No Game No Life, Vol. 1

By Yuu Kamiya and Mashiro Hiiragi. Released in Japan by Media Factory, serialized in the magazine Comic Alive. Released in North America by Seven Seas.

Ah, Comic Alive, my old nemesis. We meet again. I see this time you’ve brought a title that I would probably find quite interesting were it not for the grotesque fanservice that is sprinkled throughout and unavoidable. Again. In fact, that seems to be your only weapon, really, though I was pleased by your one victory in the ‘yuri’ genre. Can’t we have more like Whispered Words and less like this? And so as ever, I’m left to figure out if there’s enough remaining in the title to pull me in, or if I’m going to be driven off by an excess of panty flashing, underage nudity, and boob groping. All of which No Game No Life has plenty of.


This is another in the increasingly popular genre of ‘gamers suddenly find themselves in a game world’, but with a slight twist. Our brother/sister heroes don’t find themselves in the game they were playing (and crushing everyone – they’re master gamers), but in a fantasy world where war has been replaced by games – any games, and the stakes can be quite high. As they struggle to figure out the history and rules of this new world, they meet the story’s designated victim, Princess Stephanie, who has just lost her kingdom due to being too naive, honest, and tsundere. Luckily for her, they’re not only master gamers, but total savants – with a few minor quirks.

Let’s break down the quirks, which are really the best and worst reasons to pick up this title. Sora is another overly perverse virgin whose first thought on winning a ‘ask anything of the pretty girl’ game is to ask the girl to fall in love with him. Shiro, while occasionally playing the jealous sister card, seems OK with him groping and assaulting said girl as long as it goes through her first. They are supposedly siblings (I will be very unsurprised if this turns out not to be true later on) but Sora professes he has no sexual desire towards Shiro… but that doesn’t stop them being all over each other anyway, thus gaining the best of both worlds for those who like that fetish.

So where’s the good? For all their smug confidence, much of which is justified, Sora and Shiro are two very broken teens (Shiro is 11, but whatever). If they’re apart from each other at all, they both have crippling breakdowns – we saw at the start they were a NEET (him) and a truant (her). Indeed, Shiro may actually have some sort of disorder – I’m not sure if her broken speech is meant to be a cute affectation or something more basic. And Ias I said earlier, they really do seem to be as good as they say they are – Shiro memorized a book almost instantly, and Sora, while not as good as that, is still said to be able to pick it up in a few hours.

So the question remains, what will the story do with these two? If it develops as a tale of how they deal with this world and its inhabitants while working to get over their social phobias, that’s quite a good possibility. That said, I expect the service is not going away and may even get worse. There is a light novel coming this spring, too. In the end, I suppose if you read Comic Alive stuff, you’ll enjoy this. If not, it might be interesting for the siblings, but I’d wait a few volumes to see if that pans out.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.


  1. I am sheepishly chagrined to discover I had this title listed on my Upcoming Noteworthy/To Buy spreadsheet for the Fall. Thank you for always doing a superb job of saving me time & money.

  2. I watched all 12 eps of the anime adaptation, and yeah… it’s REALLY dodgy. The fanservice cuts the legs out from under what would be an interesting study into game theory and logical deductions. When the series focuses on what it does best — understanding rulesets and finding loopholes in them — it’s terrific, but its reliance on abusing Stephanie and exposing Shiro is tiresome.

Speak Your Mind