「解離法《スカイ・ウォーク》」 (Kairi-hou “Sukai uouku”)
“Sky Walk”

I was so scared. A life rendered colorless, without meaning, without worth–and then suddenly, it returns. Because they believed. Because they understood. Because they trusted each other more than anyone in the entire world. And Kuuhaku–!

A Life Colorless

Like Madoka Magica using its SHAFT-y art to show the otherworldly air of the witch’s lairs, anime is at its best when it does things that can’t adequately be shown on the page. When the screen washed out, it hearkened back to Shiro & Sora’s lives before they met each other, and their eyes first filled with light upon that fated meeting. The world was bleached of color without Sora in Shiro’s life, and that hit like a ton of breaks right to the feels.

One of the (many) ways a story can transcend into the realm of art – and I’m referring to art like some people refer to “literature”, only not quite so pretentious – is by seeking to do more than just entertain. I have no problem with stories that only seek to entertain – that’s a worthy goal, and one I espouse myself. But Shiro’s despair and loneliness made me profoundly uncomfortable. It felt like something had been ripped away. Part of me wishes it would have lasted longer, so I could have dove into that feeling further and experienced further what it was like to trust someone that much…while the rest of me is glad it ended, for the sake of Shiro and the pain I didn’t want her to undergo. And she almost gave up, to the well-intentioned Steph and Jibril who were coming to the most logical conclusion. But no. Kuuhaku does not lose!

Holes in the World

I appreciated how Shiro began to pick out holes in the plot. Sora was cut out with a broadsword, without the holes being filled in properly, so there were clues to be found once she got over her despair. They apparently lost an entire day. It was said that Shiro told Steph to fall in love with her, but Steph had no feelings when Shiro rubbed her breasts. (Other than confusion. Why so cold, Dora-chan?) Many of us were waiting for Shiro to take the lead and strut her stuff more, for she’s been the silent partner of Kuuhaku for most of the series. Here, we got it. She’s a true protagonist. She’s just a little more quiet than her older brother is all.

Wagering Everything. Everything

Sora & Shiro have risked their lives, their freedom, and the entirety of Imanity so far, but this was the most frightening wager so far. Not because it was the most dangerous, but because the cost of losing is so profoundly unsettling. If Sora lost, Clammy could have erased him from existence. He already was erased for a while. Death sucks, no two ways about that, but to disappear without any of the friends and family who knew you remembering you is a hellish scenario. Even when we die in reality, our lives echo throughout the world by the works we did and the effects we had on others. To have all that snuffed out in a game of Existence Othello is a thing of horror. Once again, profoundly unsettling…which just made it all the better when they won.

Trust Beyond Anything

From their world filling with light only when the other is around to Shiro being able to understand exactly what Sora would do once she figured out the truth of the game, the trust between Shiro and Sora is unfathomable. It’s untouchable, a love more pure than any I’ve ever seen, not because it’s innocent, but because it’s deep and uncut. Here are the three finals pieces that Sora left, even after he himself had disappeared, in Shiro’s words:

Three: the way to win the game.
Two: your absolute trust in me.
One: Everything I am.

He gave up everything, his body and his memories and the memory of his life in everyone but Shiro, in order to give Shiro the tools to win. It hurt to see Shiro struggle so much, and to hear Sora’s voice when he was at his wit’s end, battling to stay sane long enough for Shiro to rescue him, but the greater the pain, the greater the glory. Bam! Kuuhaku always wins. Always!

Clammy & Feel Join the Party

Sora and Shiro aren’t conquers, not exactly. Like Iskander, who could crush a people without diminishing their human spirit and end up beloved for it, Kuuhaku never takes the route of coercion, slavery, or death. Okay, perhaps coercion, but they do it with such style its hard to hate them. They could have left Clammy brain dead, but they didn’t. Instead they gave her back her memories and existence in exchange for Sora keeping a copy of her memories, and she keeping a copy of his.

Remember what I said about trust beyond anything? That’s a shortcut to it, I’ll give them that. Clammy had so much pride, so to get past that and bring her to their side, they had to do something crazy. Once you’ve learned everything about someone, can access all their memories like they’re your own…yeah, that would inspire a little trust. I don’t think Sora and Clammy could trust each other any more than they do now…unless they were Sora & Shiro. They don’t need magic to trust like that. They’re in a class of their own.

“I was so scared!

Vulnerability. After all they’ve managed to do, Sora & Shiro ought to be indestructible, unflinching, unshakable. They’re not. Vulnerability from hyper-competent is a hard trick to pull off, and I’m glad the chance wasn’t squandered. I didn’t think we were actually going to get an incestuous kiss, but then they were angling for the yuri kiss and I was like wait, whaaaaaaa–nope! Haha, I love it! I’m glad they took the chance to show that, as bulletproof as Sora & Shiro seem, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t effect them. Even if they were sure, absolutely sure that they were going to win, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t scary. I like them even more.

Looking Ahead – Onward to the Eastern Federation!

Kuuhaku’s second demand was the right to rewrite Feel’s memories, but not out of malicious intent, but so she could spy for them. I wonder if that’s for the game against the Eastern Federation, or whether they’re already planning ahead to Elven Garde? Sora did mention obtaining the final piece to beat the Eastern Federation, and I assumed that was Feel, but it could easily still be Feel without needing to manipulate her memories to win. Either way, it looks like we’ll have a little downtime next week, though I wouldn’t count on it being devoid of plot progression. No Game No Life never is.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A world without color. As despair sets in, Shiro turns the table, wins the game, & proves the depth of Kuuhaku’s bond #nogenora 09

Random thoughts:

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Goals & expectations, Private accountability, The root of procrastination, and Ashamed.

Full-length images: 07, 50.

 

Preview

189 Comments

  1. Good God, those feels when I saw the normal ending again. Glad we see the gaming siblings back in action.

    Gotta say, Sora took one hella of a chance by doing THAT. If Shiro hadn’t figured out his plan… one heck of a Batman Gambit (trope! -gonna steal that from you, Stilts!) it was!

    Liked the smiling Kurami after she woke up. Hopefully she can change how she has been acting.

