「挑戦者《チャレンジャー》」 (Chousen-sha “Charenjaa”)

Uproariously funny, hilariously dysfunctional, and chillingly audacious – Sora & Shiro are unique protagonists, and they’re going to take this story far!

Rock, Paper, Scissors, You Lose!

Last episode some commenters were worried that the games wouldn’t be delved into properly, and we wouldn’t get to see exactly how Sora & Shiro whoop the competition. Well fear not! They’re not skimping when it comes to the important matches.

Here’s why I found the match between Sora and Steph so fascinating: it revealed a great deal about Steph’s character. One of Kurt Vonnegut’s eight rules for writing short stories is:

“Every sentence must do one of two things–reveal character or advance the action.”

This match accomplished the rare trick of doing both. Let’s dive into it a little bit.

In a typical match of jankenpon, where ties result in do-overs and the players continue until someone has won, each player has an approximately 50% chance to win. Here though, Sora modified the odds to seemingly give himself a 1-in-9 (11%) chance to win–but not really. He increased the odds in his favor in two ways. First, he rigged it so that there was one way for him to win and three ways for him to tie (a 4-in-9 chance, or 44%) because a tie would still result in a favorable outcome for them (a “small favor” from Steph). More than that though, Sora won because Steph let him define the playing field, which let him deemphasize the role of luck in the game.

That’s where the mind games came in. Him saying he’ll only play (and win) with paper was a red herring – he never intended to play paper unless he got a hint that Steph would be that stupid. Really the point was to maneuver Steph into making a decision that he could anticipate, and then use that to tie with her – which would in fact result in their victory, since the tie conditions were far more favorable to them. Side note: Sora implying that they wanted a place to stay, and then responding with that smile when Steph tried to confirm it, HAH! Beware of assumptions in front of magnificent bastards like Sora!

But the best thing was how this helped to define Steph’s character. Sora noticed and correctly anticipated that she was the type who played the odds, but Sora is the type who plays his opponent. A game of jankenpon among amateurs yields a roughly 50% chance of victory for either side, but among professionals – and yes, there are professionals – it’s a mind game. Steph played jankenpon and Sora played her, which revealed facets of both of their characters all in one go. Beautifully done!

“Fall in love with me!”

Ohhh man, I all by died laughing when Sora cracked out with his “small favor” – “Fall in love with me!” And Steph’s reaction, HAH! I expected this series to have a good sense of humor, but wow, I was blown away this episode. And once again, character was revealed. A lot of it, for that matter.

Here’s what I’m not sure about though – was this all according to their plan? Shiro scolded Sora like it was a mistake, pointing out that he should have just said “You belong to me”, but I don’t think what’s basically slavery is their style, no matter how often they risk selling themselves into it. No, I think they wanted to use Steph and get her on their side without degrading her, though probably Sora also wanted to see if the pledges would enforce Steph’s side of the bargain somehow. Oh, and have a shot at some oppai fondling, naturally. “Congratulations on graduating from being a virgin.” Oh my!

Sora Confirmed For Not A Siscon/Lolicon

When Shiro went “You said all you needed was me”, my first instinct was HNG~! I was curious whether they were going to take us down incest road after all, for just a second there…but nope, Sora was just putting up a front! Once again, I almost died laughing, because I can very much see Sora putting up a tough front up until he actually has a chance with another girl, in which case SCREW THAT OPPAI!!

But what about Shiro? Honestly, she’s an eleven-year-old girl. She’s too young to be interested in the kind of things she can’t do with her brother, so I think she only has eyes for him right now. Not romantically, just enough to be a little jealous when he’s paying attention to others too much. Don’t ruin your nii’s fun, Shiro!

Extreme Codependence

Here’s the other big thing we learned – Sora and Shiro are heavily codependent one another. Heavily. Like they cannot function at all without being near one another. Sora curls up in a ball and becomes a groveling, apologetic shell of a man, whereas Shiro is deathly afraid of being left alone. I’ve said it before, but it’s even more apparent now – these two siblings are broken, perhaps beyond repair. They’ve grown up warped, and they may never truly recover from their scars. Last episode I jokingly wondered why Sora wasn’t a millionaire with his negotiating skills, but now the answer is painfully clear – if he doesn’t have his imouto next to him, he’s worse than useless, and she’s useless without him. That’s not something they could swing on Earth, but they can here.

