No Game, No Life – 09

No Game No Life 903

With Sora gone, Shiro goes in for the kill…

Yayyy, I got an episode with a game in it! Although this game is pretty different from usual because Sora is MIA for most of it. The game was more like a mystery. Where did Sora go and did he ever even exist? Seeing the inseparable become separated…that’s certainly a good way to spice things up.

The cliffhanger from last week was intense. Sora and Shiro are essentially two sides of a coin, and they can’t function normally if they’re separated. Just being in a different room gives them anxiety, so you can imagine how stressful it is for Shiro to have her brother’s entire existence wiped out. But with such a glaring weakness, it’s not surprising that sooner or later we’d see them in a situation like this. Because then we get to see them overcome their fear in order to find each other again instead of just breaking down and crying. Seeing Shiro suffer so much was pretty fun! Especially since Jibril and Steph were just standing there and shrugging in confusion as Shiro had a mental breakdown.

No Game No Life 901

Without Sora, the world has no colour

Shiro suffers because she loves Sora so much and can’t stand being separated and because she’s afraid that her memories are false. The latter is resolved very quickly. Through the power of their bonds and auditory hallucinations (hooray!), she realizes that she’s not crazy and that her brother really did exist. This gives us a nice excuse to peek into her memories to see how close the siblings were. Unfortunately, there’s not much we don’t already know. However, I did like seeing Shiro as a genius baby acing a bunch of IQ tests and scaring the heck out of everyone. It totally explains why she’s so socially awkward and why she’d want to become a hikkikomori.

The two of them were clearly bullied extensively at school for their intellect, and this made them more introverted. What’s sweet is that even though we can assume Sora is also being bullied, he still comforts Shiro and motivates her to keep going. He’s not jaded despite being hurt. This is in alignment with how he hates the world he comes from, yet still has faith in humanity. He may seem cynical, but Sora is actually a pretty good guy who is capable of putting huge amounts of trust in people close to him.

Speaking of trust, Sora risks his entire existence on a game he knows that Shiro will somehow win for him. It was actually really cute to see how much they trusted each other and how much the two overlap as human beings. They really are one person spread out across two bodies. I actually wish we saw more of their memories, because what we know about how they became so close is very limited. Yeah, you’ll feel attached to someone else who is smart and also gets bullied, but they really push the envelope. How did they get that close? I doubt it was solely because they made eye contact when they first met and felt a vague spark.

No Game No Life 900No Game No Life 902

Although we didn’t get quite as much background info as I would have liked on the main duo, I’m still content with this game before the big warbeast battle. We learned more about their bond in a non-creepy way (no incest hinting until the very last second…but then they just cried it out, whew) and worked out a pretty cool mystery. It wasn’t much of a game though. The reason Sora won wasn’t a particular strategy such as getting rid of the Earth’s oxygen, but by simply being so damn smart that he planned the whole game in advance. That’s it.

Not much to chew on there, but I like how we only saw bits and pieces of Kurami and Sora playing because it was a really intimate game. Losing all your memories during the game? Or your sense of touch? Or your sight? That sounds crazy! Sora’s evil mastermind grin was the icing on the cake too. It felt like such a sinister game that they couldn’t even show it to us. And after going through so much, the two come out as best buddies after it’s all said and done. It’s like how people who go through similar tragedies latch onto each other and become buddies. Although, in this situation, sharing memories really makes the whole “befriending” process a lot quicker. It may seem like a total 180 for Kurami, but they explained it nicely so I’m okay with them becoming besties within one episode after being at odds until now.

No Game No Life 905

I didn’t know they still played games in the Shadow Realm

This sets us up nicely for the warbeast battle by strengthening Sora’s ever-growing army of women. Warbeasts wipe the memories of the one who loses and Sora has a pawn with memories he can tamper with. Huh, what a coincidence! I’m glad the gang is back together again, because Shiro is a little boring without her brother there. It’s only fun when the two of them are onscreen. I guess that’s why you can’t have Blank without the two of them. Looking forward to seeing them fight in their next big game!

No Game No Life 908

Don’t cry! There will be another episode next week!


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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28 Responses to “No Game, No Life – 09”

  1. skylion says:

    Shiro is a little boring without Sora? Of all the things to hear! I wonder how awesome she could be without him? This episode was a hint that she already is; he could not finish the game without her instincts.

    Just one thing I want to discuss. Do the werebeasties erase memories, is that like a power they posses and can only use if they face a loser of a game; cause it’s basically an assault to do that to someone’s brain they would need the accords of the game to do it. Or is the memory wipe a part of the victory conditions?

    • belatkuro says:

      The latter. Warbeasts can’t use magic but they can sense magic being used.
      Memory wipe is possible within the Oaths since total control of a person is possible (Jibril and Steph). The Oaths will fulfill things as long as it’s possible to do.

      There was actually a small part they skipped on how Steph tried to be Sora through a condition in losing a game. They played a game again but she stil lost because she only imitated what she thinks of him. His memories and abilities didn’t pass on to her.
      Jibril also did the experiment but she only transformed her looks by magic to look like Sora. She imitated his way of speaking only but not his abilities.

