They’re the best Anime that 2017 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Lupin the IIIrd: Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon, Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Washio Sumi no Shou 3 – Yakusoku, Haikyuu!! Movie 3: Sainou to Sense, and more!
5: Lupin the IIIrd: Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon
Japanese: LUPIN THE IIIRD 血煙の石川五ェ門
MAL Score: 7.86
Lupin’s friend, the samurai Goemon Ishikawa, takes a job as bodyguard for a yakuza boss. But a brutal assassin kills the yakuza and Goemon is honor-bound to track him down.
A 1/10 is the worst score possible on this website and I’ll now explain why in my opinion is a fai score for this film.
Animation: the visuals are my least favourite from all the different animation styles that Lupin III has seen over 50 years. I like the detailed backgrounds but I don’t like the “rough, dark” appearance of the main cast.
1) the soundtrack does not include jazz or “samurai” songs that are part of the musical legacy of Lupin III.
2) the iconic Lupin III theme song is nowhere to be found. You may argue that because this special is more focused on Goemon, it’s something that made sense to leave out of the film but I don’t agree with that at all. The movie is titled “Lupin III” and is part of the franchise. Goemon himself is a main character in the franchise. It only makes sense for the trademark instrumental to be there.
Story and characters:
1) the only characters that act as themselves are Jigen and Fujiko. The rest of the cast seems to have either nothing or very little with the versions of themselves that have existed for 50 years. Lupin doesn’t act as his “happy-totsan-love-me-Fujiko” ways once throughout the film; Zenigata is overly-serious and shows no emotion whatsoever about the possibility of chasing/arresting Lupin and his buddies. Goemon does the unthinkable and this will be a SPOILER!!!!! – Goemon dismantled his Zantetsuken to get a new guard and handle. There’s no way in flipping hell that Goemon would do this. Every single individual that has watched Goemon for at least 5 minutes understands how Goemon feels about his sword. This sword is sacred and is more important to him than his own safety. And then of course Goemon gets stupidly injured by bullets that he’s been able to easily dodge or cut for 50 years and of course at the end Zenigata doesn’t acknowledge him as part of the Lupin III gang and warns him not to trouble his police work. It’s been 50 years worth of thefts and other shenanigans for Goemon with Lupin and the rest but for some stupid reason, someone thought it would make sense for Zenigata to have a case of sudden memory loss about Goemon’s involvement in those events.
2) SPOILER: I don’t know where to put this but to have Goemon challenge a baby Megalodon was ridiculous and absurd.
Regardless if you read the spoilers above or not, the main reason why I gave a 1/10 to this movie is because of this: I sat down and chose to watch this movie because it’s part of the Lupin III franchise. That’s what I expected. It doesn’t sound like Lupin III (soundtrack) and the characters don’t act like the characters from Lupin III. If something takes the name of Lupin III and/or its characters I demand to get the same enjoyment and experience and unfortunately this was a waste of 1 hour of my time that just made me feel that Monkey Punch’s creation was disgraced by this rubbish.
Art direction is fantastic as usual. I really like the more mature view of Lupin III that this movie has. It’s something Lupin needed to a degree, almost as if it’s a homage to the original manga. It’s mature enough to be appealing to older audiences, but doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has the same “air” as all the other Takeshi Koike films. It’s dark and disturbing. Sexual at times. But that’s something I don’t mind. It’s really startling how Lupin can either be fun and light, or can be the complete opposite and sometimes disturb its viewers.
It felt much more enjoyable than Takeshi Koike’s first Lupin special, that being Jigen Daisuke’s Gravestone. I feel like this special was more “tight” – now that they’ve worked with their interpretation of blue jacket Lupin once, they’ve now gotten it right. I’m excited to see what they might have in store next.
I watched this without subtitles and my understanding of spoken Japanese isn’t the greatest, so I can’t say much about the story, unfortunately. The main villain was interesting and creepy, despite not really looking like it.
