I literally flew to Japan to see this movie and I have to say it was pretty amazing. Artistically speaking, definitely the best anime or anime movie ever made. However, the story felt a bit rushed. A set of movies or even a 12 episode alternate series would have worked better and you`ll understand why if you see it.
Great story but it definitely feels rushed even with almost 2 hours. Tet recalls the story of 6000 years ago before he becomes the one true god and it pretty much explains who everyone is and the survival of imanity, however, they just go over way
too many things and loses the entire "no game no life" part of NGNL. Interesting and still very enjoyable though.
To me NGNL will always be #1 in art, the colors and the unique style they use and the setting all just works together to create this beautiful art and NGNL Zero does it even better. The setting is much darker than the original, but it was still fucking amazing to say the least.
Sounds were great and matched the art and setting. All I have to say. Not a 10/10 because none of the OST`s really popped out to me like some did in the anime.
This is another problem, I guess, with the anime. All the characters were great, except Shuvi. Her character just seemed so out of place. The entire ex-machina and android-y and robot yet human setting she had just weird. A lot of the characters also felt like filler and repeats, except with a much nicer looking, less annoying Steph.
I point out a lot of the issues I had with the movie and the truth is it was fucking good. I`m probably going to go see it again before I`m out of Japan but it`s something you have to see if you even somewhat enjoyed ngnl.
I really am in Japan and I really did watch this movie. Btw if you see it in theaters(Japan) you can buy goods and you even get a free little manga-like mini-pamphlet for free. <.<
Story : 10/10
The story is well written for both anime and Light Novel; Volume 6, content delivery is very good and easy to understand. However, it is important to watch the TV anime before proceed to the movie since not everything explain from scratch.
Art : 10/10
If you like colorful anime you know NGNL have it but dark-themed of NGNL surprisingly went along with the story theme. It's the great war after all. Well drawn background and coloring, expected nothing less.
Character : 10/10
This part might containing a spoiler however reading this will not spoiling your experience.
Author, or rather Tet, made Riku and Shuvi similar to Sora
and Shiro, keep in mind that they are not same person ( same VA though ) and Tet mentioned that he alter the story a bit so that the REAL story remain untold. In reality, probably that actually Riku and Shuvi look nothing like Sora and Shiro, but since it is 6000 years ago, the story look more interesting if the character similar to someone that we already know, Sora and Shiro. If they created entirely new character, we might not get the similar experience. ( Can you imagine an NGNL without loli heroine? )
Sound : 8/10
The sound is good, but not great. The OST goes well with anime with good impression but there's nothing catchy. If you fall in love with the anime, sound is not something that you'll hype, still it is good.
Enjoyment : 10/10
Watched this twice at cinema, further explanation is not required.
Overall : 10/10
This one will require math. Total of my score before is 48 which when divided by 5, resulting in 9.6 and after rounding off it, 10.
No Game No Life (TV) is, to me, a flashier version of the detested Sword Art Online as both anime share many similar strengths and faults. These similarities include poor pacing, overpowered characters and an outstanding soundtrack. However, unlike Sword Art Online which, aside from the gradual deterioration of its concepts, has relatively consistent quality, No Game No Life throws many of its strengths out in No Game No Life: Zero, the prequel to the TV series.
One of the most noticeable changes is the shift from a vivid palette to a duller one which helped enforce the movies more serious and dismal tone. Unfortunately,
despite the visual adjustments, the writers could not get this tone across as the utilized poorly placed jokes to lighten the mood. These jokes, though humorous, ruined almost all of the more serious, melancholic moments this movie had to offer, altering the atmosphere and creating a lighter tone. These tone setting (and ruining) jokes made the visual modifications futile as the only offered to deduct from No Game No Life: Zero’s quality.
The creators of No Game No Life: Zero, despite changing the palette, fail to improve the overall caliber of its animation, keeping its quality relatively the same as the TV shows. This lack of color, however, expresses the negative aspects of the movies animation as it flaunts the numerous errors that passed us by in the first season. These poorly animated scenes, though prevalent in the TV series as well, were less prominent as the series used vivid colors and unique backgrounds to divert our attention from their errors. However, without the palette No Game No Life is so well known for, this facade is easily seen through.
Battles in No Game No Life: Zero are the exception when it comes to the animation quality as it revives many of the shows vivid colors and combines them with fluid animation. Many of these astounding fight scenes were, unfortunately, ruined by the CGI that accompanied them. Though I don't believe this CGI is necessarily bad when compared to many other anime, I do feel CGI itself has a long ways to go before it can consistently and excellently be implemented into anime without ruining its overall quality. This poor CGI animation was only made more evident because of its brighter pigmentation, creating a stark difference between it and the somber background of the show.
Aside from their shabby attire, the characters themselves are quite aesthetically pleasing, using many of No Game No Life's original character designs as templates for No Game No Life: Zero, retaining at least some of the artistic choices the series is so well known for. The characters themselves, however, are riddled with a multitude of flaws.
One of the more noticeable flaws these characters exhibit is their lack of rational thought. Throughout the movie, almost every character, both main and side, make irrational choices that only serve to push the plot forward. Riku, for example, uses his anger at the world (and how unfair it is) and presumed thirst for vengeance as the driving forces behind his will to survive. However, despite knowing Schwi was the one who destroyed his town and forced his neighbors underground, he is willing to take her in and care for her. This hatred and fear for AI among the humans is also demonstrated when Riku forces Schwi to conceal her identity from the rest of his group for her own safety.
Similarly, Schwi, hoping to learn about the human “heart” leaves her swarm, cutting off all connection to them to be with Riku.Why an AI, which is known to only make rational decisions, left in the first place and why she was allowed to, however, is never explained. What is explained, upon Riku and Schwi’s first encounter, is that Schwi is under the misconception that to understand the human heart she needs to have sex. This misunderstanding prompts her to consistently request Riku’s body. Surprisingly, it is later revealed that Schwi is incapable of having sex, making her reasoning for leaving the safety of the swarm in a chaotic world pointless (and therefore irrational). Why Schwi left her swarm to understand the heart despite physically being unable to (because of her misconception) is also beyond me and the rationale behind it is never explained within the anime.
