their assistant and deals with Elkia's economics and politics. They discover her grandfather kept hidden records on the other species which becomes an asset to their victories;LN 2.3 her experience with Sora and Shiro improves her skill to the point that she can win against normal humans.LN 4.1 She is voiced by Yōko Hikasa.[1]

Jibril (ジブリール Jiburīru)

Jibril is a flügel[Jp. 3], a powerful angelic race known for their ruthlessness.LN 2.1 Jibril is over 6000-years old and is the youngest and most powerful of her species.LN 5.2 She won Elkia's library from Stephanie's grandfather in order to store her books and use it as a home.LN 2.2 After losing to Sora and Shiro in a game of Shiritori, she becomes their slave, but is treated as an equal.LN 2.2 She often provides magic or transportation necessities for the protagonists. Later on, she begins publishing novels based on Sora and Shiro which makes them famous among the flügels.LN 5.1 She is voiced by Yukari Tamura.[1]

Warbeast[Jp. 4]

The warbeasts are kemonomimis with high physical abilities; their nation is known as the Eastern Federation[Jp. 5]. They are ruled by a nameless Miko, a logical woman who helped the Eastern Federation flourish for the past fifty years.LN 3.4 She possesses a rare ability called Blood Destruction which augments her physical abilities by taxing her body. She allies herself with Sora and Shiro who promises benefits for humanity and warbeasts.LN 3.4 She is voiced by Naomi Shindo.[3]

Meanwhile, the warbeast embassy in Elkia is represented by Izuna Hatsuse (初瀬 いづな Hatsuse Izuna), an eight-year-old child and ambassador of the warbeast.LN 2.4 She has a childlike demeanor and uses the copula desu, but also possesses high intellect and Blood Destruction.LN 3.3 Following the alliance between humans and warbeasts, she is a constant companion to Sora and Shiro whom she adores and trusts. She is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro.[1] Alongside her is her grandfather, Ino Hatsuse (初瀬 いの Hatsuse Ino).LN 2.4 He believes Sora has selfish ulterior motives and dislikes him. After the alliance between humans and warbeasts, he works alongside Stephanie to formalize the union.LN 4.1 He is voiced by Mugihito.[3]

Kurami Zell and Fil Nilvalen

Kurami Zell (クラミー・ツェル Kuramī Tseru) is an eighteen-year-old girl and considered the slave of the elf Fil Nilvalen (フィール・ニルヴァレン Fīru Niruvaren). Though Kurami's family were the Nilvalen family's slaves for generations, her relationship with Fil is similar to daughter and mother.LN 3.2 Meanwhile, Fil is considered a failure of a magician but is secretly highly skilled.LN 5.0 She is willing to betray Elven Garde[Jp. 6], the nation inhabited by elves, for Kurami's sake; the two conspire to have Fil obtain a political position of power in order to abolish slavery.LN 3.2 Sora manages to convince Kurami to be his ally by sharing his memories with her.LN 3.1 Kurami is voiced by Yuka Iguchi and Fil by Mamiko Noto.[1]

Dhampirs and sirens

Dhampirs[Jp. 7] are a species with similar characteristics to vampires: they drink body fluids from other species for nourishment; excel at transformation, illusion, and dream magic; and are weak to sunlight. Their weakness to sunlight can be spread through bites which deters the other species from sharing blood with them.LN 4.0 Meanwhile sirens[Jp. 8] are an all female species with the body of a mermaid. They require the life of a male from another species in order to reproduce; their magic allows them to seduce anyone of their choosing. Both species live in a nation called Oceando[Jp. 9]. Centuries ago, the dhampirs and sirens used the Ten Pledges to create a mutualistic relationship between the two; the dhampirs were allowed to feed on the sirens and in return, a male dhampir is to mate with the siren's empress who can reproduce without killing. Eight hundred years prior, the empress went into hibernation and the mating rituals killed all but a single male dhampir.LN 4.1

Puram (プラム Puramu) is the last male dhampir and as a result, disguises himself as a female;LN 5.4 his magic skills are considered above average within his species.LN 5.2 After consuming Sora and Shiro's sweat, he becomes fond of their taste. He makes a deal with the sirens to lure Sora and Shiro in an attempt to have one of the two races enslave humanity. Sora and Shiro deduce his deception but decide to save both races regardless.LN 5.4 Since then, Sora and Shiro have Puram accompany them on their adventures.

