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No Game No Life – 04

「国王《グランド・マスター》」 (Kokuou “Gurando Masutaa”)
“Grandmaster”

The climax of the battle for Imanity’s throne leads to a challenge far greater. It’s you and me man, against the whole damn world. Let’s play!

Revolution & Assassination

What a reversal from earlier! Here’s what finally sank in towards the end of this battle – not only do the pieces act as if they’re real people, but they appear to inhabit a fully functioning world of their own. First was the revolt. A third side, the Red army made up of the renegade Queen and those who were turned. That was merely a continuation of what Sora did last episode, taking it a step further. The more fascinating thing was how he set the stage for the Black King’s destruction.

I didn’t expect backing Clammy into a corner to be their end game move, because once that happened, she became very dangerous. No, the benefit of backing an enemy into a corner is to show them it’s hopeless…and then give them a way out. Reveal that they’re not working for anyone else, and maybe she’ll finally believe them and give in, right?

But no, she wouldn’t have done that. She had invested too much to back out now. She wouldn’t have believed them. The key came because the pieces inhabited a quasi-world of their own, and that world is not only made up of soldiers, ministers, and rulers. There are others too, and as is often the case with tyrants of all kind, the one who was their undoing was not an enemy general or an opposing sovereign, but someone not even on the board. Sora maneuvered Clammy until she set the stage for her king’s assassination on the quasi-world, and with that, Kuuhaku wins!

Is it a bit bullshit? Yes, but I’d get used to that. I don’t mind though, because it was also a lot of fun!

Crying Clammy

Gotta feel for Clammy when she broke down and started weeping. Awwww, she’s so cute when she’s not being all desperate! I don’t think she’s going to disappear – they wouldn’t have bothered showing her later if she was – but I hope she comes back to Imanity and helps Kuuhaku in the future. She’s fun! Though only once she’s worked past her limit, of course.

King & Queen Regnant

I died laughing at all the objections! Even when the people are trying to make Sora the uncontested main character, he won’t allow it. Then Shiro starts talking about Sora making a harem and getting all jealous, hnnnng~!! I very much enjoy how both Sora and Shiro are equally important main characters, and how they both get to rule. Sora is the King, and Shiro is the Queen. (The queen regnant, actually…that means she rules in her own right, rather than being the powerless wife of the king, because, ya know, not that kind of anime, ya pervs.) And it only took 158 wins, 158 losses, 184 ties each to figure that out, hah!

Playing Civilization With A Real Civilization

I supremely enjoyed it when they abused the pledges to force their ministers to be honest. Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before? Sure, it’s a little bit dickish, but it enforces loyalty in a snap. Then they went on to introducing rotating crops, treasury bonds, and basically clean up the whole country in a snap with their Earth knowledge, hah! Between playing Civilization and learning all this for quiz games, I guess games can teach you everything you need to know, eh? Provided you only need to know the basics at least, and you’re really, really good at them.

Weaker Than Anyone Else

Once again, I felt a thrill of twisted pride when Sora spoke in front of the crowd at the coronation and exalted in how weak Imanity is. This is the brilliance of what Sora said: it got Imanity over their collective pity party. While they were all focused on what they didn’t have – magic, or the ability to sense it – they were feeling sorry for something they had no control over. Rather than dwell on their weaknesses, it’s better to embrace them and turn towards their strengths.

The powerful polish their fangs, while the weak polish their wisdom. But now the Ten Pledges have blunted the powerful’s fangs, so they gained wisdom instead. That doesn’t mean the weak are down and out! The weak have depended on wisdom for far longer. We’re better at it! Without the crutch of magic, Imanity must polish their wisdom like no other race must, but that is a powerful weapon.

Best of all, I love how well Sora & Shiro embody the strength of weakness. Like the old king wanted, they understand the value of wisdom because they are weaker than anyone else – apart. Together, as Kuuhaku, they are unbeatable, but we know what happens when they’re pulled apart. It’s those breakdowns they have when they’re apart and the strength they display when they’re together that lets them embody humanity so well. They are crippled by weakness, but they’ve come together to forge it into strength. Now Imanity must do the same.