No Game No Life: Zero’s cast also lacks a backstory of any kind. What Schwi did in the swarm, how Riku survived the destruction of civilization despite being a human child and how he becomes the leader of his group of dwellers (among many others) are never addressed and are only there for plot convenience. Without Riku having survived we couldn’t have had this story, without seeing Schwi’s actions in her swarm we can grow to like her (as she presumably made some inhumane choices which is why Riku is wary of revealing her identity to his fellow humans) and without Riku being his clan’s leader, he could never have ordered his allies to die for his sake and therefore would never have fallen into as depressed a state as he did (if he had still managed to survive) therefore giving him little to no motivation.
Regardless as to whether you want to know the backstories of the characters or not, their futures are just as poorly written. Aside from the cute and entertaining interactions between Schwi and Riku, there isn’t much depth to their relationship. In the anime, you see the dynamic duo meet and their first interactions and then there’s a one year time slip that leads to an anti-climactic confession.
At this point you’re probably extremely confused and are asking yourself, “What time skip?” I myself didn’t actually notice it but, researching the anime on several different sources, I discovered there is a major one hidden within the anime as the movie itself spans roughly a year and a half. What exactly happened over this year, however, is left up to speculation.
This major time skip, however, affects the shows pacing dramatically as it rushes major events with little to no actual build up. Because this movie also tries to cover such an enormous amount of events in so little time, the buildup and excitement meant to be felt in a lot of these scenes is lost and the anime itself feels rushed as it jump from one major plot point to another.
To make up for the lack of emotion presented in and around (chronologically) these major scenes, No Game No Life: Zero implements multiple “shock factors” to move the audience. A prime example of this is with Ivan, a deceased human whom we see sacrifice himself (at Riku’s command) so that others might survive on an outing during the first 5 minutes of the movie. Apart from knowing his loyalty to Riku and his clan, the only thing we really know about Ivan is that he has a (presumably young) daughter. After this scene ends (where Riku and another young man escape the crashed Dwarven ship), the anime cuts to a makeshift classroom where a young girl proudly proclaims that she can write her own name and can’t wait to show her father. Aside from this and a name, nothing else is known about poor little Nonna.
The movie then transitions to Riku’s return where Nonna rushes out to greet her father. The father who didn’t come home. The movie then tries to play this off as Riku’s breaking point (ruining it with a bad joke mind you), making us feel pity for both him and Nonna; characters we know next to nothing about.
Emotionless scenes similar to that one are abundant in No Game No Life: Zero as they express where certain characters relationships are in the movie. However, because of the time skips, these relationships aren’t fully expanded upon or developed and we’re left with poorly written shock factors and our own assumptions to fill in the multitude of blanks.
To make up for its poorly written “emotional” scenes, No Game No Life: Zero implements a heart wrenchingly beautiful soundtrack. Though the songs themselves aren’t as catchy or memorable as the TV series, they’re much better at eliciting the desired emotions from the audience. Unfortunately, No Game No Life: Zero, despite boasting a beautiful soundtrack, misuses its OST which, more often than not, takes more from a scene than it gives to it. Music in most anime (including No Game No Life: Zero) is meant to add to the scene and the dialogue but, in No Game No Life: Zero, the music competes with the actual dialogue for the limelight. This competition takes a lot away from the scene and I found myself becoming much more emotional because of the unbearably loud music than the actual dialogue or story it was supposed to be aiding in the delivery of.
Overall, despite being satisfied with the concepts No Game No Life: Zero had, I found the experience ruined by a multitude of factors ranging from poor writing to poor volume control. These negative aspects took so much from the actual experience of the movie that I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy it, especially as it became more evident that my burning questions wouldn’t be answered.
Having read the light novel, No Game No Life Zero was everything i expected it to be. You shouldn't be watching this movie with similar expectations to the series in mind mainly because the setting of both stories in the anime and the movie are worlds apart (hah see what I did there). One important thing to keep in mind is despite the movie's main purpose being to explain the origins of the world of Disboard(current NGNL world), the story is focused on the development of a romance between the two MCs and their efforts to change the world.
The story for No Game No Life
Zero is much more serious and grim, taking place in a war torn world. Without going too deep into the story, there were definitely lots of feels and the general flow of the story was smooth enough. The story gets a 9 because of two reasons: (CON) firstly, there is much more explanation and content that could be put in the story, maybe a second movie.(light novel readers will get me). (PRO) The second reason is that the story was adapted well enough such that critical elements of the story are brought into the movie, such that you can watch the movie without having the need to question anything, or feeling like certain explanations or backstories are missing. TL;DR, the story can be fully appreciated without having to watch the series or reading the light novel.
I always liked No Game No Life's art style, and the series usually has a much lighter colour scheme. To match the movie's more serious vibe, darker colours were used (like purple or black for outlines instead of the usual pinkish tones), making it look more similar to any regular anime's colouring, while still maintaining a colourful vibe that's distinctive to No Game No Life.
Sure the ED was nice and the theme music was nice, but it was nothing super amazing. The BGM complimented the scenes well, and had the right vibe. But it wasn't so good that I would go out of my way to listen to the OST.
I think most may disagree with me on this, but I felt the idea of having the two MCs, Riku and Shuvi be quite different from Sora and Shiro was a good idea. Sora and Shiro are very easygoing and carefree characters who only get serious when it's crunch time, and maybe aside from having the same voice actor and actress, they aren't similar at all. Riku is a fairly grim and emotional character who has a heavy conscience, but is still kind and caring, while Shuvi is a Ex-Machina(robot) who slowly developed her own "heart", so she's mostly close to emotionless. Even though Shuvi is protrayed as a developing character, important parts of her robot persona still remained, which I felt was very crucial in not overdeveloping her "human" side. The personality progression for both these characters are done well, while not being too sudden. Seeing Riku slowly open his heart to another, and Shuvi learning what it really means to be human. MOST IMPORTANTLY, Steph's grandmother, Corone Dola was not a pain in the ass character like Steph was so that's a +1.
