No Game No Life: Zero - Aaox's Anime Review

by: Aaox

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disclaimer to save me having to type it after every paragraph of this script I would like to ask you my darling sweetheart audience member to mentally append the phrase boy but I sure wish the heroine didn't look like she was 12 at various sporadic points throughout the video thank you for your cooperation I love you there's a lot to be said for making things a little bit dark at the comic book industry for example became far more respectable after Moore's watchman's flashed a little bit of blood onto a smiley face and as fun as sunlight is were it not for the cover of night the police would have apprehended me years ago for the terrible terrible things I've done no game no life zero postulates that it might be fun to take a light-hearted pandering explosively colorful isa KY comedy anime and splash a little bit of blood onto it [Music] zero comes to us from the workshop of studio madhouse presumably once they had managed to work the animators through the trauma that resulted from redlines seven-year production cycle so when the words we're doing another film watered they didn't all immediately run screaming and all the windows madhouse is a puzzling studio for every hajime no ippo there's an irregular magic highschool for every try gonna need to go 100% and for every grotesque murder a cryptic hint written in blood but sometimes even their most seemingly generic fanservice garbage can still end up being surprisingly okay as was arguably the case with High School of the Dead and more relevantly no game no life my affection for which has long been documented no game no life was for those who didn't watch it or have since forgotten the story about a young man and his younger sister who were very good at video games as they are transported to a world where all conflicts are resolved through playing games instead of a good old-fashioned whacking one another with sticks whilst grunting as we did in the Stone Age or in contemporary Florida they always hinted at the breadth and depth of the violence the world was mired in before the events of the series however before jibril collected books she collected skulls the war beasts hypemode is referred to as blood destruction and just the idea that a war could be so terrible that the only recourse was to irrevocably ban violent confrontation of any kind suggests horror on a scale I literally cannot imagine fortunately it appears I don't have to since those bleeding hearts over at madhouse have taken it upon themselves to allow us to experience it firsthand [Music] Shindo colada thanks guys I think the perfect focal point for the differences between no game no life and its prequel are their respective uses of the former's explosively colorful aesthetic born from the fact that the light novels artists couldn't decide which hair color you wanted his characters to have and subsequently decided every single one of them all at the same time it creates a very specific tone it's saccharine it's beautiful and it reinforces that the theme of no game no life is by and large about the importance of having fun it is a fun series it is a series about playing games and having a good time yes that's right fun fun fun oh no zero takes us back to the past to see the shitty war that sucked arse and this is most obviously expressed through its visuals the world 0 takes place in is genuinely an oppressive heartbreaking miasma of dull muddied colors it is exhausting to look at just as in no game no life you get a sense of what it's like to live in this world just by looking at it but this time it's not like we see a world scorched by a war so brutal and horrific that the sky reigns with ash but not ordinary ash rather the charred remains of the millions of magical beings who've been eradicated in this war the mid touch of which results in immediate skin necrosis I've seen a lot of dark settings in my time but few I think have been darker than a world so ravaged by war that it rains the corrosive ashes of the dead in perpetuity except you know that one time I drove through Essex and so the stage is set instead of rainbows corrosive ash instead of a bright blue sky a sullen red and black canopy and instead of Sora and Sheila Sheila and sorrow and Jibril

