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No Game No Life – 03

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「熟練者《エキスパート》」 (Jukurenmono “Ekisupaato”)
“Expert”

That was one of the most epic, amazing, constantly twisting-and-turning battles I’ve seen in a while–and it’s not over. That cliffhanger, GAH! I want more!!

Calling Out Clammy

As something of a student of political theater, I enjoyed watching Sora & Shiro’s objection to Clammy’s coronation. Without proof, they couldn’t prove she was cheating…but to be honest, I don’t think they wanted to do that anyway. That would have been messy, and it wouldn’t have proven that Clammy’s (and Steph’s) view of imanity is wrong. Instead they insinuated, they implied, and goaded Clammy into a game against them while they were booting her elf helper Feel Nilvalen (Noto Mamiko) out of the room. No one has proven anything, but everyone suspects, and when Sora and Shiro come out on top – assuming they can, from their point of view – they’ll be proven right. Plus, this way is a lot more fun! (For them and us)

Side note: I’m calling her Clammy Zell now, because a few characters said her name clearly enough this episode to make it clear that’s right, even if Clammy is a ridiculous name. It’s just super silly.

Faith In Imanity

I don’t hate Clammy, but I do despise her (& Steph’s) faith in imanity, or lack thereof. They see imanity’s lack of magic as a weakness that can never be overcome, leaving them with no choice but to accept the protection of another, stronger race and stop playing games altogether. Bullshit! Other races may be stronger and more powerful, but that doesn’t mean they’re better, nor should imanity throw its pride away, no matter the odds!

I much prefer Sora and Shiro’s view. They might not have always been the biggest fan of humans, at least back on Earth, but that doesn’t mean they hate humanity, nor do they denigrate its potential. When it comes to the human potential that Sora and Shiro embody, they’re going to fight and prove it. Putting their defiance in JoJo references just makes them all the more awesome!

Chess With A Will Of Its Own

I enjoyed how Sora tacitly tricked Clammy into thinking he and Shiro are agents from another race, to make her hesitant to use magic directly against them. In truth, I half expected them to face her even allowing her to use her elf magic, but that would have been too much – magic they do not understand can make a game unwinnable, and not even Kuuhaku can prevail then. But if there’s a way, Kuuhaku will win. They forced Clammy to use her magic on the pieces instead of them, giving them that chance.

Thus we get living chess. It was an interesting setup, only made all the more interesting when the pieces began ignoring Shiro’s commands. Ohhh man, I really felt for her when she knew how to win, but she couldn’t make the pieces move properly! That was frustrating, profoundly frustrating even for me the viewer, and that’s good. They not only managed to hit upon something universal enough for me to instinctively feel for her, it made me really feel for Shiro. I wanted to hug her too. (Disclaimer: I always want to hug Shiro.)

The Power Of True Charisma

As soon as it was revealed that the pieces were moving based on (at least in part) the player’s charisma, I expected Sora to use his own charisma to turn the tide. What I didn’t expect was how gloriously he did it! With promises of women, money, exemptions, and glory, he forged a bunch of chess pieces into a real army!

Huh? In a real war, what fool waits for their enemy’s ‘turn’?

I laughed! Games are good, but this is my kind of battle. More RTS than chess, or even playing raid leader in an MMO, Shiro flipped the script by treating his “pawns” as people.

“Sora, what is best in life?”

But Sora didn’t stop there. It was a stroke of genius to order the king and queen to the front, because that allowed Sora to juxtapose his army with Clammy’s.

Throughout all of history, no wise king has ever forced his army to obey him through oppression. People will only truly fight for what is right.

True, very true! Clammy claimed she had charisma, but Sora proved he had more. Lead from the front, bitches! But it gets better. What is right, Sora? For what do people fight?

The one true, unchanging righteousness in the world is…cuteness! Cute makes right! All our needs, desires, and instincts seek cuteness, and it is for the cuteness that we will give everything we have!

That’s where I totally lost it! Using the unstoppable cuteness of Shiro to spur their troops on, HAH! Japan, you’re crazy! Sora, you’re seriously crazy!

The Zag – Mind Control Magic

That could have been it, and it would have been a great game. But no–Clammy had more up her sleeve. The mind control magic was straight up, Grade A bullshit. That was another point of intense frustration as a viewer (which once again, means it’s done well), and the source of my only quibble with the episode – really Clammy, you’re surprised Sora figured out it was mind control magic? What else could it be -_- That led to the greatest part of the episode, though:

Sora & Shiro Are Not Invincible–Individually

For an episode with so many amazing over-the-top events, my favorite move was an understated one. First Shiro was frustrated by the pieces that wouldn’t do what she told them to do, and then Sora freaked the fuck out when the mind control magic set in, and he realized he had screwed up. Sora and Shiro are pretty broken, they’re both very intelligent, clever, and capable of pulling out victories that the rest of us would never consider, but they’re not invincible–individually. They doubt and can’t figure out what to do and get frustrated and despair. Rather than denigrating them, that weakness makes me like them all the more. It also drives home the unique point of their warped relationship – while apart they are weak and defeatable, together they are invincible. Sora can lose and Shiro can lose, but Kuuhaku never will!