There is enough of an emotional rollercoaster to make you want to keep watching. It's not just a whole new mood, but there were several aspects of the humour from the series showing in the movie. Certainly the perverse humour is way less, but the humour is still similar(deadpan retorts from the female MC/making fun of virgins). The atmosphere of the movie was also well balanced, making sure that seriousness and humour was used appropriately in any setting. Maybe it's due to me having read the light novel, but the scenes played out in the movie were exactly as I imagined, which only made me enjoy the movie even more.
Doesn't matter if you didn't watch the original series, or have been put off by how ecchi the show is. No Game No Life Zero takes a completely different look onto the world of Disboard, so you should definitely watch it.
What is up Trash Alert Nation? It’s your host PizzaOnPineapple and let’s get roigggght into the review!
The first topic today will be kind of shocking to many of you: recently, there has been a large increase of buddhists among young, lonely adults that spend all of their free time in their room watching anime. While there doesn’t yet seem to be a clear answer to the question as to why that is, many experts have formed a consensus: the reason is this movie!
How this could happen, you ask? It’s simple really. These innocent young men were tricked into watching this piece of buddhist propaganda!
How it works is pretty simple: they created a movie loosely related to an already established, popular anime franchise and made it so boring that all onlookers would immediately fall into a deep state of endless meditation!
As such, the movie is a piece of pure genius - nothing could accomplish its goal quite like the movie itself - but today I wish to explore exactly how and why this movie is so mindnumbingly boring and life-draining. Please fasten your seatbelts, but know that nothing will happen!
Exhibit 1: The world is really not developed at all.
All the movie really does is show us some locations without ever connecting or contextualizing any of it. Instead of exploring the world and the giant war taking place, they rather jump from place to place without any explanation as to why or where the characters are going. The good thing is you can’t possibly lose track of what is happening, because nothing really is.
Exhibit 2: The characters are really not developed at all.
The two main characters are the only ones with more than one character trait, because they have two, but that’s as far as this movie goes. If you are looking for character motivations, character development, or just characters really, then you have come to the wrong place. The development of the romantic relationship of the main characters is actually non-existent. All they do is “play chess” for like four times, but these matches aren’t actually really shown. In the end, Jibril turns up as a villain for fanservice reasons but it doesn’t matter as she barely contributes anything to the overall piece and just props up randomly. The emotional moments connected to this finale however don't pull any punches - because there are no punches to be pulled. All in all, this movie is as heavy-hitting as an old woman without arms. All it amounts to is a pity-party for this cute robot girl (please cry).
Exhibit 3: Literally one of the least visually engaging experiences ever.
I don’t know why people say this movie looks amazing. It really, really doesn’t. All it is is still shots, some panning shots and one disoriented fight. While the special effects themselves look cool, that’s really all they are: kind of cool. Sadly, there is no actual impact behind these glorified laserpointers, mostly because I have no fucking idea who these people or where these places are. It’s like they skipped several steps in pre-planning. There is a similar problem present in the audio department too: Oftentimes there’s just ambient noise, and the few times the music gets “dramatic”, it sounds really shallow, like a Hans Zimmer track but three quarters of the orchestra fell asleep mid-movie (I don’t blame them, I dozed off several times as well).
Exhibit 4: All they do is talk, talk, talk.
If you think there’s games or a war in this movie, you are sorely mistaken. All that this movie is is dialogue, monologue, dialogue and so forth. This dialogue is not of the sophisticated kind however, we go from recounting the names of dead people to scenes that will definitely put you on the lists of several governmental organizations, directly to the n-th time the two main characters tell you their goal (I wanted to count but lost track).
By the way, did you know the robot girl wants to understand the human heart? Isn’t this MOVING, please buy her merch.
Currently, experts are looking into ways of saving the millions of people caught in never-ending meditation, but a cure has yet to be found. Please watch this movie only with parental supervision (and get disowned).
In other news, Sword Art Online is receiving a th-
As someone who loves anime, spending my summer in japan to visit my japanese cousins was pretty lucky. No Game No Life:Zero is a must watch for anyone who has watched the original television series.
The production value of this movie is one of the best out there in anime so far.
The artwork is amazing (as it also is in the television series) and the sound to match.
The world within No Game No Life is fully present, and the atmosphere through it all was great.
However, While it was very entertaining to watch, the story itself seemed a bit lackluster, as the plot seems to be rather
too fast paced. The characters arent developed amazing well, and there are a few too many events taking place too quickly. Many times in movies, the pacing can really turn off a viewer, but I found that while the movie was rushed, it was still quite enjoyable.
We often remember No Game No Life as that one anime with pink gradients and excessively bright color-schemes. When this district art-style suddenly changes, the atmosphere and our expectations for what’s to come change along with it. I’m sure you all remember how impactful the first 9 minutes of episode 9 were, with its complete grayscale with lack of context. No Game No Life: Zero, in short, gives you a similar feel through a ninety-minute emotional roller-coaster, completely remaking its original Gaming/Comedy genre into something more touching, but none the less still very entertaining.
The premise of the story makes itself very clear: there are no
games in this movie. Although it’s not explicitly mentioned, this movie is truly a devoted sci-fi romance anime carried out in the setting it was selling. It is not the usual glorified fan-pleasing story with no meaning but to bring back your favorite characters, but a movie that serves to contrast the world of Disboard you are used to. No Game No Life was one of my gateway animes, and the movie’s unique take truly touched me as I presume for many of you too.
No Game No Life: Zero had some interesting tools to work with. The audience already knows what’s going to happen in the end; various races and characters were already spelled out. In short, you know a lot more than the characters, and seeing their distinct motives and how they work towards the expected eventual end is the true selling-point of the story.
If you are here for some action and backstory for Dis-world, don’t worry, you will get it. Although, despite all the pretexts to set-up this world and its promises, the story is truly just about the Shuvi and Riku. You will spend at least 70% of the time watching how the relationship between these two unfold. The world is by no means a happy place for the two, and you are sure to feel the same way. By leaving out distracting fan-services, the relationship between the two truly develops in the most serious of tones.
Sci-fi romance (or romance in general) can often feel forced, and I say this with it being my favorite genre. NGNL:Zero gave me sufficient reason to truly believe WHY the characters (or at least Shuvi) come to appreciate each other’s company. This sense of realism in their relationship only makes it more appealing to those of us who are here to see more of Shiro and Sora (replicas).