As for characterization, the special mainly focuses on Goemon and his view of his honour from what I could understand. I felt like his characterization was similar to that of The Mystery of Mamo – he becomes a brooding samurai, faced with defeat, unsure of what to make of himself. He’s not really a punchline at all. He’s very serious in this special, almost to a terrifying degree (as Lupin puts it in the original green jacket series, he’s a “scary man”). The antics between Lupin, Jigen, and Fujiko were quite entertaining. Their silliness was a lot more adult-oriented. I got the feeling from this film that Goemon wasn’t very close to them at all, but I think it fit for his character. Zenigata’s characterization of a more hardened detective is also starting to grow on me, and I liked his interactions with the gang.
Regardless, if you’re a fan of the more violent and serious Lupin, this is a special that you need to watch. I’ll definitely be rewatching it once subtitles come out so I can fully understand it. Visually, this is the most appealing thing. The animation is incredibly smooth and the characters are always so nicely drawn. The way they draw each character has really been refined in this special. It’s definitely a treat, so I highly recommend you check it out.
If you’ve already seen the movie, then you might be disagreeing with me on this. Goemon has a lot of screen time, he struggles with a conflict unlike we’ve ever seen before, and the final scenes are his time to show off. But I have two major problems with how this was executed. One, we never learn anything about how Goemon is feeling, what he’s thinking, or why he does anything directly from him. He barely talks to the other regular characters or interacts with them. Every insight into him is provided by Lupin’s narration, even when there’s zero logical reason for him to know the things he explains. As a result, Goemon comes off as very distant, barely a character. My second problem is that Goemon having such a crisis in the movie makes no sense. The fight that breaks his spirit is nothing out of the ordinary, but if it has such an effect on him, it makes you wonder if this is the first time in his life that he loses. I don’t think they wanted to make the title character come off as a spoiled brat who’s never had to face disappointment before, but that’s what it looked like to me. If they’d presented this as Goemon being an arrogant upstart who learns a lesson, it would have had the potential to be great, but due to the emotional distance, it just doesn’t work.
The plot is fairly incoherent as well. It starts off promisingly enough, with Goemon having been hired as a bodyguard for a mob boss whose casino Lupin, Jigen and Fujiko have decided to rob. The three are being targeted by a new character called Bermuda Ghost, a terrifying giant of a man who seems inhumanly unstoppable. Meanwhile, Zenigata is searching for Bermuda Ghost as part of an investigation.
Circumstances get all these characters mixed with each other, and soon it looks like we’ll be following Goemon on a path of personal revenge and reclaiming his honour. But, due to the reasons mentioned above, it’s not a very engaging path. The movie fails to wrap up most of its plot threads. We never learn who hired Bermuda Triangle and why. Zenigata’s investigation goes nowhere and we never find out why the chief was trying to stop him, creating the feeling that his plot line existed only so that we could have some exposition on who Bermuda Ghost is. Goemon gets over his crisis due to a deus ex machina plot point that comes out nowhere and makes so little sense that Lupin has to explain it to the viewer. The revenge angle has no proper climax for anyone involved. Fujiko just walks out of the movie.
In short, I feel that the people who made this movie had lots of really cool ideas they wanted to include, but they didn’t manage to create a story where the events follow each other logically. I think it might have benefitted from being longer so that it could have given some depth to its characters and tied up the plot more neatly. One of the elements I like best about the Lupin franchise is how the regular characters play off each other, and that is almost entirely missing here. We get a few amusing scenes with Lupin, Fujiko, and Jigen, but other than that it feels like the characters only exist to make the plot move onwards.
All that said, there were also elements that I enjoyed. The animation and colour design are great and make the movie beautiful to look at, the soundtrack is smooth, and there were a bunch of cool and entertaining scenes. The first half in particular worked and raised my expectations pretty high. The fight scenes were as brutal as the title promises, so if you like that kind of thing, this is definitely worth a watch just to see Goemon get beaten that badly. Since this is a direct continuation of Jigen’s Gravestone, I assume there will be more movies taking place in the same timeline. Hopefully they’ll do a better job of wrapping things up.