Imanity is the weakest race, but because we are the weakest – because we are born with nothing – we can become anything. Imanity is blank. Humanity is potential unlimited. Beautiful, ne?

Imanity vs The World

Fortune favors the bold, and let it never be said the Sora & Shiro aren’t bold. The ruling siblings took their people, turned their focus from Imanity’s weakness to its strengths, and then focused them on the world at large. It’s us versus the whole damn world, baby! Combined with resurgent power thanks to the economic boon Kuuhaku’s advances are about to usher in, if this world allowed for war, they would be vicious foes. Since it doesn’t, it’ll be interesting to see what they do. Imanity is rising however you look at it.

I’m not sure on their logic concerning what the other races will think, though. They say everyone else will think like Clammy and assume another race is backing Imanity, which means they won’t make any rash moves. Personally, if I were the leader of another race, I would think exactly that had the siblings kept quiet and played the slow game, but when they declared war on the whole world I would have scoffed and said, “Nobody is stupid enough to back these mad dogs. They’re fools!” Though I have been wrong before.

Tet’s True Goal

I was wrong. I thought Tet’s reason for bringing Sora & Shiro to Disboard was because Imanity was on the ropes, and the game wouldn’t be as much fun if one of the players was knocked out. Introduce a little chaos into the system, you know? Then sit back and watch the fun.

But no, I was wrong, and like Sora & Shiro, I liked Tet’s real answer so much more. It wasn’t to save Imanity. No, Tet wants a challenger. Tet wants to play. Tet wants someone to challenge him for the right to be the One True God. If Sora & Shiro can collect all 16 pieces, they can sit across the table from Tet once again and play him for his title. Not only are they talking on the whole world, they’re doing it to win the title from God! Words are not adequate to explain how awesome that is, so I’ll settle for this – wow!

Tet’s First Loss

But what tied it all together for me is Tet’s admission that his match against Kuuhaku was his first loss ever. To me, that’s a critical weakness in and of itself. There is strength and resiliency to be learned from losing, and failure can teach us far more than victory ever can. More than that though, it illustrates how Kuuhaku and Tet are kindred spirits, and they understand each other better than anyone else. That’s why Sora & Shiro so earnestly thanked Tet for bringing them to his world. I’m glad too – this is a lot of fun!

Looking Ahead – Spoiler Previews

A question for you all – how do you feel about how Sora & Shiro’s ascension to the throne was so heavily spoiled? Both the OP and the preview last week pretty much gave it away. Personally, I don’t mind it. I feel like it was an element not unlike them coming to Disboard itself, in that it’s a useful fact for a new viewer to have in order to decide whether they want to watch this show at all.

Think of it like this – we all knew Frodo would take the ring and embark on the journey to destroy it. That’s at the very essence of the story, and though it was valuable to see how her stepped on that path, it was fine knowing he would. I feel like this is that sort of thing, because them becoming kings hints at the scope of the story. Anything after this show shy away from spoilers though, as this episode’s previews do.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The climax of the battle for Imanity’s throne leads to a challenge far greater. It’s you & me man, us vs the whole damn world! #nogenora 04

Random thoughts:

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Orderly, original; Respect; How you know it’s a good idea; and It’s not always the ones you expect.

Full-length images: 16, 22, 23.

 

Preview

April 30, 2014 at 7:16 pm
71 comments »
  • April 30, 2014 at 7:25 pmRyan Ashfyre

    In the words of the One True God:

    “Looks like things are starting to get fun.”

  • April 30, 2014 at 7:26 pmTrapMaster

    Really good episode, really enjoyed it! I like how creative they got with a chess game, turning it into a real time war game, but hey, that proves how worthy a king is right? they actually show their skills to rally up the allies and enemy!

    Clammy was so HGNNN when she was crying! And more Shiro being jealous of Sora being together with other girls!!!! HGNNNN it’s ok Shiro, i’ll always love you, but I’ll never have a Shiro, the zetsubou!

    Looking forward to the next episode, looks like they’re going to pick a fight with the Flugel next!

    PS Stephanie no pan?!!!?!?!?! The despair I feel when I know that a cute girl like Steph will never serve me like that, I feel empty…

  • April 30, 2014 at 7:27 pmXacual

    Once again the anime made a public event a private one. In the LN TET visited them in the throne room when they were surrounded by ministers and stuff.