The Next King of Imanity

I liked hearing more about the world and the 16 races (collectively known as the Exceed). So far we know about:

  1. The Old Deus, the gods who were defeated by the One True God. (That’s Tet.)
  2. The Phantasma.
  3. The Elementals.
  4. ?
  5. ?
  6. ?
  7. The Elves, who are good at magic and have made Elven Garde the largest nation on the planet.
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. ?
  11. ?
  12. ?
  13. ?
  14. The Warbeasts.
  15. The Sirens.
  16. And last and currently least, Imanity, i.e. Humanity, pulling up the rear.

Did any of you get a little chill when you heard that we humans were the weakest of the 16 races? I draw a warped sense of pride from this, like when I read a sci-fi book where humans are ruthless, cunning, cutthroat bastards (trope! And also this one!), and use those attributes to whoop more advanced enemies. And in fact, this is more of a sci-fi trope (trope!), where humans suck compared to all the other races. Here it’s based on capacity for magic, where the first race – the Old Deus, of which Tet is the last member – has the greatest capacity, and Imanity down at #16 can’t even tell when magic is going on around them.

I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so excited!! Unlike Mondaiji, where the No Names were on the ropes until the problem children were brought in to fight others at their own level, here the humans can’t match the other races’ magical abilities. Instead Sora and Shiro are going to have to use their own uniquely human style of cunning and skill to beat the others. Awesome!

Looking Ahead – “For now, I guess I’ll become king.”

First on Sora & Shiro’s list is Kurami Zell (Iguchi Yuka). Humanity is doomed if she becomes the king because she’s got someone who can use magic helping her, and that screams “puppet ruler!” to me. We may not get as much Steph being hilarious next time, but I think the games will be in proper form once again. I’m looking forward to it!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The codependent siblings win at jankenpon, grope oppai, freak out, take a bath, & decide to become king. All in a day’s play! #nogenora 02

Random thoughts:

  • Jealous, conflicted Steph hnnnng~!!
  • This show isn’t that ecchi – it hints a lot and is nice and bouncy, but it’s not so coarse as to make it more than a pleasant side dish – but some of the situations are downright diiirty. Case in point: Shiro pushed her nii-chan into a half-naked woman and then proceeded to take pictures and encourage him to go for the pantsu flash. I feel like we were thirty seconds away from a very different kind of show!
  • Deredere domestic Steph hnnnng~!!!
  • My guess is that Tet brought Sora and Shiro to this world because he doesn’t want to see any of the players forced off the board completely. The game will be a lot more fun if Imanity has some fight in it!
  • Sometimes the safest risk is a big one. Sora and Shiro know that for sure.
  • Did you notice how the Steph-o-Scope didn’t kick in during the last scene? I think that was the world’s way of showing that it no longer needed to feed Steph images of super-bishie Sora to encourage her love for him, in accordance with the bet. I think she’s already well down that road all on her own now.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: The safest risk; I’ll allow it; Useful lies; and Missing the point.

Full-length images: 02, 20, 26, 29, 33, 37.


ED Sequence

ED: 「Oracion」 by Kayano Ai



  1. There were so many references to other anime in this episode. I hope they will keep this up.

    On that note, I am surprised you didn’t mention at least some of the more obvious ones, like the Jojo ones and Sora’s Doraemon face in the bath.

    Also, that epic apology.

  2. Hands down the best episode of any show this season so far. Everything after the rock-paper-scissors fight was bloody hilarious, especially our dear princess repeatedly ramming her head into things every time a “lewd” thought crossed her mind (loved the craters these left in the surfaces too). Then we have our MC duo who outrageously play off the incest trope to reveal no sexual interest in one another and how Sora is actually a socially inept NEET once greeted with the possibility of smexy times. Cannot forget how both of them break down once separated for a few moments too.

    Never knew fan service could be this funny. Next Wednesday seriously needs to hurry up.

    1. You know, a certain viewing angle of Sora rapidly moving one arm and one leg in the same motion during the bath scene made me think he was fapping…
      Oh, the implied humor is strong in NGNL as well..