4: Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Washio Sumi no Shou 3 – Yakusoku
Japanese: 結城友奈は勇者である -鷲尾須美の章- 第３章「やくそく」
MAL Score: 8.01
The third and final movie in the Washio Sumi no Shou trilogy.
This final entry of the Washio Sumi trilogy proved that again with the end of this prequel. Following the events from the second movies, it provides the final hit in the feels to the viewers before leading to the events of the main series.
As a source reader I have to say that this adaptation improved the light novel so much, the great art and music sure added to that, making every scene way more impactful.
I can’t recommend this movie (and the previous two) enough to anyone who likes this fantastic franchise, these girls are truly heroes.
Story (9) : Cute girls (yup we’ve seen that a lot), that ends in tragedy (we’ve seen that a lot too), but the way everything happens, it doesn’t sound forced, it doesn’t sound cringey or anything, instead it sounds so freaking EPIC! Some parts were rushed, and some were cut from the LN, but it doesn’t stand a chance to its positives that it makes me overlook any flaws.
Art (9) : The art was neat and stable throughout the whole 3 movies I believe, really colorful, character designs were unique. Backgrounds were simplistic most of the time, but as a whole it was really decent.
Sound (10) : How to describe this.. Keiichi Okabe and Emi Evans from Nier franchise. I think that’s enough to describe this masterpiece OST? Almost every track is god tier from epic ones to tragic ones. Voice acting was truly amazing, from all three main characters it was just astonishing, Suzuki Mimori and Kana Hanazawa, this is just heaven! It felt real af.
Characters (10) : Three amazing characters that the anime will make you love, Washio Sumi, Nogi Sonoko and Minowa Gin. All of them are best girls, no comment on that.
Enjoyment (10) : 10/10 enjoyment even if I were to re-watch this every single day that wouldn’t change ever.
Overall (10) : I guess that was expected right? Yes I’m biased but I’m pretty sure I’d give it a 10/10 even without being a fan of the franchise, I recommend this to any person who watched the sequel (Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru), or any person in general that wants to see EPICNESS in its real form.
Film 3 needed to do 3 things: Glide down from the emotional high of film 2’s climax, build up to the climax of the Washio Sumi arc, and connect to Yuuna’s arc. Content-wise, this is possible in one TV episode, but that would be quite fast, even for a YuYuYu episode.
So after the introductory scene, we have a few more side stories interspersed with a buildup involving the Heroes’ parents and teacher over the introduction of the Hero System that would be used in the first TV series. I quite like this build-up, as it demonstrates that while the adults in charge are as mule-headed as one might expect, not everyone was on board with using it on young girls without telling them everything.
The side stories, as in film 2, demonstrate the powerful bond among the Heroes, and despite all they’ve gone through, they still take the time to laugh and play together.
The climax of the arc is as epic and tragic as was implied in YuYuYu, and one thing that might’ve been a nice addition during the transition scenes is Karin receiving her uniform/costume, but connecting to Yuuna was probably more important.
Could someone be introduced to this universe by first watching the prequels? Possibly, but throwing elementary school girls into a combat situation like this from the outset can potentially be a turnoff, particularly since this series is much harder-hitting than the Nanoha series. Sonoko’s diary entries that precede each film (and each episode in the TV version) provide foreshadowing and hints, and yet that doesn’t really soften the emotional blows delivered, quite the contrary. In this respect YuYuYu is a better introduction because like most of the audience, the characters have no idea what’s going on when they first face a Vertex, whereas the trio of Heroes in the Washio Sumi arc have some idea what they’re in for; additionally, the introduction of Sonoko in YuYuYu reveals that perhaps there’s much more to the lore than we’ve been led to believe. So perhaps the “Star Wars film release order” strategy is a successful one.