Another problem often faced by the romance genre (and avoided by NGNL:Zero) is un-smart pacing. There are quite rushed relationships where you do not feel any change until the last few episodes, and there are ones that drag relationships so needlessly long that they become awkward (e.g plasmemo). For me, NGNL hits just the right mix. You don’t need every bit of the screen time to make a relationship “well developed,” good story-telling is all it needs, as I’m sure those of you who watched “Shelter” would understand.
This movie will leave you with a distinct sense of closure (or the lack thereof, if you feel that way) almost similar to ones you’d get watching touching films such as Kimi no Na wa or Ghibli films. It is partly due to the plot, partly due to the messages we get at the end, and I would say mostly due to its drastic difference from the conventional premise of NGNL. It may not be a “happy-ending” for some/many/all of you, but I’m sure it will leave you at with at least a “happy message,” almost like Shigatsu did for me.
As a returning fan, many people are probably here to look for references to what’s in the anime. You will get plenty of them, and they are carried out in the smoothest way possible. There are comedic references that will definitely make you laugh, yet the ones I love are the powerful references that you will surely recognize the significance of when you see them. You’ll probably find that there are almost too many references, but they all somehow fit into the context of the movie without seeming too awkward.
For me, the biggest reward from watching this movie was a different answer to a particular question reiterated many times in the anime. “How did Imanity survive, despite being the weakest?” The original anime goes a long way trying to show you that our “Human Intelligence” is why humanity survived (hence all the games played). NGNL: Zero offers a drastically different answer. In fact, it explicitly answers the question for you in the exact same way the anime did. If you catch on to the answer like I did, remember it and finish the movie with that in mind, and the experience will surely be different.
TLDR: Watching this movie in the theater during the Canadian release was an amazing experience, and I hope this anime does the same thing for you. Obviously, the movie isn't perfect and there were logical errors or progressions that were CLEARLY set-ups for the plot. I would look over them if I were you. I disagree with looking for flaws and picking on them for shows you probably will enjoy, just because you'll get too bogged down to enjoy the show.
***EDIT!!! I've now seen the film twice. In my second viewing I was able to pretty much assure what I put down in this review originally was pretty close to my feelings towards the film. However there is a change to the “characters” category. My new thoughts will be listed under the original paragraph.***
I'm going to put spoilers at the end/bottom of the review. They will have a number associated with them that I will use throughout the review so that you will not be spoiled but can at least see what I am referencing at the end/bottom if you wish to learn more about
Let me start this review by pointing out my standing with the series. I have not read any of the LN volumes but I am a huge fan of the tv series (at this point in time only one season). The tv series in my opinion is one of the greatest assemblies of elements I've seen brought together for a complete season of anime. Looks, sounds, feels, and flows so greatly that I try to recommend it whenever possible as long as the potential viewer is ok with the fanservice.
So now we get to the film; I'm super conflicted on it. As a fan of the tv series, I'm glad we get to see more about the history of this world. At the same time however, the end product of the film feels...haphazard.
The main issue I have with the film is its pacing. Due to point (1) and (2), the first two thirds of the film drags while the final third feels super rushed. For a film that is supposed to be about “the devastating war-like history of Disboard before games ruled all”, I was severely disappointed that so much time was dedicated towards points (1) and (2). This leads us further into the main issue of the film:
Did this film really need to exist? Prequel films/series can be an interesting tool to expand on the world and characters of an established series. In the case of this series however, I honestly feel like the film has lessened the experience of the series as a whole. When watching the tv series (and not reading the LN), you have this vague understanding of how the world worked before everything was ruled by games. Things are brought up about the past events but you are never given the full story. This works really well with keeping you interested in both the world and the other factions/races. To see how these other factions/races have adapted to the new rules in the world was what made the tv series so interesting and enjoyable to watch.
With that out of the way, I can actually talk about why I feel that the film has lessened the overall No Game No Life series for me. The film takes 2 hours to essentially show point (3). Yeah there are some cool battle scenes along the way (which almost all of reside in the final act of the film) but their meaning at the time is essentially thrown away with how the film ended. Even the sort of build up leading to the events of the last part of the film (4) seem meaningless due to the way the film ends.
Long story short, due to the way the final act of the film was paced and structured, it makes the rest of the film seem like a real waste of time.
Visual Elements: 10/10
It's getting really hard to fathom what constitutes for a 10/10 perfect score in terms of visuals. There have been so many films that have come out in the past 5 or so years that just keep upping the bar on how gorgeous an animated film can look like. With No Game No Life Zero, it just looks so absolutely astounding every frame of the film. It retains the artstyle and coloring scheme of the tv series with the exception being when the film is taking place in the barren parts of the world. These areas also look great and their more dull and lifeless appearance works well to contrast the living areas for the humans (which looks more like what we are used to in the tv series).
I really am blown away with how great the characters and coloring is in this film. All the character models are gorgeous and the No Game No Life color scheme just looks so beautiful and fitting in every scene. The animation is also silky smooth. Whether it is a fight/action scene or a dialogue one, the animation is on-point.
I've brought this up in other review but it's important for this section (especially since it is a film); you have 2 different types of scores (musical soundtrack):
One that stays hidden, in the background. It helps keep the audience in check with what is going on visually while not taking over control.
The other which absolutely takes control and dictates emotions almost more than the visuals. This method can backfire as it can come off as cheesy, overbearing, and/or too forceful but when done right can yield much better results than method 1.
No Game No Life Zero pretty much stays within the realm of method 2. The score is there 100% of the time trying to convey what is presently going on in the film. The orchestral parts are very fitting and very beautiful/powerful. I never felt like the music was out of place (other than possibly during the point (2) scenes).
The sound design of the battles and the other miscellaneous things were very, very good. They didn't rely on loud, distorted noises to show extreme moments (cough cough Fate/Apocrypha cough cough). Instead, it seems like they really took the time to flesh out the sound effects for each attack and each moment.
Finally, the voice actors were absolutely on point. With the bulk amount of screentime going towards Schwi and Riku, their performances were spot-on.
