No Game, No Life Zero

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No Game, No Life Zero
A decrepit, naked robotic girl sits against a dark sky with the film's logo emblazoned over the top.
Theatrical release poster for the film
Japaneseノーゲーム・ノーライフ ゼロ
HepburnNōgēmu Nōraifu Zero
Directed byAtsuko Ishizuka
Written byJukki Hanada
Based onNo Game No Life
by Yuu Kamiya
Music byYoshiaki Fujisawa
Edited byKashiko Kimura
Production
company
Distributed byKadokawa Animation
Release date
  • July 15, 2017 (2017-07-15) (Japan)
Running time
105 minutes[1]
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese
Box office¥700 million[2]

No Game, No Life Zero (Japanese: ノーゲーム・ノーライフ ゼロ, Hepburn: Nōgēmu Nōraifu Zero) is a Japanese animated film based on the light novel series No Game No Life by Yuu Kamiya. The film was directed by Atsuko Ishizuka at studio Madhouse. It premiered in Japan on July 15, 2017. The film has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks in the North America, Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand, and by MVM in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Plot[edit]

Izuna and Tet play a game to wager food. As they continue their next game, Tet tells her of a story from 6000 years ago, during the Great War. The Old Deus have driven humankind to the brink of extinction as war is raged upon the heavens and the earth in their quest to become the One True God. Riku, the leader of humanity's last colony along with his sister Corounne, lets another one of his companions die in a Demonia attack while sourcing for information, plaguing him with nightmares and guilt. The colony is at a loss for what to do with their leader in this state, their reducing numbers, and the frequent battles that endanger their lives around the area.

The next day, Riku returns to an Elvish hideout he found to investigate. There, he stumbles upon an Ex-Machina that requests for procreation in order to understand the human heart, an idea that defies logic. Although he initially refuses, his eyes light up at the prospect of a chess game she challenges him to, despite knowing Ex-Machinae' frightening calculation abilities. Riku loses and they agree to a terms of exchange whereby he gets to take advantage of her logical prowess, and in return she will stay with him and learn about the human heart. With only a designation code assigned to her, Riku names her Schwi, as a short-form for Schwarzer which means "black" in German, after her hair.

Schwi accidentally forces Riku to confront the people he made die. While this causes a quarrel between them it helps her gain a deeper understanding into Riku's personality and helps him face his trauma. Through working together, both realize that they make an incredible team. They devise a plan to break into the core of the planet to achieve the Suniaster, a legendary instrument designed to give the strongest the power of One True God, by utilising the powers generated from the spirit circuit of all the races, and Schwi's machinery to shift its direction.

Riku proposes to Schwi despite the differences in their races and the latter previously destroying the former's last home. When he starts to fall apart though, Schwi decides to acquire the Suniaster herself so that he will not die, inevitably meeting Jibril. A vicious battle ensues and Schwi dies, but remembers to lay the last foundations of their plan by reconnecting with her cluster of Ex-Machina and employing them to help Riku. As Jibril deals the last strike, Schwi uses the last of her energy to protect Riku's wedding ring, and Jibril, having exhausted all her power, temporarily reverts to a younger form and is put out of action.

Devastated by Schwi's death, Riku forces himself to complete the plan, but his body fails at the last second. He prays aloud to a God of Games he used to play with as a child, to take the Suniaster and end the war. Tet, having spawned from Riku's imagination, grants his wish and changes the world forever.

Returning to the present, Izuna notices remarkable resemblance of Schwi and Riku to Shiro and Sora, and their team being the descendants. Together, they look towards the future, ready to begin the game.

Cast[edit]

Character Japanese voice actor English voice actor
Riku Yoshitsugu Matsuoka[3] Scott Gibbs
Schwi Ai Kayano[3] Caitlynn French
Corounne Dola Yōko Hikasa[3] Sara Ornelas
Jibril Yukari Tamura[3] Amelia Fischer
Nonna Zell Yuka Iguchi[3] Brittney Karbowski
Think Nilvalen Mamiko Noto[3] TBA
Izuna Hatsuse Miyuki Sawashiro[3] Kira Vincent-Davis
Tet Rie Kugimiya[3] Shannon Emerick

Production[edit]

The film was announced during the MF Bunko J Summer School Festival 2016 event on July 17, 2016.[4] The film's title was revealed as No Game, No Life Zero on March 3, 2017.[5] The film was produced primarily by staff returning from the earlier anime television series. It was directed by Atsuko Ishizuka and written by Jukki Hanada, with animation by studio Madhouse.[5] Satoshi Tasaki designed the series' characters.[5] The film's music was composed by Yoshiaki Fujisawa[3] and produced by Kadokawa.[5] Other returning staff includes Eiji Iwase (art director), Tsukasa Ohira (art setting), Harue Ono (color key artist), Kenji Fujita (director of photography), Shuhei Yabuta (3D director), Kashiko Kimura (editor), Jin Aketagawa (sound director),[5] Kazuhiro Hocchi (concept art), and Tsukasa Ohira (background art).[3] Konomi Suzuki, who performed the opening theme for the television anime, also performed the main theme song for the film, "There is a Reason".[6]