3: Haikyuu!! Movie 3: Sainou to Sense
Japanese: ハイキュー!! 才能とセンス
MAL Score: 8.08
Recap film that will cover the match against Aobajosai High School that took place in the second season.
(Source: MAL News)
TL;DR: Watch for the additional scenes on Seijoh at the end of the movie if you want to know more about them after their match.
I absolutely love Haikyuu!, and I have no qualms re-watching every episode of the anime series to recap the story. I have always avoid recap movies as I get more kicks out of watching every small detail rather than just watching all the major developments.
That said, I adore Seijoh as much as Karasuno, and the end of season 2 have always leave a bittersweet taste in my mouth as I felt that there was no proper closure for Seijoh’s match from their POV. The movie have additional scenes on what happens in Seijoh after the match. The fact that they are not just another “side character” team, but a proper rival team that deserves a bit of insight on how their emotional and psychological state outside of the game is like really showcases the beauty of this anime.
I am not a manga person, so the additional animated scenes to tell us a bit more of the rival characters that I have grown so attached to really brings me so much comfort. hahahaha.
The third recap movie for the Haikyuu series for the 2nd season. The recap shows us when Karasuno shows us the training camp they go where they practice getting better and stronger with the other teams. Then after that, we see the fight against Hinata and Kageyama on how they blame themselves for not working hard enough then we see how each Karasuno is continuing their training and how we are introduced to new moves/techniques like the tempo’s that Hinata and Kageyama learn then we see we the match against Karasuno vs Aobajousai and how Karasuno won but we see some extra scenes, not from anime which shows some of the Aobajousai team after their match and how they felt on losing the match and knowing some they will be leaving the team after high school.
So this recap wasn’t bad, showed the major points in the second season and yes it took some parts away from the anime like when Daichi gets hit in the cheek or the other matches before the main match against Karasuno vs Aobajousai but in replace of some of those parts was those extra scenes which weren’t bad as it showed the side of Aobajousai and how they will continue playing volleyball even after that loss. This recap was good, I liked it
The art style is only slightly less detailed in this recap and reuses some scenes, so at times it felt a little lazy.
This movie, as you would expect, uses the same sound effects and music as the series.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
Tobio Kageyama (King of the Court, Bakageyama, Bateyama-kun, Kalm-geyama, Yamayama-kun, Wearyama-kun, Simpleton Idiot)
Hajime Iwaizumi (Iwa-chan, Iwa)
2: Haikyuu!! Movie 4: Concept no Tatakai
Japanese: ハイキュー!! コンセプトの戦い
MAL Score: 8.13
Recap film that will cover the match against Shiratorizawa Academy that took place in the third season.
(Source: MAL News)
I am a big fan of Haikyuu! here, but not much of a manga person. The movie contains some scenes that are not included in the main series. There’s even a little extra flashback scene here that tells us where the phrase “One point that worth a hundred” actually comes from. The additional scenes on Shiratorizawa were endearing too.
The recap itself was done pretty well too, better than the previous 3 recap movies. Not to say their recap was bad, just that there were too many important moments (to me) in the timeline that the previous 3 recap movies span across, and the movie itself wasn’t able to capture all of them.
The art style is on par with the third season and is very well detailed. The small details on the faces and outfits of Shiratorizawa leaves you with your mouth agape
The sound effects here are very well used and well placed, it all flowed smoothly and the dramatic silences, as well as voice acting, were all phenomenal.
Shouyou Hinata (Simpleton Idiot, Chibi-chan, Dumbass)
Tobio Kageyama (King of the Court, Bakageyama, Bateyama-kun, Kalm-geyama, Yamayama-kun, Wearyama-kun, Simpleton Idiot)
The fourth recap movie that recaps the entire third season of Haikyuu. So this recap is basically the entire battle of Karasuno vs Shiratorizawa. The recap was good it had all the battle major moments like when Tsukishima stops Ushijima spike or the final rally of the two teams trying to score the final point to win and we see Karasuno winning but at the end of the credits we see some extra scenes from Shriatorizawa side after there battle and how Ushijima is giving the new roles to the second and first years to help their team grow stronger as they will be leaving team knowing they won’t be able to participate in the next inter-high with each other but yet they will continue to play volleyball.
