I cannot -believe- I just watched two ‘older teenage boy and his loli partner’ anime in a row.

There’s an urban legend circulated amongst net gamers about a group of four players who have ‘beat’ every single game they have ever played. They can win battles against all odds and have never been known to lose, although their identities are shrouded in mystery. They don’t even have names – the name fields of the characters are left blank, giving them the nickname ‘Blanks’. Theories abound as to the true identity of these four players….in reality, however, all four of the characters are actually controlled by the 18-year-old NEET Sora and his 11-year-old shut-in sister Shiro.
One day they receive a message inviting them to play a game of online chess – which Shiro, who is apparently also a chess master, wins at. This gives them the invitation to answer the question of whether they believe they were born in the wrong world or not, after all, isn’t reality just like a really shitty game? As soon as Sora answers that yes, they should have been born in a game-world instead, they are whisked away to said game world by the happy-go-lucky king (or perhaps even god) of the world, Tet. This colourful world known as Disboard is a world composed entirely of games -with everything in it riding on the outcome of games. Violence and killing is apparently impossible, and the only way to get by is through skill…or perhaps cheating.

Tet’s real cute. I like Tet.

URGENT REQUEST TO ANIMATORS EVERYWHERE: Please don’t draw cameltoe pantyshots on 11 year olds. Please. Don’t do it. I don’t know why any of you think this isn’t a creepy, slimeyass thing to put in a show for no reason, but please. How about we all just sit down and have a good long think about why you Shouldn’t Do This Ever. Thank you.
Alright, so that’s the creepy part out of the way. No Game No Life isn’t a bad show so far…a little too pandering to the NEET demographic with its escapist ‘the real world SUCKS why can’t I just play games ALL DAY FOREVER :c’ twaddle for my liking, but still, not a bad show. This actually surprised me because the premise sounds absolutely rotten to me, as well as fantastically dull. I’ve said before that ‘stuck in a game’ is not a genre of anime I particularly enjoy very much, but I do think Shiro and Sora’s case is a little interesting for reasons they point out themselves – unlike the heroes and heroines in the other anime about being stuck in a game world, they have no desire to return home, and won’t be embarking on any journey to find out how to do so. This brings up several questions though as to what exactly the plot is going to be about, though. There’s hints of deeper things here and there – the most interesting being the fact that so many people in this game world aren’t playing fair. I’m hoping they do something interesting with this angle – like explore the fact that even in this perfect little world people will still find a way to ruin it for everyone else – but it’s hard to tell at this point if the show wants to do anything serious or just throw a bunch of moemoe pandering at the audience instead. There’s quite a bit of pandering already – Shiro acts more like some kind of hyper-intelligent kitten than a human being that is also sexualized thankfully not as much as I was fearing from the pantyshot near the start, but still too much. There’s a bunch of other cutesypoo girls that make frustrated cutesypoo noises over things, and then one of them comes to Shiro and Sora’s room naked except for a towel. Exactly why, I have literally no idea because the episode ended there, but the next episode preview, I shit you not, showed the ‘woops I fell and my hand landed on your boob!’ thing. It is the year of our lord 2014 AD and that is still a trope we are putting in anime. There is really nothing else the writers could think of as a way of inserting some cheap fanservice. Amazing.
With all this negativity about the show I’m expressing I really need to put in the reminder that yes, amazingly, it’s still not that bad, and I’m still going to give it at least one more episode. The main draw here, at least for me, is how beautiful it actually is. It’s hard to really capture it in the stills I’ve provided but the super colourful look the show has is really quite nice, and I like the effect of the red outlines on the characters.  It also has some absurdly gorgeous, imaginative and also really varied background art that is leagues ahead of every other ‘generic MMO background’ I see in these kinds of anime, so choosing one to include for the review was really hard. The animators have done some really great stuff with mood, lighting and ambience, so the whole thing really stands out visually. I’d also like to know a bit more about Tet, and what exactly is the deal with this magical game world. Part of me is hoping that the show is successful enough to get a bunch of figures made for it, because the character designs are so nice that some well-made figures would look amazing.
But…yeah. If we have any more 11-year-old camel-toe pantyshots I don’t think I’ll be able to continue watching for too long, no matter how beautiful the rest is.

dayum this is gorgeous

Out of 5,