The empress of the sirens, Leila Lorelei (ライラ・ローレライ Raira Rōrerai), used the Ten Pledges to put herself to sleep without revealing the requirements to wake her up. While she slept, Amira (アミラ) takes her place in leading the sirens.LN 4.2 Realizing the empress is a masochist who desires a la douleur exquise, Sora's immunity to the sirens' seduction magic allows him to successfully awaken her.LN 5.4 Subsequently, the empress used Sora's hair to create a siren daughter.LN 5.5

Other characters
  • Tet (テト Teto) is an old deus[Jp. 10], a magical entity born from wishes and prayers. During the era when the sixteen species were at war with each other, a human named Riku Dola[Jp. 11] and his Ex Machina[Jp. 12] wife, Shuvi Dola[Jp. 13], imagined the existence of a god of games; this resulted in Tet's birth. Due to Riku's efforts, Tet comes into possession of an object know as the Star Grail, allowing him to become the god of Disboard. Using its power, Tet cast the Ten Pledges on the world, ending the war and making the world center around games.LN 6.5 He is voiced by Rie Kugimiya.[1]
  • Azrael (アズリール Azurīru) is the first flügel and considered their leader after the death of their creator, the old deus Artosh[Jp. 14]. Since then, Azrael has become despondent towards life and tries to give meaning to the flügel's existence to prevent their suicide.LN 5.2 She is able to converse with the flügel's homeland, a sentient floating island called Avant Heim[Jp. 15] which is part of a species called the phantasma[Jp. 16].LN 5.1 Following her loss against Sora and Shiro, her powers are reduced to the levels of a human which gives her a new perspective on life.LN 5.3

Publication and conception[edit]

No Game No Life is a light novel series written and illustrated by Yuu Kamiya. It is published under the MF Bunko J imprint; six volumes were published by Media Factory between April 25, 2012 and April 25, 2014.[4][5] In August 2014, Yen Press announced No Game No Life will be one of its titles published under its newly launched imprint, Yen On, in 2015.[6] Non-English localization include Brazil and Taiwan;[7][8] distribution in China was banned due to the government viewing the series as a threat to communism.[9]

No Game No Life was conceived during the serialization of A Dark Rabbit Has Seven Lives.LN 1.A Kamiya's original idea was a fantasy setting with battles; since he disliked drawing battles, he replaced it with games. He had intended to turn the idea into a manga series, but an unspecified illness made him unfit to handle the workload. While hospitalized for treatment, the author imagined how his idea would work as a light novel, and settled for that medium instead.LN 1.A Kamiya began writing the first volume and was advised to break it into three parts due to its length.LN 2.A In the middle of writing the second volume, Kamiya moved to his home country, Brazil, for further treatment for his ailment; in order to meet the volume's deadline, his wife drew some of the illustrations in the novel.LN 2.A

After the third volume, a new editor was assigned to the series.LN 3.A Kamiya noted the third volume contained a lot of plot progression, and was going to balance it out in the fourth volume with more lighthearted and carefree events.LN 3.A. Volumes four and five were written as a single volume; since volume four lacked a climatic ending, Kamiya had to restructure the story.LN 4.A This, along with communication problems with his new editor, and other problems in Kamiya's life caused a month delay in volume four's release.LN 4.A After completing volume five, Kamiya was asked to submit volume six's manuscript before 2014 for the anime adaptation, and to complete the volume before the anime's premiere.LN 5.A, 6.A

Volume list[edit]