Characters: Original Score: 7.5/10; Revised Score: 4/10
This is where the faults in the story section really bother me; there were a lot of really cool character interactions and moments in the film that are just ruined by the points I have already brought up. The atmosphere that surrounds Schwi, Riku, and Couronne is just so much fun to watch. Also while extremely short, the moments between Riku and a certain race's leader as well as Schwi moments with a certain recurring character from the tv series were really well done. It is just unfortunate then that they feel meaningless once you reach the end of the film.
***Second viewing opinions***
So after seeing this film for a second time (in theaters both times), I have to say that the characters are still endearing and have lots of really great moments with each other. However, due to the pacing and overwhelming focus on the two main characters (thus taking the spotlight away from the other elements of the film) I have to reduce my original 7.5/10 score for the characters. I think that while the interactions were great, they were actually more meaningless than I originally thought. If the film was split into two; one for just MCs character development and one for what was essentially the rushed last third of the film, it would be a different story. However what we see is what we got. I'm reducing the score down to a 4/10.
Overall: Original Score: 7.4/10; Revised Score: 6.4/10
In a lot of ways, this film gave me similar feelings that I had once I had watched Finding Dory. While an enjoyable experience, the end result begs the question, “...was that film necessary?” I just worry that, like in my case, you will end up feeling like the film was unnecessary and sort of lessens the cool “air of mystery” feeling that the tv series has. I love the tv series and at some point want to read the LN but this film just felt like a real waste of time. My recommendation, watch the tv series first so that you get that “air of mystery” feeling. Then, if you want more, go watch the film with low expectations.
Thanks for reading my review! If you liked my writing style, would like to see some other reviews, or just want to talk, please stop by my page!
(1) The whole first half of the film drags on with the focus of Schwi and Riku. I get that they are the main driving force for humanity but the pacing felt really slow compared to the clusterfuck that was the ending third of the film. Also:
(2) the marriage between Schwi and Riku seems so unnecessary. We already understand (due to the amount of character development you showed us in the first half of the film) that there is a strong bond between Schwi and Riku. You do not have to hammer this thought on with more screen time dedicated to this element. It really felt like someone was beating my head with the hammer of emotion way longer than what was necessary (more-so than the SAO film's kissing scene that didn't need to happen).
(3) The whole film is to get one scene of Tet rising to power. You see hints of him in a couple of scenes but he doesn't appear until Riku calls out to Tet to make things better. A whole film did not need to exist to show this one scene. In a way, this ending makes the whole film feel meaningless and, in a way, lessens the whole “air of mystery” the tv series has when alluding to the events during the film's time-period.
(4) Because of point (3), the build up revolving around Riku convincing the other factions to leave the continent (which by the way was also rushed) is meaningless and has a very low overall impact due to other mechanics in the film.
(5) The whole thing with Schwi and Riku carving their names on Couronne's stone is meaningless (have not read the LN; it might have meaning later on). Essentially its purpose in the film is for a small scene at the end of the film where (back in present time) Izuna takes Steph's stone to see if the names are really there. That's it.
(6) Did Schwi and Riku really have to look like Shiro and Sora? I get that they are supposed to be reincarnated forms of Schwi and Riku but man the fact that three of the main characters in this film look almost exactly like three main characters in the tv series (the other being Couronne looking like Steph) is just not doing it for me.
Remember No Game No Life? That somewhat entertaining anime about 2 teens Isekai'd into some fantasy land and play games as well as get into harem shenanigans. Fair enough, nothing groundbreaking, but nothing offensive too (except for Stephanie Dola, she needs to be hung). So imagine my surprise when it's 4 years later and they decide to make a movie prequel that takes a darker tone and is considerably more serious. I bought a ticket (because Mary and The Witch's Flower wasn't playing anymore), got my popcorn (from a dollar store) and got comfy. Does Zero hold up to the rest of the series?
Zero is about a serious story involving the Eternal War and how the Game World came to be. War is raging on between all races and humanity seems to be on the brink of extinction. Our protagonist's gripping narration fills the scene at all times to remind you what is going on. So in case you got on your phone or left the cinema, don't worry! Because the constant repetitive exposition never fails to fill you in on the plot. If you're expecting an epic war movie or at least major battle sequences in the movie, Strike 1, you're gonna be sorely disappointed. At its core, Zero is a Boy Meets Girl story with NotSora and NotShiro, I mean Riku and Shuvi. Riku is like Sora but with some serious anger management issues and no self-esteem, and Shuvi is just Shiro, but with less incestuous undertones. Got it? Along the way they meet with ancestors of other characters you may or may not remember from NGNL, such as Iguchi Yuka's character's ancestor, Stephanie Dola's ancestor (thankfully with a brain this time, and less screentime) and a few others. They don't matter much but seeing them cameo in the movie is cute.
Now for the meat and potatoes of the movie: Character development, or lack of thereof. Shuvi suddenly gets infatuated with Riku for no discernible reason. There's some funny Misunderstandings(TM) here and there, but ultimately the relationship between the two is so poorly written and so poorly developed you're just sitting there waiting for it to end. Shuvi gets really REALLY infatuated with Riku, to the point of raising all sorts of Death Flags in the short moments she's with him! So Shuvi's an "Ex-Machina" i.e. a cold emotionless robot and she's searching for a heart and Riku can give her a heart and you all know where this is going. Alongside some dialogue about "hearts" and "game" and all your favorite phrases. It's almost like a Kingdom Hearts game come to life. Riku's not any better, his serious lack of self esteem and severe anger management issues (but all with that main protagonist heart of gold, so he can't bring himself to kill Shuvi in an early encounter) make him a less likable protagonist than the cocky and confidant Sora whom he's based on. While this may be done to highlight the differences between the two, I'm not buying this whiny git one bit. All the while I'm hoping for some element of Sora to shine through, it gets dragged down a few scenes later as our MC just whines and collapses.
The movie tries to present itself in a serious manner, but for the love of me I can't take a single scene (bar the ending) seriously at all. It's emotionally manipulative in the simplest possible manner. I'll dive into some spoilers for the following section. So please turn back.
