No Game No Life (ノーゲーム・ノーライフ, Nōgēmu Nōraifu) is a light novel series by Yū Kamiya. It is published under the MF Bunko J imprint with nine novels released between April 25, 2012 and August 25, 2016. 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 Japan by Crunchyroll. An anime film adaptation of the sixth volume, No Game, No Life Zero, premiered on July 15, 2017. A spinoff manga, No Game No Life, Please!, focusing on the character Izuna, ran from May 27, 2015 to November 27, 2017. 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 stepsister 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 reality 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 god of games.
The series began receiving recognition in 2014, when it appeared in Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! and had its volumes placed as one of the top thirty selling novels in Japan. It was reported in May 2017 that over 3 million printed copies are in circulation. The English localization of the manga and anime were also well received: the manga adaption appeared on The New York Times Manga Best Sellers; meanwhile, English reviewers were generally turned away by the first episode of the anime, though reviewers who have completed the series generally praised the character dynamics, game strategies, and animation, while disliking the fan service featuring the underage Shiro.
Plot[edit | edit source]
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. There, a spell known as the Ten Pledges prevents the citizens of Disboard from inflicting harm on one another, forcing them to resolve their differences by gambling with games whose rules and rewards are magically enforced. In-game, rule enforcement only occurs when the method of cheating is acknowledged and outed by the opponent, allowing players to cheat through discreet methods. Sora and Shiro traverse to Elkia, the nation inhabited by humans, and befriend the duchess Stephanie Dola. Learning about Elkia's decline, the two 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; as of the sixth volume, five of the sixteen are under their control.
Media[edit | edit source]
Light Novels[edit | edit source]
No Game No Life is a light novel series written and illustrated by Yū Kamiya. It is published under the MF Bunko J imprint; ten volumes were published by Media Factory between April 25, 2012 and January 25, 2018. 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. Non-English localizations include Brazil, Taiwan and Russia; distribution in China was banned due to the government viewing the series as a threat to communism.
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 climactic 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..
Manga[edit | edit source]
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. Media Factory collected the individual chapters for the tankōbon release. In March 2014, Seven Seas Entertainment announced its licensing of the manga series and released the first tankōbon volume in October 2014; the title is stylized as No Game, No Life. The series has also been localized in Brazil, Taiwan and Russia.
A side series, titled No Game No Life, Please!, by Yuizaki Kazuya, began serialization in the July 2015 issue of Monthly Comic Alive on May 27, 2015. The final chapter was published on November 27, 2017. It focuses on Izuna Hatsuse and her daily life. Yen Press announced their license to the manga on October 28, 2016.
Anime[edit | edit source]
On July 27, 2013, Monthly Comic Alive announced the anime adaptation for No Game No Life was green lit. It is directed by Atsuko Ishizuka and animated by Madhouse. The series premiered on April 9, 2014 on AT-X; it was later broadcast on five other broadcast stations and several streaming networks. The final episode premiered on June 25, 2014. Media Factory released the series in six DVD and Blu‑ray volumes between June 25 and November 26, 2014. 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.
Crunchyroll simulcast No Game No Life and made it accessible to several regions. In North America, Anime Network broadcast the series on their cable network and made it available on their website, while Sentai Filmworks released the series for home media in July 2015. 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. In France, the series was also simulcasted on Anime Digital Network and is broadcast on Viacom International Media Networks' J-one channel. In China, the series is made available on PPTV.
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. 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 were released between July 2014 and February 2015. A special cross over featuring No Radio No Life and the radio series from Bladedance of Elementalers and Lord Marksman and Vanadis was broadcast by Hibiki Radio on January 1, 2015 and released on DVD on May 13.
An anime movie adaptation of the sixth light novel was announced on July 17, 2016 at the MF Bunko J Summer School Festival 2016 event. The film, titled No Game, No Life Zero (ノーゲーム・ノーライフ ゼロ Nōgēmu Nōraifu Zero), premiered on July 15, 2017, with the staff and cast from the anime series returning. Based on the sixth volume of the light novel series, the story is set 6000 years before the events of the series, with most of the original cast portraying ancient characters related to their present counterparts. The theme song is "There is a Reason" by Konomi Suzuki. The song was included on the album "No Song No Life" on July 12, 2017. Sentai Filmworks released the film theatrically within the United States from October 5, 2017, and has licensed the film for home video distribution. Madman Entertainment premiered the film in Australia at the Madman Anime Festival in Melbourne on November 5, 2017