No. Translated title Japanese English
Release ISBN Release ISBN
1 It Seems the Gamer Siblings Will Conquer a Fantasy World[Jp. 17] April 25, 2012[4] 978-4-04-066432-3 April 21, 2015[10] 978-0-316-38311-0
Sora and Shiro are two siblings who are known in online games as Blank, an undefeated group of gamers. In real life, they are ostracized by the world and are hikikomoris. One day, they receive a challenge from Tet to a game of chess and are victorious. In response he offers to send them to a world which revolves around games and they accept, believing it to be a joke. They are then summoned to a reality known as Disboard where a spell, called the Ten Pledges, prevents violence and enforces the rules and outcomes of games. They travel to Elkia, the nation of humans, and befriend Stephanie Dola who is the granddaughter of the deceased king. Learning the nation is in steady decline, Sora and Shiro enter the contest to be the next king where they successfully win against Kurami Zell in a war simulator. After they are inaugurated to the throne, Sora publicly declares his intentions to conquer the other nations and help Elkia flourish. Tet meets and congratulates them, declaring he will be waiting for them to unite the sixteen species.
2 It Seems the Gamer Siblings Have Their Sights on the Land of Kemonomimi[Jp. 18] September 25, 2012[11] 978-4-04-066433-0 July 21, 2015[12] 978-0-316-38517-6
Sora and Shiro begin researching the Eastern Federation, nation of the werebeasts. They challenge a flügel named Jibril for information and the two play a game of shiritori where their spoken objects will either materialize or disappear. The game concludes when Sora and Shiro induce a hypernova by removing coulomb's law, making Jibril unable to continue; by the Pledges, Jibril becomes their slave. However, the information from Jibril and her library prove to be useless. Stephanie discloses her grandfather's will to Sora, leading them to discover a hidden library in the castle containing her grandfather's research. Realizing the Eastern Federation are using video games, Sora and Shiro formalize their challenge by betting everything humanity owns. As they await the game's date, Sora tells Shiro the missing piece to their victory will soon arrive; the next day, Shiro discovers everyone has forgotten about Sora.
3 It Seems Half of the Gamer Siblings Disappeared...?[Jp. 19] January 25, 2013[13] 978-4-04-066434-7
Shiro begins to doubt Sora's existence but learns she and her friends have a gap in their memory. Straining herself, Shiro recalls that Sora arranged a game of reversi with Kurami and her elven comrade Fil Nilvalen; the components making up Sora and Kurami's identity were used as the pieces. Sora's three remaining pieces were Shiro's memories of him, allowing her to resume and win the game. Having seen each other's memories, Sora convinces Kurami to ally herself with him. The game against the Eastern Federation begins and Sora, Shiro, Stephanie, and Jibril enter a virtual shooter against the werebeast, Izuna Hatsuse, where they are eventually victorious. As a result, Elkia gains a large mass of land and rights to the werebeasts occupying them. Sora and Shiro use political pressure to force the leader of the Eastern Federation, the nameless Miko, to challenge them; the game is a coin flip where Sora arranges to have it land on its edge. He convinces the Miko to declare they both win and as a result, Elkia can share resources with the Eastern Federation while the werebeasts maintain their self-rule; they name the unionized colony between Elkia and the Eastern Federation as the Elkia Federation.
4 The Gamer Siblings Have Run Away From a Realistic Romance Game[Jp. 20] June 25, 2013[14] 978-4-04-066469-9
A dhampir named Puram vists Sora and Shiro, and asks them to save his species. He explains the siren's empress, Leila Lorelei, put herself to sleep using the Ten Pledges centuries ago and as a result, the once mutualistic relationship between dhampirs and sirens has caused all but one male dhampir to die. To awaken the empress, they must enter her dream and win her love. After consulting with the Miko, Sora and his companions travel to the dhampir and siren country, Oceando, and enter the empress' dream. Using Puram's magic, the empress falls in love with Izuna's grandfather, Ino Hatsuse, but fails to awaken. Having deduced this possibility, Sora uses a loophole in the rules allowing him and his companions to leave mid-game. Sora and Shiro reveal the sirens do not know the conditions to wake the empress, so they split up to investigate; Sora, Shiro, Jibril, and Puram travel to Avent Hiem, home of the flügels, while Stephanie and Izuna search the previous king's hidden library.
5 It Seems the Gamer Siblings Hate New Game Plus[Jp. 21] November 25, 2013[15] 978-4-04-066080-6
The prologue covers Kurami and Fil's progress in their efforts to overthrow the elven nation. Meanwhile, Sora and co are overwhelmed by Avent Hiem's library. They decide to challenge all the flügels to a game to enlist their help; the goal of the game is for Sora and Shiro to avoid capture by using Puram's flight magic and various katakana characters to materialize whatever they desire. Eluding capture, Sora and Shiro use the game to convince the head flügel, Azrael, to have Avent Hiem join the Elkia Federation. After winning, Avent Hiem's library proves to be fruitless but Shiro deduces what the empress desires; at the same time, Stephanie and Izuna finds evidence to support her theory. Returning to the empress' dream, Sora's immunity to the empress' seduction fulfills her la douleur exquise desire and awakens her; their victory gives them rule over the siren and dhampir. That night, Puram reveals humanity also acquired the sirens' role as food for the dhampirs and attempts to feed on Sora and Shiro; however, the two had deduced Puram's intention from the beginning and returned the responsibility back to the sirens.
6 It Seems the Gamer Pair Challenged The World[Jp. 22] April 25, 2014[5] 978-4-04-066382-1
Tet explains how the war 6000 years ago ended to Izuna. Tet's story follows eighteen-year old Riku Dola and his step-sister Korone Dola, leaders of a colony of humans seeking refuge from the war. While on patrol, Riku befriends an Ex Machina, a sentient battle-capable android, who is searching for the meaning of a heart. Riku names her Shuvi and takes her back to the colony where they are disguised as lovers. During the year they are together, Riku overcomes his emotional trauma while Shuvi becomes more human. Following the destruction of their colony, Riku forms a group to end the war and marries Shuvi. The group performs several espionage missions, forcing the warring species into a stalemate. Riku plans to harvest the energy from the battle, following the broken stalemate, in order to materialize and claim an artifact called the Star Grail; whoever possess it will have the powers of god. Shuvi is killed by Jibril but is able to convince the Ex Machinae to join Riku's cause. Riku succeeds but is mortally wounded; in his place, Tet claims the Star Grail and brings peace to the world. Returning to the present, Sora and friends have Miko channel an old deus for a game.

