NA Streaming Rights: Crunchyroll MyAnimeList: No Game No Life
Update (8/26/16): This post has also been shared with Creators.co.
On July 17th at the MF Bunko J Summer School Festival, an event hosted by the MF Bunko J publishing label, a movie announcement was made for the TV anime No Game No Life. A series that some feared would never get an anime continuation now takes the stage once more!
Airing back in 2014, No Game No Life followed the story of the hikikomori step-sibling duo of Sora and Shiro. After being challenged to a game of online chess through a mysterious email, the two find themselves transported to a magic world where all disputes are solved through games. War and violence are forbidden as the population is bound by the 10 tenets that give games absolute authority. Having “failed” the crappy game known as reality, Sora and Shiro excitingly set out to conquer this new world that appears to be made perfectly for them.
Based on the on-going light novel series by Yū Kamiya, the anime, adapted by the animation studio Madhouse, received a 12-episode run, covering the first three novels. Since then, fans have eagerly hoped for an announcement of a new season to continue the story. So to most, the movie comes as a bit of a surprise. As of now, there are eight volumes of the light novel released in Japan. If they were to follow the same pacing, there’s plenty enough material to make a second season over the movie. Looking closer at the fine details, however, we may just find a valid reason for the series’ current trajectory.
Looking at the release dates of each light novel, volumes one through six all released at an average of five months per volume. Volume six released on April 25, 2014, coinciding with the start of the anime, and was the last book to be released at a regular interval. Volume seven released on July 24, 2015, over a year later, and now marks the assumed return to a regular schedule. With the author’s hiatus, creating a second season presumably became challenging. This is mainly due to the fact that while there were technically three novels available for an adaptation, the story of volume six actually takes place in the past and features a different set of characters, disrupting the flow of Sora and Shiro’s story. With the introduction of movie, this problem can actually be remedied and aid in the potential future of the anime.
WARNING: The following is light SPOILERS for No Game No Life volume six and the history of the world of Disboard. I will be discussing the plot synopsis of volume six and how it relates to the upcoming film. The spoiler section will be indicated by the blue line. Continue as you see fit.
Along with the movie announcement, this teaser image of the upcoming film was released via the No Game No Life twitter account. At first glance and to anime-only viewers, it looks as though the characters are the main protagonists, Sora and Shiro. Upon closer inspection, which can be better seen in this larger image found on the MF Bunko J blog, you can see slight marking upon Shiro’s face and a disk-like object on her head where her crown would normally be. This indicates that these are not the characters we know but actually the protagonists of volume six of the light novel, who use those character designs. Volume six is the story of the Great War between the sixteen races, resulting in Tet being named the true god and marking the start of using games to resolve conflicts. It features a new main cast of characters, with similar resembles to our main heroes, and is narrated by Tet. Based on the above image, it can be assumed that the No Game No Life movie will be an adaption of volume six, a prequel to the overall plot.
Turning volume six into a movie keeps the story from becoming disjointed during a regular anime season with its change in characters and, ultimately, aids in the longevity of the anime. Assuming the movie releases some point in 2017 (my guess would be around the spring), the thought of a second season will continue to be pushed back. This allows for the author to release more volumes of the light novel which in return allows more available content for the anime to adapt. I firmly believe that if this movie is enough of a commercial success for the studio, we will receive a second season, possibly at some point in 2018. Assuming season two will happen, it will benefit us, the fans, if there’s more content available for a season three to be ready in the pipeline. I don’t imagine No Game No Life will be going on for too much longer. I could be wrong but the story will probably wrap up in a reasonable amount of volumes. By creating a movie and delaying the second season, we’re able to put No Game No Life on the right track to receive a full, complete adaptation, at some point.
No Game No Life was easily among my top 5 anime of 2014. Even though it can be needlessly ecchi at times, it’s a genuinely fun show. It’s completely outrageous in how its main characters handle themselves in each situation, to point that you can’t reasonably predict what’s going to happen next. It’s clever, exhilarating, and an all-around blast. I’m excited for the upcoming movie and whatever else is in store for this series’ future. If you haven’t checked the anime out yet, I left an unsubbed trailer below to give a small insight into what you can expect from this stellar series.
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