  3. This show isn’t that ecchi

    Do a Google image search for No Game No Life. The manga version of these scenes was… pretty ecchi. And that’s even with Steph not having lost her dress in the poker game in that version. The manga’s bath scene has full-frontal of Steph and Shiro, only rescued from being explicit by “Mr. Steam” and even then only just barely.

    1. Ahaha, granted. I meant that it’s not an “ecchi show” so much as a show with some ecchi scenes once in a while. It’s no Daimidaler, and the ecchi is used for comedy or as a pleasant side dish rather than the absolute focus. I edited my line in the post a bit to be clearer – s’what I get for being in a hurry and not editing well ^^

    2. The show itself is surprisingly toned down from the source material, to the point where the fan service becomes a gag in its own right. Madhouse has been pretty ingenious in this area all things considered.

      1. I can’t agree more to your comment! I do not know about the light novel, but the manga put me off in the ecchi scenes. They were right on the borderline and Sora was a complete asshole (no offence). Here, Madhouse toned it down while making it humorous as well; Sora is also way more likable.

  4. Stilts, I know you said the protagonists were broken in both personality and skill last week, but this week it looks like the producers went with “Oh, you think that’s broken?”

      1. Another reason behind the meaning of Kohaku, that´s not only their game name or a combination of their names, it´s who they really are: one awesome being created from two people the world broke beyond hope. I laughed trough the entire episode, Steph just trying to analyse the strategy of a person who can play toe to toe with Shiroe, keep dreaming girl!. XD

      2. makes you wonder though, who would win in a game of strategy between Sora vs Shiroe, both are magnificent
        bastard in their own right, who knows what kind brilliant cheap tactics they’re going to use to best
        one another

  5. This is one of those shows where the main characters are just a freight-train of epicness that you’re glad never even try to slow down. What I especially love is that while Sora comes off as cocky or arrogant sometimes, he really isn’t. He’s just confident, because he knows he has a reason to be, and he admits a big part of that reason is his connection to Shiro. The LN says it right out that they stay at home so much just because their age difference would separate them otherwise.

    Steph is a great part of this show just because she’s their loveable foil/victim. A lot of her teasing comes more from Shiro than Sora, and it’s great!

    It’s funny you mention that pride in humanity being last, Stilts, because we’ll get to that piece of awesome later! For now, eagerly await the greatest contest for the crown in the history of the universe!

  6. Also to preempt the question “but how could a pair of magic-lacking humans beat those who can use magic?”, there was a research article a few weeks back in Nature on quantum cryptography showing how the presence of a minimum amount of free will capable of imparting randomness in a system is all that is required to maintain secrecy and in effect “win”. As long as Sora and Shiro are free to make choices not predetermined by a third party, they can beat anyone at their own game, even those who have chosen the game, rules, and have complete control over the system (i.e. magic).

    1. Even better is that more often than not, there is no complete control over magic here. So it’s more like humans can’t cast magic, but they can sure as hell influence it once it’s in play.

  7. Steph needs to study game theory 🙂 Mathematically, in the Nash equilibrium for the janken game she was 50%/50% between winning and tying. If you don’t trust your ability to mind-game, just compute the Nash equilibrium (which is 50% scissors / 50% paper for her) and throw a dice to pick 🙂

    This said, this is quickly becoming my favorite new anime of the season (hard to topple Jojo and Mushishi). The WRYYYYY!! made me roll on the floor.

    1. Which is another reason those scenes were done so well. Another character would take a wild guess so whatever reasons occurred to them at the time, making them more dangerous, but in showing how Steph went about her decision we learned a lot about her character.

  8. I’m really liking this anime
    And the comedy we got in this episode was pure gold imo
    I’m definitely looking forward to the game that will be played between Sora and Kurami
    Also Shiro is so freaking adorable and a genius to boot. Can I have a sister like her? ;_:
    I also liked how Stephine was so against the idea of loving Sora. At some points she seemed like she was then she was like hitting the wall and bashing her head.
    Like look at all this blood!

  9. The anime in my opinion messed up the bath scene. Shiro always helps out Sora in these type of situations. http://imgur.com/tsJiGyy

    Also there’s a bit of subtlety to the wager between Steph and Sora, most anime watchers probably won’t realize it until it’s explained later though.

    Also Stilts it’s Werebeasts.