Manga adaptation[edit]

After reviewing the drawings made by Yuu Kamiya's wife, Mashiro Hiiragi, in second light novel volume, his editor suggested the two collaborate on a manga adaptation of No Game No Life for Monthly Comic Alive.LN 2.A Due to Kamiya's work on the third light novel volume, the manga serialization was delayed by a volume; the volume it was supposed to premiere in contained an apology page illustrated by Hiiragi.LN 3.A The series premiered in the March 2013 volume of Monthly Comic Alive and since then, is published irregularly in the magazine.[16] Media Factory collected the individual chapters for the tankōbon release; there is currently a single volume which was released on November 22, 2013.[17] In March 2014, Seven Seas Entertainment announced its licensing of the manga series and released the first tankōbon volume in October 2014;[18] the title is stylized as No Game, No Life.[19] The series has also been localized in Taiwan.[20]

Anime adaptation[edit]

On July 27, 2013, Monthly Comic Alive announced the anime adaptation for No Game No Life was green lit.[21] It is directed by Atsuko Ishizuka and animated by Madhouse.[1] The series premiered on April 9, 2014 on AT-X; it was later broadcast on five other broadcast stations and several streaming networks.[22] The final episode premiered on June 25, 2014.[23] Media Factory released the series in six DVD and Blu‑ray volumes between June 25 and November 26, 2014.[24] The opening theme for the series was "This Game" by Konomi Suzuki and the ending theme is "Oracion" by Shiro's voice actress, Ai Kayano.[25]

Crunchyroll simulcasted the series, Anime Network broadcast on their cable network and made it available on their website, while Sentai Filmworks acquired the license for digital and home media release in North America.[26][27][28] In the United Kingdom, MVM Entertainment licensed the series for distribution and in Australasia, Hanabee Entertainment licensed the series for its video on demand website.[29][30] In France, the series was also simulcasted on Anime Digital Network and is broadcast on Viacom International Media Networks' J-one channel.[31][32] In China, the series is made available on PPTV.[33]

Yoshitsugu Matsuoka and Ai Kayano, the voice actors for Sora and Shiro respectively, hosted an internet radio show on Hibiki Radio called No Radio No Life.[34] It was broadcast weekly between April 8 and July 29, 2014 and switched to a biweekly schedule since then. Twenty-six segments are planned and three CDs are slated for release between July 2014 and February 2015.[34]

Episode list[edit]