A very early scene depicts a nameless character dying. He tells Riku he has a daughter (something Riku ought to have known). Then Riku returns to the hideout and sees his daughter. His daughter asks where her dad is. You can see where this is going. Moments like these are prevalent throughout the film. Up to and including a scene involving a major character which I won't spoil in detail, but the execution of the scene was so over-the-top and so overdramatic I was taken aback. Hope you like lingering shots of an otherwise emotionless robot crying! It's signalling the audience to "feel bad" for the characters, but a neon sign saying "this is a sad scene" would be just as effective.
And speaking of seriousness, this movie also has lighthearted moments punctuating some serious scenes. Now, I don't mind these scenes per say, lighthearted scenes can serve as a nice break, or even some relief to the audience during an otherwise heavy scene, providing some humanity and further accentuating the effectiveness of the lighthearted moment in question. Zero contains several of these scenes, and the first few were a welcome break or diversion from all the misery and drama. Now, the problem is Zero has far too many of these scenes, and they're not paced together well. Some of the lighthearted scenes are cute, and some made me laugh, but since there's far too many of them, most of the later comedic moments is diluted and lose their comedic value as a result. The first time Shuvi makes an inappropriate joke about sex, you laugh. After hearing the same joke several times, it stops being funny. Or how about the misunderstandings from Dola, the first few times were funny, and then you start to forget you're in a theater and then you want her to stop.
Now now, it's not all grey clouds and ashen skies. Let's positive thinking! Here are some things I liked from the movie:
-Whenever Jibril shows up.
-Heck, whenever any character from the TV series shows up.
-The battle scenes, few as they may be. And small in scale as they are.
-The very few scenes where Riku is smug, cocky and confident when facing an opponent.
-Jibril was still good. They didn't ruin her.
-I liked the pretty colors I suppose.
-I got to hear Kayano Ai's voice a lot. So bonus points I guess?
-In spite of it all, they didn't take the easy route and claim that Sora and Shiro were reincarnations of Riku and Shuvi for easy sympathy points. Therefore Sora and Shiro were not ruined.
-The ending which I genuinely enjoyed.
All in all, I still don't know who this anime is aimed towards. I'd advise fans of the TV series to avoid this film and pretend it's non-canon (it seriously and unnecessarily makes NGNL more complicated than it should be), while newcomers should just watch the TV series.
Still I wouldn't mind a 30-minute supercut with just the basic Riku-Shuvi meeting, Riku outsmarting his opponents, a condensed version of the climax, the wonderful ending, and the bookends. Would make for a much enjoyable experience akin to a 30-minute blu-ray extra. And definitely something more up to the series' standards. That or 30 minutes of Kayano Ai speaking.
And hey, on the bright side, it made me appreciate the original TV series so much more.
They should've made a Jibril standalone film.
Sora, Riku and Hearts? This is more Kingdom Hearts than I anticipated. Right down to the dialogue.
I TOTALLY DIDN'T EXPECT WHAT I'M ABOUT TO WATCH HAS THIS POWERFUL IMPACT!
The atmosphere is really heavy i found myself hard to breathe sometimes, accompanied with powerful scoring, they really made this movie with theatre in mind, totally polar opposite of the main series.
But really, the scoring and the atmosphere really punch me in the chest, Yoshitsugu Matsioka's voice acting is exceptionally terrific it made me tremble for every emotional moment of the movie. As for the animation, there should be no room for doubt looking at the studio behind it, eh? The relationship between Riku and Shuvi are really the treat of the show,
i really liked how they developed it and how it climaxed despite the strict timeframe of the movie.
The story plot itself is pretty straightforward, the closest analogy would be like that of prophet Moses. Since i'm a secondary (i didn't read the novel), there are some point that i don't get at first but i understood it quickly (thanks to my movie education), but this may be different for those who didn't study in the field and are a secondary, because there are some terms/objects that aren't explained that well.
In the end, it was a pretty great experience watching this movie, i totally didn't expect it. The emotion it conveys really pierce my heart,
even up until the end credit! DAMMIT NINJAS CUTTING ONIONS!
No Game No Life was a series that I really enjoyed and loved. It's a 9.5/10 in my book. Sadly, there's no sequel appearing in the horizon, but we can all hope.
But that's the main series. I watched No Game No Life: Zero in theatres. It was a movie that caught my attention, required me to think to understand the story, was very funny at parts, was suspenseful at parts, was sad at parts, overall it was an amazing movie, which also scores a 9.5/10 in my book.
The story really made me think to understand
it. It's situated 6000 years in the world of Disboard before Sora and Shiro came in, when the world was at war. It was definitely well thought out and had adventure, strategy, action, romance, drama, and comedy. There were parts of it that were a bit confusing and required me to think. Overall, the story was outstanding.
It's the No Game No Life art style that we all know. Colourful, beautiful, well-done, there isn't much to say about it, except that as great as it is, it's not something that I fully acknowledge as unique, original and amazing.
The sound was pretty good. Of course, it wasn't something surprising, it was just as good as expected, with good sound effects and good soundtracks. The ending theme is great too.
Next to the story, this is the factor that impressed me the most out of the movie. The way they linked the trio of the movie to the trio of the series was amazing. I totally did not expect that. Other than that, these characters are easy to get attached to. They make us laugh, make us happy, and sad. Amazing characters.
Now I evaluate my enjoyment by how much I loved the anime WHILE watching it and the effect that the anime gave me AFTER I watched it. Not only did this movie keep me quite captivated, but as I'm writing this the day after I watched it, I'm still nostalgic thinking about it. This will go away in a few days anyway. I also have to explain why it's not a 10: a 10 for me in enjoyment is either an anime that I enjoyed so much that it really impressed and hyped me and left me surprised, either an anime that hit me so hard that I was left depressed for a while either because it was over, either because the anime itself was supposed to hit with it's intense drama. This movie did have drama in it but it wasn't so intense as to become something I'll be nostalgic and depressed about for a while. As for my enjoyment during the anime, it did captivate me, but it failed to fully impress and surprise me. And for these reasons, it's not a 10.
I really loved this movie, and I'm really sad about the fact that we may never see a sequel to No Game No Life. It was one of my first anime, and seeing this movie not only makes me nostalgic thinking about it, but also makes me nostalgic thinking about the main series. At the end of the day, it IS supposed to be a comedy series, and it will definitely still be popular as it's loved by many many people in the anime community.