    Next week Clammy Zell vs [ ]. Also yeah her name is Clammy, their world isn’t Japan, she doesn’t have a Japanese name.

    1. Next week Clammy Zell vs [ ]. Also yeah her name is Clammy, their world isn’t Japan, she doesn’t have a Japanese name.

      As mentioned in the scene when Shiro learns to read it, Imanity’s spoken language is the same as Japanese. So it is quite possible for her name to be Kurami. Also, the translators have already romanized her name as Kurami.

      1. Speaking of the spoken language being the same, I liked how they explained people from a Fantasy World speaking “Japanese”.

        It was the second best handling of Fantasy people speaking real world language from recent memory. (The best one was in Outbreak Company)

      2. On the Clammy thing, I saw that, I just find that name to be ridiculous. Maybe I’ll switch to using it next week, I dunno. I feel like I need to run up to using such a silly name, lol

  10. I think I’m understanding the major reason Humanity is last in the pecking order. The rules say that if you’re caught cheating, you automatically lose, but if Humans can’t even detect magic, then they can’t tell when magic is being used to cheat them. Double whammy! They need the our dynamic duo and they need them NOW!!!.

    1. Well if we want to look at it optimistically, at least we can’t be caught and lose to using magic and we can narrow down how people are cheating and stuff. Also, the fact they use magic means they got used to cheating that way. that’s why human are the wisest because they only have a brain to trick and win :3

  11. Shiro and Stephanie <3 HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGG Loving this! Thanks for blogging this one Stilts, you're the perfect man for the job!

  12. I am personally surprised and quite happy that the transition from source to adaptation is seamless. The bright colors and accurately timed comedic gags enhance the comedy the series provides, and the bright colors and unique background certainly provides the hook for those looking for awesome artstyles.

    Overall quite pleased by this adaptation.

  13. “Sora implying that they wanted a place to stay, and then responding with that smile when Steph tried to confirm it, HAH! Beware of assumptions in front of magnificent bastards like Sora!”

    “why Sora wasn’t a millionaire with his negotiating skills, but now the answer is painfully clear”

    Well, it’s most likely because his trickery isn’t enforceable in the real world.

    On a side note, aren’t the 10 pledges a bit too vague? For example, the cheating pledge states that one loses if s/he was found cheating in a game. But what is ‘cheating’? Does it mean doing something that is not permitted in the rules set for the game? But if that is the case, then the card swapping in the first episode is surely not cheating as there was no provision which stated that card swapping is not allowed or that they were only allowed to take 1 card (the card at the top) at a time etc.

    Same goes for all the other pledges.

    Overall, an entertaining show nevertheless.

      1. But that conflicts with the point that they are free to make whatever rules for games they want. For example, in the rock paper scissors game this episode, Sora was free to impose the rule that he is deemed to lose if he used anything other than paper. The mechanics of the game could easily be changed through the same means – or the omission of which permits an act (so called cheating) not known to the other party.

      2. I don’t know how it conflicts at all? Sora stated it was Janken and then added extra rules. Like I said unless there is something stated otherwise you can assume normal rules and what constitutes cheating applies.

    1. @Actus

      I disagree. Though that specific trick wouldn’t be useful in that specific way due to more sophisticated laws about dishonest contracts, with those kinds of skills Sora could go quite far in many professions. Some of them even legal ones! He’d just need Shiro nearby, which is something of a problem.

      Also, as the others said, it appears that the regular rules of a game apply unless stated otherwise. Otherwise having to dictate all of the rules every. single. time would be really tedious, and I don’t think Tet would find that very fun :3

  14. This gives me something to look forward to on a wednesday for once in my anime viewing career. Truly, a beautiful thing. Oh and yeah Sora is a magnificent b**tard (when he’s with Shiro).

      1. I think that’ll have more to do with characterizing Sora & Shiro than any memory robbing scheme. That’s possible, I just don’t think there’s any more reason to worry about that than anything else.