    Overall it was a very good adaptation though it left out a somewhat important Steph scene which I’m curious if it will be included next week since it kind of sets up for most of what will happen next week with her.

    Anyway like always I enjoy reading your takes on the episodes.

    • April 30, 2014 at 7:33 pmXacual

      Oh also if you look at the match count for Sora vs Shiro, the anime messed up a bit and left out a digit on wins and losses. It got battles and draws right but well there’s an obvious mistake there since wins + losses + draws doesn’t add up to the number of battles there.

      1170080 wins, 1170080 losses, 1186584 draws.

  • April 30, 2014 at 7:44 pmhaseo0408

    I wonder what the reactions of the other 15 races are going to be when they realize the truth behind what just happened? They think Sora and Shiro are puppets control by another country but the poor idiots are too full of themselfs to notice that they are puppets! That beautiful speech was able to give Imanity new hope,declare war on the entire world and confuse all the races, all in just one speech! I can just imagine the idiots suspecting even their shadows!. The other races better prepare, Kuhaku knows nothing of defeat!

  • April 30, 2014 at 7:45 pmLGM

    Again like last week, Tet & the siblings talks were supposed to be right at the Court room, in front of all the king’s subjects to see.

    Rather then that, only Steph heard their victory against God himself & the promise for a second match. Why anime why?

    • April 30, 2014 at 8:53 pmLonghaul

      Honestly it doesn’t really matter, it was likely done because it shaved time off the scene length but since we saw Steph’s response we didn’t really lose out.

      • April 30, 2014 at 10:28 pmecho

        Yeah, but in the novel Tet also did cue them what are the reaction that some other races are taking which can be used as some intelligence though. This wouldnt affect much on the story tho

    • May 1, 2014 at 8:31 amStilts

      Honestly, these are minor changes that, like Longhaul said, come down to saving time on the scene (and probably budget on the animation). I felt the lack of a crowd hurt more in the actual battle against Clammy, but that’s for political reasons more than anything that actually happened in the scene. It still worked 95%+ of what (I imagine) it did in the source material, so it’s fine with me.

  • April 30, 2014 at 7:56 pmCybersteel

    Let’s hope Gandhi doesn’t start nuking everyone.

    • April 30, 2014 at 8:58 pmLonghaul

      I imagine Ghandi would be very frustrated by the ten oaths constraints.

    • April 30, 2014 at 9:16 pmPancakes

      Gandhi doesn’t care for constraints, he’ll still find a way to plant a nuke in your a*s.

    • April 30, 2014 at 9:40 pmiyArashi

      I was just reading the light novels and in the next game… Show Spoiler ▼

      • May 2, 2014 at 5:19 amDevastator001

        For me, it was Even better that summoning “that” was his opening move :D

  • April 30, 2014 at 8:00 pmPancakes

    Not even halfway into the season and we already have the whole world at war with Imanity. The crazy is so over the top it’s addicting. Best part though had to be Clammy breaking down, which not only unhinged Sora (going from sinister and collected genius to an incredibly confused male), but made Shiro wonder why he would ever make a girl cry. Well, that part and the constant stream of Ace Phoenix objections flying about, those are not getting old at all.

    Loved the Civilization reference too, probably a first for anime to reference something strategy related. Ironically the reference fits considering the King and Queen’s first action was to war declare every state, something Gandhi too liked to indulge in occasionally (for those who know what I’m talking about :P)

  • April 30, 2014 at 8:09 pmhaseo0408

    What really matters in a good story is the journey the heros face in order to accomplish their goals and the skill of the writer to illustrate it to the reader in a way that when you pick the book you can feel the wind that touches the characters faces. As you said, we all knew that Frodo was going to destroy the One Ring at the end but Tolkien gave us a world to love, characters to feel sympathy with, battles that give a sense of awe like never before and a beautiful narration of incredible events.

    The ending is important but the true heart of a story remains in the Journey, specially in a story high fantasy like this one. As Roland Deschain once said: “You know that good wins at the very end, what you don´t know is how many had to die in order to be so, what had to be done in order to be so.”