Dating Sims & Taking The Bait

It still remains that Clammy’s mind control magic is totally unfair. All the props go to Sora for getting down on the board and wooing the enemy queen by appealing to her as a person too, hah! Nobody for a virgin gamer would think of that, but by once again juxtaposing his & Shiro’s forces with Clammy’s, he turned her to their side. But Shiro was right, it changed nothing – as soon Clammy’s pieces touched any of theirs, they would be turned.

Then Shiro made Clammy think she was using her “magic detection device” and goaded Clammy into taking the bait. Ordering the knight to attack – once again, she forgot that these pieces have a will of their own, while Sora keeps treating them as people. Twists and turn, weave and buck–just when I think I know what’s going to happen, this game battle hits me with a curveball. I love it!

Looking Ahead – There Is A Way!

But it’s not over. Damn, that cliffhanger!! I want next week to be now soooo bad!

If I had to guess, Shiro taking command of the army and Sora planning to win without fighting will either involve him going down on the board again or going after Clammy himself, but I’m not sure which…or, the way this show keeps going, if I’m totally wrong! All I know is I want more. When is next Wednesday going to get here already!?

Oh, it’ll get here next Wednesday? Damn, that’s a long time. *twiddles thumbs, waiting patiently* *quietly goes insane*

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A chess battle full of twists & turns where the pieces have wills of their own. I’m still reeling from all the awesome! #nogenora 03

Random thoughts:

  • Elf Noto Mamiko is always a good thing.
  • “‘Lines we wanted to say someday,’ #4! We actually got to say it!” Ohhh man, I’m dying over here!!
  • This really isn’t a match that should be taking place in private. The people need to see this. They need to see what their kings-to-be can do!
  • I’m constantly surprised by how they pack so much into every episode, but it never feels rushed. This is a lesson in how to adapt light novels well – four episodes per volume, from the looks of it.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: It’s not always the ones you expect, Thinking about Looney Tunes; The safest risk; and I’ll allow it.

Full-length images: 09, 15.

 

Preview

No Game No Life   03   Preview 01 No Game No Life   03   Preview 02 No Game No Life   03   Preview 03
April 23, 2014 at 3:07 pm
110 comments »
  • April 23, 2014 at 3:30 pmXacual

    “This really isn’t a match that should be taking place in private. The people need to see this. They need to see what their kings-to-be can do!”

    Yeah that’s my only real complaint, in the light novel the game took place in the palace and there was still all the bystanders watching.

    Also before anyone brings it up, yes, Sora and Shiro can tell the brain washing thing is obviously cheating. The flaw is they can’t absolutely prove it, since the pieces do have their own will and they have no practical knowledge of magic to explain how it’s actually being done.

    • April 23, 2014 at 6:07 pmStilts

      Hmmm, probably them saving a little money on the animation then. Or maybe they’ll reveal that the siblings recorded the whole thing and get the reactions later on? (Or a fake wall or something.) Seems a shame for the people to not see this, but there is the judge there, so I guess it won’t matter much in the long run.

    • April 23, 2014 at 6:32 pmsonicsenryaku

      See, that’s what i thought at first too, until it hit me that steph was there as well, and she has been in this world long enough (in assuming) to be able to help brainstorm with the siblings on what could possibly be the tactic being used to cause the pieces to switch sides. Then again it could just be that steph herself is not that knowledgeable of magic either, but if someone suspects obvious cheating cant they just report it to the higher ups and they can investigate or is that not how it works? that seemed kinda off to me..any thoughts?

      • April 23, 2014 at 6:42 pmXacual

        Remember what Steph said last week? Humans have no potential to detect or use magic. An Elf can be openly cheating in front of a million humans and not a single one would ever be able to tell it was happening. So in that situation how do you call someone out for cheating? Obviously you can’t because you have no basis on which to call them out except your gut feeling that cheating might be happening.

      • April 23, 2014 at 7:46 pmsonicsenryaku

        Im aware of that fact, its just that i figured even if steph cannot detect magic, she’d have some knowledge of how it works…its because of that is why i was thrown off for a sec, but even so at that point its not a matter of detection, it has become clear that the cheating is taking place. Cant someone just call foul play and report that person to a higher up? if thats not the case it really makes it so much easier to cheat because if the individual has to be the one to prove that the cheating is taking place that’s a lot of leeway….well either way i didnt care; it didnt hamper my enjoyment of the ep, it was just something i found curious.

      • April 23, 2014 at 11:15 pmStilts

        Think of it in terms of senses. Imagine you are blind, and someone steals your wallet. You might realize something is wrong when you no longer feel the weight of your wallet in your pocket, but you cannot pinpoint who stole it because you cannot see. Someone with sight could do it, but what if there is no one around who can see except for the thief?

        That’s the situation they’re in. They know something is up, but can they prove that Clammy herself is cheating? No, they can’t. They can assume and insinuate, but they can’t prove it, because they’re all blind.

      • April 24, 2014 at 5:47 amwillowywicca

        You need to remember that the brainwashing effect isn’t only achievable through magic. Our beloved heroes are themselves also able to cause pieces to shift sides, so with no human capable of proving that magic is in effect, Clammy can argue that their pieces are joining hers due to her charisma, or cos they prefer slightly older girls than Shiro, or whatever…

  • April 23, 2014 at 3:32 pmMrSmith

    Objection! The anime industry needs more imoutos!