and yet despite all its differences to the source material no game no life zero might be the most intense purest distillation of what I loved about the original series turned up to 11 I recognize that's a statement in need of unpacking so let's do our main man Riku is the God now is the question do I say Riku or Riku Riku Riku I'm a man Riku Riku Judique I'm a man Riku our main man is the leader of a small enclave of humanity hiding out underground whilst the other infinitely more powerful races of Dysport lay complete waste to the planet in a seemingly endless war whilst out on a recon mission he bumps into Sri an abandoned ex machina who wants to understand why humans are still clinging on because of how statistically impossible their continued survival is Shuri decides to stick with Riku to figure humanity out and through her he learns that perhaps humanity stands a chance of winning the war not too despite their weakness but because of it it's essentially the plot of the main series but with the stakes ramped up so high that by comparison the conflagration and the Lord of the Rings looks about as dire as realizing you're out of milk when you've already poured the cereal into the bowl well in fairness that is that kind of is hellish cue the robot learns what it means to love our cue the song and dance cue the police sirens wailing is your desperate attempts to explain that it's fine because she's a thousand-year-old robot so technically you're not a lolicon full-on ton hearing ears but as crucial to the plotters that II qxv romance is and whilst it might be the emotional heart of the story fundamentally I don't think it's the things mo at its core no game no life zero seems initially directionless but it's less a film about pursuing a goal and more a film about finding one since we know the end result of zeros plot we know that the rules come into effect and the war does indeed end this is a film less about its goal and more about that feeling of no game no life and that feeling of having fun even when the odds are against you and is dangerous work to do as zeroes plot progresses you begin to feel no game no life stop bleeding through the cracks of this broken world through the cracks in this broken man and watching the film go from it's exhausting tragic brutal and miasmic opening to the beginning of what is to come for that universe is one of the most magnificent and enthralling things to happen to the series one that is mirrored through the journey the protagonist undergoes and is also the epitome of catharsis to finally feel no game no life again for the first time after such an intentionally depressing first act and despite the tragedy that permeates essentially every scene they take a setting where it is impossible to have fun where survival is the only thing that matters in one case Riku literally pushes a chessboard away with a plate of food and they have that feeling of no game no life seep into the spirit of the show it is an infectious kind of thing it's basically Milton you you no one can make a heaven of Hell a hell of heaven and all that this is precisely how one should do a prequel and just like the silly blind man's nonsense book about the devil zero is and I want to put extreme emphasis on this masterfully constructed I've watched this several times with several different people and they all got hype at the same points got sad at the same point deathly quiet jubilant awestruck uncomfortable all at the same point no game no life zero presents its narrative so effectively and constructs such a gripping emotional through-line that I went off and reread a bunch of screenwriting books and essays that I read back in University so I could react wire the proper language to describe how brilliantly it constructs its narrative because at my heart I am essentially making this shit up as I go unlike any other anime I've yet watched that I was paying enough attention to catch no game no life has so many meaningful symbols placed into its plot it is less Chekhov's gun and more checkers illegal weapons cache it's so absurdly packed with information that it feels like every single scene is subtly showing you something about the plot the characters the world every moment is entirely in service of showing the audience some it's actually quite remarkable how much zero respects those who watch it for example I couldn't understand why the characters did a certain thing to themselves until a friend I watched it with pointed out that they had absolutely already told me I had just missed it because I am a big stupid idiot I had originally intended to do a breakdown of how absolutely loaded with information the first post title card scene was but that pushed this video to breaking point suffice it to say it's some absolutely top-notch work I may come in with a second video for 0 but in the event I don't remember in grimgar oh god if you do elect to watch this film pay close attention to the eyes of the characters the use of chess as a metaphor and the use of the color blue it's not without flaws of course don't let the preceding several minutes of effusive praise suggest I think it's infallible it certainly is not and if you've been practicing the exercise I suggested at the outset of this video then you're probably eminently familiar with my main critique I certainly was very much invested in the film and then all of a sudden it's like and I know that at the very least my pep-pep said that I couldn't watch any more anime for a month she really didn't have to be a lolly I mean yes I understand that she had to be a lolly so we could all go well hold on a minute do you think doing that she might be some sort of analog for Shiro because we're all such a bunch of clever clogs and then the small child will say make me a woman and suddenly I'm less invested in the plot than I am desperately hiding from the police storming into my bedroom I recognize that's really less a failure over the film more than it is a failure of the market the film's source material was written by and for so consider this more the plaintive cry to a dead God that it is than any substantive knock against the adaptation other criticisms fantastic question when I don't actually have many great answers for I think the film's paced superb Lee the voice acting and animation are by and large fantastic across the board the score actually reflects the plot in that it sounds more and more like the soundtrack from the original series as it goes and what's there is incredible to listen to an even better in context the problem with criticizing an adaptation of a pre-existing story is that you have to include some elements from the original text you may or may not have wanted to I'm essentially saying that shree push and riku down and saying fuck me daddy in her introduction is the no game no life zero equivalent of the ghost Army's inclusion in The Return of the King to Lord of the Rings analogies in the same review that's troubling yes it's odd seeing what are effectively the player to palette swaps have sought a share no staff in the purple haired girl with a good fine eyes repurposed for a different grittier story in the same universe but we didn't complain when that green sonic fellow accidentally killed a baby so we shouldn't complain here and this is all rather paltry because they do feel like different characters even if visually it looks like madhouse had slapped a filter on the previous protagonists and claim I'm not Sora I'm my own original Garret but these issues shouldn't preclude any desire to watch the film I would as I'm closing this out recommend that you do watch no game their life the series before jumping into 0 the film basically expects you to be at least casually versed in the setting so it can bludgeon you over the head with the darker version of it but beneath that grit and grime and heartbreak lies one of the most compelling anime films or really films in general that I've watched in a very long time it may not have exactly been fun to splash a little bit of blood on to no game no life but it turns out that recontextualizing the emotive core of the show and we're more serious setting actually brings it to life in ways the base material never could it is a thrilling piece Media gain or Hosmer [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music]

[Applause] [Music]

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In this review, Aaox tactfully skirts courting controversy by never once mentioning the robot loli- god damn it Up next, Trigger's latest. ¶ No Game No Life: Zero was something that I had wanted to watch for so long that I had contemplated making the slow subbing proccess a running joke, but I soon realised that jokes at the expense of a slow production proccess would be about as hypocritical as it gets. Now hopefully that description launcher doesn't actually draw attention to what I do sincerely believe is the single most damning point of the series - I had my friend JustSamantics help edit this one whilst I was on "vacation" and I was very reluctant to expose her to what unfortunately passes for acceptable sexualisation in this industry. Still, c'est la vie. Or in the case of the main series, I suppose that'd be inc'est la vie. The film is very good, fundamentally; I enjoyed it more than any given episode of the main series and the straightforward conflicts coupled with the about-as-high-as-anything-could-ever-get-in-anything-ever stakes turned it into one of the most fulfilling emotional rollercoasters of the past few years for me. And that's even knowing the ending. If I can manage it, I'd like to get the Scene Analysis out for Zero, too, but I don't want to flood the channel with NGNL0 content so perhaps a video or so down the line I'll revisit it. As I said before, JustSamantics helped me edit this one. I owe her a lot for that, since for the entire month of July and the first week of August I was travelling up the West Coast of America. I went to AX. It was quite a ride. LINKS ----------------------------------------­­­------------------------- ►Facebook:




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