  15. OMG that was awesome!

    Loved the comedy part of the first part of the episode! Really nice, Sora landed a girlfriend(future waifu) on episode 2(all while making me even more envious of Sora)! And I loved how straight forward Sora was with everything this episode. His “desires” took over instinctively and I couldn’t stop laughing 😛 but in all honesty, I probably would have done that and go “Be my WAIFU!!!” right there 😛 and of course Shiro is still HGNNNN it’s ok, Shiro, even if your brother rejected you, you still have me 🙂

    On a more serious note, I am really looking forward to the next episode. This episode, it really showed more of Shiro’s skills(learning a whole language in like one night, I have been taking French for 8 years now and I still can barely speak it!) and I really liked how they showed that by the end of the first episode, it showed Steph already falling for Shiro! Who says NEET can’t get a girlfriend! anyways I liked how they described how human are the weakest, because for me, when there is an underdog, it makes me want to cheer them on the more, so this is so good because now we get to see how the sibling will outsmart people who uses magic! This is going to be a hell of a ride! Can’t wait for next episode!

    PS: It’s ok Sora, I think all the guys can all agree that we all want to feel how boobs feel at least once before we die. I confirm that! I want to feel those boobs!

    1. shes trying to fight the absolute power of the pledge which is pointless! tho it does help her for split second enough to kick sora off and expose the siblings weakness! the power of… SEPARATION! yeah but the end of ep not sure why she doenst get the visions anymore wondering if shes filled her end of bet? stilts prob right that she really fallen in love with him so no more forced visions? cant wait until next ep either omgs!

  16. You know Stilts, this kind of humor is strangely reminiscent of a certain Sakurasou, with the rapid-fire jokes and gags and voice changes that left me in stitches without sufficient time to breathe. And it’s not just the seiyuu.

    1. Yoko-chan is showing some comedic skill that we don’t usually get to see from her. I wouldn’t have picked her for oppai-desuwa girl, but damn if she isn’t making it work!

  17. “Last episode some commenters were worried that the games would be delved into properly” – wouldn’t?

    “More than that though, Sora one because Steph let him define the playing field” – won

    “Don’t ruin for nii’s fun, Shiro!” – onii’s

  18. I tried reading the translate of the LN, and it lost me at times. So glad it is animated ’cause damn, I haven’t been this pumped for the next episode in a long while!

  19. Case in point: Shiro pushed her nii-chan into a half-naked woman and then proceeded to take pictures and encourage him to go for the pantsu flash. I feel like we were thirty seconds away from a very different kind of show!

    Unspoken side of anime: If someone can think of a certain scenario, certainly someone else in the globe would be working on a doujinshi interpretation :p

    1. He would tie if he won with anything but paper. He would lose if he tied or lost with anything but paper. He tied, but his reward was ‘a little favor’, which is exactly the same as his reward for winning, but worded differently. He just coaxed Steph into thinking he wanted a place to stay, but since he never said that out loud, it wasn’t officially part of the bet.

    2. I’m confused by that as well. Based on the rules of that world, wouldn’t he lose by choosing rock? There’s gotta be more to it, but right now I have no idea how Sora managed to bypass his paper-only claim.

      1. He did lose in a sense, by choosing something other than paper, he automatically “lost”, however, given he chose “rock” and steph chose “scissors” – in terms of standard Rock Paper Scissors, he “won” and so she “lost” as well. Therefore they tied I.e. Both lost, ref. to Crook for how he then got the better end of the bargain :P.

    3. He did not win, he tied.
      He would lose if he does not use Paper but it would be considered a tie instead if the choice he made beats Steph’s choice.

      So basically:
      1. If Sora picked Paper and Steph picked Rock, it’s Sora’s win.
      2. If Sora picked Paper and Steph picked Scissors, it’s Steph’s win.
      3. If Sora picked Rock and Steph picked Rock as well, it’s Steph’s win as Sora did not use Paper even though it would normally be considered a tie.
      4. If Sora picked Rock but Steph picked Scissors(like in the episode), Sora would normally lose since he did not use Paper. But, Rock beats Scissors so the outcome would be a tie.

      Overall, Sora only has one win condition while Steph has 5 and there are 3 chances to tie.
      Steph was correct initially in thinking that he was aiming for a tie if she chooses Scissors and Sora changes from Paper to Rock. She planned to go with #3 above so she can win.
      Except Sora led Steph to think he was aiming to win with his expression here. That’s why Steph went with Scissors to beat Sora’s Paper(his win condition). The result was what she thought here and the actual outcome of the game.

