No Game No Life Zero: Review

BOY! Do I have a story to tell you! Recently, I went to the movie theaters with my friends to watch No Game No Life Zero. I was so happy that I was going to be able to watch another subbed anime film in theaters. It just feels really good knowing that this can potentially become the norm to have either sub and dub or one or the other. Unfortunately, even though they specifically separated the dub and sub by separate release dates, WE WERE WATCHING THE DUB. So, not off to a great start.

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For those who don’t know what the story is about, No Game No Life Zero is a tale that dates back 6,000 years in Disboard, the world NGNL takes place in. Before Shiro and Sora, there were Riku and Shuvi. Riku is a human leading humanity to survive this world war between different races/beings. When Riku begins to lose hope in surviving this war, he meets an Ex-machina named Shuvi. Shuvi is an exiled android with one mission which is to learn what it means to have a human heart.

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Let’s dive a bit deeper into Riku and Shuvi. Riku is very different from Sora… initially. At least personality wise. This was mostly due to each character being products of their environment. Riku has seen nothing but war for the majority of his life while Sora has lived with absolutely no challenges(from what we can tell). When the games begin, this changes dramatically. Riku seems to take a whole nother persona while Sora is static, never changing. I probably would have liked this movie a lot more if we got to see more of that from Riku. There was too much time spent on needless things. Shuvi is almost a carbon copy of Shiro in my opinion. Complimenting Riku just like Shiro does for Sora.

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One thing that really bothered me about this movie was the pacing. They spent a whole lot of time building Riku’s perspective and not enough time showing us who they are actually fighting. They didn’t actually come up with a plan to the end the war until maybe 20 – 30 mins near the end. It’s very hard to get me invested in a world you built without explaining what important components of it are. In order for someone to really enjoy it, you had to be a die-hard fan of NGNL and watch the movie while having a tab open on your browser to google all the shit they leave out. I never left a movie with so many unanswered questions that I just didn’t care by the end of it.

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With an anime movie budget, I expect some great animation but there wasn’t much that I wouldn’t see in a seasonal anime. I already felt that NGNL had a brilliant production so it’s hard to compliment this entry. There are some great shots of Disboard from 6,000 years ago that are breathtaking but you wouldn’t call a movie great because it had pretty scenes here and there. For example, Sword Art Online season 1 had some great backdrops that were extremely well done but all of its faults outweigh those beautiful backdrops.

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Overall, I gave this film a 6 on MyAnimeList. I didn’t come in with high expectation but those expectations were still not met. There were many missed opportunities to do great things but it was still a decent ride. There are people that will definitely enjoy this movie more than I did but this was my experience with it. I didn’t touch too much on the Dub but as you probably know… it was terrible. Well, let me know what you thought about it down below. I’m always willing to hear you out if you disagree. Leave a like below if you would be interested to read more articles similar to this. I may review the Live Action Tokyo Ghoul in the coming of weeks.

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