No Game No Life: Episode 05

駒並べ(ウイークスクエア)– Weak Square

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With each passing episode of No Game No Life, I become ever more convinced that these siblings live by Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”. This week’s lesson: If you know your enemy and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.

This was evident in the sibling’s constant, as well as Sora’s little lecture towards the end of the episode. As he so bluntly put it, there is no such thing as luck in this world. The person with knowledge is the inevitable victor. Indeed, these siblings do not leave anything to chance. (kiseki shan’t explain Sora’s blackjack win this week because there isn’t much to explain. Just know that it was about probability – purely mathematical.) Mathematical calculations, probability, permutations and combinations – these siblings’ brilliant mental capabilities enable them to efficiently process information and use this to their advantage in almost any given situation. I say almost, because they are NEETs after all. Dealing with real life situations and being in public are not exactly their strong suit. Lol.

We see very obviously the extent to which these siblings prize knowledge. How else would you challenge someone? Blindly? Definitely not. To them, knowledge is power. And I have to admit, theirs is a very formidable power indeed. To say that I am rather envious of this ability would be a massive understatement. And speaking of envy..

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Shiro was totally jealous of Steph this episode and I found it absolutely adorable. The little girl is only 11 after all and it is true that she doesn’t know any better. So let’s just excuse her for her little misdeeds this episode, shall we? *cough stealing Steph’s undies, then bra, then the rest of her clothes cough*. I’m certain her behaviour was sparked from a sense of rivalry she felt, thinking that someone else was competing with her for her brother’s attention.

While the earlier part of this episode might have come across as all fun and games, the underlying importance was revealed towards the end of the episode. And I have to emphasise that the transition from funny to serious was just so smooth. I love how this series manages to so effortlessly and flawlessly weave the comedic as well as dramatic & serious elements together. Anyway, on to showing appreciation for the hilarious bits.

This episode, Steph challenged the siblings on several occasions in her effort to turn Sora into a ‘fulfilled’ man. We witnessed Sora’s not so secret wish to become better. In fact, he was so desperate that he WANTED to lose just so the pledges could work their magic on him. Yup, that’s using the power for personal gain. Of course, Shiro stubbornly refused and this resulted in many Shiro-abusing-Sora&Steph funny scenes.

This series has done parodies on past occasions, and done them very well I might add. This episode was no different, as we got a Laputa parody towards the end of the episode. Laputa references seem to be very sought after – having most recently been seen in Winter 2014’s Hoozuki no Reitetsu (definitely a series to catch if you’re up for a few good laughs).

That aside, this series also does fantastically with its take on other social phenomena. These include making fun of NEETs, which could be seen when Sora and Shiro were at a loss when they found out that Steph graduated top of her class and HAS FRIENDS; making fun of those who are not as clever, which was evident when the siblings candidly insulted Steph’s intellect (“Steph.. you’re a Steph aren’t you?” gets my vote for best unfair insult); bullying the loser, as was when the siblings ordered Steph to be their dog for the day. These are serious issues and usually not a laughing matter, but No Game No Life puts such an amusing spin on things, making it forgivable to laugh at such situations.

Once again, special mention to the seiyuus voicing Sora and Steph, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu and Hisaka Yoko respectively. These two stole the episode with their amazing ability to deliver such a diverse range of emotions. Again. I really could feel Sora’s passion towards the ‘animal-eared’ girls of Arcadia, as well as Steph’s intense desire to fight for Imanity’s victory. It is definitely worth listening out for them, and I beseech you to do so if you haven’t been paying attention to them before.

And so, angel ended the episode on a face-palm funny note (Excuse そこの person 方、me の library に what 御用で?). I wonder what game the siblings might be playing next week. Whatever it is

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