    4. well, my problem is not he win or tie
      but since he state that if he play something else he lose. that mean it doesn’t matter what the result is, but at the moment he play rock that should be instant lose for him.

      1. The point here is that both Sora and Steph won and lost at the same time. If it was possible for Steph to check what Sora would pick without playing the round of rock-paper-scissor, she would have won on the account of Sora using paper (unless she cheated and that was found out).

        However, since Sora winning and not using paper happened at the same time, both results had to be accounted for, resulting in the tie.

      2. As Dobinz said, I also pretty much get the winning-tied condition for the altered janken game, and how Sora planned to aim for the tie.

        What I don’t get is how “I will only play Paper” translate into that. If I were in Steph’s shoes and heard Sora’s “I will only play Paper”, I would take it that Sora will only use Paper regardless whatever I use. “What, are you letting me win or something?” Hence the confusion.

        It’s different from “I can only win with paper.” I have no problem with this.

        Well I guess my English needs a lot of work. ^^

      3. what he said afterwards is against what he said before.

        his first statement is he can’t play something else at all, if he do he lose
        and then he explain about lose or tie. which all the tie result still fall in category of “i play something else i lose”

        it’s a total difference game rule.

      4. and it’s “rule breaking” like foul in sport. u have to stop it right there u cant let the score happen. it’s not like he can lose for play rock + win the game = tie. in that case he just scored after foul.
        that doesn’t make any sense

      5. @Dobinz: You are really making it complicated for yourself, I know that it was confusing when Sora said that he will only play paper and if he played anything else then he will lose, but then he gets to explain how the actual modified janken game will be played, which really him saying he will only play paper is him giving Steph a false sense of security of giving her a handicap or advantage by increasing her chances to win.

        He didnt say that it was just a simple janken game that the moment he doesnt play paper then he loses right away, listen to his explanation afterwards. It’s kinda like the charging foul in basketball where even when the player commits a foul but the ball is airborne and lands the ball in the basket then it counts.

        It’s simply Sora mindscrewing Steph into thinking that he aims to win against her even though she initially had it right that he was going for a tie, but still she was already tricked about the conditions of their pledges to begin with.

  20. The bathing scene made me wonder. If Shiro and Sora can’t stay too far apart. How the heck does Sora bath without being seen by Shiro? Unless Shiro does the same thing as Sora; hiding behind a ‘wall’. And that Doraemon expression.

  21. “No, I think they wanted to use Steph and get her on their side without degrading her”

    Weeeelll, being magically forced to fall in love with someone still sounds pretty degrading to me. I think that was actually a genuine mistake, Sora switching off his brain and thinking with his… other brain, so to say :D. Which plays it even more, I mean, for all his being a magnificent bastard he gets absolutely thrashed, the show mocks him relentlessly. Plus he probably didn’t really think the pledges would be THAT ironclad. But yeah, for all its ecchiness, this was quite funny and didn’t take itself seriously at all, which is always a plus in these cases XD.

    1. Yes and no. It’s less degrading, but I also don’t think Sora expected the bet to be enforced like that. I originally thought he was saying it to purposefully throw away his one “little favor” (with Shiro playing the “bad cop” to point out how much worse he could have done) and begin to earn Steph’s real love that way…but then the world started enforcing it, so I was like hmmm, maybe he’s not quite as much of a schemer as I thought.

      It was probably in large part him being a silly virgin though, lol. Dem oppai are distracting O.O

    1. In the beginning it was because of the Oaths, but at the end it’s hinted that it’s started to become her own real feelings because she didn’t get a Steph-o-scope vision, meaning the thumping in her chest was all her.

  22. Wow, that has got to be Hikasa Youko’s most batshit insane performance ever since Seikon no Qwaser. lol

    I suspect she must have learned a thing or two from Arai “Kuroko” Satomi, who cameo’d as one of Steph’s maids.

  23. This episode was hilarious. While the first episode didn’t truly convince me just yet, this one pretty much solidified that I’m going to watch this show.

    Because really, what’s not to love? We had great gags, Kaiji-esque magnificent bastardry in the actual games and the characters got fleshed out in an interesting way. Sora and Shiro can go from awesome to pathetic at a moment’s notice, and Steph’s can go gloriously batshit insane at times, for one. The execution in terms of pacing and seiyuu performances is also spot-on, leading to a very amusing show. I guess Madhouse can redeem itself for Magical Warfare with this as well, as they actually seem to give a damn here.