    Phantom
    1. Well to Sora it wasn´t a gambit at all, remember that the sibiling don´t belive in luck when they play games, he had absolute certainty that Shiro would win the game at the game. That it was risky and really painful for both? Hell yeah! I don´t think anyone other than could have bet something so precious for the sake of his bigger plan.

      haseo0408
  2. Are there people who would like to see Clammy to Feel no Nichijou spin-off? Directed by a certain (adults only) existence and based on the memories that Sora’s just acquired? Of course, no forest bumpkins will he harmed. Probably.

    Anyway, it seems that like this episode was full of feels, the next one will be full of Feel.

    Conrad
      1. Jibril. A new coming of Lina Inverse. Now featuring major bust improvements. Coming to a store near you in… Ah, pardon me, there appears to no longer be a single sto…Eh? Hello?!

        Conrad
  3. That was a great episode, loved how they used color (or lack thereof) to indicate just how much Sora means to Shiro. Truly a deep bond they have.

    BTW Stilts, check the piece numbers, you have three listed twice.

    SK
      1. Quick question, I know there’s a light novel out there and I don’t read it. But anyone know will there be enough material for another season 2? How many chapters/books has this anime covered in the light novel?

      2. The anime is covering volumes 1 to 3. There are 6 novels out currently, by the time there is a second season there should be at least another two volumes, but yeah there’s enough material already for a second season.

        Xacual
    1. The big question is, how is this selling on BD/DVD? And is it leading to a bump in LN sales? I’d like to think it is because it’s SO DAMN GOOD, but lots of really good shows don’t because life isn’t fair. It really isn’t :*(

      Stilts
      1. It’s supposedly less popular over in Japan than here, but based upon current sales data for both BDs and books it’s quite likely we will be getting a second season. Only question is when we will see that, not sure if there is enough material not currently adapted to fill another cour.

        Pancakes
      2. T-That’s one hell of a LN jump. Maybe we’ll get a second season after all…or maybe they’ve already gotten the jump in LN sales they were going to get, and they’ll stop here 🙁

        Stilts
      3. BD/DVD is predicted to sell at 5k for volume 1. It was predicted at about 3k before but got a bump from episode 7.
        As for LN, all 6 volumes have been selling about 8-10k copies per week since the anime started and hasn’t dropped from the Oricon rankings yet. Only show I remember that has done this before was SAO.

        belatkuro
      4. @YX: Big part of the reason for lack of Horizon S3 is the length of its arcs (the next one would be 3 novels), which makes it really hard to adapt.
        My point is that using Horizon as baseline for pretty much anything won’t be realistic.

        Hopefully the novel sales boost enough incentive for S2.

        Anonymosity
      5. Don´t worry about the original material, with corrent pacing this season keep up until now there´s already enough material for season 2. The latest volume, number 6, has been selling amazingly well but it´s flashback volume about the Eternal War so it´s probably safe to say thatvolume 7 has to come out before we hear anything about season 2.

        haseo0408
  4. Excellent, excellent!!

    But, incestuous kiss??

    I’m pretty sure the episode made it clear there’s no blood there,
    so it’s all good when she grows a bit — just sayin’…

    Glad you’re covering, Stilts! Thanks again!

    mac65
  5. They left out another discussion about the Oaths and what they can do, which I expected but still sad to see go.

    Basically what was left out was that the wagers can’t accomplish the impossible. Like they try turning Steph into Sora. She acts like how she thinks he is but really was just an act, she didn’t become him.

    Anyway I thought the episode was weak compared to the novel, some details sort of side stepped to save time and left out a somewhat important conversation bit that I hope will be in next week.

    Xacual
  6. Sora really like to die a lot huh, this is like the second time he dies, lol

    and his harem is almost complete now that the elf has joined the party,

    that underboob tho, yum!

    lol
  7. I’m wondering, does clammy now also have all sora’s knowledge?
    if so she will become pretty dangerous if she would ever betray them or make her own “faction” to join the challenge for true god.

    Aapjuh
    1. She may have the knowledge of his memories … that doesnt mean she got his instincts, his cunning.. or the [crazy] way he thinks/schemes

      This means that while she has an INTIMATE knowledge of his experiences (including his life before Disboard and his dealing with Tet) she would find difficult to actually use a great part of those memories to profit… or to tray to double cross them .. since the things she learned are things he ALREADY knows.

      Remember they were betting part of their existence… BUT after Sora(Shiro) won the game the ONLY part he traded were his memories (he should also have HER memories tho … interesting they havent pointed that out…yet).

      inanis
      1. Oh they got every memory from each other alright.
        Even stuff they wouldn’t normally tell other people.
        Now imagine, what would an 18-year old guy normally keep secret?
        And also, what would a girl keep secret?

        Next week’s gonna be a comedic one judging from the preview.
        Clammy: …..faster than a Salamander.
        Sora: SHUT UPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        *I have read the LNs, so I roughly have an idea what’s being touched upon there. :p

        Techim
    2. Knowledge does not equal wisdom.

      Clammy is still not as daring as Sora to bet on his crazy schemes. She may be able to imitate or copy his past strategies, but a cardinal rule of manga/anime is that the same attack will never work twice.

      Also, most importantly you must remember: BLANK is not only Sora, and BLANK NEVER LOSES

      1. Having a large library doesn’t equate being able to find necessary information even if it’s written in one of the books. Well, at least as long as there’s a time limit. Compiling material from several books is a step higher, and we even haven’t started talking about something original, much less daring. So, yeah, it might look like a big deal at first, but it would probably take years for Clammy to make sense of all that knowledge that she’s gained. And that’s provided she has the ability and puts in effort.

        Conrad
    3. Also it wasn’t shown in the anime, but in the LN Clammy was quite freaked out by Sora’s memories. To the point wherein it hurts her head whenever she recalls stuff from Sora’s memories. I seemed to recall her saying along the lines

      “How can you stay sane after all you’ve been through!?” 😕 (wished they added that in the anime)

      Devastator001
  8. LOL help me guys how did she win that game she didnt even know what if she was black or white she just flipped 3 pieces? 1 BAM 2 BAM 3 BAM i dont get it D: how did she know what to do??? and how to play when she cant see the game board??

    GoodStuffs
    1. Shiro means white. There’s no question what color Sora picked.
      And she knows Sora the most so she knows how Sora would win this. Plus there was an additional rule that a player can’t pass a turn. That’s why Shiro was able to place all 3 pieces consecutively. Chlammy(spelling from official website, don’t bother them.) was focused on eliminating Sora’s existence. One can’t play when one doesn’t exist. She was also way ahead on chip count(Sora was deliberately losing as noted) so she was sure she would win.
      Chlammy still noted that the game was set up too perfectly that there was sure to be a gist in it. But as noted by Shiro, even if one were to see the trap of the rules and the content of the remaining pieces, there was no way to counter it.
      Like Sora said, they always win before the game starts.

      belatkuro
    1. That scene made me realize: the usual color scheme made the first part even more effective.
      A series with darker colors wouldn’t have been as emotional involving when done without color.

      Anonymosity
  9. Damn I was really hoping for the pseudo-incest/ yuri kiss, I mean of course it wasn’t gonna happen but I can still dream dammit! Lol no but seriously this was an amazing episode and a truly wonderful series.

  10. … love Jibril <3 !

    i was really touched at the meaning of the pieces Sora left behind.

    oh man that "kiss" scene … i was like "omg they gonna do it??!" and then : "lawl!"

    PS1: mebe im placing too much importance in Sora's words… but he said to Fil: "im taking the right to modify your memories" … the wording he used was odd to me … he never said he was gonna modify her memories… but he was "taking the right" to do so … does that mean that Sora is the only one allowed to modify Fil's memories? wonder if is intended that way or a translation nuisance … mebe is gonna be relevant in the future.

    PS2: man that Jibril! she can go from axe-crazy to insightful soooo fast… gotta love her! … and someone hide the elven cities (lol just how imanity survived with the Flügel running arround: they can obliterate cities in "one blast" ? )

    soo if one were to compare elf and Flügel… elves are like scalpels (fine control) while Flügel are like claymores (high power)!

    inanis
    1. haha imanity are like pests in flugal minds not even worth the trouble they have bigger fish to fry! its like trying to wipeout roaches … you wouldn’t bother

      GoodStuffs
    2. If Sora had just said he was “going to modify your memories” (to Fi) this would hold a very different implication compared to “the right to modify your memories”. As Sora has “the right to modify” Fi’s memories, this means he can do it as much as he wants and whenever he wants. A clever thing to say as just “going to modify” implies he can only do it once.

      Zinc
  11. …Ye gods, Sora. I realize you needed to get her to believe you, but you couldn’t have found a lower-stakes way to share your memories with her? You had to make the game that risky? I don’t think Shiro, Feel, or Clammy/Kurami deserved to go through that (you, of course, put yourself through it, so any trauma you suffered is your own bloody fault 😛 ).

    Really, why gamble with such high stakes if you don’t need to? There must have been a less horrifying way to handle this.

    Wanderer
    1. Jibril did warn him after the game ended to stop this kind of games in the future. He refused and said that this much risk is needed for the future opponents.

      belatkuro
    2. Because if they played a simple game to swap memories then Clammy may not have agreed, since it could have been a trick. Since he went to these lengths though, she decided to trust that the memories she got from him weren’t fake.

      Stilts
  12. Not trying to be a hipster here but, this ep was especially weak for me comparing to the whole. Quite a good amount of details that i feel mattered was cut. The pacing was rather awkward too. What a pity since i was looking for this being animated ever since reading the LN. Characters were fleshed out more in the LN.

    otaku998
      1. Baka-Tsuki is a paradise where the most awesome Japanese LN’s gather. They are translated by fans, for everyone to read. Of course when a series is licensed, they do remove it because it would be illegal otherwise.

        My only problem with that is a certain company who licenses entire series (manga and LN), translates only the first few, then laughs as the rest of the world suffers.

        There are also other sites that translate awesome LN’s, just not Japanese ones:
        japtem – Translates Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, Kill No More, Ark, Unique Legend, Id
        princerevolution – Translates Yu Wo’s LN’s.
        royalroadl – Translates Legendary Moonlight Sculptor

        Yeah, so those are the sites I frequent. Hopefully you guys discover new series (from other countries as well as Japan) to enjoy!

        ReverseTales
    1. I haven’t read the novels, but the episode was emotionally and logically consistent, so whatever they left out didn’t stick out.
      And if they tried to show the diversity of the games, they’ve succeeded as well. The stakes were high in the game with Jibril as well, but it was fun and lighthearted all the way. In this game the emotions were completely different, to the point that I wouldn’t call it entertaining even though it was interesting. In addition to seeing more of this show’s colors (literally as well), we were delivered some background information and saw the storyline advance. Heck, they even included some fanservice to top it off. I’d say that was good enough.

      Conrad
      1. Perhaps i did set the bar too high and was harsh with my judgement, then again it was just something i felt personally. It’s all good if people enjoy the ep still and the series as a whole since i do want it to go well and get a second season. I have been enjoying the series thus far, this ep was the only thing that bugged me.

        otaku998
      2. @otaku998
        It looked like this was a difficult episode to make, so it was good to see that they managed. May be it could have been done better, but it didn’t feel like they were wasting any time, tension wasn’t any lower than before, they had my attention and were actively using unique features of the medium. May be they could have benefited from another 5-10 minutes, but, if so, not dragging it for two episodes was the better choice.

        Conrad
    2. Adaptation is always a tricky business. Other than the rare story that seems tailor made for another medium, there are always times where you have to rush a little bit, cut out a little bit, stretch a little bit and the like. To me, the biggest barometer is A) they got across the intended message and feeling and/or 2) they added something to the conversation. As long as they got across the essence (and maybe showed us a different facet, though that’s not always necessary), it’s a victory in my book.

      So basically, this, not what Mahouka is doing.

      Stilts
      1. Ah, did you really have to bring it up? I’m already getting more displeased with Mahouka on Wednesdays than on Saturdays, but you really have to rub in it, you…
        And to think it will continue when this show is over…

        Conrad
      2. This so much. As much as I understand the LN readers’ displeasure with great scenes being cut, from anime-watchers point of view it gets tiring at some point if the adaptation isn’t actually bad.
        NGNL hasn’t gotten to that point though. Better example would be Chaika which is apparently cutting a lot of material and moving at crazy pace (and getting hate for it from fans). Mahouka is the best current example I can think of being pretty bad and cutting a lot. (Obligatory Horizon mention about good adaptations here)

        @Conrad: Don’t worry, you get to enjoy the masterpiece known as SAO alongside the latter half of Mahouka 8D

        Anonymosity
      3. Chaika occupies the middle ground in terms of adaptations this season, it is moving at a fast pace and yet provides a consistent story (if not groundbreaking) with sufficient progression in both character development and plot (as given by this week’s episode). The nitpicking surrounding it is superfluous and superficial IMO. NGNL however is taking the impressionist approach it seems by focusing upon the atmosphere and emotional impact. As mentioned last week NGNL definitely seems like a child of love as it is driven by the characters and their interactions, something which has not grown stale and if anything has become even more intriguing as it moves forward (likely due to the involvement of the writer).

        Little more needs to be said about Mahouka, it’s doing little more than going through the motions and not giving the audience much else beyond what’s listed on the box (even then not hesitating to ignore some of that info). At least Chaika has suspense and character development, Mahouka currently couldn’t tell you what those things are or even if they exist.

        Pancakes
      4. The difference is, even when Chaika (or Black Bullet) cut material, it either A) mostly doesn’t impact the story or B) still manages to string together an interesting (if somewhat different) story with what it’s showing. Mahouka does not. No Game No Life takes it a step further by focusing on different aspects, cutting less (but still some!), and telling a story that seems to supplement and enhance the LNs as much as straight adapt them, though it does that as well.

        At least, that’s the feeling I get. Of the four adaptations I mentioned, I only mark one as a failed adaptation so far. The others are all fun.

        Stilts
  13. Beautiful episode as a whole. I get that novel purists might have issues (I’ve been there), but anime-only viewing I have no issue. They kept the focus on Shiro where it should be in this situation.

    It wasn’t as amazing as the last one only because it’s hard to compete with that cliffhanger ending. It was still really good though. Seeing Shiro struggle with Sora gone, struggling with the fading memories and wondering if he really existed, etc. The whole colourless world turning into colour when Shiro refused to lose was great. Props to Steph for being the first one to agree to believe because she’s a much more emotional thinker.

    It was a crazy gamble for Sora, but the payoff was huge. Kurami now trusts them completely and they’ve got Fii to use later. Probably they can use her as a threat to the Eastern Federation.

    I liked seeing Shiro’s point of view on her first meeting with Sora. He really did change things from her. From a world of games that lacked fun to someone she could stick with who could bring colour to her world. Nice to see those two back together by the end.

  14. I’m a bit confused about why they had to do all this just to get the Elf’s cooperation. Why didn’t Shiro know anything about this game? If this is a two-player game, why did Sora leave Shiro out on knowing about the game? Or was it because Shiro forgot her memories of the game?

    Blablabla
    1. Shiro originally knew, as did everyone else. However, the bet was Sora’s existance. Even Shiro (who is a player) would not be exempt from that.

      She forgot everything to do with Sora, and by extension, the game.

      ReverseTales
    1. I demand the sequel contains Kuuhaku’s conquest of all 13 other Exceed races. I haven’t read the novels, so I do not if the story actually delves into the other conquests, but I can hope they do. As of this episode, they’ve conquered three Exceed (Imanity, Elves, and Flugel).

      1. I’ll just leave this translated line from the end of LN 5

        Show Spoiler ▼

        mechbear
      2. Re: Flugel

        Technically no, they haven’t crossed the bridge of conquering all the flugel officially, however it won’t be long. Given Jibril is a major influence, and their overall lust for accessing knowledge, they’d want to be on Sora & Shiro’s side if for no other reason than getting what Jibril is personally having freely.

        Drasca
  15. Just a bit of speculating, but could Feel be a half-elf? Sure, it could simply be that Clammy simply beat her in a game once and they became friends after that, but is it possible that she could have other reasons for helping her?

    Lucarion
    1. They’re madly in love with each other, obviously. That’s why.

      Or at least that’s what my yuri-goggles say, and the show hasn’t shown me anything to prove me wrong yet!

      Dvalinn
    2. Its not mentioned in the anime it seems, but Show Spoiler ▼

      I love how relationships are expressed in NGNL!

      Stilts edit: Getting ahead of yourself indeed. Spoiler tags added.

      Faolon
      1. Oops, sorry. My enthousiasm took over and it has been a while that i read the LN.

        I don’t seem to be able to edit my own post to add spoiler tags. Well, it’s not that big of a spoiler, I hope.

        Faolon
  16. I’ve been randomly thinking that there’s no actual antagonist character, every one on NGNL is the protagonists. With a little bit change of POV, viewers actually have the rights to root for kuuhaku’s opponent since they also have quite legitimate reason to win against kuuhaku. If I had to name antagonist from the POV of disboard people, they would be kuuhaku instead (even imanity themself have casted doubt to kuuhaku due to their extreme acts). They suddenly appears out of nowhere, declaring war against everybody, curbstomps everybody, and disrupt power balance.

    I’ve had to say it’s refreshing that the characters didn’t became evil for the sake of being evil. And kuuhaku’s opponents is actually the one with sane mind here…

    cryarc
    1. It looks like in order to play a game with Tet, they will have to establish the relationship of mutual respect with all the races. Would be hard to do if the other fifteen leaders were antagonists in the usual anime sense.

      Conrad
      1. Yeah that’s clearly one of the reason, and I appreciate the author for these likeable characters. As far as it goes, there isn’t any douche characters yet.

        cryarc
    2. You’re confusing terms. There have been lots of antagonists so far. Tet, the robbers, that eyeshadow lady, Clammy and Feel (twice), the nobles, Steph (multiple times), Jibril, the Kemonomimi Empire, etc. Antagonists are merely those who are opposed to the protagonists, and seeing as Sora and Shiro are the protagonists, anyone who opposes them takes the antagonist role for that time.

      What you mean is that there are no villains. Tet could be said to be the ultimate antagonist, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone who is evil, at least so far. But there is opposition.

      You can make a story without villains, as this proves. Making it without antagonists (or an antagonistic force) is harder, because conflict is at the heart of most stories, and one without it is…well, slice-of-life. Which is fine, but it’s not what we have here.

      Stilts
      1. Aahh.. thanks for the correction>< I didn't even realize the difference between those terms until you point it out.. orz or maybe my english need some learning

        cryarc
      2. It’s way too often that in anime antagonist=villain, and a detestable one as well. You see colors onscreen, but when it comes to personalities, it’s not even grayscale. Exceptions not only confuse some people, you can see viewers disliking MC’s who aren’t single-minded heroes of justice.

        Conrad
  17. Wow this episode brought a tear to my eye. I like how we get a lot of backstory and Shiro focus on this episode. She definitely grows a lot more character wise.

    This was even more powerful to see than read. But yeah definitely reinforces why I like this adaptation a lot.

    Netto
  18. One question that’s been on my mind since episode 7 when Sora declared his belief and love for humanity or more specifically the potential within humanity, is: Why did Sora and Shiro – Sora specifically, choose to abandon their original world? Why did they not try to change humanity, and instead gave up and ran away?

    In that sense, whenever I see/hear “Kuuhaku never loses” it’s a lie. They lost at the ‘crappy’ game called ‘life’.

    Of course, I might be missing something and that’s also not to say that I don’t like this show – I love it and enjoy it plenty, but from what I can gather there might be a greater implication to what Sora’s doing and planning. I feel that there may be another reason why he came to this world. With the rules and win conditions clear for all to see, and with the knowledge of the world mechanics Sora has at his disposal, I just feel that Sora has planned everything out to when they defeat Tet (and perhaps up till their return to their own world). This is probably all for Shiro, to draw out her full potential and to let her grow, because in my eyes Sora is Shiro’s guardian first, partner second.

    NanoNano
    1. And that’s why NGNL is so thought provoking and deep beneath all the comedy: Here you have two social dropouts leading and representing humanity in the Disboard world. In a sense, they are changing the Disboard world through humanity.

      Also, recall that in episode 1, Kuuhaku declared that the reason life in the real world is “crappy game” is because they do not know the parameters or rules to “win.”

      1. Yep. Rather life doesn’t have parameters/rules etc. to “win”.

        Games have some system of reward. You do the “right” thing, i.e. Kill a monster, you get exp. You do the “wrong” thing, i.e. Kill important NPC, you get a bad ending/game over.
        And throughout the game, the system is constant. You can trust the game world to behave the same way no matter how many times you repeat that action.

        Life, on the other hand, screws you over. It doesn’t matter if its “right” or “wrong” (which isn’t clearly defined in the first place). It only matters if you deviate or conform to society (luck also matters).

        Case – Sora:
        He was really sensitive to people’s emotions, motives, etc. He told them what they wanted to hear, always wore a smile on his face, etc. Everyone loved him.
        He ended up living an empty life until he met Shiro.

        Case – Shiro:
        She was really smart. She did all the “right” things because of her extraordinarily high intelligence. She was separated from society and underwent constant testing.
        She ended up living an empty life until she met Sora.

        So yeah, a game has a defined structure that you can trust. Life, on the other hand, was made by some first-rate programmer who has literally no concept of game design, who sticks RNG onto everything, and makes it biased towards negative outcomes.

        It’s so damn complicated that you need to study every field ever to fully understand just the mechanics.

        No wonder they they left.

        ReverseTales
      2. Life is a crap game because not only are the “rules” all over the place–sometimes you get rewarded for doing the “wrong” thing, and punished for doing the “right” thing. Anything and everything can happen in life–and you can’t complain to any GMs or developers because that’s just how the “game” is and if you can’t handle it–“log out”. Any rules it does have come from and are enforced by other players with sometimes arbitrary and stupid reasons. The tutorial also sucks, the community is a mixed-bag, the skills take too long to learn, and the fun classes are only accessible after fulfilling several bullshit requirements.

        At least the graphics are nice. Mini-games are fun too, and the BGM is to die for provided you know which tracks to pick.

        Lucarion
    2. You have it backwards. They were always winning because of their talents and intelligence, which is why the world ostracizes them. They’re in a different level than the others and people sometimes don’t like things different from them.
      Take Shiro for example. You see how special she is in this episode and she paid for that when she’s seen crying in this part. Notice she’s wearing a school uniform.
      They’ve leveled up too fast and they were punished for it. That’s why they think it’s a crappy game.

      belatkuro
      1. I’d agree if only they hadn’t said that there were no defined winning and losing conditions in life. So when you say ‘winning’ what does that really entail, especially in the eyes of someone that exists beyond the level of ‘normal people’ such as Sora and Shiro?

        I really hope they eventually explore that aspect a bit more, why Sora and Shiro did not or could not continue in the game of life. They must have tried at some point and I’d really love to see that and I doubt it’s as simple as ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ too much.

        NanoNano
    3. In regards to them running away from their world…Being a shut in and having absolutely no power is probably the big reason for that. In this new world, what they do best, is how the world is governed which literally gives them unlimited power. So i don’t think it’s right to say that they were living in the real world and chose to do nothing. Rather, they accepted the fact they couldn’t do anything with their skill set.

      Yea, i can see how losing at the game called “life” makes sense. But they did decide together that “life” is a crappy game. So i think it’s better to say they just chose not to play. I think the early episodes explain it better. Probably a little short bit about it in ep 1.

      Synic
    4. There’s a big dig difference between the real world and Disboard when it comes to what a single individual can do and what kind of impact he/she can cause. Modern world doesn’t require outstanding people to operate, rather, they can be a nuisance. Note that Sora realized that and was fitting in just fine by keeping a facade. At least until something’s happened, which we’ll eventually see more of, or so it would seem.

      Conrad
      1. “Note that Sora realized that and was fitting in just fine by keeping a facade. At least until something’s happened, which we’ll eventually see more of, or so it would seem.”

        Yep, that’s exactly what I want to know as I’ve said in reply to belatkuro, what happened for them to give up on their original world. Hopefully we’ll see that.

        “There’s a big dig difference between the real world and Disboard when it comes to what a single individual can do and what kind of impact he/she can cause. Modern world doesn’t require outstanding people to operate, rather, they can be a nuisance.”

        Maybe because I’m hopeful, but I believe our world really needs those talented and noble people – we have too many ‘outstanding’ people who do nothing except wallow in wealth, and it is they who find those really special individuals a nuisance and they do everything within their power to make people below them think the same – it’s disgusting.

        And I also think you’re wrong about effect a single individual can have on the world – take a look at all the discoveries in science that made flight, electricity, medicine possible, sure they may have altogether taken a whole team of people but it all began with one person’s idea. And they challenged the world, so it makes me wonder why Sora and Shiro didn’t do the same and I want to see that.

        NanoNano
      2. If we are talking about the science in the current century, it’s not about individual breakthroughs. Rather, you have groups of people slowly advancing very narrow areas of knowledge they specialize in. There’s little romance in science nowadays, rather, it’s a work where you have to secure funds for specific projects and deliver required results on time. Thing is, it works, and it fits with how other professions operate, which reduces social tension as well. Everyone’s happy, save for those of geniuses who simply don’t fit. You know, people are generally happy about having smart and hard-working colleagues, not so much if they are too smart, though.

        Conrad
      3. I agree that it works in the sense that it keeps people from keeps most people happy and fed, but it doesn’t work in the sense that you don’t get advancements and developments at all because it’s all about delivering results in order to secure the funding for the next project. To be honest, the science research scene I know (biochemistry) is generally where one person designs and overlooks multiple research projects being performed by honours/phd students (where they copy everything from another research project except for one variable). There must be something wrong when we have spent so much time on cancer research yet there’s been no significant advancements ever since (relative to other fields).
        This issue extends beyond science, you can take a look at literature, music, games, all sorts of creations but because the barrier of entry is fairly low sometimes, you have individuals, sometimes facilitated by a team, challenging the status quo. They may fail many times but where they succeed, we get to experience some very interesting things because of it.

        Anyway, this is all besides the point (I don’t want to talk about how our current social structure sucks). I’m just curious as to the reason that forced Sora and Shiro into becoming social recluses. I don’t think it’s as simple as people not liking them because they are too smart even if being ‘too smart’ can arouse feelings of inferiority within others. If anything I think it’s more likely due to betrayal, but I may be wrong.

        NanoNano
      4. @Conrad
        Yep, it’s all about teamwork now. A genius is great, but the variety of things they can bring to the table is limited. Teams on the other hand, have the advantage of diversity in skills, mindsets and experiences.

        A genius is also hard to work with, which makes them unsuited for teamwork. It’s great how everyone now has something to contribute, and whether or not it’s useful just depends on TPO. But it’s also a bit sad how geniuses are becoming more and more limited/focused to their area of expertise.

        Gone are the days where one person can completely create something from scratch, because everything is now too complicated.

        ReverseTales
      5. @NanoNano

        It’s as ReverseTales says, the amount and complexity of human knowledge have increased so much that specialization and cooperation are necessary requirements. If you can’t do the teamwork, sorry. The main drawback is not even the issues of geniuses, but interdisciplinary research, where to a specialist from one area the people from another appear to be speaking in the bird language.

        I have nothing to do with medicine/biochemistry, but cancer appear to be an unfair example. I don’t know of a single model that describes the human body in its entirety with sufficient level of detail. That would be something of insane complexity, and clearly not a thing we can handle any time soon, geniuses or not. If you think of cancer as a glitch in the control system, then trying to fix it without understanding how the entire thing works is similar to trying to land a plane by trying pushing/pulling different buttons/levers when you don’t know a think about piloting. That, by the way, still has higher chances of success. Probably. Definitely higher chances than Steph beating Kuuhaku in a game.

        Another thing about the researches of the past is that they could afford to spend years to try and prove what was just their intuition. No one is going to fund you for that long if you produce no meaningful results now. Part of it has to do with the number of researchers: with the jump in the average education level and almost defeated gender/racial discrimination, the chances of a random kid born today to become a scientist differ by orders of magnitude compared to how it was a couple of centuries ago.

        Quality of research differs greatly, of course. If we’re talking about the research done as a mandatory part of obtaining a degree, it might be as you described. The research funded by grants from, say, NSF or private sector is different. Companies also have their own research divisions, and they do some amazing things. Look at Intel, we’re so used to them maintaining the Moore’s law that we consider the shift to a new node every two years a natural thing. What it takes to actually do that is just..wow.

        Finally, back to topic 🙂 It’s not hard to get the gist of what might have happened to the siblings, but in things like that it’s the details that matter, so I’d rather wait and see. Just remember that Shiro was a small kid surrounded by other small kids, and little children can be the most cruel thing out there. It’s easy to picture her getting treated as a monster, and you shouldn’t underestimate the psychological damage a child can take from that. In the show next door kids are pouring lead in their eyes because they don’t want to freak out their own parents, and I can actually see that happening.

        Conrad
  19. Man, my expectations keep getting higher with each episode of NGNL. I mean, not a single moment has been wasted in this series. I’m still not getting over the fact that Sora gambled his existence to get a now loyal ally knowing that his “gambling” isn’t really gambling at all since Sora figured Kuuhaku has already won the game before they even started playing, all the while developing Shiro’s character further… *mind blown*

    By the way, I haven’t played chess in year and I’m probably over thinking things, but upon closer inspection of the chess game between Shiro and Jibril, isn’t Shiro’s move illegal in chess? If I’m interpreting the pieces properly, Shiro’s knight definitely checkmated Jibril’s king, but she moved her knight while her own king was in check. This would mean, Jibril can capture Shiro’s king, which would result in Shiro’s loss. The rather unusual setup is that both players ended up in checkmate, which is something I have never seen before, but still shouldn’t Shiro technically lose first? Unless there’s a special double checkmate rule I do not know of, I would think at most the game would end in a draw. By the way, Google did not help me find the answer…Yeah, NGNL actually had me looking up chess rules…

    1. I do not have an answer. From what I can tell Shiro was in checkmate already. There are some rules that would say that Jibril’s check is invalid if she didn’t decalre it (we didn’t hear her do so for that movement of the queen, although Shiro kept slipping in and out of reality, so who knows), but those apparently aren’t considered official rules.

      Wanderer
    2. And you made me actually look at the chessboard. Yes, from the position there, Shiro’s already lost by the time she tried to move the knight. If you’re checkmated, it’s game over even if you can do the same on your following turn.

      Conrad
    3. The chessboard itself is pretty impossible. I don’t think there’s ever been a legit game where neither side loses more than one pawn, but manages to lose all rooks, a bishop and a knight with having kings in those weird positions.

      FlayvorOfEvil
  20. Okay, this episode peeved me a little with some minor annoyances.

    1) Jibril thinking somebody inserted fake memories into Shiro of there being a brother. What was the logic for that? Was her line of thinking really that shallow as to not consider the possibility that all of Imanity was affected instead of just Shiro? Then she’s way dumber than the highly intelligent species that she’s supposed to portray.

    2) Kuuhaku plans everything in advance, including Steph stumbling onto the game and revealing the pieces? She’s really a cute deus ex machina.

    3) How on earth could you place pieces on a board you cannot see? And you don’t see Feel making moves afterwards, so what, did Shiro’s turn cause Feel to skip turns two times? That’s BS!

    Overall, I felt this episode was a letdown compared to the previous ones that had a lot of brain juice running. Hoping the videogame challenge episode would be as awesome as the ones in Yuyu Hakusho and Jojo.

    Dangerism
    1. 1 – When you yourself, a flugel, is unaffected, coupled with the fact that all of I/humanity is unaffected except Shiro, the logical conclusion to make is that something must have been done to Shiro – one person – rather than all of I/humanity plus a flugel. It was not until the holes were pointed out by Shiro that it was clear that something was wrong with everyone but Shiro. Kind of reminds me Danganronpa 1. Show Spoiler ▼

      2 – Someone was bound to trip over sooner or later if they walked around the room. And I agree, even if Steph was a deus ex machina, she’s a darn cute one.

      3 – It isn’t out of the realm of possibility to piece together the location and orientation of the board from where and how Steph tripped over and the placement of the pieces. But yes, it’s a bit dodgy. As for the sequential moves (I had questions about this too), it’s part of the rules in Othello where if you cannot make a legit move you pass the turn. So Sora must have set it up in a way where Clammy could not play any more pieces while Shiro still could.

      NanoNano
    2. 1: Because it’s a lot more logical for one person’s memories to be wrong than several million humans’ and one Fleugal’s.

      2: Steph tripping over the things was just an accident, but once Shiro started looking for things in the room she was going to find the pieces eventually. She was already searching, Steph just sped it up.

      3: Placement of the unused pieces indicated position of the board, Shiro knows the exact dimensions of the board and could calculate the position of every piece on it. Clammy/Kurami made no counter-moves because there were no moves she could make: every move Shiro made provided no openings for black to flip any pieces over. As a result, their team had to pass on their turns and let Shiro go again. This is standard othello rules.

      Wanderer
    3. NanoNano & Wanderer have it right, so I’ll add one thing:

      I wouldn’t think too deeply about some of these things. Take #3…yes, it’s a bit bullshit that Shiro could do that, and that Sora would gamble his very existence on Shiro being able to do something so improbable, but these characters are doing ridiculously awesome things all the time. If they were normal like the rest of us, their story probably wouldn’t be worth telling. I think this story has deserved a little slack in situations like that, so I suggest you try to give it some so you can enjoy the show.

      Stilts
      1. In the LN, I’m pretty sure the room was filled with stuff. The area where the board ‘existed’ was clear, and so when Steph tried to walk over there, she tripped. And the reason why she ‘just happened’ to trip over it was because she’s a Steph (really).

        ReverseTales
  21. Synic
  22. Fron what Jibril said is safe to assume that hte fuguel have an incredible amount of magical energy and very nasty destructive spells (they were created to be the death of other gods after all) and the elfs in the other hand have a keen ability for complex spell casting. The flugel are the perferct representation of a soldier mage where the elfs are the scholar type of mage; from the looks of the preview and the little comments that Jibril let it slip about the forest bumpkins I say this is the main reason for an incredoble amount of hatred between the two magical oriented races.

    haseo0408
      1. One of each, funny thing, Shiro didn´t want Sora to rule alone because he will create a harem but now Sora has Steph, Jibril, Clammy and Feel on his side; wanna bet that by the end of the story the sibilings might get a girl for each race in her aliance, nothing wrong with that of curse, actuallu I´m looking foward to it. XD

        haseo0408
      2. The only one who is specifically attached to Sora is Steph. Sora & Shiro played the game against Jibril together, so they’re both her masters, and they also played the games (both of them) against Clammy and Feel together. You can call it a harem if you want, but the only one ever throwing out love flags is Steph so far.

        Stilts
  23. I kind of did not get the game itself in this episode, granted it sounded cool but i guess I don’t get how there was three peices left and by flipping it over SHiro won the game? I just didn’t quite get that one. The flashback is nice but it seem that Shiro has zero relation to Sora, even SHiro mom was an adoptive mom who married Sora dad.

    Which mean Oreimo route locked on!

    I am not sure how I feel about Clammy having all of Sora abilities and memories, that kind giving away a huge edge and he didn’t even bind Clammy to him just kinda trust she won’t back stab him.

    Duzz
  24. The end chess board. As it is currently Shiro is actually checkmated and she couldn’t have made Knight G3 -> E4 because she already lost. Also who the hell would corner their own kind as bad as Jibril if she wanted to win lol. Please someone with more chess knowledge correct me if I am wrong.

    Zirthiel
      1. That’s because the show looks like something on a Samsung’s OLED screen. I’d say they didn’t even have to go grayscale in the beginning, switching to sRGB could do the trick. Oh, and if anything, it’s Sora who should be a bluehead, not Shiro.

        Conrad
      2. I don’t think you should be viewing the world as a filtered screen. I’m pretty sure the hair colors are whatever the writer (or the artist, if it was up to character design) made them to be.

        Crook
      3. And it’s pretty clear that Shiro’s supposed to have blonde/gray hair. Artists can use unrealistic colors and physical alterations to express their ideas, but taking that at face value is nothing but missing the point.

        Conrad
  25. There’s little details like when he holding the piece with his mouth and his right sleeve dangle imply he lost his right hand, and when he disappeared it looks like he have no limbs left, which is pretty darn creepy, I have to say.

    VCD00IVI
  26. I wish they could’ve more focus on ClammyxFi, and I think it would make more sense to have Sora narrating the meaning behind the last 3 white pieces, using Shiro for that purpose feel a bit off for me.

    Not too bad, but this is by far the worst episode for me.

    viss
    1. hahaha no telling when tho! you got pwnd! maybe since this is so short it may get s2 sooner and still stop short so youd want a s3 but then youll get a long break mauhahah

      GoodStuffs
  27. The better the episode, the shorter it seems to be. Both episodes 8 and 9 felt like 9 minutes of watching.

    In other words, I WANT MORE OF THIS SHOW! :O (why didn’t they make this a 2-cour show? Sigh. But I am not surprised considering the stack of 1-cour anime nowadays…)

    Red HeartGold ZX
  28. Now that was quite a Batman Gambit by Sora, but his faith in his genius sister, with her own Sherlock Mind Palace (https://randomc.net/image/No%20Game%20No%20Life/No%20Game%20No%20Life%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2021.jpg), paid off handsomely. Not to mention earning the trust and loyalty of Clammy and Feel, i.e. two more girls in his harem. 😀

    So, what happened to the supposed showdown with the Warbeasts?

    You mean that the whole existential reversi thing took place for the whole of 19th to 21st? And here I was thinking the whole Sora mystery had something to do with the Warbeasts’ tendency to erase people’s memories after beating them. Then again, that theory doesn’t make sense since 1: Blank never loses, and 2: Sora had made the very survival/existence of Imanity as the wager, so if they had lost, Shiro wouldn’t be waking up in the castle on the 21st to begin with.

    With only 6 volumes of the Light Novel out, it is highly unlikely this season will have more than 1 cour without the source material running out quickly. Madhouse seems to want to milk this for as long as possible.

    echykr
  29. I never doubted that Kuuhaku would win this – I was only perplexed as for HOW.
    I am amazed that Sora gave Clammy his entire memories – after all everyone has some things tha he would like to forget, yet are among most difficult things to do so…
    But, with such exchange, a truly formidable bond is formed, someone can truly understand the other person, their desires, fears and motivations.
    Oh and that cry-river at the end of game – on both sides! – was truly touching.

    ewok40k
  30. Just what i wanted. A grand Shiro devoted episode.
    This series never disappoints ^_^.

    Shiro and Sora might be the greatest pair of OP characters I’ve seen in a while. Why?
    Because they are still human. They aren’t completely unaffected by things that impede their lives. They still cry, struggle and fight for their very existence even when their victory is a forgone conclusion. I love that. It adds new depth to this kind of character and we really need more OP characters like this. Seeing someone just own their opponents is boring. Seeing a character actually look like they could lose at any moment with one misstep is far more entertaining. They may play it off like they already knew what was going to happen but as they say the journey is much more important than the destination.

    leatherhead333
  31. I’ve skimmed through the comments and it seems like no one’s mentioned this but….. The rules of the game were that the Othello pieces were ranked by their significance to the owner right?

    Meaning that Sora’s 1,2, and 3 pieces were his top 3 priorities in life. Soooo pretty much Sora valued 1) Shiro, 2) his trust in shiro, and 3) even freaking winning over his own existence!

    It’s truly amazing that Sora truly cares for Shiro more than himself. And he takes hardcore gamer to the next level by prioritizing winning over his own existence, haha damn this anime is awesome.

    Rigelin
  32. Just a question that’s been floating in my mind after this episode. Is it possible to reverse some of the effects of losing a game by winning/losing in another game but with a different challenger?

    Wanwan
    1. hah prob not or steph would play a game with her maids to not be a pet dog any longer! or to reverse the love on sora… shes starting to like him kinda be still regrets those thoughts everytime he does crazy stuffs

      GoodStuffs
      1. Even if, for example, the wager is that Steph falls out of love with Sora? A lot of the past wagers have been as vague as a ‘favor’ so I’m not really sure what are the extents/limitations of these. Material stuff sure, like having to hand over all your money or belongings. The winning person has possession of that item which another challenger would not be able to give back to you. ^^

        I have a feeling this is a backdoor that has been purposely left open in the series (and yet to be explored) because it is not necessarily stated in the commandments that people cannot reverse the effects of the winning challenger’s wager using another game. If so, that would make things so much more exciting 😀

        Wanwan
  33. The small details really get to me >< In the beginning Chibi Shiro plays a game that parallels how she plays the othello pieces later on, it shows how she can win with barely any context/info XD

    sakuraandli
  34. Well I dont see any write about how Clammy confront the whites meanwhile all other humans was ragin but at the same time pales whit fear to battle whit the whites, Clammy was totally valiant to do that and accept the crazy existence Othello game and put in danger his existence in order to protect inmanitys. She is now the best girl in the series for me.

    kazid33
  35. As to why I think Sora wanted Fil:
    He might make Fil challenge the Federation knowing she will loose. They will try to have her memory erased BUT since Sora has the right they won’t be able to. At that point Fil will then be able to tell them what the game is ie. a description that is more up to date than Steph’s grand daddy gave them.
    That would be her role as a “piece” against the federation.
    Now against her own race? Maybe he is expecting the rest of the elves to make Fil betray Imanity via memory alteration. So Sora is putting this as a precaution.

    Ryusen
  36. should’ve poste this earlier but I only thought of it just now. ignoring the fact someone mentioned already earlier that the board position is silly (only 1 pawn lost on each side but many other pieces gone), what Shiro did was perfectly legitimate in a way. Shiro cheated by performing an illegal move. but Jibril did not call out on it thus it becomes valid. in the process of doing so, both sides are in checkmate position. thus both sides lose, which is an overall tie. this is similar to the Rock-Paper-Scissors game with Sora vs Steph. the reason why Jibril proposed the game in the first place was because she thought Shiro was too depressed and that was the easiest way to relieve her in her opinion. once she saw how much willpower Shiro regained, there was no need to win and let the game end as a draw.

    GoXDS
      1. it was not legal since
        1. you cannot move a piece if moving that piece does not get you out of check and
        2. she was in checkmate and lost already
        like I said, she cheated, which turned it into a double loss => tie as long as Jibril doesn’t call out on the lie

        GoXDS

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