    • May 1, 2014 at 8:36 amStilts

      Yeah, I agree. Mind you, I was talking more specifically about spoiling the first few moves – that Sora & Shiro would go to Disboard, that Souta & co would move into Quest House, that Juugo would begin searching for Nanana’s treasures, that the Gauna would come back, etc. We can generally assume that good will win in the end, but not always, and we often don’t know how, at what cost, or even when it will happen. Spoilers of the opening few moves contained in the series’ sales copy are another matter entirely.

      Still, both pretty much take the same answer – it’s all about the journey. Nice quote, by the way : )

      • May 1, 2014 at 5:12 pmhaseo0408

        Belive me, Roland Deschain is the poster child for tropes gunslinger, anti-hero and good is not soft or nice for that matter. Even his brothers thank the gods of their world that Roland was one of the good guys because the idea of fighting against him terrified them.

      • May 3, 2014 at 1:42 amquigonkenny

        Honestly, given the leadup and the fact that we’re only four episodes in, the fact that [] would win against Clammy, their first major victory in Disboard, was a given. We’re still setting up the story. Nothing was lost at all by spoiling that they would win, since at this point the “how” is much more important than the “whether”.

        Now is when the real game begins.

  • April 30, 2014 at 8:34 pm音楽

    The soundtrack and sound effects in this series are really well utilized.

  • April 30, 2014 at 8:55 pmAex

    Again, I love this damn show! It takes the craziest sources and the craziest situations, then uses them to make you think! Sora and Shiro are just too fun, and it’s great how when the situation is hot they totally make everyone believe they’re just winging it, only to realize afterwards they knew put a genius level of thought into it. Sora was a lot harder on Clammy in the LN until she cracked, but he really did have the right to be. If you’re so afraid of what you are, of course you’re going to fail. Better to own it and make it work.

    It was also interesting to see people from the other races peeking in on Sora’s speech, and once everyone figures out too late that he’s no one’s pawn, I think they’ll look back and say “well damn if he didn’t warn us…”

    The way Sora and Shiro winning the crown was spoiled was a bit of a turn-off, just because it took some of the tension out of the chess match. Clammy could make all the slasher-grins she wanted, you knew she was going to lose. Still, it made for a good set-up, and like Tet said, this really is just the start. It also amps up the excitement, since in true anime fashion, you know the challenges are only going to get more intense! :D

    • May 1, 2014 at 11:53 amStilts

      I think they’ll look back and say “well damn if he didn’t warn us…”

      Agreed. I’m going to enjoy that moment soooo much >:D

  • April 30, 2014 at 8:58 pmDivini

    This scene was really cute and touching for me. It’s the first time I’ve seen Shiro with such a big smile on her face.

  • April 30, 2014 at 9:06 pmLonghaul

    Shiro with a side tail looks better than I imagined it would.

  • April 30, 2014 at 9:07 pmMonks

    I’m a bit conflicted on this anime. One the one hand, I tend to dislike characters like our Blank duo – Supremely confident, infallible, shown to be so much more intelligent than everyone else as to make the rest of the world look like idiots, etc. They claim weakness (i.e. supposed fear of public speaking) yet never actually show any (i.e. was able to deliver an impromptu epic speech). With the ridiculously over the top way they’re portrayed, (able to solve a kingdom’s problems in a few hours, knowledgeable about economics and farming patterns more than those who’s job it is to manage it), they would not be the ostracized hikikomoris they claim unless they chose to be. There’s no lack to end their skills or charisma, making the whole premise of their being useless in the real world seem suspect.

    And yet, for all my complaints – I find myself liking the show. It’s an enjoyable and amusing romp so far, and is being presented so well that my dislike for the characters and premise is being pushed aside. We’ll see if it can keep this up, but I suppose kudos to the show so far for putting me in such a quandry if nothing else.

    • April 30, 2014 at 9:17 pmAex

      The LN goes a little more into their weakness by pointing out that since they’re both absolutely useless without the other, there strengths don’t really apply in their own world since the most ordinary things like school would keep them apart. Home was the only place they could be together all the time. And they aren’t really ostracized so much as they just didn’t care about the world anymore, so they locked themselves away to find enjoyment in games.

