Anime Review: “No Game No Life” Season 1

I’m happy to present this review written by guest writer Afrika Hunt!

by Afrika Hunt

There comes a time when us humans need to play chess; whether we would like to or not, we must play to win or else we will forfeit the ownership of our destiny. Brazilian-born, Yu Kamiya, Japanese novelist wrote a series called “No Game, No Life” about the destiny of a world that is passively ruled by a true neutral god, by means of nonviolent games– Tet. His strategy on governing this special world is by means of ten pledges, and if the inhabitants of this planet do not follow every pledge, then the consequences are severe for that entire race. There are 16 races who each own their race piece and these race pieces are literal ownership of a race. These pieces are in the form of a spiritual chess piece. Whomever owns the piece controls the destiny of that race but let us dig deeper about into these pledges.

Most of these pledges are very straight forward, but in my opinion number 1, 8, and 10 are the most important so these will be the focus of the review.

1. All murder, war, and robbery are forbidden in this world.

8. Being caught cheating during a game is grounds for an instant loss.

10. Let us all have fun and play together!

Law 1 is vital to a peaceful worldly society. In our world, humans usually have cruel and unfair laws due to the existence of murder, war, and lack of personal security, therefore I understand why Tet created this accord. Law 8 is also fair because his aim is to remove any chance of corruption between the citizens of the 16 races. If folks are not allowed to openly cheat, then they will be forced to commit to an honest game. I can relate with Tet yet again because openly cheating will in fact decrease the morale of this worldly population. Law 10 is the most underrated law of them all, also the most commonly unnoticed, because it is likely to hold the most potential for corruption since fun is prospective. Let us ALL have FUN and play TOGETHER. None of the other nine laws will bring peace without the mastery of law 10 because this is the law of unity and international peace accords. Since this world is full of characters who want to break the laws, they are in turn subconsciously breaking rule 10 since everyone is not having fun with their games. Breaking these rules lead to nothing but constant losses in the long run, so this world is shockingly not peaceful at all.

The reader may ask how Tet will fix this. This brings about the two main characters who

call themselves Blank. I feel that Tet is aware of his failing rule over this gaming world, so he invited blank from our human world to fix things, but not in a heroic fashion. Blank are siblings who are most definitely 2 of the sketchiest characters in this anime due to their detached personality types, but I feel that Tet invited them because they mastered Pledge 10. Blank are passionate gamers and readers, who never lose games to anyone other than each other. Every time they agree to a game, they do so in pure amusement.

I feel that Tet is over his head and he wants Blank to play as many games as possible to finally bring peace in this world, so that Tet could beat blank and then claim the credit for blank’s deeds. By episode 4 they joined humanity’s leadership, then beat every human in power, easily, then they were crowned king of that race. Lastly blank received humans’ race piece. Their first order of business was to declare a gaming war with every nation in that world. Blank did not want to conquer the world, nor did they want to save it. Their only mission is to challenge god so they could become the new gods, but along the way they began making unlikely peaceful allies.

Due to the cheating, corruption, and sexual references in this anime maybe this series is geared towards 16 to 35 years of age. Younger children could benefit from watching this anime if they grew up in an environment that encourages out of the box thinking and discipline, but discretion is advised. Older viewers might let the concepts go over their head due to the absurd immaturity of Blank. Viewers who live in a society who supports enabling would benefit from watching this anime because many of the characters are not afraid to hurt feelings for the sake of the long-term goal. Fans who live-in poverty-stricken areas will find hope in their situation since one of the themes of this anime is based about around voting for the underdog. The rich and spoiled viewers may find this anime boring, or even pointless due to their fortune—the naive ones could also watch this anime to learn that many people cheat to win.

I encourage every human to watch this anime because our modern-day world is in a constant state of chaos due to all the worldly chess-like games that civilization involve us in. I feel that this anime encourages the viewer to search for loopholes and other ways to expand our minds. If one does not game, then the game will continue regardless.

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