Just like the rest of the recaps, I liked them, it kept, the art and sound the same and how I enjoyed some of the moments and those extra scenes are a nice way to show what other teams are doing which also the third recap showed for Aobajosai team. I really liked this recap.
1: No Game No Life: Zero
Japanese: ノーゲーム ノーライフ ゼロ
MAL Score: 8.25
In ancient Disboard, Riku is an angry, young warrior intent on saving humanity from the warring Exceed, the sixteen sentient species, fighting to establish the “One True God” amongst the Old Deus. In a lawless land, humanity’s lack of magic and weak bodies have made them easy targets for the other Exceed, leaving the humans on the brink of extinction. One day, however, hope returns to humanity when Riku finds a powerful female Ex-machina, whom he names Schwi, in an abandoned elf city. Exiled from her Cluster because of her research into human emotions, Schwi is convinced that humanity has only survived due to the power of these feelings and is determined to understand the human heart. Forming an unlikely partnership in the midst of the overwhelming chaos, Riku and Schwi must now find the answers to their individual shortcomings in each other, and discover for themselves what it truly means to be human as they fight for their lives together against all odds. Each with a powerful new ally in tow, it is now up to them to prevent the extinction of the human race and establish peace throughout Disboard!
Great story but it definitely feels rushed even with 2 hours. Tet recalls the story of 6000 years ago before he becomes the one true god and it pretty much explains who everyone is and the survival of imanity, however, they just go over way too many things and loses the entire “no game no life” part of NGNL. To elaborate, they have to cover the great war, romance between two characters, and focus on several characters in just 2 hours, which isn’t enough imo. What really pushed this movie from a 7 to an 8 was the fact that it was a recollection done by Tet, who makes an appearance at the beginning and at the very end, which may explain the amount of content covered. Still interesting and very enjoyable though.
To me NGNL will always be way up there in art, the colors and the unique designs and fantasy setting all work together to create a vivid and interesting experience and NGNL Zero does it even better. The setting is much darker than the original, but it was still an incredible experience to see in theaters to say the least.
Sounds were great and built up was on screen nicely. The ost playing as Tet concludes his recollection really made an impact, however, none of the OST’s in the core part of the movie stood out as some of the more iconic themes did in the anime.
This was another problem for me with the anime, as all the characters were great, except Shuvi, which is somewhat of a problem as she’s our heroine / Shiro replacement. Her entire premise as an ex-machina, and robot yet human felt out of place and just continues to feel out of place while she develops. As for the others, a majority of the characters resemble the cast of the original NGNL anime (since they’re technically their ancestors), and to top it off, the movie has a much nicer looking, less annoying Steph.
I point out a lot of the issues I had with the movie and the truth is it was great. I`m probably going to go see it again before I`m out of Japan but it`s something you have to see if you even somewhat enjoyed ngnl.
Btw if you saw it in theaters(Japan) you can buy goods and you even get a free little manga-like mini-pamphlet for free. Pretty nice!
The story is well written for both anime and Light Novel; Volume 6, content delivery is very good and easy to understand. However, it is important to watch the TV anime before proceed to the movie since not everything explain from scratch.
Art : 10/10
If you like colorful anime you know NGNL have it but dark-themed of NGNL surprisingly went along with the story theme. It’s the great war after all. Well drawn background and coloring, expected nothing less.
Character : 10/10
This part might containing a spoiler however reading this will not spoiling your experience.
