No Game No Life – 05

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When it comes to games, say Blank, “They’re always serious.” The same, ironically, can not be said of the show they’re in. NGNL showed a glimpse of its serious side in reiterating the importance of—and difficulty in—saving mankind from subjugation at the hands of the Exceed, and even though there’s no war, the pledges have done plenty of damage all the same, to the point where the three million people of Elkia are scared and anxious about the future.

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But like I said; only a glimpse of seriousness, and just a teensy one. The majority of the episode is devoted to Steph challenging, losing, and being humiliated over and over by Blank, in an intermittently humorous effort to make Sora a decent person. But it’s unnecessary because despite looking like they’ve done nothing but eat, sleep and play games (as NEETs are wont to do), Sora and Shiro have been working furiously for their new kingdom. Their only problem is, they’re not sure how to proceed.

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While Steph’s string of consecutive losses to Blank in supposed games of chance forces her to act the goat (or rather, the dog)—and a very skimpily-clad one at that—it’s revealed she’s not as much of an idiot (or a “steph”) as Sora and Shiro thought. Before they arrived on the scene and after when they researched in seclusion, she was ruling Elkia, gathering support for their reforms and neutralizing the opposition. When it comes to Imanity (the ones not being supported by outside nations), she’s done pretty well.

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What she hasn’t been able to do is regain any of her country’s lost territory, and that’s where Sora and Shiro come in. Sora first targets the Warbeasts (or “Animal Girls”, even though there are guys) for conquest; a gutsy move considering their vast land holdings and ability to read minds, nullifying strategy and bluffs in any games. However, Steph happens to have a “Flugel” up her sleeve (convenient, that) who could help them in the coming fight, which will most likely be seasoned with more rapid-fire, spaghetti-on-the-wall comedy.

Oh, one more thing: the Castle In the Sky reference was most appreciated.

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

7 thoughts on “No Game No Life – 05”

  1. This episode had me on the floor laughing the entire time. While I respect the reviewer his opinions, I would have personally rated this episode higher.

    Just to be curious. What were the specific -dislikes- of this episode?

    1. Oh, we’re not arguing it wasn’t a “Good” episode, and it was definitely hilarious for most of its running time.

      But the comedy was uneven, sometimes getting a bit juvenile and too reliant on Steph’s humiliation.

      The episode also felt small, revolving around Steph’s persistent efforts to redeem/motivate Sora, which turn out to be misguided, as Blank is already on top of things.

      I guess I’m still looking for the show to match or best that great first episode. This episode didn’t really do that. To quote a friend, “It spun its wheels.”

      1. Ah! I see your point, then. Yes the episode was all over the place, and I do agree Steph’s humiliation (and her persistence) were a little over the top, but sometimes in this show it’s all about the journey and it all came together for me at the end when Sora and Shiro reveal that they haven’t exactly been the slacker’s she thought they were

        (the part when she wakes them up and they scream “ah! the light!”, was priceless)

        I guess the humor in the episode more than made up for the vagabond storytelling for me.

        And sadly enough, I almost missed the Castle in the Sky reference, but Shiro’s comment about “the servers here are better than the ones in our world” had me on the floor.

        Honestly, I’m watching this show primarily for the humor and the randomness, at this point. 5 eps in and I still think there’s more to our Blank than we expect. Here’s hoping the storytelling proves this out.

        Thanks for the explanation!

  2. I still really want to like this show — i even did enjoy Blank’s explanation about how little ‘random’ plays into the world, despite what most people think. My biggest criticism remains how all over the place it is. Sometimes serious and insightful. Sometimes juvenile/ecchi. It just bounces around too much for me to stay connected.

    1. It’s got a lot of great comedic moments, to be sure. Two of my favorite are when Steph’s dad (who looks like a King from a deck of cards) tells her she’s screwed, and another weird moment at around 5:20 when Sora grabs Steph and gets in her face so suddenly, she utters a very peculiar sound that’s the Japanese equivalent of a “GAAAAAH!” combined with a “YES?” Nice work by her seiyu Hikasa Yoko.

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