「国王《グランド・マスター》」 (Kokuou “Gurando Masutaa”)
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!
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
- On the strength-in-weakness thing, I also like how Sora echoed the words of Steph’s grandfather with his winning without fighting. That’s another flag for the Steph route!
- Sora vs Shiro: 117,080 wins, 117,080 losses, & 118,654 ties lifetime. Holy hell, no wonder they’re so good!
- Steph with nothing underneath!? Way to go, Shiro!
- You will never have a Shiro lap-loli. Despair!
- Sora is nervous Weaker than anyone indeed!
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.