  • April 23, 2014 at 3:32 pmActus

    It turned out to be quite an… unexpected game of chess.

    • April 23, 2014 at 8:21 pmReverseTales

      What started off as a friendly game of chess between two sides… quickly turned into a war.

      • April 24, 2014 at 9:38 amMiraluka

        Where I heard this from before?

  • April 23, 2014 at 3:34 pmAex

    Stilts, in the LN this match was in front of every (all the nobles, etc), and some of the reactions Sora’s tactics got were pretty hilarious. You aren’t thinking enough outside the box for what Sora has planned, though(the queen having enough consciousness to be turned is the hint). You’ll like what he pulls off :D

    As they say, Cute is Justice! I probably would’ve charged into hellfire for the teary-eyed Shiro too! Then I straight-up died when Sora seduced the enemy queen. That was beyond anything I could have expected before this series, and I loved it!

    • April 23, 2014 at 3:49 pmAex

      I also just have to agree that the gamer inside me twitched profusely when the brainwashing started. No matter what the genre, no matter where in a game you are, there is little (if anything) more infuriating than a brainwashing ability. It takes all your hard work and give it the middle finger before it punches you right in the face. I could really relate when I saw Sora lose a step right there, and it is nice sometimes to see the genius character need to think for a second. It’s also great that once again Shiro was part of his strategy, as the sibling dynamic is something I hope never slows down.

      • April 23, 2014 at 9:16 pmmichaelman90

        Can anyone say Dark Archons?

  • April 23, 2014 at 3:40 pmDivini

    I always want to hug Shiro too.

  • April 23, 2014 at 3:41 pmCrook

    If anything, keep making Jojo references, they’re so well timed.

    • April 23, 2014 at 5:01 pmPancakes

      If you want another reference take another look at the elf attache, specifically the eyes :P

      • April 23, 2014 at 5:03 pmXacual

        I don’t know if the eyes are actually a reference to anything, Kamiya Yuu loves gradient hair and crazy eyes in the art he draws.

      • April 23, 2014 at 5:38 pmPancakes

        You may be right, but they do bear a similarity to another “magical” girl. Nia anyone?

      • April 23, 2014 at 6:08 pmStilts

        Those aren’t Nia eyes, those are just crazy eyes. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, my friend.

    • April 24, 2014 at 1:36 pmTrapMaster

      Would anyone be kind enough to tell me the reference to JoJo? because I’ve seen so many JoJo references in anime, but I have no idea what it was except that it was a reference :P BTW, guys is JoJo good? I’m planning to check it out when I have time. :)

      • April 24, 2014 at 3:18 pmRazmataz

        Basically Jojo’s bizzare adventure likes to use a lot of anime cliches and is hilarious as well as popular for that reason.

        Reference: In the 2011 release of jojo’s bizzare adventure, the animation really likes to change the hair colours of any character even if there is no coloured light in the room, have some big ass font in italics scattered across the screen and make the scene the most overly hyped up thing ever. They could be saying something like “I want to go to the city”, but imagine a muscular man with green hair (out of nowhere, his original hair colour is blue) shouting this phrase at the top of his lungs with captions everywhere.
        The “Menacing” tag is also another hilarious cliche in that everytime an anime character is shown to be a villain in most shounen animes, eerie music plays in the background, Jojo’s bizzare adventure shows no limits to that and basically kills the atmosphere to make it sounds so hilarious.

        Just search up the opening “sono chi no sadame” which basically sums up how most of the animation in the anime is (it’s not 3D though, 2D)
        Oh yeah and if you try to resist, MUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDA

      • April 24, 2014 at 3:28 pmretard

        do yourself a favor and watch jojo’s bizarre adventure 2012 and the currently airing series. absolutely amazing series.

      • April 24, 2014 at 9:03 pmGiorno Giovanna

        Filthy mongrels, the crime for not knowing Jojo is almost the same as calling Jojo cliché.
        “Is JoJo’s some kind of BBQ place?”
        “WHAT!? YOU HAVEN’T HEARD OF JOJO BEFORE!?”

  • April 23, 2014 at 3:41 pmRita

    Halfway through the game, right before Sora took over, I came to somewhat the same conclusion he did (although not nearly has hammy as he made it XD) and my only thought was that if they didn’t make this match a sort of chaotic free for all by the end of everything, I would be SO disappointed.

    I was not disappointed. :D

    So now since most of the problems I had with the show have been put on the backburner, I’m going to join you in waiting impatiently for the next Wednesdays (and those glorious references. We’ve got Jojo, Phoenix Wright and more)

    • April 24, 2014 at 2:06 amkhyreerusydi

      Phoenix Wright? I didn’t notice that reference…

      Seriously, someone needs to compile a list of references for this show… XD

      • April 24, 2014 at 11:37 amDQN

        that ‘IGIARI!’ and bgm when they interupts Clammy’s coronation XD

      • April 24, 2014 at 7:11 pmRita

        OBJECTION!