Release[edit]

The film premiered in Japan on July 15, 2017.[7] It was initially screened in 61 theaters before expanding to 178.[2] It then had a 4DX release in 48 theaters across Japan starting on September 9, 2017.[8] The film was released on home video in Japan on February 23, 2018.[2]

On June 12, 2017, Sentai Filmworks announced that they had licensed the film.[9] Azoland Pictures distributed the film theatrically in the United States,[10] and it premiered with an English dub at the Los Angeles Anime Film Festival on September 15, 2016, and with English subtitles on September 16, 2017.[11] It was then released nationwide on October 5, 2017 (English subbed) and October 8, 2017 (dubbed).[12] Sentai will release the film on home video on August 28, 2018.[1]

Madman Entertainment licensed the film for release in Australia and New Zealand, screened it with English subtitles at the Madman Anime Festival in Melbourne on November 5, 2017.[13]

MVM has licensed the film in the United Kingdom, and released it in 2018.[14]

Reception[edit]

The film opened at number 7 in the Japanese box office,[15] before dropping to number 10 on its second weekend.[16] It had grossed ¥500 million as of August 18, 2017,[17] and ¥700 million as of September 30, 2017.[2]

According to the Oricon sales charts, the film's limited edition Blu-ray sold 29,586 copies,[18] while the standard edition Blu-ray sold 6,133 copies[19] and the standard edition DVD sold 4,068 copies.[20]

Kim Morrissy of Anime News Network gave the film a positive review, writing that "as a standalone prequel, I couldn't have asked for anything better." He felt that the film was more trimmed-down and succinct than the television series, allowing it to focus more its message about the potential of humanity without the "intrusive fanservice" of the original. He also praised the film's animation, and felt that it was the best work that Atsuko Ishizuka had produced so far as a director.[21]

Rachel Cheung of the South China Morning Post gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, opining that it would satisfy fans of the original material but would leave newcomers confused.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "NO GAME, NO LIFE ZERO". Sentai Filmworks. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Ressler, Karen (November 24, 2017). "No Game No Life Zero Film Earns 700 Million Yen". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Loo, Egan (March 26, 2017). "No Game, No Life Zero Anime Film's 1st Promo Video Teases Millennia-Old Story". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  4. ^ Loo, Egan (July 17, 2016). "No Game, No Life Fantasy Light Novels Get Anime Film". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e Hodgkins, Crystalyn (March 3, 2017). "No Game, No Life Zero Anime Film Reveals Teaser Video, Key Visual, 2017 Debut". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  6. ^ Ressler, Karen (May 26, 2017). "No Game, No Life Film's Visual Shows Returning Characters". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (March 22, 2017). "No Game, No Life Zero Anime Film Slated for July 15". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (August 16, 2017). "No Game, No Life Zero Anime Film Gets 4DX Screenings". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  9. ^ Ressler, Karen (June 13, 2017). "Sentai Filmworks Licenses No Game, No Life Zero Anime Film". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  10. ^ Ressler, Karen (August 10, 2017). "No Game, No Life Zero Film Premieres in U.S. Theaters This Fall". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  11. ^ Kelly, Rachel (August 15, 2017). "No Game, No Life Zero Film's LA Anime Film Festival Premiere to Be English-Dubbed". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  12. ^ Ressler, Karen (August 18, 2017). "No Game, No Life Zero Film's U.S. Theatrical Release Scheduled for October". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  13. ^ "No Game No Life: Zero". Madman Anime Festival. Archived from the original on April 29, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  14. ^ Osmond, Andrew (October 26, 2017). "MVM Acquires No Game No Life Zero". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  15. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (July 18, 2017). "Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! Film Opens at #1, Live-Action Gintama at #2". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  16. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (July 24, 2017). "Nanoha Reflection Film Opens at #8, Anthem of the Heart at #9 at Japanese Box Office". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  17. ^ Ressler, Karen (August 18, 2017). "No Game, No Life Zero Film Tops 500 Million Yen at Box Office". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  18. ^ Loo, Egan (March 20, 2018). "Japan's Animation Blu-ray Disc Ranking, March 12-18". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  19. ^ Loo, Egan (March 13, 2018). "Japan's Animation Blu-ray Disc Ranking, March 5-11". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  20. ^ Loo, Egan (March 20, 2018). "Japan's Animation DVD Ranking, March 12-18". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  21. ^ Morrissy, Kim (July 27, 2017). "No Game, No Life Zero - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  22. ^ Cheung, Rachel (October 25, 2017). "Film review – No Game No Life: Zero – a great adaptation for fans and a puzzle for everyone else". South China Morning Post. Retrieved April 29, 2018.

External links[edit]