      Minor spoiler: Show Spoiler ▼

      Still, glad the show forces you to like it despite your misgivings :)

  • April 30, 2014 at 9:19 pmFlareKnight

    Again the show is simply fun. It’s really enjoyable and the lead characters are a strength behind that.

    Really from how the game was set up the fall made sense. The pieces are very much set up to respond to the actions of the players. Sora kept finding ways to make the maximum use of that. Also made good use of what he knows about war from our world and the best way to drop a powerful King.

    An interesting strategy in causing the Black King to just self-destruct. Makes sense, the pieces reflect the wills of the players and what is happening. The more you push the kind of king Kurami was acting as into a corner the faster they’ll self-destruct. By the end was willing to send all her “people” to their deaths. Pushing someone into a corner can be risky, but sometimes it just works.

    The rest was plenty fun. From Sora and Shiro dropping “Objection!” onto each other and the insane battle for rulership that proves that Blank is better united. They are just too even individually.

    Really the speech did work nicely. I’m not surprised that everyone had gotten so depressed. It had to be a massive shift. Once all the races started to work on combining their various talents with more tactical thinking then it got a lot harder. A whole race got on a losing streak and started giving up. Needed a pair that refuse to lose to anyone no matter what kind of talents they have. Two that will fall apart when alone, but together they are unstoppable.

    It’s still a tough road for Imanity. Certainly they are great at using their heads because that’s all they have, but that has to equal a sum greater than magic+wisdom. It’s a tall order, but when people are pushed they can make leaps forward.

    As to what the other races will think…hard to say. We have to look at it from the world view. Imanity is seen as weak and helpless. Would they believe that anyone could pop up from that group on their own and become that cocky? Maybe some might see through it, but I agree that others will think someone has to be backing them and might be trying to bait them.

    The part with Tet was great. It makes sense when you think about it. If Imanity gets knocked out oh well. The whole point of making that situation was for the wise to rise and the rest to fall. If Imanity couldn’t cut it I don’t think that’s an issue for Tet.

    Can see that guy having so much free time and going around challenging people from various worlds anonymously. Then he gets knocked out of his seat by this pair of humans from a world they don’t fit into. Just like Sora and Shiro he can’t stand letting someone just have a win and sit on it. Gotta go for the rematch XD. The perspective for this series is great. These two have found the world they belong in and are going for God.

    • May 1, 2014 at 12:02 pmStilts

      A whole race got on a losing streak and started giving up.

      Very true. I think a lot of people underestimate momentum. When you give yourself little wins, you can chain them into bigger and bigger wins, but if all you’re doing is losing, the momentum feeds off itself until it seems impossible to come back. They need to start winning again to get that momentum rolling.

      As to what the other races will think…hard to say. We have to look at it from the world view.

      That’s a very good point. I forget that I have an Earth viewpoint, and we don’t count the underdog out, nor discount the desperate gambit. In fact, it’s a trope that the million to one chance works nine times out of ten! (trope!) We focus more on the Davids than the Goliaths, but for all those races that are currently ascendant – they’re even ranked as being “better” by god, which is liable to feed the ego a bit – they’re too used to being on top. They’re not scared.

      We humans have seen too many empires fall. We know that the powerful always fall eventually. These other races don’t. Now they’re just going to have to learn…

  • April 30, 2014 at 9:35 pmRyner

    • April 30, 2014 at 11:37 pmLonghaul

      Yukarin voiced plot at that.

      • May 3, 2014 at 8:40 amOwaranai

        You, sir, have just made my day and heightened my sense of anticipation over level 9000. Well done! :D

  • April 30, 2014 at 9:53 pmNetto

    Ah this was that awesome speech and exposition that kept me hooked into this series.

    Love the plot line of humanity as underdogs with wisdom being the driving force of its strength.

    Can’t wait for more awesome battles in the Disboard :D

  • April 30, 2014 at 10:44 pmAna

    I think it’s fine that their victory and coronation was spoiled in the OP and preview, since this is still essentially the “setup” of the story. I can’t think of a good example right now, but sometimes shows take a few episodes to get their basic premise in place somewhat, even though all the viewers know it’s going to happen.

    Anyway, from a more cynical point of view, we can easily guess that Kuuhaku won’t be taking a loss this early in (if they ever take one at all), so them being crowned was basically without a doubt anyway.