        The reference was obviously during the coronation scene, when Sora and Shiro burst onto the scene. As the jury will note, the background music was remixed to resemble the Phoenix Wright turnabout soundtrack and playing from Sora’s cellphone.

  • April 23, 2014 at 3:47 pmPancakes

    This episode was raucously, outrageously, and in the end hilariously over the top. The version of chess here is what happens when Harry Potter meets LSD and acquires the assistance of a few clinically insane individuals to play the game. Although not as side-achingly funny as last episode, this one never lost steam as it barreled on forward with the speed governor removed.

    Especially loved how the chess match was fought. Chess pieces with wills of their own, and yet our dear Clammy failed to understand the tacit link between leadership and discipline. You might have all the power in the world (i.e. mind control) and troops who can fight until they are killed (i.e. discipline), but unless you give them a reason to spill blood (i.e. leadership) they are not going to willingly place their lives on the line and seek victory. Neat little reference to the current state of management in the private sector too if you think about a bit :P

    Best part though had to be Sora’s breakdown and Shiro’s earlier sadness at being beaten, shows just how high strung both are and literally how both depend on one another. It’s a great indication of weakness and fallibility which makes their (inevitable) victories all the much more (vain)glorious.

    I’m going to have to start watching this show last on Wednesday, the time flew by so fast that the cutoff left me quite disappointed. I’m not one to get excited over a show often, but NGNL is literally the only show I’m eagerly looking forward to as the week starts. Come on Wednesday, hurry up :D

  • April 23, 2014 at 4:20 pmWanderer

    Wow that was… amazawesomdorable. Or something like that.

    Putting aside the game, because everyone will be talking about that, it interests me that the Elven lady doesn’t fit the image of a puppet master. Don’t judge by appearances, yes I know, but I really can’t envision that girl being part of the ruthless scheme to conquer Imanity that Sora was suspecting. Although I suppose it’s possible she’s just a tool as well.

    • April 23, 2014 at 6:10 pmStilts

      I’d bet on her being a tool herself, though she may also have come to care for Clammy in her own right. That could be ripe for exploitation by Sora >:D

      • April 23, 2014 at 11:18 pmNetto

        Quite close to the truth there Stilts. :P

  • April 23, 2014 at 4:21 pmDvalinn

    Ah man, that Phoenix Wright reference at the start had me in stiches. They even got the theme music!

    But yes, this battle was awesome. The flow of it reminded me of the better matches in series like Kaiji, where the stakes are high and the tides of battle constantly turn, keeping you on the edge of your seat. Props for our main characters too, as the weaknesses they showed in this match only makes you cheer for them even more. It also avoids making them boring invincible heroes. All of this makes it a match of a cheater versus a duo of bullshitters, and it was glorious. Bring on the crazy strategies!

    And I’m very thankful for the good pacing of this show, because if there’s one way to screw up an adaptation, it’s trying to cram in too much in too little time. The people in charge of this know what they’re doing, in any case. Gah, waiting for the next ep is going to be torture indeed.

  • April 23, 2014 at 4:28 pmVsAllGaming

    This episode was amazing
    From the references to other series and from the most intense and awesome battle of chess Ive ever seen.
    This was probably my favorite episode so far.

  • April 23, 2014 at 4:38 pmCipriana

    Classic example of “If the king doesn’t lead, how does he expect his subordinates to follow?”

    • April 23, 2014 at 5:09 pmDualash

      And that romance simulation games are useful in a war

  • April 23, 2014 at 5:08 pmGoXDS

    laughed out loud when I read this battle in the LN. so glad to see it animated =D

  • April 23, 2014 at 5:09 pmleatherhead333

    YOU DIDN’T SCREENCAP THE PHOENIX WRIGHT JUDGE???

    (Gets pitchforks and torches read) >:/

    I’m with you in how impressive it is that they fit so much into these episodes but everything still flows perfectly and hilariously together. Though considering it is more on the comedy side would you say that’s an advantage over a more serious show? With shows like this you can probably skip a few unimportant gags and things can still go smoothly. But with shows the focus on story you sadly have to leave out a lot of the buildup to most of the events which makes them have less impact.

    • April 23, 2014 at 6:04 pmStilts

      I’ve never played Phoenix Wright, so I don’t know what you’re talking about.

      And I actually think it’s beneficial to go fairly fast in most stories, but you have to give the thing enough time to breathe. Yes, it’s easier to cut out the odd gag and keep things flowing, but then you don’t get a funny gag. I don’t really feel like that’s happening here, though. I feel like the source moved fast because that’s how the author wrote it, and they’re just trying to keep that going here. More of a stylistic choice than anything.

      • April 23, 2014 at 10:13 pmTassadar

        Wait, you didn’t get the Phoenix Wright objection reference at all? :P OBJECTION!!!

      • April 23, 2014 at 11:19 pmStilts

        I got the original one because I’ve been on the internet ever, I just don’t know anything about a judge.

      • April 24, 2014 at 12:42 amTassadar

        Oh, ok. The Judge is the real baws!

      • April 24, 2014 at 3:33 amAnonymosity

        Just to clarify what was meant by “Phoenix Wright Judge”, the old guy doing the coronation and overseeing the chess game looks exactly like the Ace Attorney series’ recurring Judge.

