ANIME & MANGA - Review
15:00 - 9th January 2016, by David West

No Game No Life

When siblings Sora and Shiro defeat an unknown challenger in an online chess match, they are whisked away to the world of Disboard where everything is decided by the outcome of games. Their mysterious opponent turns out to be Tet, the God of Disboard, and if the duo can gain control of the 16 races that populate their new home, they will earn the right to challenge Tet for control of the world.

Directed by Atsuko Ishizuka and written by Jukki Hanada, who penned scripts for Accel World and Steins; Gate, No Game No Life is a harem show set in a brightly coloured fantasy land mainly populated by attractive young women. Sora is definitely the engine that drives the series. While the lead pair are described as hikikomori, the brash and often obnoxious Sora is far more outgoing than his little sister Shiro, whose principal role is ticking off the Lolicon box in Sora’s harem that includes busty Stephanie Dola, the magical Jibril, animal-girl Izuna and skinny tough girl Kurami. Fanservice abounds, with several scenes of the girls bathing and numerous panty shots. The rules of the games that Sora and Shiro play to advance their campaign of conquest are rather nebulous, and there is a strong sense that no one working on the series understands chess at all. Disboard certainly looks great but the world-building feels as haphazard as the game mechanics.

The strong design work can’t hide the lack of substance in this fantasy harem set up.
SCORE: 2/5
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