  • April 30, 2014 at 10:50 pmsaco3

    I really loved this episode, this show keeps getting better and better each week. :D

    If anyone can please tell me the name of the soundtrack played during the brother’s speech?

  • April 30, 2014 at 10:56 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    In ways, the speech was even better than the game, lol.

  • April 30, 2014 at 11:59 pmOwaranai

    Show of the season baby, show of the season.

    I love the pacing. Where many shows this season seem to have an issue with it, NGNL was stellar in that aspect. Being a crazy anime has its perks too, where you can just switch the atmosphere at a snap of a finger. The part where Clammy suddenly broke down and cried had me laughing, as did the objections. There were several facefaulting moments there, but ones that instead of making me groan, had me in stitches all over.

    The headbands on the ministers to denote what role they play was a nice little humorous touch too. I’d suppose a Tree headband denotes the Minister of Agriculture and…you all know what kind of minister that was with that coin headband. And governing a country based on knowledge from research on quizzes and Civ? Absurd. Epicly absurd, but I love it! :) On a more serious note though, one realises just how much Imanity has effectively crippled themselves with their mindsets. Wouldn’t be that far of a stretch to say they contributed much to their own downfall.

    And here’s where the speech comes into play. I loved it, and it just shows how the show isn’t focused on one, but two characters here. That makes Sora’s speech all the more powerful when he was brutally honest in acknowledging the weakness of Imanity, yet making them realise the strengths within themselves.

    This episode was just so much fun. From the get-go I kinda guessed that Tet didn’t really have noble intentions in the first place, considering how everything in the world was governed by games. Any gamer would understand that losing always leaves a bad taste in the mouth, and just how honest and funny was that.

    I assume the first arc is over, and definitely looking forward to Blank doing some more ass kicking stuff as they take on the entire world.

    • May 1, 2014 at 12:09 pmStilts

      Any gamer would understand that losing always leaves a bad taste in the mouth…

      Not necessarily. I can love a good loss, provided my team played well, it was exciting and fun, we damn near pulled it out a few times, and I learned something. (I play LoL, so I know about losing, lol) It’s only those who are bad sports, take things too seriously, or in the case of these three, aren’t used to losing.

      Losing is valuable, don’t knock it. These characters don’t seem to be driven mad by their fear of the loss though – for them it’s as much the stakes and the love of games – so I’m just letting that one slide for now.

      • May 3, 2014 at 8:39 amOwaranai

        That’s true, I suppose. But when it comes to Tet who obviously has never lost a game before…

        Maybe ‘bad taste’ is the wrong phrase to use. Losing is probably a feeling he’s never felt before, especially when it comes to opponents who are perhaps like upstarts to the champion who wins all. I’d say a sore loser would attempt to beat the crap out of them over and over to prove his own superiority, but it seems Tet is more of a awesome gamer than anything else. :)

  • May 1, 2014 at 12:02 amMeldoy

    This might become one of my favorite fantasy anime ever. It’s just pure crazy fun.

  • May 1, 2014 at 12:09 amAnonymosity

    What a great end for an awesome first part of the story. It set up whatever’s coming up nicely, and was hilarious and asesome to boot.
    Continuing Ace Attorney references were fun.

    I think it was fine for their ascension to be spoiled. It’s not like anyone wasn’t going to guess that was going to happen. The more mysterious part was to see how they got there and got the trust of their people.
    It’s similar to how in Kyoukaisen it was obvious Toori would save Horizon, but the journey there and what it would lead to was the part that wasn’t obvious.
    Although that one wasn’t so heavily spoiled in the opening, so it’s not the best comparison.

  • May 1, 2014 at 12:28 amSam

    If the destination is obvious, can it really still be a spoiler? Besides, with such a clear end goal, it makes twists and turns along the way all the more interesting.

    Not really a spoiler, but I’m wondering why the anime changed some of the scenes. For example, both the chess game with Chlammy and the meeting with Tet were held before an audiance in the novel, which would presumably affect the way other races view the new leader of humanity. I mean, it’d just be a rumor, but dude beat God, man.