  • April 23, 2014 at 5:18 pmlou

    oh yea…can you fix the name …actually the name is Kurami Zell, its just sora ridiculing her, calling her clammy…

    • April 23, 2014 at 6:06 pmStilts

      No, it’s Clammy, as ridiculous as that is. I called her Kurami (the phonetic pronunciation of Clammy in Japanese) last week because Clammy is a silly name, but a couple of characters pronounced it clearly enough (& I was listening closely enough) this week that I had to admit it is indeed Clammy.

      What a ridiculous name.

  • April 23, 2014 at 5:34 pminanis

    “The one true, unchanging righteousness in the world is… cuteness! Cute makes right! All our needs, desires, and instincts seek cuteness, and it is for the cuteness that we will give everything we have!”

    ok i found my quote of the month!

    Hilarious ep! haha Shiro’s face when Sora was “playing” the “queen’s route” hilarious!

    ok in some comments i read this “chess” match was supposed to be public? meh what a pitty they didnt make it so in the animation.. would have liked to know people’s reaction when Sora went down on a knee infront the queen xD

    PS: ok … 3rd ep is done… gotta confirm this is my fav anime this season so far.

  • April 23, 2014 at 5:38 pms_w

    WHY ISN’T IT NEXT WEEK YET???!!??

    Crap. They hooked me good with this one. -_-

  • April 23, 2014 at 6:17 pmzztop

    No Game’s author is Brazilian-born and raised, real name Thiago Furukawa Lucas. Kamiya Yuu is just a pseudonym.
    https://www.mangaupdates.com/authors.html?id=2200
    Readers speculate that because of his conservative Catholic backgroundhe isn’t as willing to lay on the sibling love as thickly compared to his Japanese counterparts.

    • April 23, 2014 at 6:19 pmXacual

      He moved to Japan when he was 7 and has lived there ever since. Also you say that but well have you checked his other series he’s written? Like Greed Packet Unlimited?

      • April 23, 2014 at 6:58 pmzztop

        Actually I haven’t. :p This is the first I heard of him, the info I posted was something I heard 2ndhand.

  • April 23, 2014 at 6:28 pmSynic

    http://randomc.net/image/No%20Game%20No%20Life/No%20Game%20No%20Life%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2021.jpg

    “She will be your queen! This girl who, just moments ago, closed off her heart for your sakes, to lead you to victory! This girl, who is crying inside because you refused her as merciless!”

    http://randomc.net/image/No%20Game%20No%20Life/No%20Game%20No%20Life%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2022.jpg
    “AND YOU CALL YOURSELVES MEN!?!?”

    Best. Part! EVER!

    I was laughing so hard… Next week cannot come fast enough!

    http://randomc.net/image/No%20Game%20No%20Life/No%20Game%20No%20Life%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2044.jpg
    I’m awaiting your command Shiro!

  • April 23, 2014 at 6:29 pmSmithCB

    So it look like the duo will take over Inamity, then they’ll have to deal with the other countries after that. I have no problem sticking around for this.

  • April 23, 2014 at 6:58 pmMRD

    Kurami Zell = Clam Shell?

  • April 23, 2014 at 6:59 pmhaseo0408

    I think Sora is right with Kurami, the girl is either way overconfident or dump as hell because she acts like he has no idea how her own game works. If you know that the pieces are bassically alive then it´s obvious how rise their moral, Sora knew this from the begining and device a plan on this concept but Kurami is so busy thinking they must be cheating as well that takes no precautions at all, she depends entirely on the cheats the elf gave her. No matter how noble she claims to be it would easy as cake turn her into a puppet and she wouldn´t even realize it.

    • April 24, 2014 at 10:22 amKinni

      That’s actually easy to understand. There hasn’t been a real war in this world for hundreds of years. There’s no way people who live in a peaceful world would know about how to make troops willing to fight.

      • April 24, 2014 at 12:06 pmStilts

        Good point! Whereas Sora has practice, simulated though it may be.

        Though I should note that there’s plenty of war in Disboard’s past, so it’s not like they’re unfamiliar with it. It’s just the subtleties that are needed here.

      • April 24, 2014 at 12:54 pmXacual

        The story is never really clear how far back the wars actually were but it’s implied to be millennia ago. It’s in no way as recent as it would be for Sora and Shiro, and looking at the tech level, other than the story about the war and TET, how much do they really know? Just an interesting thought.

      • April 26, 2014 at 3:06 amquigonkenny

        I’ve read up to about a third/halfway into the third LN, and it doesn’t say exactly how long ago the war was, but a couple of other details suggest that it ended in the neighborhood of 6000 years ago. I can’t explain how I got to that number without giving spoilers, but LN readers will probably get the reference.

  • April 23, 2014 at 7:19 pmTrapMaster

    Man, that was an epic episode. thoroughly enjoyed this episode, and loved how they made a game of chess into something completely different, into something that chess was representing, which is war. they also showed off how sora is really as he said good with things like negotiation while shiro is more of the super computer type, and this really enforces that, because we see that if we throw an unknown variable into shiro’s game, she really freezes and stop functioning, just like a computer, while sora comes in and raises the morale of his man and leads them to victory! Overall, really loving it, and I just can’t wait for next Wednesday! heck i’ll skip my weekend for Wednesday to get here quicker!

