Merry Christmas! For this year, I’ll be writing about… all that stuff that’s accumulated in my head but couldn’t be written in a timely manner because of reasons. But since I’m on holiday, I can indulge myself a bit.
One of the more popular shows this year was No Game, No Life, and I had no shortage of people recommending it to me, because they know I like games, so I should be totally cool with it.
Spoiler: I wasn’t.
I had seen the synopsis before it even came out, and decided to give it a wide berth. “Maybe a three-episode test wouldn’t hurt”, I thought.
Spoiler: It hurt.
That’s about an hour of my life I’ll never get back. I finished those three episodes, went back at all those people who recommended me the show, stuck their heads on pikes and put them in front of my house so that everyone gets the message that “do not make Schneider watch a crappy cartoon”. Actually no, since it was my own fucking fault I went along and watched NGNL.
So. What’s NGNL about, and what was so wrong about it that I dropped it and went mad? No Game, No Life is about two siblings who are NEETs, who are really really good at games, who get sucked into this fantasy world where no outright violence exists and that all conflict must be resolved through games. The world is actually interesting in that it has a set of rules governing this and, from what I’ve seen, remains fairly consistent. It touches on game theory, which is a field I’m very interested at. When the show is doing games, it’s entertaining. This is perhaps the main draw of NGNL, and why a lot of people watched it.
My biggest problem is the brother-sister pair of main characters, Shiro and Sora. Shiro is your typical disheveled loser dude who’s Good At Something That Becomes Actually Important To The Plot, a walking wish-fulfillment caricature if I ever saw one. Sora is your typical emotionless girl with zero social skills and walks around in her undies. Their relationship is more than teasingly incestuous and creepy. There’s a harem element in the show, and my friends talk about all these girls who’ll all fall in love with Shiro in later episodes, but it’s pretty clear from episode one that Sora is his one true love, and for someone who has seen the entirety of Oreimo, I could not stomach this shit. It’s not funny to me anymore.
In the real world, they’re losers, but in this one, they’re kings, because the talent they have that’s useless in the former world now means everything to the latter. It’s a dumb show, but I could not help getting mad at this. It’s escapism, made and marketed to an audience who would benefit at the opposite message. I’m not the target audience, but my values have made it impossible for me to enjoy this show on a deeper, thematic level. Sure I could turn off my brain, but I have always believed that the deeper you go in parsing an anime, the more fun you should get. Something that would turn worse as I peel back the layers would not be good.
Then there’s the chess scene. Someone specifically told me to watch up to episode 3 because that one had some kind of novel chess in it. I was disappointed because it turned out to be ANIME CHESS with sentient pieces, and Sora buffs out his pieces by basically telling them that if they win, then they could fuck any woman they want. Um. Um……. Fucking worse than that chess thing in Code Geass.
And the visuals weren’t even very good, the show had this weird color palette that I just didn’t like.
So yeah, fuck this shit. From now on I’m following my gut instinct and staying away from shows like these. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, succeeding posts won’t be as mad as this one!