No Game No Life
Episode 7: Sacrifice
After the events of last episode (which shall echo throughout time and space as one of the most over the top anime sequences ever), our heroes now have a Flugel to call their own. Now bearing access to the library they sought and that of Jibril the Flugel, Sora and Shiro begin planning for their latest goal as King: Conquering the Eastern Federation.
All around this episode follows a much slower pace than the climactic one that preceded it. For the earlier half, we bear witness to just how well Jibril is accommodating to her new life as Sora and Shiro’s slave. It’s surprisingly well. So interested in their otherwordly bodies, Jibril is more than happy to aid the siblings in their endeavours. Of course there are times when her overzealous, scientific side comes out, but, as we saw, all Sora or Shiro has to do is tell her to sit and everything’s fine. Them’s the breaks of losing after all. Despite her unrelenting fervour for cataloguing our protagonist’s information, Jibril does possess the capability for compassion, though she thinly masks it under the guise of helping her Masters. For example, when Steph was feeling upset, Jibril acted on her own in an effort to console her…to make Sora feel better of course. Isn’t she sweet? She also apparently possesses the ability to create some form of alternate dimension or somesuch wonder, hence the wacky kitchen she allowed Steph to use. So that’s pretty cool too.
With the follow up introduction out of the way, the episode spends its time pondering the idiocy of the former King. As you’d expect Stephanie doesn’t take to kindly to everybody insulting her grandfather and promptly storms off. Okay, I understand how close she was to her grandfather and how devastated she is that he’s gone, but Steph really needs to get some thicker skin. Everytime somebody references the stupid former King, she loses it, hell it’s what led her to challenge Sora way back when. My main source of contention with her emotional viewpoint however, was how it caused her to lose faith in Sora…again. How many time’s has it been now? It seems like every other episode Steph is questioning Sora’s motivations and his worthiness as King. But you know what she hasn’t seemed to figure out yet? He always proves worthy. In every moment of doubt that Steph succumbs to, it’s always Sora (or Shiro) that pulls her out of it, having expressed some poetic point about existence. Again, I understand where Steph is coming from when her grandfather’s principles are questioned, but she let’s it override her own beliefs so quickly. Hopefully now though, after entrusting Sora with her grandfather’s key, Steph can finally and fully accept that Sora is Imanity’s greatest ally…even if he does act like an idiot.
Speaking of Stephanie’s grandfather, this episode throws us a curveball that turns our perception of him on its head: He wasn’t an idiot. I know that sounds childishly simple, but it really did shine a whole new light on the character. As Sora himself noted, though most of Imanity/Humanity is full of nothing but crap, there are a few who stand out, a few real people who can achieve greatness. A realisation he came to eight years ago, the first time he met Shiro. In one sentence, the young girl managed to see through the facade that Sora carried when he was younger, seeing his true, empty self. Even back then Shiro was blunt. Anyway, now knowing that there is hope and potential within the mediocrity of human existence, Sora is more than willing to believe that the former King was also one of who held promise. Willing to go down in history as the Foolish King, Stephanie’s grandfather secretly devised a plan to aid his successor. You see, the Eastern Federation utilises a very specific strategy in their battles, wherein they force all who lose to forget every single detail of the game played. Though this prevents any opponent from getting the upper hand, it also somewhat impedes the Eastern Federation. With the world completely unaware of anything regarding the game, challengers avoid the Federation, meaning that they cannot expand their borders or win anything. Of course Sora immediately picks up on this and, though not fully explained thus far, I’m sure it will be a plot point later on.
However, it would seem that the Federation’s strategy, and hubris, will be their downfall, courtesy of the former King. Having lost to the Federation eight times, the former King of Elkia appears to have been an idiot of the highest calibre. But, if everybody loses their memory of the game played, why would he keep going back? Back to a game that even the amazingly talented Jibril lost? Unless, he didn’t forget. But that would mean that the King possessed knowledge vital to anyone who would challenge the Eastern Federation…are you seeing how the King was smarter than he seemed? Sora hypothesises that, rather than forcing him to forget the rules of the mysterious game, the Federation merely made it so that the King could not discuss the details with anyone. Were that the case, the game must be one that Imanity has a chance of winning, hence the King returning another seven times after his defeat. Though the guessing won’t need to continue any further, as the former King found the greatest thing that anyone in Disboard could find: A loophole. Say the King was unable to explain the game to anyone as long as he lived, logic dictates that he would be able to relay the information after he died. Of course this is impossible to do verbally, but nowhere in the rules did it say he couldn’t write his thoughts down, only that he couldn’t show them to anybody. Thus in our eyes, the Foolish King became clever. It’s a truly heartwarming tale.
Honestly it was pretty cool seeing that there are characters other than Sora and Shiro who plan their moves ludicrously far ahead. Though I’ll admit that a lot of the former King’s plan was based on faith, essentially hinging on the arrival of a truly genius King with a talent for games (though this does explain the whole tournament to be King), Stephanie finding them worthy of bearing the Key, the King using the Key after discovering the mechanisms for opening the secret passageway to the door the Key opens and then understanding the former King’s notes and then deciding to utilise them to best the Eastern Federation…okay, so maybe most of it was luck, but it worked nonetheless.
With Steph’s faith restored and Sora in possession of knowledge no other opponent of the Eastern Federation has freely possessed, things are looking up for our heroes. Of course, some of their fellow Imanity still view them as fools and refuse to believe that Imanity could achieve victory without outside help *cough* Kurami *cough*. Talk about self loathing. Regardless, with what they now know, it’s time for Blank to head to the Eastern Federation and do what they do best: Win.
Check out more No Game No Life Impressions HERE.