    PS Shiro too kawaii!!!! I want to hug her too Stilts!

  • April 23, 2014 at 7:31 pmCenosored

    That was pretty awesome I gotta say, and certainly completely caught me off guard. At first I expected the games in this show to be just regular board and card games, but this episode showed that the creators are going to be doing showing some very intriguing game scenarios for our protagonists. Also loving the fact that for once there’s a series where the siblings have a genuine relationship and don’t want to bang each other.

    • April 23, 2014 at 8:38 pmTrippwire

      Right? Sora and Shiro have my money for best sibling duo so far. Shiro is quite and cute as can be and Sora is a magnificent bastard. What more could I ask for?

      • April 23, 2014 at 8:38 pmTrippwire

        *quiet

  • April 23, 2014 at 8:25 pmPrimeHector

  • April 23, 2014 at 9:29 pmewok40k

    I think the duo is already taking their well earned place in the Magnificent Bastardry Hall of Fame!
    I have not seen such an excellent on-the-fly improvised strategy since this exchange:

    Lando: “Yes, I said closer! Move as close as you can, and engage those Star Destroyers at point-blank range!”
    Ackbar: “At that range, we won’t last long against those star destroyers!”
    Lando: “We’ll last longer than we will against that death star! And we might just take a few of them with us!”

  • April 23, 2014 at 9:33 pmBakanekokun

    I anticipated this episode with glee since it was epic in the LN….man, I rolled with laughter and laughter throughout the scene. Can’t wait with next week’s conclusion of the game.

  • April 23, 2014 at 10:15 pmTassadar

    “Throughout all of history, no wise king has ever forced his army to obey him through oppression. People will only truly fight for what is right.”

    And money, let’s not forget!

    • April 23, 2014 at 11:10 pmStilts

      Not at all. People will fight for money, true, but you can’t buy their heart. Only good deeds can do that…though occasionally, though usually only for a little while, being paid exorbitantly well can stand in for a good deed.

      Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who works for a Dilbert-level corporation. Money buys some of your time and effort, but not your love. We’re all mercenaries, unless a leader can inspire more from us.

      • April 24, 2014 at 12:58 amActus

        Though I doubt you’d ‘love’ your employer in real life.

      • April 24, 2014 at 1:24 amTassadar

        I agree that most of the times, people who fight for what they believe in will fight way better than any mercenary or slave. On the other hand, there are historical exceptions. For example, the Ottoman Jannisaries were basically an elite infantry force of slaves (with advanced privileges, but slaves nonetheless) that, for some reason, was one of the most loyal fighting force of the Sultan.

        Also, let’s not forget that “good deed” is something completely objective. I mean, the Athenias raiding Sardes before the Persian Wars were free people of Athens participating in the campaign. The good deed they were supposed to be doing was liberating Ionia from the Persian oppression but the ulterior motive was for Athenian leadership to extend their influence and for the troops to get PHAT LOOT from rich Sardes :P

  • April 23, 2014 at 10:23 pmConan

    What is best in life?
    “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.”

    • April 23, 2014 at 11:08 pmStilts

      “That is good!”

      (I’m glad somebody got that reference ^^)

  • April 23, 2014 at 10:52 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    …Words cannot describe the sheer awesomeness of this episode…

  • April 23, 2014 at 11:19 pmNetto

    I totally forgot how crazy these games got and why I fell in love with them. But the extra shoutouts to other franchises like Ace Attorney and Jojo is just icing to the cake. Gave me chills when he swticed from Chess to Age of Empires ROTFL.

    Dat Wololo doe! XDDDD

  • April 24, 2014 at 1:51 amJayDrink

    Your blog posts about No Game No Life are almost as entertaining as the episodes themselves, Stilts. And that should say alot, because we all know how ridiculously entertaining this anime is!

    I have to say, I love it when an overpowered character panics and freaks out like Sora did only to turn the tables around in a completely explainable way. So far, they haven’t really done anything illogically overpowered, have they? At least to me, Sora seems more human and relatable than, say, Izayoi from Mondaiji who had this whole “I just can’t be beat, don’t question it” thing going for him.

    Shiro for queen!

    • April 24, 2014 at 8:33 amStilts

      Domo domo *bows graciously* I’m glad to hear that ^D^

  • April 24, 2014 at 1:56 amGinobi47

    Flat is Justice!

    Loli is Life!

    Kill your conscience and let lose your carnal desire for lolis!

  • April 24, 2014 at 2:19 amShadow

    i gotta admit, these type of series are not usually what i really get hyped to watch. But the way it is being animated as well as the pace make it really interesting to watch. Add in the unpredictability of the MC and it makes you really wonder how will he bend the rules to his benefit.

    For a series about games, having an MC like that kinda sold me on it.

    On the other hand, the imouto is just there for being moe. I honestly feel this series could have easily being written with just the MC as the only member of Blank. The imouto is there, to add a bit of moe and show that the MC is not OP. So it’s both good and bad that she is there. Luckily the fact she is a kuudere makes her presence more pleasant.

  • April 24, 2014 at 2:28 ama box like Hippo

    haha, great episode. the “chess match” was a good showcase of their dynamic thinking. also that was a great JoJo reference with their “menacing”.