No. Official English title
Original Japanese title
Director Writer Original airdate Ref
1 "Beginner"
"Shirōto" (素人) 
Kōji Ōdate Jukki Hanada April 9, 2014[1] [35]
Sora and Shiro are two siblings and are known in online games as the undefeated group named Blank. In real life, they are hikikomori who are ostracized by the world. One day, they receive a challenge from Tet to a game of chess and are victorious. In response he offers to send them to a world which revolves around games and they accept, believing it to be a joke. They are then summoned to a reality known as Disboard where a spell, known as the Ten Pledges, prevents violence and enforces the rules and outcomes of games. They travel to Elkia, the nation inhabited by humans, where Sora plays poker against a woman for her money and wins by out-cheating her. He and Shiro rest at an inn and decide their next goal is to find a home. 
2 "Challenger"
"Chōsensha" (挑戦者) 
Masaru Koseki Jukki Hanada April 16, 2014[36] [37]
Stephanie Dola, granddaughter of Elkia's deceased king, loses against Kurami Zell in a contest to decide the next ruler; she then confronts Sora for not revealing how her opponent was cheating. Sora tricks her into a game of rock-paper-scissors and after winning, uses the Pledges to make her fall in love with him. Sora and Shiro then move into the palace with Stephanie where they learn more about world and decide to help Stephanie revitalize Elkia. 
3 "Expert"
"Jukurensha" (熟練者) 
Masaki Hyuga Jukki Hanada April 23, 2014[38] [39]
During Kurami's coronation, Sora reveals she was using magic from the elf, Fil Nilvalen, to win her games. Kurami salvages the situation but is forced to play a game against Sora and Shiro. Originally, they believe the game is chess, but Sora deduces it is a war simulator with chess themed pieces; Sora's charisma rallies his army, giving them an advantage and forcing Kurami to cheat by corrupting Sora's soldiers. In return, Sora persuades Kurami's queen to join his army by declaring her king to be corrupt. 
4 "Grandmaster"
"Kokuou" (国王) 
Chiaki Abe
Keiko Yamamoto
Jukki Hanada April 30, 2014[40] [41]
Kurami's army begin defecting to her former queen; eventually her king is assassinated due to her tyrannical rule and Sora is victorious. Sora denounces Kurami's plan in assimilating humans with the elves, declaring humanity is stronger than she thinks. Sora and Shiro are crowned the king and queen of humanity and begin solving Elkia's political and economical problems. They later attend the formal coronation and receive humanity's race piece, a chess piece which represents humanity's rights and free-will. Tet visits Sora and Shiro and explains that whoever gathers all sixteen chess pieces, one for each species, will earn the right to challenge him for his title of god; in response Sora and Shiro accept his challenge, declaring they will be the winner. 
5 "Weak Square"
"Komanarabe" (駒並べ) 
Maria Ichino
Takashi Nagayoshi
Takashi Aoshima May 7, 2014[42] [43]
Sora and Shiro leave Elkia's political responsibilities to Stephanie until she is challenged to a game by nobles who refuse the reform. She challenges Sora to blackjack in hopes of binding him to the Pledges to perform his duties; she attempts to use false shuffling but loses due to card counting. Understanding her predicament, Sora trumps the nobles and uses the previous game to have Stephanie act like a dog. Stephanie tries several more games on Sora to take responsibility as Elkia's king but fails. Sora and Shiro reveal they were not slacking, but are researching ways to conquer the other nations; in response Stephanie redirects them to Elkia's library which is owned by the flügel Jibril
6 "Interesting"
"Itte" (一手) 
Kunihiko Hamada Kento Shimoyama May 14, 2014[44] [45]
Sora and Shiro challenge Jibril by betting their tablet computer full of books; considering it of high value, Jibril offers her freedom in exchange. They begin a game of materialization shiritori, where the words they use will materialize or disappear from the environment. From the game, Sora and Shiro deduce Disboard's scientific research is lacking, and uses this knowledge to their advantage; they succeed after removing coulomb's law and inducing a hypernova, removing Jibril from the game. Impressed by the two, Jibril solemnly pledges her loyalty to them. 