    Onwards to next Wednesday!

  24. Madhouse has done creative pupil shaping in this show. When Shiro said ‘all you needed was me’, her pupil changed into down arrow. And of course, heart-shaped pupil that Steph has (plus more subtle one, when she closed her eyes, her eyebrows also make heart shape)

  25. Pretty good episode. I do like the fact that there are different races besides humans here. Sets up what could be some potentially good world building. I think the fanservice was fine but was kind of teetering on the edge for me a bit. I’m not one of those people who instantly gets put off by seeing it but when a show has it almost engraved into the majority of it’s presentation that’s when it starts losing appeal for me.

    There are times where i think studios don’t feel that the story will be interesting enough for viewers so just in case they decide to flop boobs everywhere instead of respecting the source material (Freezing, Omamori Himari, Maken ki etc). Granted the shows i mentioned already had nudity in the their respective mangas but the anime versions just amped them up to distasteful levels. Good to see it’s the opposite here.

    That’s kind of why I respect Attack on Titan in that regard. I don’t know the last time i’ve seen an anime that went it’s entire run without showing even a HINT of fanservice (unless nude titans are more your forte?).

    1. Let me warn you, the fanservice and prevert gag will be greatly increase when the show hit next arc.(If anime is honest to the LN) If you feel you can’t take the current level of fanservice, you better walk away from this show now.

    2. As I’ve always said, fanservice should be a spice rather than the entire meal, and in this one it’s being used for laughs more than anything else. I’m fine with it as long as the meat of the story is still good and appropriately focused on, so as long as that’s still the case, bring on the gags!

  26. Can I just say that I’m really annoyed by how the whole codependency thing was in a scene for about 15 seconds? I’m… REALLY bothered by that. Instead of this moment which should have added a heavy amount of weakness to the character from a realistic means, this has been used to an almost COMEDIC weakness like you’d see in some superhero.

    It’s absolutely baffling why they did it like this. The two breakdown, Steph is like ‘WTF, better fix it’ and boom, it’s over.

    Now, while their lines of dialogue WERE exactly what I was expecting and hoping for, I’m just still extremely disappointed it didn’t linger on this for a heavier emotional impact on the viewer. I’m not saying that this show has to be SUPER SERIAL IN DEPTH REALI LIFE COMMENTARY ANIMU or some shit, but this was something I had heard many people go on and on about as a more ‘defining’ moment of the title and while I may have hyped it up for myself too much, I really don’t think this was as reserved and subtle as it should have been.

    For an anime that opened with some semi-preachy bullshit about how life is unfair at times, it sure does seem to be unable to decide on a healthy balance of gag humor and serious commentary. Thankfully I don’t mind the fanservice, but I have to say I’m a tad disappointed.

    1. I think you may have hyped it up to yourself too much. The tone of the entire episode wasn’t conducive to the mood whiplash you seem to have been expecting. They were trying to show how Sora and Shiro were broken, but not how they’re weak – they’ve consistently been shown to be very strong, provided they’re together. That added complexity to their characters, and showed that their strength is underlined (and springs from) weakness, which is interesting.

      I don’t think an emotional gut punch would have fit there. That will do better if it comes up later on.

    2. From the looks of it this show will go with a light-hearted tone with adventure,fantasy and comedy being the key genres, reading too much into it is probably not a good idea.Drama probably isn’t going to be a strong element, which personally I like, since drama and comedy never mix well, at least not in my experience.

  27. what is frightening about the existence of magic is not that human can’t use it, that’s sad, but not as much important as not being capable to know if it was “used”. let’s imagine some human versus another race who can use magic playing per example a card game, let’s also say that the other race can see the cards of the human using magic. Naturally they will win even if the human is super intelligent! Nothing can be done if you can’t see the trick being used, but when I watched the second episode, I learned that when you win something whenever the thing is! You can obtain it like the heart of a maiden in this episode. Now let’s assume that the same human challenged another race in a game that can’t be cheated on even if you used magic and the other race bet their magic power then that weakness can be eliminated.