  • April 24, 2014 at 3:13 amechykr

    LOL at the Ace Attorney and Jojo Easter Egg.

    That chess match sure “escalated quickly”, to use a cliched memetic phrase, turning from board strategy to real-time strategy to dating sim. :D

    And Sora speaks the truth this week: CUTENESS IS JUSTICE!

  • April 24, 2014 at 3:13 amviss

    I LOVE THIS FREAKING BULLSHIT TO DEATH!!!

    Why did I call it bullshit? The way Blank manages to win, I find it not so different from the likes in Yugioh where asspull miracles stems from believing in your friends or your deck. This game of “chess” in itself is may not make much sense, but what I genuinely appreciate is the theme behind the game. While most generic shounen shows never go far from themes like power of friendship can create miracle second wind which has been reused over and over and over again in the same show, I feel that the theme behind this game is more refreshing and interesting. Ultimately, it’s about how people will side with ruler whom they view as fair and just that appeals to them over a tyrant ruler that keeps abusing his/her power for selfish reasons.

    If you follow this show expecting fair logical games where victories are earn through pure intellect and logic e.g. Liar Game, then you will likely find this show disappointing. To appreciate this show, I think one needs to throw at least half of the logic out of the window since most of the games from here on will continue to be like this where it’s neither fair nor logical and content of the game will continue getting more and more ridiculous and over the top.

    @Stilts

    Then Shiro made Clammy think she was using her “magic detection device” and goaded Clammy into taking the bait.

    Hold on, where in the anime did you get the idea that Clammy believes that the smart phone is a “magic detection device”? Have you read the novel or manga?

    • April 24, 2014 at 8:38 amStilts

      I’m assuming. Steph made that leap (assumption) earlier in the episode, and Clammy noticed those “flat devices” (or whatever she called them) in the intro scene, which she mentioned (via thought) that she had seen in the tavern before. She clearly doesn’t know what they are, and she still suspects them of being agents of another race, so when Shiro pointed her smart phone at her and she jumped (tried to kill the traitor queen), I assumed that was the impetus. I could be wrong though.

    • April 24, 2014 at 10:16 amPancakes

      She hasn’t explicitly mentioned the phones being magic detection devices at this point, but it wouldn’t be wrong to assume Clammy thinks they’re part of what makes Sora and Shiro so tenacious.

      Considering how much the phones are being highlighted too they might be the target of thieves in the near future. We’ve seen how the duo fall apart when separated, it would be interesting (hilarious) to see what happens when they are separated from their remaining piece of technology. All in the name of science of course.

      • April 24, 2014 at 12:59 pmXacual

        Theft is one of the things the Oaths forbid though, they’d have to be challenged to a game with the wager being their phones.

      • April 24, 2014 at 6:10 pmActus

        This is why I’ve mentioned that the oaths are too vague. Of course, theft is forbidden, but what if. for all purposes, a passer-by sees the object placed on a table. The person believes it to belong to himself or that he has a right to take it (let’s say it’s his table)? Surely, if intention is required (which it is in real life), then it would not be theft.

        If we put it into an abstract concept that theft is merely the appropriation of things that in reality one does not have a right to, then it would surely mean that their society simply cannot function. To go for a meal, you would have to sit at a table on a chair. By touching the very chair itself, it could amount to appropriating the chair, thus violating the oath.

      • April 24, 2014 at 6:56 pmPancakes

        Building on what Actus mentioned, the Oaths forbid certain actions, they do not prevent them. Cheating after all is technically forbidden (while not outright stated), yet it is quite clear that people are cheating often when playing games; the difficulty is in detecting and verifying that cheating has occurred. In this instance I’d imagine the consequences for being caught stealing would be significantly worse than simply forfeiting the game as in the case of cheating.

    • April 24, 2014 at 3:59 pmviss

      I see, I guess it’s not far fetch to making those assumption.

      @Xacual: Good point. However, one may question something similar to Pledge 8 can be applied here. Something like “It’s not theft as long as you don’t get caught”, but robbery is part of pledge 1 not 8 one so I guess the answer is no.

      Oh and when I said generic shounen, it’s not like I hate the theme of power of friendship, but I don’t like how some show repeatedly using the same theme in the same show far too many times, and I’m NOT referring to the Big Four (Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail, One Piece), I’m talking about the one that tries to sell games and toys to kids (Yugioh, Digimon, Bay Blade, Bakugan, etc). Those tends to suffer from this the most.

  • April 24, 2014 at 3:39 amAnonymosity

    “OBJECTION! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3R8tkvlAlk)
    Your honor, there’s a clear contradiction between the sheer awesomeness of this episode and the time we are forced to wait for the next one!”

    Nothing more to add, except that that is the best chess I’ve ever seen, even if it’s not chess!

  • April 24, 2014 at 4:48 ammegalith

    This season is so good. Enjoying a lot of shows right now.

    This is becoming my AOTS.

    Also… This is EP 3 in a nutshell.

  • April 24, 2014 at 6:32 amOwaranai

    I’m totally and irrevocably SOLD for this show. Goddamnit…It was difficult trying to stifle my laughter during lunchtime in a place teeming with people, and they were already giving me weird looks when I was suppressing the snickers.