Author, or rather Tet, made Riku and Shuvi similar to Sora and Shiro, keep in mind that they are not same person ( same VA though ) and Tet mentioned that he alter the story a bit so that the REAL story remain untold. In reality, probably that actually Riku and Shuvi look nothing like Sora and Shiro, but since it is 6000 years ago, the story look more interesting if the character similar to someone that we already know, Sora and Shiro. If they created entirely new character, we might not get the similar experience. ( Can you imagine an NGNL without loli heroine? )
Sound : 8/10
The sound is good, but not great. The OST goes well with anime with good impression but there’s nothing catchy. If you fall in love with the anime, sound is not something that you’ll hype, still it is good.
Enjoyment : 10/10
Watched this twice at cinema, further explanation is not required.
Overall : 10/10
This one will require math. Total of my score before is 48 which when divided by 5, resulting in 9.6 and after rounding off it, 10.
No Game No Life (TV) is, to me, a flashier version of the detested Sword Art Online as both anime share many similar strengths and faults. These similarities include poor pacing, overpowered characters and an outstanding soundtrack. However, unlike Sword Art Online which, aside from the gradual deterioration of its concepts, has relatively consistent quality, No Game No Life throws many of its strengths out in No Game No Life: Zero, the prequel to the TV series.
One of the most noticeable changes is the shift from a vivid palette to a duller one which helped enforce the movies more serious and dismal tone. Unfortunately, despite the visual adjustments, the writers could not get this tone across as the utilized poorly placed jokes to lighten the mood. These jokes, though humorous, ruined almost all of the more serious, melancholic moments this movie had to offer, altering the atmosphere and creating a lighter tone. These tone setting (and ruining) jokes made the visual modifications futile as the only offered to deduct from No Game No Life: Zero’s quality.
The creators of No Game No Life: Zero, despite changing the palette, fail to improve the overall caliber of its animation, keeping its quality relatively the same as the TV shows. This lack of color, however, expresses the negative aspects of the movies animation as it flaunts the numerous errors that passed us by in the first season. These poorly animated scenes, though prevalent in the TV series as well, were less prominent as the series used vivid colors and unique backgrounds to divert our attention from their errors. However, without the palette No Game No Life is so well known for, this facade is easily seen through.
Battles in No Game No Life: Zero are the exception when it comes to the animation quality as it revives many of the shows vivid colors and combines them with fluid animation. Many of these astounding fight scenes were, unfortunately, ruined by the CGI that accompanied them. Though I don’t believe this CGI is necessarily bad when compared to many other anime, I do feel CGI itself has a long ways to go before it can consistently and excellently be implemented into anime without ruining its overall quality. This poor CGI animation was only made more evident because of its brighter pigmentation, creating a stark difference between it and the somber background of the show.
Aside from their shabby attire, the characters themselves are quite aesthetically pleasing, using many of No Game No Life’s original character designs as templates for No Game No Life: Zero, retaining at least some of the artistic choices the series is so well known for. The characters themselves, however, are riddled with a multitude of flaws.
One of the more noticeable flaws these characters exhibit is their lack of rational thought. Throughout the movie, almost every character, both main and side, make irrational choices that only serve to push the plot forward. Riku, for example, uses his anger at the world (and how unfair it is) and presumed thirst for vengeance as the driving forces behind his will to survive. However, despite knowing Schwi was the one who destroyed his town and forced his neighbors underground, he is willing to take her in and care for her. This hatred and fear for AI among the humans is also demonstrated when Riku forces Schwi to conceal her identity from the rest of his group for her own safety.
Similarly, Schwi, hoping to learn about the human “heart” leaves her swarm, cutting off all connection to them to be with Riku.Why an AI, which is known to only make rational decisions, left in the first place and why she was allowed to, however, is never explained. What is explained, upon Riku and Schwi’s first encounter, is that Schwi is under the misconception that to understand the human heart she needs to have sex. This misunderstanding prompts her to consistently request Riku’s body. Surprisingly, it is later revealed that Schwi is incapable of having sex, making her reasoning for leaving the safety of the swarm in a chaotic world pointless (and therefore irrational). Why Schwi left her swarm to understand the heart despite physically being unable to (because of her misconception) is also beyond me and the rationale behind it is never explained within the anime.
