No Game No Life (Japanese: ノーゲーム・ノーライフ, Hepburn: Nō Gēmu Nō Raifu) is a Japanese light novel series by Yū Kamiya. The series follows a group of human gamers seeking to beat the god of games at a series of boardgames in order to usurp the god’s throne.
It is published under the MF Bunko J imprint with nine novels released between April 25, 2012, and August 25, 2016. The author and his wife, Mashiro Hiiragi, adapted the novels into a manga series for Monthly Comic Alive in 2013. Later that year, an anime adaptation of No Game No Life by Madhouse was announced. It premiered on AT-X between April and July 2014, and was simulcast outside Japan by Crunchyroll. An anime film adaptation of the sixth volume, No Game, No Life Zero, premiered on July 15, 2017. A spinoff manga, No Game No Life, Please!, focusing on the character Izuna, ran from May 27, 2015, to November 27, 2017. The No Game No Life franchise was localized in North America by several companies: Seven Seas Entertainment licensed the manga, Sentai Filmworks the anime, and Yen Press the light novel series.
The series follows Sora and his younger stepsister Shiro, two hikikomori who make up the identity of Blank, an undefeated group of gamers. One day, they are challenged by the god of games to chess and are victorious. As a result, the god summons them to Disboard, a reality that revolves around games. Intent on maintaining their reputation as the undefeated gamers, Sora and Shiro plan to conquer the sixteen ruling species and to usurp the god of games.
The series began receiving recognition in 2014, when it appeared in Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! and had its volumes placed as one of the top thirty selling novels in Japan. It was reported in May 2017 that over 3 million printed copies are in circulation. The English localization of the manga and anime were also well received: the manga adaptation appeared on The New York Times Manga Best Sellers; meanwhile, English reviewers were generally turned away by the first episode of the anime, though reviewers who have completed the series generally praised the character dynamics, game strategies, and animation, while disliking the fan service featuring the underage Shiro.
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