  28. Two episodes in and this show is already at the top of my list for this season. Let’s hope it keeps up the good work. It was interesting how it mixed the humor with the horror. Steph being forced to fall in love was played hilariously, but is also deeply disturbing. In the end it was hinted that she really was falling for him, but was that of her own will or just the result of the bet? Sora and Shiro falling apart when separated was also a rather disturbing insight into their psyche. I get the feeling this isn’t the last time it will show up…

    Hopefully you’ll keep blogging this Stilts!

  29. the power of bets is scary in this world
    “fall in love with me”
    “steph-scope” ON!

    There is one thing I can’t understand – how it is possible the really serious players – country-representing level – end up playing games at all? I would simply not agree to terms offered by the opponent because there would be 100% chance they would be rigging the game in their favor, and vice versa. Just like Sora did with jankenpon game…
    Same comes with bets value – people would soon learn to limit losses by betting only small things. When Sora offered basically his life in a bet, I was like, whoa, Steph, here is your clue, don’t agree!

    If we need real life equivalent, look at the cold war: US and Soviets soon learned to veto EVERYTHING other proposed in the UN, and kept away from starting WW3 settling instead for small-risk-small-gain proxy conflicts in the third world…

    1. Not at all. Successful people make big bets all the time, and nations used to do it quite frequently. (Still do, though the moves are harder to see nowadays). You’ll never play if you don’t take a risk, which means you’ll never have a chance to grow, which means you’ll stagnate.

      The cold war is a bad example because none of the players stood to gain anything from nuclear war. Here, they do. There’s always someone who will take a risk when there’s something to gain.

  30. This show is like a less gar, more intellectual version of Mondaiji-tachi… which itself, was a more combative version of Dog Days.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love this show. It’s just that if writers keep recyling this plot device, sooner or later we’ll have a story about someone pulled into another world to play competitive Scrabble.

    Wait, that sounds awesome. Keep at it then! 😀

    1. Competitive fantasy scrabble? I’d watch the @$^& out of that, not gunna lie.

      In all seriousness, we’ve largely been reusing tropes and story types for millennia. It’s not whether it’s unique, it’s how well it’s done.

  31. Finally, a female character I can get behind; Stephanie Dola for best girl! Glad to see the production value remains great and the world building being continued in the second episode.

    Can’t wait for new episode!

  32. Crazy stuff. I had to rewind and watch certain parts of the episode again because the comedy came flying in fast and furious, but it certainly was a riot. Had me laughing hard at Sora’s demand and Stephanie’s reactions whenever she was ‘forced’ to fulfill the pledge.

    This is really something quite special. Think I might just have to drop one of those subpar shows this season to fully ensure I follow this one.

  33. Even in reality human can be consider one of the weaker species compared to the rest if not for their intellect. So in the world of Disboard where there are species of high intellect comparable or even exceed humans, humans lost most their most important advantage against those beings. Not to mention humans in general have ZERO affinity to magic unlike the other species.

  34. i’m so glad humans are last…they shouldn’t always be OMG BEST SPECIES–i sometimes feel like homo sapiens have a huge hubris complex as a whole! adorable steph, hot bishi sora, cute shiro. really looking forward to next wednesday!

  35. Yep, the show’s great, no doubt about that at this point. Excellent comedy, great mindgames (though I’m more reminded of Liar Game than Kaiji), beautiful visuals – a clear homerun. My only gripe (and a minor one, at that) is that the power level of 「 」 is a bit overblown – there’s just no way you can learn a language just from its writing, even if it’s written the same way as it’s pronounced (especially if it’s similar to Japanese, with its hurricane of homonyms). Basically, it’s going to be very difficult to offer a sufficient challenge for these protagonists, so I might easily end up rooting against them.

  36. Okay so I am in LOVE with No Game, No Life, and I remember hearing a quote I really like and I’m pretty sure it was in this episode. I was wondering if anyone could tell me what it is. It was when Tet asked Sora if the world was an unfair game, and he replied with some thing like: The world has no rules and 7 billion players making moves on their own. Its and unfair game. Or something like that. If anyone could help me with this I would appreciate it!

  37. A great anime, though i gotta agree it realy is a love song to humanity. Normaly,there would be just no way for humans to win against the other races in the long run. It is like you are having a 100m race and everytime you get to start 20 seconds after your opponent and it is not like the other races are retarded so you can outsmart them every single tyme.


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