One of the newest anime films makes the big screen in the US since the global hitmaker Kimi no na wa (Your Name), comes No Game No Life: Zero. For those of you with no clue as to what the series No Game No Life (NGNL) is, well it is an anime that aired in 2014 and boosted to popularity quickly during the spring season involving other anime due to its distinct color palettes, animation and plot. So back to NGNL, the series focuses on the two main characters Sora and Shiro, two step siblings who spend their days playing countless games as shut ins. They play together under the gamertag [ ] or Blank. They are this undefeated persona in the game world which makes them a target for the gaming god, Tet. When they accept this challenge given by Tet they are transported to a new world where game is law and their lives change forever.
NGNL: Zero rewinds NGNL the series and the world of Disboard where Sora and Shiro are now living to 6000 years ago where war was the settlement to conflict and was the only thing known by the races of that time. In this world we are presented with Riku and Shuvi, the past lives of now Sora and Shiro. It tells the struggle, the fears, sadness and loss of what had to be all before peace came to Disboard. In the NGNL series Sora and Shiro are step siblings, but in the world of NGNL: Zero Riku and Shuvi become married although the are of different races. (Shuvi was and Ex-machina while Riku was a human)
The way I would describe this movie is a roller coaster of emotions. NGNL: Zero made sure to cater to the feelings of everyone in some way throughout the run of the film. Heck my brother laughed quite hard, became angry and even cried watching the film. Even with everyone else watching it you could tell you weren’t the only one who felt this way and the movie made a great job making us attached to the characters and glued to the plot.
The setting was very well set up for the scenes, when it would be just the two protagonists the setting would be spacious and empty just for them versus an action scene where there would be fire and dark skies and an ominous atmosphere all around the fight just showing destruction.
Everything that built up this movie involved the animation, setting and music. The music really made the scenes go the extra mile with its action sequences, time lapses, and sad moments.
The vocals attached with the music gave off the raw feelings that the characters felt and so did the audience which made everything connect. It just flowed smoothly and transitioned quite nicely. Many people did have the complaint that that creators only used a skin over the same characters from the first season, but understand that these are the ancestors/past lives of some of these characters so in all honestly similarities are inevitable. It showed me a new way of looking at the characters and for all that’s it just made them look even cooler than before.
The run time for the film was an hour and 50 minutes which made me so surprised that nothing was really rushed. If I had anything to say that needed a bit of work was the use of clichés, yes I know they work but it made the story a bit easier to read before a certain scene happened which made it one of its only flaws. I wanted to always be surprised like most of the film made it to be but not every film will be a perfect one. It made me feel so many emotions in that one short amount of time which is the main purpose of it and made me walk out definitely making it worth remembering and worth a second or third watch.
(Left:Sora, Shiro Right: Riku, Shuvi)
Overall, No Game No Life: Zero was a beautiful film with crisp animation as well with a fitting soundtrack and heartfelt plot and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes anime or even if you aren’t a fan to give it a try. A solid 8.5 out of 10 and hopefully we see more of Sora and Shiro in the future with this success of this film.