No Game No Life (ノーゲーム・ノーライフ in Japanese, also often abbreviated as NGNL) is a light novel series by Yuu Kamiya, following the genius gamer siblings Sora and Shiro as they miraculously deduce, calculate, and play their way to victory in one impossible game after another.
The light novel series published by Media Factory (MF Bunko J) began serialization in April 2012, and a 12-episode TV anime adaptation produced by Madhouse aired between April and June 2014. The series is listed under multiple genres including Game, Adventure, Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, and Supernatural, and is targeted at a Seinen (adolescent and adult) audience.
Shut-in siblings Sora and Shiro are good for nothing - except games. On the internet they are known as “Kuuhaku” (or “Blank”) - a mysterious group of legendary gamers who have never lost a single match. When it comes to games, Kuuhaku are unbeatable. The one game they dislike, however, is reality; for life has no meaning, no logic, no clear rules to follow, or method to win.
Their lives change when the God of Games, Tet, summons them to his world, Disboard - a world where all conflicts, from petty squabbles to the fate of entire countries, are determined by games. In a world where genius gamers Sora and Shiro can make full use of their potential, they quickly discover the ultimate goal of life in Disboard and show their wits in game after impossible game on their way to victory. By conquering the entire world of Disboard one country and game at a time, and ultimately defeating the God of Games himself, that is.
In the first episode of the anime series, Shiro (voiced by Ai Kayano) is introduced as an 11-year-old hikikomori (shut-in) who does not go to elementary school, instead staying cooped up in her room day and night playing games with her brother Sora (voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) under their joint internet identity “Kuuhaku.” She is a child genius, able to compute any calculation in her head at incredible speed, memorize a new language in 15 minutes, and beat high-level chess programs designed for grand master chess players multiples times over. However, she is weaker when it comes to dealing with the human aspects of games, reading human opponents and predicting their moves. In that field, her brother Sora is stronger, and the two of them as one, making up for each other’s weak points, form the unbeatable and undefeated gamer identity, “Kuuhaku.”
“Chess is no different from tic-tac-toe.” – Shiro (Episode 1)
Shiro is the adopted younger sister of Sora, an 18-year-old NEET* and gamer. Both Shiro and her older brother are virtually undefeatable when it comes to games. They have only lost in games against each other, and have never lost a single match when gaming together as one under their joint name “Kuuhaku.” However, both are also socially inept and uncomfortable outside around large groups of people. They are only confident when together, and once separated they break down and are no longer able to function normally. Sora and Shiro’s relationship is one of almost intuitive understanding and absolute trust. Throughout the series, they are often found thinking the same thing or being able to understand each other without words, and trust one another’s judgment with their lives.
As Shiro is 11 years old, she is accordingly small in stature, flat-chested, and is typically seen in a purple sailor uniform with a yellow-orange ribbon. She has long hair which almost reaches the floor. Due to the unique, fantastical coloring style of the series, her hair color appears to be tinted with a gradient of colors, starting with a light, near-white blue at the top of her head, fading into a light purple for the main portion of her body, and ending with hues of light pink, yellow, and green. After she is crowned Queen of Elkia, she wears part of her hair in a side ponytail and wears her crown at the top of it.
*NEET, or N.E.E.T., stands for "Not in Education, Employment, or Training," and commonly refers to a young person who does not go to school or work and lounges about at home instead.