      • skylion says:

        Ah, man. What would have soooooo cute seeing Steph trying to imitate Sora…opportunity missed!

        • Overcooled says:

          Agreed. That would be fun to see her act all smug as Sora only to totally lose a game from being..well..Steph

      • Cybersteel says:

        It’s more like the magically inclined e.g. the elves, Jibril are able to wipe someone’s memory with magic. Unlike the humans with no potential for magic such an action would not be possible. As it was stated that the late king was forced only to not reveal the contents of the game rather than a memory wipe as humans aren’t able to do so magically. So far the bets that takes place seems to only be the ones where the participant are able to do so. You can’t give immortality as a bet when either party are not able to do so within their means.

        Jibril also states that the erasion of ones existence may be possible if those so called “bumpkins” are involved. Without that, the game of existential othello would be unable to “exist”.

        • belatkuro says:

          No, the reason the former king was forced to not reveal the secrets is that the Warbeasts are going easy on him. They didn’t remove his memories to give him false hope that he has a chance to win and can challenge them again and again.
          And the memory wipe is most definitely the effects of the Oaths because in volume 4, Show ▼

          Forgetting something can still happen to a person through different means so that still falls within the capabilities of a person to fulfill the bet to the best of their abilities.
          There’s something coming up later to show this better.

  2. Foshizzel says:

    The use of color in this episode was great! Without Sora around the color is drained and once he returns the bright colors return! Excellent job to the animators <3

    • skylion says:

      IKR! I was actually quite morose during the first five or six minutes. It was such a downer cause I did not want to see Shiro like that.

      • Foshizzel says:

        Yeah sad Shiro is not good but this episode shows us that she can be strong on her own when times call for it, but I would rather see the team of Sora and Shiro together any day!

        • skylion says:

          I knew it was good for her character development, but the LOLi-Defender had a tough time with it.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Shiro was able to be strong because she had something to hope in. Despair and giving up is what gets your senses clouded and seals your fate.

          • Overcooled says:

            Finding that glimmer of hope in her colourless world made everything worth living. I love what this show does with colour!

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Nicely done. The color drainage was a perfect representation of Shiro’s world once she was separated of the only person she can rely on. The sibling’s weakness was exploited and they made it through. What should be done is for them to develop their individual strengths. Sora did set this up and he had an ace up his sleeve but that doesn’t mean someone isn’t going to crush them if they know where to hit.

    This may be hard to believe but I had more trouble trying to keep up with what Sora and Clammy’s game was entailing than I was with following Phi Brain puzzles. How disturbing.

    • Overcooled says:

      I think they have their individual strengths, which is why they work so well as a team. They’re both so smart that they could easily play high level games by themselves, they’re just that much better by combining their talents.

      They didn’t really explain much about the game, so I really only got the gist of it. Which is probably intended. I have no idea what the heck Othello is but I do know that losing all of your nerves must be TERRIBLE and that’s a frightening way to play ANYTHING.

  4. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Damnit you people-des’ You all have to use Shiro the oppai molestor picture as the headline picture-des’

    The lack of colour in Shiro’s life is actually reflected in the ED as well. There is a passage in this chapter in the LN that describes how Sora’s entrance into her life coloured it.

    There are weaknesses in the episode though, since a sizable chunk of the explaination was left out from the LN, probably since it will turn into a *monogatari word fest if they put everything in. Also, the chess board was damn inconsistent. very. very. We also didn’t get to see Fii and Jibril almost totally Elchea while constructing the game. Imagine two mad scientists who don’t like each other working on a nuclear reactor… *boom*

    Next week: MOAAR SINKING STEAM!!!! With 100% more elf! 100% more pettanko! Will their preparations to go against Twilight Sparkle be of any use?

    • skylion says:

      NO MOAR STEAM! Let this be the clarion call of the ages!

    • Overcooled says:

      I don’t think any other picture would be more appropriate (and click-baity).

      I guess they don’t have time for everything, especially since Sora and Shiro still have a lot of territory to take over. I don’t mind if it means we get more games and less time spent with jokes.

      No game? Just more baths? Well, at least the guys will enjoy themselves. As much as one can when there’s steam in the way. What a tease!

  5. Di Gi Kazune says:


  6. Highway says:

    Maybe now Kurami and Fi will realize how much they love each other, and we’ll get that cute Imanity – Elvengarde wedding that brings the two nations together.

  7. JPNIgor says:

    Man, I can’t stand how this show is so perfect and it don’t even seem to try that hard. That was just awesome.

    And the game was probably very brutal. The two of them were playing on the very verge of sanity.

    And Sora being alone for one episode was nice and all, but the two of them are just so much better.

    Hey… Since the both of them share the same memories… They probably know dirty things about each other as well… Just saying >=D

  8. Di Gi Kazune says:

    In unrelated news… caved in an preordered the Kotobukiya Shiro… T_T

  9. Puffin says:

    What an amazing episode! So glad I was wrong about Sora not existing because that resolution was absolutely astounding.

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