Now as one of the people who got to see this premier at the Los Angeles Anime Film Festival
back in September, I feel obligated to review this anime movie. Mostly cause I met Scott and Caitlyn and delayed the movie showing by 10 minutes.. Yeah
The story is amazing and one of the most original stories I have ever seen.Thought I feel it would have been better if it was its own series like a "NGNL Season Zero" That would have been cool! But even when the movie is 2 hours long it feels like you have been
with the MCs for a long time, like as if the series never ended but continued after season one. So for me the story is brilliant!
The Animation is just gorgeous, probably a little better than Kimi No Na Wa! (Your Name)
I have never seen Anime use CGI in a way that makes sense and makes you feel one with the setting all at once without making the anime look like it was rushed and blocky. Of course granted the budget was very high so that would make sense.
The sound is amazing! Granted I saw the English Dub Premier in LA so I cant judge the Sub. But the dub is one of the best I have ever seen! The character voices match the personalities of our heroines beautifully! The sound effects are very nice and are crystal clear!
The characters though a bit rushed in development (As in there was A LOT OF DEVELOPMENT)
The characters relationships grew as it should. They were beautifully articulated and did not pop out of the screen as if they were animated with the background animation which is kinda hard find!Overall character designs were nice and overall it was an okay but still worth it!
I enjoyed it! The comedy is golden and the NGNL feel is still there and the drama and *romance?* brought everyone to tears! It really is a lot more better than any anime film up to date with the high budget and the hype that we have waited for three years makes the wait worth it!
First review here. I don't tend write long elegant reviews but here's just a dump of information.
So NGNL: Zero is a prequel of NGNL, explaining how thousands of year ago the rules of the world were established.
I absolutely adored the movie. To be honest, I was a little skeptical, being a prequel. I thought that I wouldn't like it because it didn't have my favorite characters. Or because the trailers made it look like more of an action drama than the comedic game anime that the series was.
In any case, I loved the movie. This is mainly due to the two main protagonist. I
found their relationship intriguing, touching, and beautiful. The movie was great in the same way Rogue One was great, but in my opinion I felt this was executed even better. Prequels are never really "necessary" but I felt this really enhances the enjoyment of the series. It's like knowing the history of your country that makes you connect with it more. I also liked how nothing (or at least, very few things) was too overdramatic or cringey, which can happen with anime dramas.
What surprised me was the amount of emotional depth. Not to say it was the best I've seen, but coming from a show like NGNL I wasn't expecting to feel so much. There are some genuine moments of tears. Something about the way they struggled is very admirable to me which makes me emotional.
I felt that as a prequel, it successfully tied itself into the the NGNL series. To see such a big contrast between the movie and the show really shows how much their world has changed and has revitalized my interest in the show.
I managed to watch No Game No Life: Zero the day it was released in Australia. Having been a massive NGNL enthusiast, I was extremely excited and hence had very high expectations of this movie. Suffice to say, I thought this movie exceeded my expectations - believe it or not, I enjoyed it more than the highly praised 'Your Name.'
One thing to note is that while this movie is excellent and enthralled me, its approach in terms of themes, story and mood is VERY DIFFERENT to the actual NGNL series. I will now analyse segments of the movie, providing their pros and cons
of some sections through my opinion. This is only my second review so I apologise if I make errors!
The general premise of the movie is very different to the NGNL TV anime series. While the TV series had a relaxed and humorous tone, this movie is completely the opposite - it is oftentimes dark and serious with the occasional insertion of a joke. Also, I would recommend watching the TV series first before watching the movie - some scenes may appear a bit confusing and some character appearances may not have the same impact if you haven't watched the anime series first. However, you can still enjoy the story without watching the series first.
- Straightforward and simple, yet thought-provoking and heart wrenching. This movie will deliver A LOT of feels and you will be in a first-class rollercoaster ride of emotions.
- Extremely engaging. There is rarely a dull moment.
- Deals with a whole range of serious and philosophical issues.
- Feels kinda rushed.
- This can also be a Pro as well but the story style is once again extremely divorced from the style of the 2014 anime series.
I always loved NGNL's art style so of course, I loved the art style within the movie. Action scenes were animated beautifully and all of the scenery looked VERY VERY NICE.
- Looks beautiful and pleasant
- Action scenes are animated smoothly
- Colour palette of scenes are used appropriately. Contrast and parallel colours are used effectively.
- Can't think of any cons to be honest.
To be honest, I really liked Suzuki Konomi's music for both the movie and the anime series. The theme song of NGNL: Zero (which is in the ending credits) really fits nicely with the finale of the movie and really intensifies the mood.
This one is interesting. In the original 2014 series, I preferred Sora over Shiro. However in this movie, I preferred Schwi over Riku.
Individual characters were great but the only downside in this department was that I found that the relationship between Riku and Schwi escalated a bit too quickly.
Nonetheless, in terms of the individual characterisation, Schwi and Riku were very likable characters with rather complex motivations and development. You can definitely see how Riku resembles Sora and how Schwi resembles Shiro.
If you're a NGNL fan, be prepared for a different twist in this movie's approach to overall story and themes. However, I reckon everyone will enjoy this movie - it packs a lot from action, fantasy, sci-fi to romance. This movie will tackle your emotions hard and will grip your eyes to the screen.
Would seriously recommend it to anyone looking for a great anime movie!
No Game, No Life Zero may have a much darker tone than the original TV series, but it does share the same themes about humanity's potential to overcome impossible odds. In fact, the theme is much more overt than in the TV series, which showcased more of Sora and Shiro's abilities than those of humanity as a whole. In the film, the community has much more focus; humanity is shown to live in underground caves, working together to ensure mutual survival. They are caught in the crossfire of a war between the powerful magical races, and their
only option for much of the film's duration is to constantly evacuate whenever the fighting draws near. All in all, it's much easier to admire humanity for surviving despite their frailties when you can observe the hell they have endured.
Anyway, story is well writen, art is beautiful as usual, OST were original and epic/sad as they should do, characters are nothing but almost perfect.
I don't always write review, but I feel like I have to for this one.