7 "Sacrifice"
"Shinite" (死に手) 
Rie Harada
Kakuto Gai
Takashi Aoshima May 21, 2014[46] [47]
Jibril shares her knowledge about the werebeasts, revealing they have been undefeated for decades and always take the memories of the game away from the opponents. When Sora learns Elkia's king challenged the werebeasts eight times and lost a large amount of land, he denounces the king and upsets Stephanie. Upon further investigation, Sora questions the king's motives and eventually learns about the king's will from Stephanie. Using the key from the will, Sora and Shiro find a hidden library in the king's chambers; there, they discover information regarding the werebeasts and their choice of games. 
8 "Fake End"
"Kishikaisei" (起死回生) 
Shinichi Suzuki
Keiko Yamamoto
Yuu Kamiya May 28, 2014[48] [49]
Sora and Shiro enter the embassy of the Eastern Federation, nation of the werebeasts, to issue a formal challenge. Sora and Shiro reveals the werebeasts use video games and threatens to leak that information to the elves if their challenge is not accepted; Sora bets humanity's chess piece in return for all of the land on the continent. As the Eastern Federation makes preparations for the game, Sora waits for the missing piece needed for victory; the next day, Shiro realizes everyone has forgotten about Sora. 
9 "Sky Walk"
"Kairihō" (解離法) 
Masaki Hyuga Jukki Hanada June 4, 2014[50] [51]
Believing Shiro's memories have been tampered with, Jibril arranges a chess game to remove the memories regarding Sora; Shiro decides her memories are real and wins the match. After investigating, Shiro recalls Sora arranged a game of reversi with Kurami; the game's pieces consist of the components making up Sora and Kurami's identity. Having lost most of his pieces, Sora was nearly erased from existence but the last three pieces allow Shiro to keep her memories of him. Shiro finds the pieces in her room and places them on an invisible board, winning the game and restoring Sora. From his victory, Sora shares his memories with Kurami, allowing them to form an alliance, and gains the right to manipulate Fil's memories. 
10 "Blue Rose"
"Shikōhō" (指向法) 
Maria Ichino
Takashi Nagayoshi
Yumiko Kinoshita
Kento Shimoyama June 11, 2014[52] [53]
Sora and friends bond with Kurami and Fil as they make the final preparations to conquer the Eastern Federation. Per Sora's demands, the match against the werebeasts is made public in order to prevent them from cheating. The game begins and Sora, Shiro, Stephanie, Jibril, and their opponent Izuna Hatsuse, are sent to a virtual reality world which resembles Tokyo. Sora and Shiro's agoraphobia acts up and they enter a devoid state. 
11 "Killing Giant"
"Yūdōhō" (誘導法) 
Masaki Hyuga Kento Shimoyama June 18, 2014[54] [55]
Recalling they are in virtual reality, Sora and Shiro return to normal; the game is a form of cops and robbers where they use guns that fire heart-shaped bullets. While Stephanie remains clueless about the game, Sora, Shiro, and Jibril battle against Izuna and deduce that her grandfather, Ino Hatsuse, is relaying their location and state of mind to her. Sora and friends regroup as Shiro makes the proper adjustments to their plans. Executing the unspoken plan, Sora and Shiro corner Izuna, forcing her to use an ability called Blood Destruction to augment her abilities. 
12 "Rule Number 10"
"Rūru Nanbā Jū" (ルール ナンバー 10) 
Kōji Ōdate
Kunihiko Hamada
Jukki Hanada June 25, 2014[56] [23]
Sora and Shiro are defeated; as Izuna drops her guard, she is shot by Stephanie riding a NPC. Sora reveals he bound Stephanie to the Pledges to hide her intent while Shiro calculated the NPC's movements, allowing Stephanie to hide her location. While Izuna laments the werebeasts' fate, Sora assures her of his goodwill. Sora forces political pressure on the Eastern Federation leader, the nameless miko, to challenge him to a game. They have a coin flip where Sora has it land on its edge. He convinces the miko to declare they both win and as a result, Elkia can share resources with the Eastern Federation while the werebeasts maintain their self-rule; the allied nation is named the Elkia Federation. In the aftermath, Sora and friends have the miko channel an old deus for a game. 