No Game No Life: Zero’s cast also lacks a backstory of any kind. What Schwi did in the swarm, how Riku survived the destruction of civilization despite being a human child and how he becomes the leader of his group of dwellers (among many others) are never addressed and are only there for plot convenience. Without Riku having survived we couldn’t have had this story, without seeing Schwi’s actions in her swarm we can grow to like her (as she presumably made some inhumane choices which is why Riku is wary of revealing her identity to his fellow humans) and without Riku being his clan’s leader, he could never have ordered his allies to die for his sake and therefore would never have fallen into as depressed a state as he did (if he had still managed to survive) therefore giving him little to no motivation.
Regardless as to whether you want to know the backstories of the characters or not, their futures are just as poorly written. Aside from the cute and entertaining interactions between Schwi and Riku, there isn’t much depth to their relationship. In the anime, you see the dynamic duo meet and their first interactions and then there’s a one year time slip that leads to an anti-climactic confession.
At this point you’re probably extremely confused and are asking yourself, “What time skip?” I myself didn’t actually notice it but, researching the anime on several different sources, I discovered there is a major one hidden within the anime as the movie itself spans roughly a year and a half. What exactly happened over this year, however, is left up to speculation.
This major time skip, however, affects the shows pacing dramatically as it rushes major events with little to no actual build up. Because this movie also tries to cover such an enormous amount of events in so little time, the buildup and excitement meant to be felt in a lot of these scenes is lost and the anime itself feels rushed as it jump from one major plot point to another.
To make up for the lack of emotion presented in and around (chronologically) these major scenes, No Game No Life: Zero implements multiple “shock factors” to move the audience. A prime example of this is with Ivan, a deceased human whom we see sacrifice himself (at Riku’s command) so that others might survive on an outing during the first 5 minutes of the movie. Apart from knowing his loyalty to Riku and his clan, the only thing we really know about Ivan is that he has a (presumably young) daughter. After this scene ends (where Riku and another young man escape the crashed Dwarven ship), the anime cuts to a makeshift classroom where a young girl proudly proclaims that she can write her own name and can’t wait to show her father. Aside from this and a name, nothing else is known about poor little Nonna.
The movie then transitions to Riku’s return where Nonna rushes out to greet her father. The father who didn’t come home. The movie then tries to play this off as Riku’s breaking point (ruining it with a bad joke mind you), making us feel pity for both him and Nonna; characters we know next to nothing about.
Emotionless scenes similar to that one are abundant in No Game No Life: Zero as they express where certain characters relationships are in the movie. However, because of the time skips, these relationships aren’t fully expanded upon or developed and we’re left with poorly written shock factors and our own assumptions to fill in the multitude of blanks.
To make up for its poorly written “emotional” scenes, No Game No Life: Zero implements a heart wrenchingly beautiful soundtrack. Though the songs themselves aren’t as catchy or memorable as the TV series, they’re much better at eliciting the desired emotions from the audience. Unfortunately, No Game No Life: Zero, despite boasting a beautiful soundtrack, misuses its OST which, more often than not, takes more from a scene than it gives to it. Music in most anime (including No Game No Life: Zero) is meant to add to the scene and the dialogue but, in No Game No Life: Zero, the music competes with the actual dialogue for the limelight. This competition takes a lot away from the scene and I found myself becoming much more emotional because of the unbearably loud music than the actual dialogue or story it was supposed to be aiding in the delivery of.
Overall, despite being satisfied with the concepts No Game No Life: Zero had, I found the experience ruined by a multitude of factors ranging from poor writing to poor volume control. These negative aspects took so much from the actual experience of the movie that I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy it, especially as it became more evident that my burning questions wouldn’t be answered.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. No Game No Life: Zero
2. Haikyuu!! Movie 4: Concept no Tatakai
3. Haikyuu!! Movie 3: Sainou to Sense
4. Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru: Washio Sumi no Shou 3 – Yakusoku
5. Lupin the IIIrd: Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon