「収束法《ルール・ナンバー・10》」 (Shuusokuhou “Ruuru Nanbaa 10”)
“Rule Number 10”

A game within a game within a game. Kuuhaku’s target is never the one in front of them, but them, their next opponent, and everything else standing between them and the game against Tet. Long live the Elkian Federation!

Blood Destruction – The Super Cheat

Wow, so much happened in this episode that, by the time I got to the end, I almost forgot that the game against Izuna-tan finished in this episode. What a blast! Okay, let me back up.

Izuna-tan’s Blood Destruction mode lets her boost her physical abilities far beyond her previous limits. You can be forgiven for thinking some of what she did was magic, because no matter how fast you are it doesn’t seem like double jumping should be possible. I won’t argue that because, honestly, how can we prove either side? What I will say is that not only was it great foreshadowing for later on, it did a great job of being so overwhelmingly powerful it was hard to see how Sora and Shiro managed to avoid getting hit for so long. Shiro even exclaimed that Izuna was cheating! It takes a lot to put Shiro on the ropes, even if she was (probably) acting, at least in part. And that shot? Damn! Always remember the double tap, Sora.

The Ultimate Trump Card

I’ve been saying it for the past two episodes, but Steph to the rescue! Backing up, some people thought the equations Shiro was drawing up last episode were kind of silly. How could she anticipate Izuna’s actions so perfectly? Statistics could perhaps help, but even those wouldn’t be certain.

Turns out that’s not what she was doing. I anticipated Steph being the critical point, and even Kuuhaku wearing Izuna out by forcing her to stay in Blood Destruction for so long, but using an NPC to sneak up on her? Using equations to predict Izuna’s actions would be dubious at best, but using them to predict the actions of set NPCs shouldn’t be a problem. They’re all programmed after all.

On the topic of things-Stilts-didn’t-expect, bouncing the shot off Jibril’s to refill Steph’s love power (ammo) was far beyond my expectations. And for those of you who called that Sora would use the pledges on Steph to give her the cutting edge, well done. I didn’t expect that to be used to suppress her intent to attack so she could sneak up on Izuna either. Or Steph to shoot her with her eyes closed!

Great storytelling is often all about expectations. The anticipated show that’s okay will be favored far less than the unexpected show that turns out to be good, even if the anticipated show is objectively better. Defying our expectations again, and again, and again is what makes No Game No Life so much fun.

It’s Okay to Have Fun – Izuna-tan Get-o!

Izuna crying when she thought she let so many people down was heartbreaking–or it would have been, if I knew Kuuhaku wasn’t out to leave anyone beat. They have opponents, certainly, but not enemies, and they want allies (and fellow gamers) more than to trample people beneath their feet. It was a special stroke when they assured Izuna-tan that no matter if she had fun or not, they still would have won. The line between confidence and arrogance is thin, and from anyone else that would have been 100% on the side of arrogance. Not for Kuuhaku!

Which leads us to the better news: Izuna-tan get-o! Finally, they’ve found a way to get Shiro into the bath willingly: give her a kemonomimi girl to wash. Swiftly approved!

The World’s Most Brutal Coin Toss

As soon as the story moved to the Warbeast capital, the OST kicked it up another notch. Moments like when Avantheim showed up and Miko-sama’s dash sent chills down my spine. That only matched the worldwide scale of events.

I’ll say this again in the final impressions, but while everyone else is playing checkers, Kuuhaku is playing chess. They might think they’re playing chess, but they’re not – not on the same level Kuuhaku is. Case in point: using not only Elven Garde but Avantheim as well (thanks, Jibril!) to force the Eastern Federation to challenge Elkia. But why is that important?

Elkia doesn’t need the lands it took from the Eastern Federation, it needs the lands + the people + all of their technology. By itself, the land is useless, especially with Elkia’s current (shitty) technology. They need the Eastern Federation to properly make use of it…but the Eastern Federation withdrew all their technology and people. If Sora & Shiro weren’t as smart as they are, that would have likely led to Elkia challenging the Warbeasts again, giving the Eastern Federation the ability to set the rules of the game again. But with Elven Garde and Avantheim breathing down their backs, they didn’t have that choice.

But why didn’t Kuuhaku just add leaving the technology and people there as part of the original bargain? Because 1) the Warbeasts probably wouldn’t have agreed to wagering a bunch of their people in a bet, and 2) They wanted to bring the Warbeasts to the bargaining table. So they needed to leave the Warbeasts with some cards to play, i.e. something that Imanity would want immediately.

The Birth of the Elkian Federation!

Before a game ever starts, Kuuhaku has won. I didn’t for a second think they forgot about Blood Destruction, but I actually thought either winning or losing would be fine with them – either they get Warbeasts back on the continent to help with the land, or they get all of the Eastern Federation. But the latter would make them conquerors, which could be problematic later on.

They took the third option (trope!)–no, they made a third option. Miko-sama (Shindo Naomi) had the flips right, had the coin landed on flat ground, but it didn’t. And here we see another hallmark of how Kuuhaku does business – winning without defiling their opponents. Everyone came out the other side smiling.

Rule Number 10

10. Let’s all have fun and play together!

In an episode full of things I didn’t expect, it all came together when this was explained. Some people noticed that Rule Ten was suspect because Rule Nine, “In the name of God, the previous rules may never be changed”, didn’t encompass the final rule. What everyone I heard from failed to anticipate was that Rule Number Ten is serious business. If you’re not having fun, you’re technically in violation of the rules!

Maybe, maybe. More to the point though, it’s a huge hint about the world Tet wants to see – one where everyone is having fun together. Strife? War? Death? A gamer wants not these, save for on the board of games, between the deck of cards, or on the simulated field of video game battle! No, a gamer wants to have fun, and games are more fun with everyone.

This can only mean one thing: To steal a phrase from Wil Wheaton, play more games! And hopefully we’ll get to see more be played if (when!) No Game No Life gets a second season. Final impressions below.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Steph pulls out the win, Izuna learns to have fun, & the Elkian Federation is born. Everyone have fun! #nogenora 12 END

Random thoughts:

  • I love the lessons good stories can convey. For example: You can either advance your own strategy, or respond to another player’s strategy. Either take initiative or someone else will take it for you, and force you to dance to their tune. That’s as true in real life as it is in games.
  • Do you even have to ask, Shiro? Sora would never let others see his imouto naked! (Steph is okay though.)
  • “Nobody’s going to die, and nobody’s going to suffer. This world is a game. Everyone here fails to understand that.” Only Kuuhaku really understand the world Tet created. A game can be serious, but it should also be fun!
  • Muscular ojii-san is what why noooo!
  • Checkmate doesn’t mean you’ve simply cornered the enemy king. It’s a declaration that the enemy king is yours.” Chills man, chills.
  • Kuuhaku are always thinking one (and more!) steps ahead. Hello, Old Deus!

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Turning off comments, Connection, On the lookout for ideas, and Make it worthwhile.

Full-length images: 11, 25.


Final Impressions

I knew as soon as I saw the artwork for this show that I wanted to blog it. I am glad I did.

Hyper-Competence Done Right

I came into this hoping for a little of that Mondaiji flavor, and got something far better. Hyper-competent characters are tricky because if they’re too good, they can get bland. The usually depend on matching them up against such titanic opponents that it’s only by seeing the unstoppable force battle the immovable object that a proper conflict can be created. We got that, with an interesting wrinkle.

It’s hard to empathize with perfect characters, and that’s what the Sora/Shiro/Kuuhaku dynamic is so friggin’ brilliant (and I say that with all due jealousy, because it’s an idea I wish I had thought up. Brilliant!). Taken by themselves, neither Sora nor Shiro are perfect., so they remain relatable and likable; it’s only together, as Kuuhaku, that’s they’re invincible. That means they know what most invincible characters do not – the sting, and the value, or defeat. They’ve both lost, so they know its value and have learned its lessons. Life beat them down, so they understand that too. Their strength comes from weakness, a weakness we can all imagine, and it’s from weakness that we truly bond with characters. Sora & Shiro have that, while coming together to be the juggernaut that is Kuuhaku for our enjoyment.

Beautifully done. The storyteller within me is weeping.

Seriously Silly

Another thing No Game No Life does so well is mixing the serious with the silly. Serious business stories can be great, but No Game No Life focuses on what many of us look for in much of our entertainment, and that is entertainment. We want to have fun! The stakes are high, with the fate of nations – or even the characters’ very existences – hanging in the balance, but it never forgets that its role is to entertain, and it’s telling a story about games. Games are fun! And an anime about them should be as well. That’s what No Game No Life was, in spades.

Pitch Perfect Pacing & Direction

I cannot praise director Ishizuka Atsuko and her team enough. Simple things matter, like giving each episode enough time and not rushing to adapt too much material at one time. They followed the (generally) golden rule of four-episodes-per-one-light-novel-volume, and it worked well. It probably didn’t hurt that original creator Kamiya Yuu-sensei was on hand, even writing the script for a couple of episodes, but I can’t praise the fundamentals of this show enough. This is my storytelling geekery showing, but even getting the simple stuff correct is hard, so kudos go to Ishizuka-san’s team for pulling it off. And the seiyuu were superb as well, including a performance I never would have expected from Hikasa Yoko and one unlike anything I’ve ever heard her do from the notoriously one-note Sawashiro Miyuki. Though with Matsuoka Yoshitsugu and Kayano Ai leading the group, we got great things from the beginning.

As for Ishizuka-san herself, she’s directing another show this coming season, Hanayamata, and while it’s markedly different than No Game No Life in many ways, I’ve come to trust her ability enough that I’m going to give it a shot. I hope some of you will join me.

Chess & Checkers

But undoubtedly my favorite part was the care and thought which went into every single game. Once again, I can’t stress how difficult it is to think ahead to the degree that Kamiya-sensei apparently has. While everyone else is playing checkers, Kuuhaku is playing chess, and even when you have total control over the world (as Kamiya-sensei does), you actually don’t. You can’t violate the rules or spirit of your creation, and despite the collision of ridiculous plans, nothing ever felt “forced”. And, because Sora & Shiro are imperfect, even though I know Kuuhaku will beat Elven Garde and the others someday, I still want to see how they’ll pull it off. Watching these games is a whole lot of fun, and like I said, that’s the whole point. No game, no life!

The Future

The big question now is “Second season when?” To answer some questions: The BDs/DVDs look like they’re going to sell decently-to-well (probably…the first BD volume just went on sale), there was a huge bump in LN sales after the season started, and yes, there is enough currently released source material for another one-cour season. If I were to bet, I would say No Game No Life will see a second season eventually, and hopefully sooner rather than later. What I know for sure is this – I will be disappointed if one doesn’t happen. No Game No Life has been one of the most fun series I’ve had the pleasure to both watch and blog, and I want more!

I’m looking for an artist for some commission work. If you’re a talented illustrator, email me at stiltsoutloud(at)gmail(dot)com with some samples. If I like what I see, I’ll explain what the job entails. And yes, this is a paying gig.


    1. If you were following an anime called Mai-HiME many years back, you’ll recognize Miko as Shizuru from that series. In other words, yes she has a very distinct(and lovely) voice.

    2. One thing highlighted by this episode:
      The win-win option is a secret for truly lasting victories in politics.
      Because otherwise you end up only with defeated enemy eager for revenge at first possible opportunity – or worse, patiently weaving his cold-served revenge until your moment of vulnerability.
      Look how the defeated Axis powers of WW2 were masterfully invited into the new system of democratic powers, giving them occasion to participate in the success both economic and democratic.

    1. I agree completely, as I came watching this anime with no knowledge of the source material or manga, and had moderate expectations but was completely blown away episode by episode and even was completely slobbering over that ending (which to me is up there together with code geass r2 ending).

      This show has completely set the bar for future animes for me and I compare it to the likes of overhype animes like Mahouka to which I had high expectations of especially when people clamor about Nine Schools Competition and with four episodes in that arc, I was already completely bored of it, while this series even with almost no action scenes and an episode dedicated to “just talking” as in when Sora negotiated with the Werebeasts (or filler-like episodes), still completely engages and amuses its audience unlike Mahouka.

      I rate this series far more than Mahouka and I believe it is best this spring season 2014.

  1. Overall I liked this series too.
    Though there seems to be quite some bashing and praising on the equivalent MAL thread.
    (http://tinyurl.com/pdj5oxs). Though at this moment NGNL ranks #22.

    The big question now is “Second season when?”
    We have several teasers though. This.
    And this.
    Those are Show Spoiler ▼

    There is one HUGE CHANGE though…
    The ending for Ep12 doesn’t correspond with the ending of LN Vol03.
    Some MAL pals are saying Show Spoiler ▼

    so the expected established continuity for a Season 2 is probably going to be messy unless they juggle the chronology somehow..

    1. I don’t think that chronology bit should be a big deal. Just because they introduced it early doesn’t mean that actually have to do anything with it just yet. Maybe I normally wouldn’t say this, but I doubt that went in without Kamiya-sensei knowing, so should be fine.

    2. I honestly think it wouldn’t be that difficult. So they introduce Old Deus a little early, just explain it by Sora/Shiro aiming higher. He can still complete his goals regardless. If anything beating an Old Deus would put the fear of god into anyone Sora goes up against lol.

  2. The siblings made a mark not just in their world but also for a lot of anime fans as well…

    Thank you for covering it Stilts, it’s surely a fun ride…

    Will miss Steph for sure…

  3. Anime is based on LN.
    Anime’s doing rather well.
    Anime’s pacing is rather decent.
    Its a spring season (April-June) anime.
    Anime seen as rather refreshing compared to others in the same broadcast season.
    Fans demand / look forward to a second season but no news yet.
    I am getting dejavu LOL..This reminds me of Hataraku Maou Sama.
    And Hikasa Yoko’s in both NGNL & Hataraku Maou Sama (seiyuu for Stephanie Dola + Yusa Emi).
    HMS was my favourite anime for 2013, and its still rather early but I think I can say NGNL is my 2014 favourite. =)

    Well lets hope NGNL S2 gets announced..
    Though I wonder what are the chances of a NGNL movie.

      1. HataMarou sold like hotcakes, actually, averaging around 10K or something. Gave the light novels quite a boost too. And even though there’s plenty of material to adapt, there hasn’t been a peep yet in terms of it getting a sequel.

        I do hope this show will avoid that situation.

      2. Actually, Hataraku sold very well in terms in BDs/CDs, with an average of ~11.5k – almost double what NGNL is predicted to sell this week. NGNL is doing very well in terms of LN sales, but as I commented below, whether this has an impact or not is highly dependent on how the production committee is structured (which we have no way to know).

      3. NGNL has boosted LN sales almost tenfold, but hasn’t had its first BD/DVD release yet.

        Aren’t the BD sales the prime measure whether it has a chance for another season?

      4. Typically BDs are yes. No point in making an adaptation if its goods (BDs) aren’t bought by the fans after all. Not to mention healthy BD sale numbers can be indicative of greater interest in the source material, which may promote those on the book/manga side to fund further adaptation work.

      5. Guy can you give me an average of how much an average anime will sell? 11,511 sounds decent but I have no idea how much an average anime sell, so is anyone kind enough to provide me with a comparison? 🙂

        Trap Master
      6. I probably shouldn’t comment on sales, I really don’t pay enough attention to the number to know what I’m talking about, lol

        I do know that there’s more than just raw raws numbers to be considered. The publisher puts up money to get an anime made hoping for a spike in source material sales. They get it, but they have to think…if there’s more anime, will source material sales spike more, or am I putting up money more or less for nothing? An anime is a giant promotion for the source, but a sequel isn’t necessarily because the ones who found it the first time are liable to stick with it (if they like the source material).

        So an anime needs to get more than just “good” numbers to ensure a sequel – it needs great numbers. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen with good numbers, it just means it’s not a sure thing.

      7. I agree somewhat, but do think sales are important. I however was absolutely saddened by the fact Accel World hit near enough 10,000 sold per volume and they don’t want to make a Season 2, despite the LNs still being ongoing. That’s a great number..

      8. Ahhh, I see, thanks for the input, I have an idea of how new season works. A bit disappointed about how the publisher decides whether it’ll get a new season on factors that affect sales of the original source, but I have a better understanding of it! 🙂 And I gotta admit quite a complicated matter, not as clear cut as I thought it was, but I’m still really hoping for a second season of NGNL!

        Trap Master
  4. Man, What a awesome episode!!!!
    From Stilts words if every anime was made in this way, i would have watched all of the anime from this season.
    The thing that i liked more was that even though they skipped some parts from the LN, they put another scene that made the adaption more fluid and interesting. I am glad that i watched this show, and SECOND SEASON PLEASE!!!!!

  5. What a glorious end to a well executed and fun series. Not does Blank (inevitably) win once again, but the central idea behind victory is again mentioned as being all 16 races coming together behind one race who will lead them rather than dominate them; no better shown than the Warbeasts becoming a protectorate under Imanity rather than a conquest (Warbeasts get protection from the Elves, Imanity gains a vital ally). Loved every minute of this.

    Without a doubt I’d give this a 9/10 (excellent), NGNL simply did everything right. The show never tried to be anything it was not, sticking to its guns of humour with a focus on devious, ingenious machinations. The story is well thought out, but never became the defining factor or an overbearing necessity; NGNL was all about having fun vicariously through the many shenanigans and successes of Blank. It’s the sheer entertainment and refusal to take itself seriously that gives NGNL its success, gently helped along of course by the love and care both the producers and original source writer put into the whole thing.

    In the end though what sticks out to me the most was the tight and consistent pacing. Things moved fast, but at a reasonable pace and never once lagged or left the viewer thinking “this is boring”. Out of the major adaptations this season only Chaika came close to getting the viewer friendly pacing right. Black Bullet simply moved too fast to build up enough to drag the viewer in and Mahouka just gave up even trying to learn the term character development. Honestly cannot say if NGNL is the top show this season, but it should be in the running. It’s not often now we get such a well executed and fun show as this.

    As for season 2, personally I’d expect spring of next year. Lack of any immediate announcement means we have a bit of a wait, but based on the mild cliffhanger this episode and the positive sales data without a doubt we haven’t heard the last of NGNL yet.

  6. A series that was done rather brilliantly in my opinion. It began with such promise and delivered in every aspect in ways that I often did not see coming. I was mesmerized from episode one for various reasons but since the Sora and Shiro crossed over and the games truly begin, I’ve just been impressed with each victory. You sometimes think that seeing a person win all the time would come to be repetitive and stale but never once did such a thought cross my mind here. Winning is pretty key to the series but I don’t think it was as much about winning but rather how they would win. The hilarity was a magnificent plus and it wouldn’t have worked if the characters weren’t engaging and exciting, all in their own way. Ever since Kuuhaku’s victory over Kurami, I’ve been playing the same quote over and over in my head when I watched an episode:

    “…think of the solution, not the problem. If your mind was filled only with thoughts of why you were going to lose, then you couldn’t think of how to win.” A very powerful quote from the Sword of Truth series and on several occasions throughout the cour of this show, Sora as much as said it himself though perhaps not in so many words.

    Looking ahead, I’m thrilled to see that the books are consistently staying in the top 25 selling light novels (I can’t remember exactly where they place), I’m not too sure about the BDs/DVDs but I’m hoping it’s just as promising as their novel counterparts. The news for a second season couldn’t come quick enough though!

    Finally, I just wanted to say amazing coverage as always, Stilts! My hype for shows has somewhat died down and in place, I think it’s more about the hype of seeing where our writers will go in their decision to blog. It’s always crazy fun waiting to see what the next adventure in blogging will be for both you as a writer and us as readers, so yeah!

    1. …think of the solution, not the problem. If your mind was filled only with thoughts of why you were going to lose, then you couldn’t think of how to win.

      I like that, and it fits the series well. Don’t focus on the negative, don’t get overwhelmed, don’t despair; just focus on what you have to do to win. Ignore the unimportant stuff that’s outside of your control.

  7. “…And prove to me that you have wisdom at all.”

    I was glad to see that line return. It’s been playing through my head ever since the first episode. All of these peoples that we’ve seen have kept focusing on their petty struggles and politics with each other. The war has ended and violence forbidden, yet they treat every major game as an attempt to wipe each other out. Essentially they’re still trying to find a way to fight each other, even though they can’t. None of them even think of what it was that Tet told them to do. It’s just “How can we bend these rules to allow us to keep finding ways to kill each other?”

    Miko, Izuna, and Ino were all convinced that Sora and Shiro meant to wipe the Warbeasts out if Imanity won. The Elkians were certain that the Warbeasts would kill them all if the Warbeasts won. And we’ve seen similar beliefs in the interactions with Kurami/Clammy, and Feel. It’s enough for me to believe the concept is pretty much universal. Tet told everyone to prove that they had wisdom by doing something other than killing each other, yet they all still think everything is about killing each other all the same.

    No one, it seems, had any wisdom at all, until Kuuhaku entered the world.

    1. I think it’s just harder to get along after the long history of killing each other. It’s just that they think it’s impossible for all the exceeds to get along have fun together. It’s just unimaginable for them. Blank is different because they came from another world so they don’t possess grudge and animosity toward other races.

      Come to think of it, it would be interesting to speculate whether Blanks can become such a badass pair of gamers had they were born into Disboard from the beginning. Personally I don’t think so.

    2. Kuuhaku are Kuuhaku, so even if they came from Disboard if more or less the same defining events were duplicated in their life, they would be formidable. Their point of view does come from them being outsiders though, and without that they wouldn’t be as amazing as they are.

      Sora said it himself – this world is all a game, but nobody seems to get that. That’s because, to them, it’s real life. That’s not how Tet thinks about it though, nor Kuuhaku.

    3. Tet told everyone to prove that they had wisdom by doing something other than killing each other, yet they all still think everything is about killing each other all the same.
      No one, it seems, had any wisdom at all, until Kuuhaku entered the world.

      Ha ha… Spoilers…

      Though you’ve probably seen enough in the anime to guess who, if anyone, might not quite fit your presumption… ^_^

  8. after the old deaus all i could think was: “holy cr4p!”

    and then i was : “omg today was the last episode…WHAT AM I GONNA DO???!”

    this has been my favorite show this season , cant wait for the second one!

    12 episodes in..and im still amazed at how many levels Kuhaku was playing… not only they planed for the Federation response but involved the elves too…and that jump: “Shrine Priestess THEN you got a GOD” … man their reactions to the Old Deus

    THAT coin toss … funny that they would won even if the priestess didnt use her “blood destruction” … same thinking as all their other games: “game won before it started”

    THAT music when the Priestess rushed… wow.

    well now that we see that the Priestess is a priest/avatar for the Old Deus… it makes sense that eastern Federation was so technologically advanced .. they did say it all came because the Miko united the warbeasts (IIRC in the flashback scenes before unification they were using old weapons) so in 50 years they advanced a lot.

    only complain i got on this episode is that there was no enough Jibril!

    PS: NEED second season!

  9. NGNL is one of the best anime I’ve ever watched. Everything is planned out so well. Aizen thought he had it planned well, but he should’ve seen how kuuhaku does things. Sure, Aizen blew my mind when he revealed his plan, but kuuhaku blew my mind almost every episode with a new plan. Just can’t outsmart them. So what I’m trying to say is, we need a second season.

    1. Aizen was a chump next to Kuuhaku. His plans (at least, up until I stopped paying attention to Bleach, which was years ago) always seemed to hinge on him having some power or ability nobody knew about, whereas Kuuhaku are doing it all while being at a seeming disadvantage (no magic, just weak humans, etc). That’s next level shit.

  10. Who keeps downvoting everyone’s posts? And it’s not just here either: in reddit and on CR among a few others on their ep12 discussions too. No doubt someone that’s hating on this anime for whatever reason. You don’t have anything better to do than that?

    Oh well… upvotes for everyone!

    (And yes NGNL S2 please. Life has lost its meaning knowing that I won’t see Jibril, Izuna, Steph, Sora, and Shiro next week. T_T)

    1. This hasn’t been the first time a show has gotten the downvote treatment nor will it be the last, some people just find pleasure in life anonymously trolling rather than putting their thoughts into big boy words it seems 😛

    2. I can make my guess, although it’s kinda obvious it’s the same single person. Someone that hated NGNL so badly to the core, because his irrational “HATE” of the series stemmed from his ludicrous first impressions. Decrying the lack of logic that some useless NEETs can do what they do. Justifying his arguments that they are NEETs and full use of unadulterated insane troll logic and that every plan or everything done in the series is an asspull, even though he has been proven wrong in every case.

      1. And it’s an indication that some people have the wrong idea of what the term NEET means. As the acronym says Not in Education, Employment, or Training even confusing it with Hikkikomori or even worse things. They think a NEET is someone so useless that they can’t go outside to a grocery/convenience store to buy food or even go to the bathroom or tie their shoes. But as the term says, not in Education, Employment or Training “currently”, but that doesn’t discard that you already had those previously… you could be a college graduate that haven’t found/seeked a job or someone on a sabbatical, heck even some celebrities or retired athletes could be classified as NEETs.

  11. This episode had so many things going on but I didn’t feel rushed. From Izuna losing the game with that awesome Shiro and Steph combo, to them bathing (too HGNNNNN for me!) to the coin toss (Honestly I was lost for words on how they tied, so simple yet I overlooked it!) to that ending, OMG is all I can say, meeting the old deus and challenging them! My god, Kuuhaku is so good! I really am so pumped!

    Man overall an amazing series, this has been entered into my AotY list, clearly, everything was done right. I have absolutely no complaints at all. Usually, the little mistakes and bumps in anime I tend to ignore but there has been nothing of this sort I’ve seen in NGNL! Simply breathtaking! I usually am not this excited for a series nor hold myself in such suspense for new season, but NGNL earned it and I am eagerly awaiting (hopefully) a season 2!

    Animation was awesome ( as expected, Madhouse!) I really liked all the sound, effects and opening and ending, and story telling and character and character development really well done. Amazing mix of humour and plot and with just the right amount of service, NGNL knows how it’s done!

    And last but not least thank you Stilts, for following this anime! Benn a great ride and I hope to see season 2 and more of your post in the future! 🙂

    PS: Man Sora, we feel for you, who in their right mind would want to harm the eastern federation full of cute kemonomimi girls! NO ONE I SAY, NO ONE!!!! Izuna-tan and Shiro too cute and adorable and am I the only one shipping Clammy and Feel right now so hard???!! When Clammy was turning around I was hoping (much to my disappointment) for a kiss 😛 Anyways I’ll shut up now, I’m too excited, now to rewatch this 20 times again!

    Trap Master
    1. Everyone is shipping Clammy x Feel. I think Feel is shipping Clammy x Feel too. When Clammy held her hand, it looked so much like a proposal, I was like “You cheeky bitches [Madhouse]. Stop teasing!!”

  12. “The BDs/DVDs have been selling well” – well, we actually don’t know – v1 went on sale today, so we will only have preliminary sales data next Tuesday July 1st. The latest BD estimates I saw were ~6k, which is ok but not great.

    At the end, there is never any guarantee of a second season, since it depends on too many factors, including the production committee (who put the money in? who’s seeing the return in investments?), whether the publisher thinks that a second season could further boost LN sales, the schedule of the animation studio, etc. etc. As for a recent example, Horizon was a great sales success, with both seasons selling well in excess of 20k BDs/DVDs (more than enough to cover production costs), and there is certainly enough material for 50+ more episodes, but it doesn’t seem we are getting a third season (making me a very sad panda)…

  13. There were several changes in the episode that I want to mention, mostly minor to medium changes.

    1. Sora actually challenged Izuna to a game again. If he wins, he’ll tell Izuna the reason why the Warbeasts won’t suffer or die. If Izuna wins, they’ll be friends. The game was to shoot each other.
    At first Izuna was reluctant to play but Sora told her he was disappointed in her attitude as a gamer. Izuna told him to not underestimate her and activated her Blood Destruction again. It was the same as that final shootout of the game. Except Sora won because he double tapped as well. He predicted that Izuna would do a headshot and he moved his head to evade the second bullet(first bullets of the two deflected each other).

    2. The whole post-game with Miko was different in the novels.
    After the establishment of the alliance, Sora and Shiro wanted to touch Miko’s fluffy tails but she evaded and said to challenge her again for that. They just decided to go into town and went on a kemonomimi petting rampage. The girls in the town actually agreed to it because Izuna endorsed them. It was actually hard to make Izuna feel good when you pet her so if she says that the siblings are good then it must be so.

    3. Sora then told Jibril to send Steph back to Elkia to handle the paperworks of the new Federation. He also said to bring Ino with her so he can help Steph with it. The siblings stayed in the Eastern Federation to play games with Izuna on her house.

    4. That ending was actually at the last part of volume 6(or so I heard). No idea why they moved it up.

    Oh and that move with Avant Heim flying in the Eastern Federation. That was just a bluff on Sora’s part as well.
    Jibril did say she still has influence on Avant Heim but she didn’t say what she did with it. She just asked the city to fly over the Eastern Federation.

    Seeing these characters, plus that item Tet was holding, makes me hopeful enough for them to make another season. Or maybe it’s just a tease and season 2 never.

    Overall it was a really fun show to watch. Adaptation was done very well, with changes that didn’t affect the story much and even enhanced the viewing experience. Everything from the voice acting to the animation were superbly done.
    My expectations were thoroughly met and even exceeded it at times. I pretty much called it before the season started that Stilts would want to blog this and enjoy it. So thanks for blogging it. Here’s hoping for a second season. Let’s pray to Tet to grant our wish.
    Now to wait for how Blade Dance and Vanadis would fare. Out of the 5 anime adaptations that MF Bunko had lined up(others were Mahou Sensou and Dragonar), this was definitely the best one.

      1. Don’t know about Blade dance, but up till where I’m reading (which is very close to the latest update in the story) the girls get their spotlight individually instead of being clingy. I think it’s a good bet for a story, but I’m cautiously optimistic with how it’s being directed and stuff.

      2. @snowmaru
        That isn’t really a spoiler, that setting (boy in all-girl’s school) is hardly limited to IS, and that’s an unfair comparison; if you’re gonna bring up IS, you gotta make sure the MC is made of the densest material in the known universe. Blade Dance is rather generic, particularly any material that would be adapted into a first season, though I wouldn’t say it’s bad.

  14. Called it last week, Steph makes the winning shot! I cannot for the life of me decide between her and Jibril for best girl…

    Why not both?

    That action sequence at the beginning of the episode was bloody amazing, it really ratcheted up the tension, though the Steph ending was predictable. Even though NGNL may be somewhat cliche and predictable at times, the execution, intensity, and sheer hilarity made it a joy to watch. This was without a doubt from start to finish my favorite show from this season, and overall a very solid 7/10!

    No Game no Life better not go the way of Maou-sama or Outbreak Company, NEED SEASON 2!

    No No Game no Life no Life!

  15. Comedy! Action! And everything nice! These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little anime this season. But the Sakurasou team accidentally added another ingredient to the concoction: Chemical Awesome! Thus, No Game No Life was born! Using its ultra super ability to create entertainment, it has dedicated its life to fighting boredom and the forces of bad storytelling!

    Ah, I’ll miss this show. What an awesome way to end it all.

    Because in the end, I’d say this is my favourite show of the season. Sure, it may be a story that’s on quite a different level from something like Mushishi, but it’s so well put together that I honestly can’t find any real flaws with it. If there was one show this season that was capable of capturing my attention and holding it without a monent’s lapse, it was this one. I also came in with expectations of possibly finding another show like Mondaji, but this show managed to trumph all my expectations. NGNL is truly fun in its purest form.

    It shows the power of good execution, coupled with strong writing and people who cared about their work. That trio of good qualities is evident all throughout the show. The execution shows in the perfect pacing and comedic timing, coupled with nice visual touches that really brought the world to life (let us not forget the way they manipulated the ED earlier). It’s strong writing gave us its characters we root for, where not even a single one is unlikeable or badly written. They dodged all the pitfalls surrounding these characters (especially around Sora & Shiro, so many ways they could’ve screwed that up) and made every single one of them feel important to the narrative. The story itself takes its concept and runs with it, delivering a masterfully done tale based on the age-old concept of ‘youngsters get stuck in/have to deal with another world’. A concept that gets abused fairly frequently by bad shows (Magical Warfare *headdesk*) but NGNL shows the potential still inherent within. And finally, the people behind the scenes. The team on this show knew what they were doing and you can never catch them slipping up. The voice actors had fun with their roles too and showed new sides of themselves (Hikasa Yoko, damn, never heard her like that before) and part of why the comedy works can be ascribed to them too. Not to mention the original author was involved.

    So yes, this one’s likely to end up in my top five at the end of the year. And damn if it doesn’t leave me wanting for more. Second season when? Because it’s rare to see an adaptation so solid, and I’ll be sure to keep my eyes on this team (and the original writer) from now on.

    No Game No Life, it has been a pleasure.

  16. Be rejoice Stilts, the scenes when Sora was explaning the 10 Pledge depicted many of the characters of the light from volume 4 onwards so we could take it as hint for a second season soon enough. XD

    1. Not really. Season 2 depends on lots of business considerations, whereas those went in because of the anime staff. It’s as much fanservice for the LN readers as anything else. The anime staff simply does not have control over whether another season is made.

  17. This is a story where no matter how far you can see and how good you are at predicting what’ll happen, Kuuhaku has already planned far ahead.

    In this regard, it reminds me a little about “Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion”.
    Before you start screaming in horror at this comparison (that is a premise to what I’ll talk about later), let’s see that, despite the two shows being evidently completely different in mood, setting and even genre, there are actually some similarities. Both shows started with a chess match in the first episode, that was virtually impossible to win but the protagonists managed to (let’s ignore that Lelouch made illegal moves, awesomness done right > rules).
    Both shows protagonists are extremely competent (Lelouch had an additional power but Sora and Shiro are also powered up by each other, and Lelouch power was more of an instrument than anything else, his incredibly sharp mind and planning ability were his true strength).
    Both shows protagonists are flawed (Lelouch sister complex and borderline evilness, Kuuhaku inability to deal with the world separately). In both shows the events escalated exponentially eventually involving the entire world, and whenever you thought, ok, there can’t be anything more crazy and awesome than this, the protagonists just proved you wrong. Continuously.

    I may have indulged a bit too much in my memories, just to say that remembering all that made me wonder if Sora and Shiro are going for a universal change of the world, beyond the final goal of beating Tet because the journey would be fun. Of course that would be one of the final messages, it already is: try to have fun in your life, or you are doing it wrong. But maybe they are planning something greater. When all the games will be concluded, what would happen to the world ? If the ten pledges come to an end, will the sixteen races start fighting and killing each other again ? It certainly seems the case, as someone else has already pointed out. Sora and Shiro surely realized this too, and likely they already have a plan to make it so that in the end, all the races in the world will live in peace and not because of some supernatural rule, but because they voluntarily choose to do so. As did Lelouch. If you don’t remember how it ended, I won’t spoil you.

    Well, it seems it’ll take years to see if I’m correct though. Cross fingers hoping that I’m wrong on this last thing 🙂

  18. Awesome finish and let there be a season 2 please. Jibril is definitely my most favorite of the bunch. Now I’d appreciate a little clarification on Dola-chan’s winning move in this game, please. I was thinking how would Stephanie remember to shoot in that direction when Sora cursed her to forget Shiro’s instructions. Or is this that thing where the body remembers but the mind doesn’t? Meaning Stephanie basically had the presence of an NPC so not even Izuna would notice her? I was also thinking that even if an NPC’s footsteps were silent, Stephanie’s body movements of pointing a gun could easily be detected by Izuna in her Blood Destruction form, but I guess Sora and Shiro were running around to wear Izuna down so she still wouldn’t notice Stephanie.

    1. Yes that would be it, her body remember the plan but her mind didn’t. So steph body acts on its own without any intent at all hence the Izuna and Ino couldn’t sense her. And Izuna abilities at the end taken a toll to her body, even if she realize Steph at the last second she couldn’t dodge (cue her trembling legs and hard breathing), that and she let her guard down since she thought she already won by the time Sora and Shiro got headshot.

  19. This was a seriously great end to a great series! Hopefully there’s going to be a season 2. The scenes at the ends seems to indicate that, with a few certain people appearing. Season 2 pleasee!!

  20. That ending sure was a surprise! Just when I think everything is over for now they give us one last blast to keep us wishing for more and explains how Miko-sama was able to give the Werebeast such an incredible expansion in such a short time. But in other hand, this answers some of the questions regarding the Old Deus, in the same style as Campione! you can truly kill a god, you could destroy his/her physical manifestation/body but they never truly die; gives me the shivers imagining the Old War considering the summoning of a single Old Deus was more than enough to shake the entire of Disboard, how the hell did Imanity survive that conflict!? The Old Deus don´t have the name just for show, I feel like those guys extinguish stars in a second just for the sake of it.

  21. Damn! What an amazing series! Too bad someone spoiled that Seph was going to be the trump card last week in the comments but ah well, took the surprise form that scene. I do wonder though why did the Miko asked for so little instead of trying to take back what she lost?

    Also Shiro and Izuna was Loli on Loli crime!

    Finally, why do the animal people keep on calling Sora and co “Bald Monkeys?” 1. They have hair, 2. They are similar to the animal people minus the tails and and ears. That’s it! Humanity and Animal people have the exact skin type. Ino stripping down was proof of that!

    So how are we bald monkey? Also if they insult humanity by calling us bald monkey’s does that mean the Monkey animal’s girls are being discriminated against?!

    Finally does this mean that would get both Elven Gard and Atventheilm because since both side have bad information?

    Finally, Who would have though the animal people had a number 1 old desu backing them up? No wonder they were able to spread so fast!

    I can’t wait for season two! No game no life have the best ending this season both over, Date a Live, Chaika, and Nanana so far!

    1. The bald monkey thing is just an insult. Don’t think about it too literally. Insults generally aren’t meant to be taken logical.

      As for why Miko didn’t try to take everything back, with their secrets “spoiled” (she thought they had been leaked) she was sure that Elven Garde and Avantheim would be attacking soon, so what’s the point? If the Warbeasts are to be conquered (as she thought they would be), it’s better to cede for self-rule and rights under Imanity (lead by Kuuhaku, who beat them) than try to go back to how they were when they honestly cannot go back.

      Also, Kuuhaku wouldn’t have taken the bet. Risk everything they just won immediately in exchange for some engineers? That seems a bit silly. Especially in light of Kuuhaku’s real goal.

  22. Aye, that was indeed a blast. Probably the plain most enjoyable show this season, from a multitude of perspectives.

    Tet does definitely live up to his title of God of Games, both the first and last words. The rules he set to bind Disboard are ideology, lesson, and trial in one – a fitting and very well-constructed reminder that whatever his appearance and manner, he is, in fact, a god. And it’s an ideology that fits perfectly with his nature as a god of Games – after all, games have a winner and a loser, but when there are no opponents left, the game dies. And as gamers, Sora and Shiro ‘get it’ – which is likely why they stress finding fellow ‘gamers’ quite so emphatically.

    It’s impossible to deny that NGNL has it’s standard elements – the large female cast, the fanservice, the in-jokes. But amidst all of that is a very well-crafted story, complete with themes and ideologies, and one which this adaptation has managed to display in full glory.

    (On a side note – I’ve actually never understood Sawashiro Miyuki being called ‘one-note’, which I’ve seen from more than one person. Her voice is usually instantly recognizable, yes, but she possesses a fairly wide range with that recognizable voice. Izuna’s voice shouldn’t have been too unexpected for anyone who remembers Dantalian no Shoka, for instance.)

    1. Calling her one-note doesn’t mean she’s a bad actor. Horie Yui is one-note as well because you always instantly know it’s her, but she’s a good actor as well. Hanazawa Kana has a little more range, but she’s fairly one-note too…but still, a good actor.

      So my surprise was hearing a one-note (one-voice, really) actor pull out a second voice. I always think of it as the difference between Brad Pitt and Daniel Day Lewis. Both are good actors, but Daniel Day Lewis can be anyone while Brad Pitt is always Brad Pitt.

      The funny thing is, who’s more successful? Instantly recognizable actors, whether seiyuu or live action, are usually MUCH more successful because their names sell tickets/BDs. Provided they’re also good, of course.

      1. Whoa, Galaxy Angels. Classic comedy series. Oh Mint Blancmanche (Miyuki Sawashiro) and Ranpha Franboise (Tamura Yukari). Both are in my top ten list of favorite Seiyuus.

        Speaking of which, Tamura Yukari also played the VA for the cupid in Gal*Gun, the original game that was parodied here in NGNL. She does seem to fit the “angel” role quite well. Then again, she’s such a versatile and talented Seiyuu, she can play almost anyone. I for one enjoyed her Jibril role, especially since I got to hear some vocal ranges that Yukari-san never did before.

      2. Indeed, although that particular clip is from the Galaxy Angel Project game, (the first Galaxy Angel game) rather than the anime. The characters are treated much better in the games (they’re actually… you know… sane), probably because the anime creators deliberately chose to diverge as wildly from the story and concept and universe of the games as they possibly could.

        Yukarin is one of a very small group of seiyuu who I follow closely not because they’re good (although they unquestionably are), but because their voices are always fun to listen to. No matter what character Yukari Tamura is voicing, I always find it a delight just to hear them talk.

  23. And so the Kenomimi arc ends. It was a lovely episode overall. Epic cointoss heh.

    The birth of the Elchian Federation has begun! Uniting all the races to challenge the God of Game Tet, ah Kuuhaku ever setting their sights higher.

    As for the anime, I think this series sets a great standard for recent adaptations for the light novel genre. I was initially worried because of the source being slightly difficult to adapt and my expectations for anime adaptations way shot down in the floor with SAO or Mahouka, this was certainly a gem.

    I had felt that everytime I picked up a light novel and then it gets an adaptation I’d be disappointed by them, but this certainly exceeded my expectations. I look forward to the next season when we get a lot of interesting developments. 😀

  24. There will eventually be a second season! I mean, if Durarara which had source material for days, finally got a second season, why not No Game No Life? Hopefully though, we won’t have to wait the same amount of time.

  25. but I actually thought either winning or losing would be fine with them.

    Nope. “Blank doesn’t lose.”

    I understand that one can win the war by losing the battle, but I don’t know if Sora and Shiro would let their pride as gamers allow them to do so. They would most likely win by winning. 🙂

    1. Of course they would. Sora “lost” the game against Steph way back in Episode 2. Of course, that was just Sora instead of Kuuhaku, but he one the real game, and that’s what matters. I don’t think they get hung up on petty pride.

  26. This is just brilliant. Damn brilliant.

    Thanks Stilts for picking this up. Your coverage has been great up to par with what I’d consider one of the best shows this year. That special mix of humor, appropriate moments of tension, good pacing, clever storytelling, riveting characters and good use of various ‘stage’ elements (love the mix of colours used in different situations!) make for a brilliant show.

    The finale, of course, was pretty good. I never expected Steph to actually be the one who held the key to their victory, which was pretty poignant – The weakest of the entire group actually being the very reason they won, when most people would have thought Blank would pull off another confoundingly brilliant strategy or move to win? Well played, very well played. It fits the theme of how Blank went about doing their business of playing games, as Clammy succinctly puts it – ‘..A way for the weak to stay weak, but still defeat the strong.’

    Which reminds me…WTF is Sora doing as a hikikomori?! Dude oughta be a world leader! The writer’s bloody brilliant. (on a sidenote, that Engrish…”Ultimate pretty animals”…XD)

    But I digress. There are probably a thousand more good things I can write about the entire series and the characters – some of them already winning awards in my books – but space is short. There’s little doubt I’ll be picking up the novels as well, even if my bookshelves are filled.

    Indeed, it really is a question of ‘When’ and not ‘if’ for the second season. It has been a amazing ride with the show and I’m glad I picked it up. I’d probably never look at games the same way again.

    Once again, kudos to Stilts for the coverage, and looking forward to season 2 when it comes. 🙂

    1. On why Sora wasn’t ruling Earth, remember that without Shiro around he’s all but useless, and it’s hard to get far in real life (Earth) as a 18yo kid who can’t function without his 11yo imouto around. But on Disboard that doesn’t matter, and they can use their greatest strength (games) to get ahead in the world, so the way is clear for world domination of fun! 😀

  27. oh jibril , you are soo awesome, Miko and isuna clammy and fii as well. all the feel in that isuna crying , she thought that she screw over her entire race.
    Best anime, if only life isn’t such a shitty game , the world will be so much better

  28. Came into the series without any expectations. After seeing episode 1, I thought the series would be average. After watching episode 2, I realised that this series might actually be special. From episode 3 onwards, the show grew and grew, finally becoming one of my all time favourite series.

    NGNL will be missed and I hope with every fiber of my being that there will be a second season.

    1. it’s a bit weird but one could try to argue that since she was already in contact, the NPC didn’t need to do anything (though why the NPC was carrying her in the first place is weird). since they’re already in contact, the NPC is already draining love points so it’s all fine (and thus why Sora made her command: shoot when you’re just about to run out)

      1. They probably shot all the NPCs and leave just one, whose walking path was already charted.
        I’m more curious about Jibril though. Jibril supposedly can’t feel love, so doesn’t that mean that there’s a loophole? Was this loophole being abused during the freefall shootout? There’s no clarification about that.

      2. UNLESS… NPCs only swarm when they physically see steph technically shes behind her so shes in a blind spot? its like shes not even there!?! you got the touching part maybe its a blind spot!!

    2. wasnt there a discussion that possibly she just never felt love not that she cant love! + shes in a game its programed that she can love 😛 even outside world she cant! its game physics!

  29. Stupid question, since I probably either missed it or forgot, but what was that magic tattoo about that disappeared from Clammy’s chest?

    No game no life was certainly the best anime series that I have seen so far this year with very likable characters and interesting conflicts/games which didn’t lack proper explanations. A feel good show that left me with a big smile after each episode, same as Horizon (season 3 when?) did before.
    Season 2 plz.

  30. I personally believe NGNL has set a high bar for pacing and novel adaptations that other studios/directors/animation teams should learn from. Not one minute was wasted in this season to build characters, advance plot, throw in unexpected twists, sprinkle in some thought provoking moments and top it off with a healthy dose of humor. In any case, looks like there’s plenty of praise for this awesome series already, so looks like no need for me to add more.

    Hats off to NGNL season 1. Now waiting for season 2!

  31. Blood Destruction mode reminded me of The Zone from KuroBasu… :3

    Also, this final EPIC(as always) episode made me assured that there WILL be a Second Season, no doubt. *Banzaii*

    Red HeartGold ZX
  32. I enjoyed that fight a lot with Izuna but for what it was I enjoyed the most was the Jibril fight just for how epic it was, honestly I found that to be the best game in the series so far. Regardless the whole coin flip made me laugh, especially with Sora shifting the floor plate so the coin would stand up xD.

    So now we got another god, this is getting interesting and puts a major hint for another season (which would be obvious since they haven’t made it to the ‘end’ yet).

    Also go Steph go! Getting that win! haha

    Jason Isenberg
  33. One extremely important part about that coin toss that was removed from the anime: Warbeasts had another option – Sora’s movement of that panel actually constituted a cheat, so they could win with Elkia losing. But those bets were voiced in such a way that both winning is actually better for Warbeasts than just them winning.

  34. I thought I posted here already, turns out I posted on reddit and forgotten about here. Such is how busy I was. orz

    Anyway, I’m so gonna miss this show. Season 2 please.

    Sora’s ability to read ahead rivals that of Lelouche. To have Steph ride on an NPC and then just rely on the NPC’s movement to come at the exact spot and precise moment where he expects them to be KO’d by Izuna.

    For the final scene, if I understand this correctly, Sora’s deal with Miko and the Eastern Federation still stands. And due to Miko’s role as a priestess, using her as a medium, he gets a free direct call to the Old Deus (who may well be bodyless due to their omnipotence) as well.

  35. Wow look how fully populated this comments section is! It gives me great confidence we will see more of this show in the future. The developer (Mad House) clearly wants to keep it going by leaving a taste of what is to come at the conclusion.

    This show was for sure my favorite new anime this season hands down. It immediately grabbed me with the first episode and continued to build upon the excellent foundation. It is kind of sad how much better I felt this show was in comparison to both Captain Earth and Black Bullet.

    Can’t wait to see more of this show! Thank you Stilts for the great blogs!

    Rick Anime
      1. Well of course Lelouch would have Nunnaly with him! And of course Kira would have that Idol girl, Keima would have Haqua! Shiro of Log Horizon would have Atsuki and Haruki would have Kurohime.

        How that for them Lolis? Kirito (Sword Art Online) Would be absolutely worthless in Tet world and most likely would get his ass kicked.


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