Reception[edit]

It was reported in April, 2014 that 1.1 million copies of the light novel were in circulation.[57] The yearly magazine Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!, listed the light novel and the protagonists of No Game No Life on its polls.[58][59] In 2014, No Game No Life was the top ten selling light novel series with several of its books appearing in the top thirty selling volumes list.[60][61] Seven Seas Entertainment's localization of the manga was able to reach The New York Times Manga Best Sellers and ICv2's charts.[62][63] The anime series saw similar success and its home media made appearances on Oricon's weekly selling charts.[64][65] In April 2014, No Game No Life was one of the top recorded anime series on Sony's Torne;[66] a poll by AT-X ranked the series as one of 2014's top anime series.[67]

Anime News Network had four editors review the first episode of the anime:[68] Carl Kimlinger expressed doubts about the premise of the show, but liked the over-saturated visuals and the concept of the protagonists cheating against cheaters; Rebecca Silverman called the characters unlikeable and criticized the expositions for lacking in action, but noted her issues may be resolved in further episodes; and Theron Martin described the plot as wish-fulfilment, noted Sora has too much character for a hikikomori, called Sora's relationship with Shiro creepy, and concluded the series may turn out well if Sora is not an indomitable character. The fourth reviewer, Hope Chapman, expressed absolute disdain towards the series. She expressed hatred towards Sora's character, noting the misunderstood nerd turned respected genius aspect is lazy wish-fulfillment and how he thrives in a world for "misanthropic Shut-ins". Chapman likened the over-saturated colors to vomit, called the character designs hideous, and concluded her review with "nothing has made me roll my eyes, gag, or feel more irrationally angry this season than this insulting self-insert pandering trash heap".[68]

Anime News Network's Carl Kimlinger published a positive review for the complete anime series.[69] He wrote that the premise presented many flaws but were balanced out by other aspects: Sora and Shiro's "over-powered hero" archetype is balanced out by their flawed lifestyles, motives, and their "visible delight in crushing their enemies"; Stephanie Dola's mistreatment with gags and Sora and Shiro's growing respect towards her; and the harem aspect with Sora's apathy and interesting female characters. Regardless, Kimlinger praised the plot's "big games", calling them the reason to watch the series and described them as "steeped in trickery and strategy"; he added that despite knowing the protagonists would win, the fun is seeing how they do it. Kimlinger wrote the over-saturation art style will be an acquired taste for most viewers and praised how the animation really shines during the "big games", calling it an impressive display of fluidity and timing.[69] Kotaku's review was also positive;[70] the reviewer praised the protagonists' dynamic, echoed Kimlinger's sentiments about the games, liked the animation, but noted his dislike for fan service featuring Shiro. The reviewer ranked the series to be the top five anime series of 2014, and recommended the No Game No Life for viewers who like smart characters and gamer humor.[71][72] Similarly, TAY Kotaku also praised the dynamics, game humor, and art style; the reviewer had mixed feelings towards the harem aspect and sexual humor, and agreed with Kotaku's dislike for the fan service featuring Shiro.[73] IGN echoed previous opinions, praising the character dynamics and also panning Shiro's fan service.[74]

Notes and references[edit]

  • ^LN represents the Light Novel of the series in the format of X.Y, where X represents the volume and Y represents the chapter. Chapter A represents the afterword of the novel.
Japanese
  1. ^ Japanese: 盤上の世界 Hepburn: Disubōdo?
  2. ^ エルキア Erukia
  3. ^ 天翼種 Furyūgeru
  4. ^ 獣人種 Wābīsuto
  5. ^ 東部連合 Tōbu Rengō
  6. ^ エルヴン・ガルド Eruvun Garudo
  7. ^ 吸血種 Danpīru
  8. ^ 海棲種 Sērēn
  9. ^ オーシェンド Ōshendo
  10. ^ 神霊種 Ōrudo Deusu
  11. ^ リク・ドーラ Riku Dōra
  12. ^ 機凱種 Ekusumakina
  13. ^ シュヴィ・ドーラ Shuvi Dōra
  14. ^ アルトシュ Arutoshu
  15. ^ アヴァント・ヘイム Avanto Heimu
  16. ^ 幻想種 Fantazuma
  17. ^ ゲーマー兄妹がファンタジー世界を征服するそうです Gēmā Kyōdai ga Fantajī Sekai o Seifuku Suru sō Desu
  18. ^ ゲーマー兄妹が獣耳っ子の国に目をつけたようです Gēmā Kyōdai ga Kemomimikko no Kuni ni Me o Tsuketa yō desu
  19. ^ ゲーマー兄妹の片割れが消えたようですが...? Gēmā Kyōdai no Kataware ga Kieta yō desuga...?
  20. ^ ゲーマー兄妹はリアル恋愛ゲームから逃げ出しました Gēmā Kyōdai wa Riaru Ren'ai Gēmu Kara Nigedashi Mashita
  21. ^ ゲーマー兄妹は強くてニューゲームがお嫌いなようです Gēmā Kyōdai wa Tsuyoku te Nyū Gēmu ga Okirai na yō Desu
  22. ^ ゲーマー夫嫁は世界に挑んだそうです Gēmā Fusai wa Sekai ni Idonda yō Desu
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External links[edit]