    • May 1, 2014 at 12:30 amSam

      Naturally, by leader I mean [Kuuhaku] and dude was the gender-neutral form. :D

  • May 1, 2014 at 1:11 amcreaothceann

    I don’t watch OPs and EDs, so…

  • May 1, 2014 at 1:29 amPtolemaios00

    Take note of what Imanity’s chess piece is. It’s the King piece for the chess board. They revealed it sooner than in the LN, but I think that is fine.

    Also, Sora’s tablet has tons of encyclopedias and databases downloaded into it, so he can reference it for his civilization game. He also hints at using it for his strategy against the Flugel.

    • May 1, 2014 at 5:00 amRider

      At first I thought it was the Tower. So much better it’s the King! = more important piece from a chess boards, but the weakest piece at the same time.

      So, I ask you, which race will be the Queen of Imanity’s chess?

      • May 1, 2014 at 8:07 am9TTH

        It’s not mention yet.
        But very strongly implied from LN vol.6
        From what I read from animesuki LN thread
        Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 1, 2014 at 2:41 amRed HeartGold ZX

    LOL, loved those Phoenix Wright references again, especially Shiro’s version of “Objection!” or “Igiari!”

    Also, that Shiro ED is IMO the Best ED out of all the Anime this season

  • May 1, 2014 at 3:15 ama box like Hippo

    I stopped watching the OP and previews for that reason, they give too much away, not unlike trailers to movies.

    I was a touch confused about how they beat Clammy, but it all makes sense from your review, thanks for clearing that up!

    overall, good episode and setup for the rest of the season.

    • May 1, 2014 at 12:11 pmStilts

      No problemo. Glad I could help!

  • May 1, 2014 at 3:27 amEcho

    this reminds me of hmmmmm………let me remember ………..oh yeah games decide evrything :D
    (Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo)
    so nice lol
    anyways clammy crying was soooo cute cant get her out of my mind
    so kawaiii <3

    • May 1, 2014 at 3:45 amPtolemaios00

      Sure the setting of a game world is similar, but Mondaiji is more of a power battle fest with some riddles while these games are more strategy, tricks and schemes.

      It’s like comparing Death Note and Bleach; they both got shinigami right? lol

      • May 2, 2014 at 10:42 amTheWalker

        I wouldn’t put it so far apart as Bleach and Death Note though. Not even the shinigami theme is really the same. For Bleach, it became more like a title after the first arc. You could substitute it for “Ninja” or “Spirit Warrior” or whatever, and the show would still make sense for the most part. Mondaiji did have a collection of incredibly strong and willful individuals that played games which won back territory and pride for an oppressed group from ostensibly more powerful individuals. Mondaiji is as brawn as NGNL is mind games as of right now. Personally I really enjoyed Mondaiji, so I don’t have an issue with both shows sharing themes. It doesn’t detract from the fact that NGNL is currently my number 1 favorite show this season.

      • May 2, 2014 at 11:17 amTheWalker

        Took me forever to find (I think) a more accurate comparison as far as anime is concerned. It’s like Sukitte Ii Nayo and Tonari no Kaibutsu. Both have similar themes, but there are differences in tone and approach. Anyone else have dueling theme shows?

  • May 1, 2014 at 4:56 amZen

    Is it a bit bullshit? Yes, but I’d get used to that. I don’t mind though, because it was also a lot of fun!

    Total bull indeed, but takes little to nothing away from the overall general enjoyability of the show because bull suits the acid-trip fun atmosphere so well. It would be jarring and wouldn’t fly if No Game were a serious show ala Death Note (But thankfully it’s nothing of the sort). In fact there is a plausible argument that excessive scheming finesse might actually detract from the overall general enjoyability of the show by making things seem too serious and clashing with its dominant lighthearted atmosphere. Looking forward to seeing what craziness lies ahead with 16 races and their unique magical abilities…

  • May 1, 2014 at 5:17 amselpheed

    I loved it when he solved the problems of the kingdom with the experience of playing civilization … We should force our politicians to play? The world would be a better place? lol ..

  • May 1, 2014 at 5:19 amewok40k

  • May 1, 2014 at 5:21 amLastTywinFan

    As a Troper, I love the ‘reason you suck’ speech although it was a ‘reason We suck’, but an amazing speech in equal rights.

