「一手《インタレスティング》」 (Itte “Intaresutingu”)
It feels increasingly rare to find a show that starts strong, and then continues strong. No Game No Life’s latest episode proves that it’s not doing that – it’s getting better.
The Busty, Fanatical, & Erotic Empty-Headed Academic
It took no time at all for me to love Jibril (Tamura Yukari) unconditionally. It would be easy to gush about how she’s sexy, scary, silly, and sexy again, but I think there’s a more unifying reason why she’s such a fun character, and that’s dichotomy. As a god-slaying angel of death, we naturally expect her to be this fearsome creature, but she’s not that at all…and then again, she’s that as well. That difference between our expectations and Jibril’s reality makes her interesting, just as it does with Sora & Shiro and Steph and nearly every major character so far. Hell, take Clammy – she was never so interesting as when she broke down crying, because that was at odds with the ambitious woman she was before. Dichotomy means unexpected depth, and Jibril (and the others) have that.
The Ultimate in All Ages Fanservice!
Outside of the tactical reasons, I was laughing my ass off when Sora was making himself a fanservice paradise. I have seen many anime where they didn’t show the naughty bits, but I’ve never seen one where they justified it ahead of time! Get rid of the nether regions, the nipples – take a quick detour into Marilyn Monroe-mode Steph – and then right over into All Ages Nudity! And he even left Shiro’s knee socks! I agree with Shiro – omega good job!
One of the most interesting themes in this show is the idea of power versus wisdom. Here we got another facet of that, with the showdown between the god-slaying Flugel and two “mere” humans. A game of Shiratori against a nigh-invincible god-slaying angel of death who knows 700 languages should have been impossible, but it’s in the Flugel’s record of winning, winning, and more winning that Sora & Shiro got their chance. Whether it be powerful corporations, political dynasties, ascendant nations, or even we humans of Earth ourselves, the powerful tend to think that their power is enough to let them triumph, forever.
But what of the ant? They have as much biomass as us humans, and they’re liable to weather an atomic winter better than we would. Or let’s go even further and talk about the tiny tardigrade. (Yes, I’ve been watching Cosmos.) They can survive in nearly any environment on Earth, and even up into the vacuum of space. Whose to say they’re weak, even if they cannot do differential equations or build skyscrapers? It is our arrogance that makes us believe we’re more powerful than them, when in reality we could be wiped off this planet while these critters would keep marching on. They were both here long before we arrived, after all.
Curiosity, Respect, & Fear
“If you think long life and toughness gives you power, you’re the stupid one here.”
Jibril winced at that. She has a great deal of pride, and that led to her downfall. Jibril was wise to be curious about the unknowns that are Sora & Shiro, not to least the 40,000 books they offered. Where she failed was in not respecting and even fearing them. When the powerful become complacent, they believe they can do anything – and that’s when someone comes from out of nowhere (though usually they’ve been quietly powering up for a while now) and takes them down. Take that to heart, my friends – even if you’re powerful, stay hungry and embrace that fear. Otherwise we’re doomed.
Checkers & Chess
I said last episode that the others races were playing chess while Imanity was playing checkers, pre-Sora & Shiro. This time, the tables were turned. Starting out with the hydrogen bomb (they friggin’ nuked themselves, DAMN!), Sora & Shiro lulled Jibril into a false sense of security with their silly choices, all while they were tearing the ground out from under her. Literally. This is where Jibril’s arrogance showed. They took away the mantle (she doesn’t know what that is), the crust (that neither), and finally the Lithosphere, and suddenly they were in free fall towards the core. All because Jibril thought she could handle anything they threw at her.
But what I loved is that they kept going, and kept using real science to beat Jibril. They used circular breathing to survive without oxygen (bonus points: working in a non-incestuous incestuous kiss. They really can do the impossible!), and then they expelled all the air from their bodies prior to getting rid of the atmosphere so it wouldn’t burst out of them like an alien. This is all beyond insane – even doing that will only give a human maybe 10 seconds of consciousness in space? But when you’re trying to kill a god-slaying death angel, you have to go that far.
Perhaps the single greatest thing about Sora & Shiro is that it’s so easy to see them losing. It’s hard for us humans to imagine a million to one chance, which is why we joke that they crop up nine times out of ten (trope!). They had plenty of chances to win, had Jibril been weaker than she was, but when she drew her next answer in light, I thought they were screwed. But they gambled it all on her pride, and that she would take the bait and throw their insult from earlier right back at them – and she did. That’s when they whipped out Coulomb’s Force and create a godsdamned hypernova to kill Jibril. That’s insane, beyond insane–but it worked. They gambled it all on a vanishing chance and came out on top. Just how easy it would have been for them to miss and die makes it all the better.
Looking Ahead – Pet Flugel
Sora & Shiro won! Now they have all the knowledge in the world (well, a lot more than they had, at least), as well as Jibril unequivocally on their side. And Sora is going to let Jibril read his 40,000 books after all, d’awww! I have no idea what’s next, but I expect (after a few hijinks) they’ll move onto whatever race they want to battle next, armed with the knowledge to come out on top. With a gamble or two, that is…
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – When it comes to Materialization Shiritori, Sora & Shiro are playing chess while Jibril plays checkers. Wisdom beats power #nogenora 06
- I think Sora just made a god-slaying angel cu–very happy indeed.
- Steph is so cute when she’s pouting about dying, nyahaha~!
- And while Jibril is pledging herself to her new masters, Steph is still off to the side begging. Poor Steph!