No Game No Life: Zero tells the story of how Disboard became a world where games works as its law and foundations. And the world didn't actually just became like that simply because the God of Disboard, Tet, feels like it.
It's truly marvelous. I can't really tell how great the story is without spoiling. In this movie you will find out the origins of the rules of Disboard, the origins of Aschente word, how Stephanie's family became the ruler of Imanity, the
reason why humans in Disboard called Imanity, and many more.
Madhouse, I think that should be all the explanation you need regarding the art and animations.
It's really amazing, especially in theaters. The background music really boosts the feels. The ending theme, 「THERE IS A REASON」, sang by Konomin, it's magnificent and I can't stop listening to it while remembering the movie. It's just incomparable to 「This game」.
"Is it going to be another Sora and Shiro pair?" is what I thought before watching the movie but NO. Riku and Shuvi is wayyyy better than those two (IMO, of course). Riku is a loser, unlike Sora but he is more the serious type and a try hard. Shuvi is more understanding than Shiro (she's also cuter and a bit more grown up). Corone is similar to Stephanie but she's less annoying and has a grown up attitude (and chest). I really feel bad for Corone in the end. To be honest, those 3's screen time is so much that I forgot the story also has other characters. But they didn't really show too much regarding the other characters. Other than that, Shuvi and Riku's development is the main highlight here, so it makes a 9.
Oh, I really enjoy this so much that if a friend of mine who hasn't watched it asked me to accompany him, I'd go. One fact: the enjoyment of watching it in the theater isn't the same as when you watch it in your phone/computer/TV (idk about home theaters though), so I would really recommend you to watch it on the theater while it's still on. Epic battles, feels scenes, fanservice, and a bit o' clichéd comedy, NGNL:0 got it covered.
Thanks to this movie, now I really need Season 2 ASAP. I doubt Riku and Shuvi will be there but, at least we get another glimpse at the world that Riku and Shuvi worked hard on saving.
This is my first review so sorry if I'm not great at it. (I'm not really good with this stuff to begin with)
Anyways I just saw this movie last night (was to late to do a review) and I have to give it No Game No Life Zero a 10/10 it was really a strong adaptation of volume 6 of No Game No Life.
Madhouse has done it once again they've really nailed it on the head the music, the accurate story telling the animation everything was really fleshed out really well even though it was only an hour and forty five minutes it was an
amazing hour and forty five minutes well spent.
The story was I'd say pretty much perfectly accurate to the LN of course certain things couldn't be added but it still got the whole story across in the amount of time of the movies run time.
The art followed the same formula as No Game No Life in both close and far shots. Which was nice to see after season one finished and having a new experience of the art.
The sound/music If I remember correctly the movie had maybe one or two of the songs that they used in the anime and the rest were all new either way though it still had the same emotional feel to it depending on the situation which I really enjoyed.
The characters: For the amount of time the movie has to flesh out newer characters personalities,feelings and everything else it was pretty solid, if you see/saw this before watching the series it might not feel as fleshed out as people who have seen both get but still it was very strong.
Enjoyment: Even knowing the story ahead of time I was really excited to see how well it would adapt and I was not disappointed, their were funny moments, sad moments, happy moments to really keep you going and on the edge of your seat for pretty much the whole entire movie.
Overall: Probably the best or very close to the best movie I've seen all year, anime or else wise I'd highly recommend it to any fans of No Game No Life or even people who aren't, the elements in the movie and in the LN are quite different. (imo)
I would like to point out that i love this anime and light novel, so i rated it rather high.
I watched it yesterday for a 2 day showing in the US in selected theaters (1 day subbed and another dubbed) in subbed.
The movie takes place 6,000 year before Sora and Shiro arrives and is further down in the light novel (i forgot where). A quick summary would be describing how the world of Disboard became what it is in the anime/light novel. Although the movie did cut out some details here and there (as expected from any book turned movie), it was still an amazing
movie and i would highly recommend it to any fans of the series.
No Game No Life Zero is a prequel to the events to the anime, focusing on Riku and his robotic companion Shuvi. That's pretty much all you need to know for this particular review.
The story can feel kind of light novel-ey, but in a good way. Unlike the anime, which has a light-hearted and fun plot, this movie has a more gritty and tragic one. If you're prone to the feels, you might even cry at some parts. However, it still does a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of NGNL. Comedic interjections are often put to ease up tense moments, and the movie has
a tendency of not taking itself seriously, especially in the beginning. Basically if you're a fan of the comedy in NGNL this movie features the same kind of humor as well.
There is some action in this movie, but honestly it felt pretty mediocre. However, it's not really worth complaining about anyway since NGNL was never really an action anime in the first place. You do get to see Jibril's powers in actions though, which is pretty cool.
If there's one actual problem with it, it's the pacing. Others have mentioned this, but the pacing can get real wonky at times. Judging by what I know about the source material, quite a bit of details were left out, so it makes sense the pacing feels weird. Other than this I'd say it's a solid movie. Definitely a must watch for anyone who enjoyed the original. Eights across the board.
This is an exceptional anime movie. Honestly, if you're putting this off because it wont feature the two main characters from the original, don't do that to yourself. This ties into the other universe phenomenally.
The story is so good. The beginning is powerful, the climax is powerful, and the ending is powerful.
The art is what you'd expect from NGNL. Very vibrant with lens flares eyes on characters when they're serious. I saw a review claiming that it's dull to suit the tone of the movie. I not only think that's false, but I seriously hope that person gets a full refund for his viewing
I felt like I was watching a AAA American movie with the explosions and robot noises. I mean this both in concept of 'shit-blowin-up-all-splodey-like' and the sounds sounding so real and feeling something in the pit of your stomach when a bomb goes off in the distance.
The characters were one of my favorites. The first scene, as previously stated, is so- SO powerful. The character building and relationship building with a (lolibot) is sweet and romantic. Also, the characters have feelings that- get this- MAKE SENSE. All 3 main characters act like they like each other and don't act out of malice or jealousy because the plot calls for it. Also there's Schwee, which defiantly gives her Imanity counterpart a run for her money on the waifu scale
I've rated things 11/10s in my head because they go above and beyond and exceed in all things. This is different. This thing goes even further. I've never seen a movie that left me so satisfied. Solid 30/10