  • May 1, 2014 at 5:45 amPrimeHector

  • May 1, 2014 at 6:16 amleatherhead333

    Just love those Phoenix Wright references. They even played the remix of the theme again!

    Dora seems like the kind of character who follows the outrageously smart heroes and is basically there so their strategies and tactics are properly explained to the audience. Sherlock Holmes and Watson relationship to a T. Perfectly fine with that considering that I have no idea what goes through their heads at just about any given time lol.

    I feel like Sora is overshadowing Shiro a little bit at the moment though. Afterall Sora was the one who handled the chess match the majority of the time while Shiro just comforted him. He also gave that speech by himself as well while once again Shiro simply calmed him down before hand. Hence why I felt I saw him shine much brighter than usual here. I guess he’s the spokesperson for the two of them which is fine but I’d like to see a game where Shiro is the one who helps win it all more that Sora at some point.

    • May 1, 2014 at 12:55 pmStilts

      I agree that Sora is standing out more than Shiro, but it makes sense so far. After all, combating crazy illogical schemes is his thing (while Shiro is the logic master), and he’s also the older of the two, so it makes sense why he would do most of the talking in the speech.

      I do hope that we get a more Shiro-focused game soon, though. Most of her skillz are still assumed rather than seen, and I’d like that to change.

  • May 1, 2014 at 8:36 amDude

    One is the brains and the other the face of the operation.

  • May 1, 2014 at 10:33 amDuzz

    All HAIL IMANITY! I see he going to battle the angels by offering Ipad knowledge then whooping that ass! I’m sorry, Cherry Pad that is not an apple product!

    I love how he pretty much say “We’re taking back our lands and you can’t stop us!”

    Immanity, Fuck yeah.

  • May 1, 2014 at 2:10 pmRasen

    I am LOVING this show, but I have my complaints. Mainly that there are a fair amount of in-jokes that would detract from the viewing experience if you don’t get it. (Jojo, Civ, Gyakuten Saiban)

    The way this episode ended, it almost felt like it could have been a mini-series all on its own, to attract new people to anime. But then I think about the in-jokes and the reaction “what the heck was that, and why are you laughing” and I realize I probably should look elsewhere for something a bit more self-contained.

  • May 1, 2014 at 5:30 pmSynic

  • May 1, 2014 at 5:51 pmmac65

    Reminds me of Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo, which was very fun to watch.

    Hopefully, we’ll get some good actions with the other peoples of this realm.

    @Stilts – a fantastic write-up — thank you for covering!

  • May 1, 2014 at 6:13 pmrx0fa

    For some reason, I still don’t like the main two characters, especially Sora. I feel that this is due to the first two eps, where they came off as a bit smarmy and perhaps asshole-ish. I dunno, does anyone else feel this way? I…really want to like them, but something just holds me back.

    As a whole though, this episode went a long way in making me understand them more. I felt this ep and the last had many moments that better defined the characters, and also better defined the world. Plus, GO HUMANITY! Looking forward to where this series leads.

  • May 1, 2014 at 6:44 pmHanabira.Kage

    Actually, the impression I got was that Sora declared war on the world because no one will make any rash moves till they can be sure who’s backing Imanity. If the enemy’s sitting back, watching and making calculated moves, that’ll be a huge pain in the butt for Kuuhaku. So he declared war to goad others into attacking rashly, so that their judgement would be somewhat impaired.

  • May 1, 2014 at 7:38 pmHochmeister

    Civ reference?! That’s ATOS material right there!

    I didn’t like the speech however, the “we’re weak, which makes us wise, which will make us win!” didn’t really make sense and it essentially boiled down to “Humanity! F*ck Yeah!” But then, I’m pretty much predisposed to take any political speech with a giant grain of salt.

    Oh God! Sora and Shiro are politicians now! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  • May 1, 2014 at 11:22 pmlegwkio

    I watch this show for the Steph costumes.

  • May 1, 2014 at 11:24 pmaeria

    This is turning to be the best shounen anime of this season *throws confetti*

  • May 13, 2014 at 12:42 pmDiabeticPanda

    I think I should also note the Monster Hunter reference to traps and efficiency on their PSP.