    That was helluva epic. Sora was super epic, and looks set to be a serious contender for MC of the Season. His reasoning was ridiculous. His way of appealing to the troops was ridiculous. (Bang the women you want? WTF?!) Wooing the enemy Queen out of nowhere (and he freakin’ NTRed the King! XD) ? Absurd.

    But that absurdity works wonders in a show like this, with wacky art and crazy reactions as well as fun characters, you knew madness was just around the corner, and I loved every minute of the episode. They didn’t forget to add in little bits and pieces of seriousness to balance it all out too, where it implies once more the standing that Imanities have in this world and what kind of mindsets are being ingrained into that race. I also like how the MCs come in twos to become near-invincible, and that potentially speaks of growth for Sora and Shiro if (and inevitably when) the siblings are brought apart.

    Too many good things to say about the episode. It was absolutely golden, and I can’t wait for the next one to come already. :D

    • April 24, 2014 at 8:40 amStilts

      IMO, you have to watch this show where you can laugh out loud. I do it multiple times each episodes XD

  • April 24, 2014 at 7:48 amSam

    The only thing that bothered me is that they changed chess from a perfect-information zero-sum game to something where you can basically do just whatever. Isn’t that exactly what made Sora & Shiro bad at real life?

    • April 24, 2014 at 8:43 amStilts

      No, they were bad at real life because they found it boring and unintuitive and, more importantly, they couldn’t be together all the time on Earth, which would have rendered each of them useless. Here there are limits to what they can do and an identifiable goal, it’s just that the path there is a little squirrelier than normal.

  • April 24, 2014 at 12:34 pmFlareKnight

    Think I’ll probably stick with calling her Kurami, since I can at least consider that a name. Clammy is an adjective and I just can’t work that as being someone’s name XD.

    I agree that Kurami and Steph don’t have the right attitude, but I don’t blame for that. Even elite talents like Shiro and Sora aren’t having the easiest of time overcoming magic here. How is the normal human really supposed to have the confidence and ability to stand up against hte other races? Likely since the world was changed by this God, humanity probably has been on the losing side of things. You get raised in a losing environment with nothing to prove otherwise and of course you’ll have little faith things can be turned around. That turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Thus why that God needed to grab Sora and Shiro and bring them here. Needed the most elite of humanity’s gaming talent in order to even the odds. Need an example of what they can become.

    It was just an amazing episode. Once the game got going it was intense to the end. You could just feel for Shiro when the game turned. That feeling that she was letting Sora down and losing the game. All they needed was that quiet hug and Sora tagging in to help turn the tables.

    The greatness was that Sora didn’t just instant-win. Both he and Shiro need each other. If the ED didn’t hit that home, if the earlier episodes didn’t, then this one did. These two have great talents, but they aren’t all-powerful. Alone they could fall apart for various reasons, but together they won’t lose.

    And you go Japan, cute is justice!

    • April 26, 2014 at 5:47 pmThe Walker

      This is exactly what I was thinking. Shiro and Sora have faith in Imanity/humanity because they were raised in world where humans (Imans…?) were the dominant force. On earth we’re top dog and have as much space as we will allow ourselves to explore our maximal potential. In fact, we have laws and codes of ethics to prevent us from going to crazy in pushing our limits. In this lens flared HD digitized candy land colored risk map, humans are pretty much on the bottom of the totem. We’re probably like roaches: tenacious as all hell, but no one expects much from us as we scuttle around. I mean up until they stupidly slaughtered themselves Imanity had to contend with literal gods on earth, so I can understand how they feel inferior and in need of sponsorship. But I love the hell out of this anime. It number 1 in my top three this season, and ranks quite high so far in my over all favorites.

  • April 24, 2014 at 3:39 pmretard

    @ stilts I will be looking forward to your coverage of this series. you clearly like this one.

    • April 24, 2014 at 9:37 pmStilts

      Glad to hear it ^^ And yes, I’m enjoying the hell out of this one so far!

  • April 24, 2014 at 8:40 pmGiorno Giovanna

    This video is now mandatory for this episode.
    Was looking forward to the Jojo reference ever since I saw it in the manga.
    Sora’s got a point as usual, most men would very well be willing to die just for cute.

  • April 24, 2014 at 9:23 pmJason Isenberg

    You know this show is epic when you get a game of chess and turn it into a battle royal. Also when they start referencing Phoenix Wright

  • April 24, 2014 at 10:28 pmc2710

    Wizard’s Chess meets Sun Tze’s Art of War. Sweet.

    • April 25, 2014 at 6:58 amBaKaYaRou

      But I think the most interesting is the reward lol (banging stuffs lol)

  • April 24, 2014 at 11:16 pmergZay

    Stilts, “winning without fighting” most likely means it will be a war of non-aggression, gandhi style. See how the queen dropped her sword.

  • April 26, 2014 at 11:16 pmNarutoKyuubi69

    they really should stick to jojo art

  • June 13, 2014 at 10:02 amNiks

    Excellent

  • June 14, 2014 at 3:46 amlivy

    i’m not into video games much but I totally love freezeria game at http://papasgames.us/papas-freezeria/ awesome for kids too