Until season 2.
No Game No Life Episode 12 Review
“Rule Number 10”
“RŇęru NanbńĀ JŇę”
(„Éę„Éľ„Éę „Éä„É≥„Éź„Éľ 10)
We had episodes that were funny. We had episodes that were awesome. We had episodes that made a lot of us hyped for the next. Finally, we have reached the last stop of the hype train with a cliffhanger that hopefully leads us to a season 2 sometime in the near future. It’s been a lot of fun watching, discussing, and writing reviews for this anime, so let’s send this anime off¬†with the respect it deserves.
Critical review of the entire anime:
No Game No Life Episode 12 Impressions
Firstly, let’s discuss the game. This one is fairly straightforward, but I actually have some qualms with how this game ended up turning out. One of the problems I have with it is how Sora and Shiro are able to outrun Izuna for as long, and as well as they did. Not only are they human without any extraordinary physical abilities like the Warbeasts, they’re NEETs, not professional athletes. Heck, I’d have a hard time imagining athletes being able to run away from Izuna for as long as they did. Of course, I’m not just counting this episode but the previous one as well. Sora did say that their physical strength is not too far off from what it is in real life in the previous episode which leads me to doubt how logical their physical tenacity is in this game. I mean, even if Shiro is capable of predicting the trajectory of those heart bullets, that doesn’t mean she has the physical ability to react and dodge on time. The other problem I have is with the resolution of the game. While episode 10 did show Sora talking to Steph about something, the previous episode didn’t actually show Steph looking at what Shiro was writing on the ground. This lack of foreshadowing is very problematic when it leads to something so important because in this instance, it really does feel¬†like an ass-pull. That’s really too bad, but the rest of the game appears to be fine. If some of you are worried about Steph being able to shoot even though she’s unconscious, just remember that the pledges activated right at the point it was supposed to as indicated by what Shiro wrote on the ground which allowed Steph to make the shot.
So the shrine priestess, Miko,¬†ended up having to challenge Imanity because Sora¬†leaked the nature of the game to the elves which means that they’d just be beaten by them now that they’re figured out. What is a bit strange for me to take in is that they only have one game. Yes, it’s important to realize that it’s the nature of the game, and not just the game itself that’s being analyzed, but you’d think for a race as large and powerful as the Warbeasts that they’d have more than just a few tricks up their sleeves. Why don’t they have other games to play that have very different from this one? Heck, these are video games. The number¬†of games with different quirks, cheats, specialties, or if you just want to call them “natures,” should certainly be larger than a single one. The only thing I can think of that mitigates this flaw is that the Avantheim, Elves, or Flugel is capable of figuring everything out after understanding the nature of just one of their games. In that case, things would make a lot more sense¬†especially since the Flugel are involved as well. Anyways, since the Warbeasts are backed into a corner, the Shrine Priestess cleverly makes the most out of this situation. If she wins, the Warbeasts still get support from the continent, in other words, Imanity, while maintaining their right to self-rule. If she loses, the Warbeasts are under Imanity’s wing which is arguably going to be better than losing to the elves who¬†probably resent them more than Sora and Shiro do¬†as they lost to Warbeasts many times in the past. In the end, things play out very nicely with Sora gathering the pieces necessary to challenge Tet while planning for the future where he’ll take more pieces from the moves he’s already made. Indeed, “‘Checkmate’ doesn’t simply mean you’ve cornered the enemy king. It’s a declaration that the enemy king is yours.”
No Game No Life Season 2?
Before we talk about the prospects of¬†a season 2, the cliffhanger has to be addressed. Some people are confused at what Sora really meant when he said, “If you’re a shrine priestess, you must have one, right?” The “one” here means a God. Since she’s a shrine priestess, she must worship something, and in this case, it’s Old Deus. So no, the shrine priestess herself is not actually Old Deus. One of the Old Deus possessed her body to respond to Sora’s inquiry as indicated by the “mind meld established” part. This actually transitions smoothly into the possibility of a season 2. Now, some of you may think that this is a great indicator that there will be a second season. However, things aren’t so simple. I’m going to talk about a very minor spoiler for the light novels so if you don’t want any information whatsoever, you’ll have to skip this paragraph. Okay? Good. The anime finishes at the very end of the third volume of the light novels. Old Deus, however, was not actually shown until volume 6. (Yes, there¬†is enough source material for another season.) Instead of showing spoilers for the next volume, it jumped all the way to the sixth. You can look at this in a few ways: 1. They’re trying to boost light novel sales by hinting at something not in the immediate future so that people will be keen to read beyond just the fourth volume because they’ve been “spoiled” as to what’s ahead. 2. Doing number 1 partially for reasons already stated, but mostly because a season 2 is¬†up in the air, and they wish to boost the sales of the light novels in general by as much as possible with as big of a cliffhanger as possible. A last attempt at getting a surge in sales, if you will. 3. They’re trying to make the cliffhanger as shocking as possible to promote sales of the anime for a second season which means that this is cliffhanger is better in terms of shock value than what would be possible to reveal from the fourth volume right now. 4. A combination of different factors above.
It’s most likely a combination of the reasons stated above, which means that the fate of the rest of the anime is still a bit uncertain. While it is immensely popular outside of Japan, sales in Japan are what drive new seasons, and it doesn’t look like it’s as popular in Japan as it is in other places. Nevertheless, we have to wait for actual sales. If it is somewhere above 7,000 sales per volume (BD/DVD), there’s a pretty decent chance of it getting a second season pretty soon. By pretty soon I mean at the very earliest, at least a year from now. I’m not talking about an announcement but when the show could possibly air should sales be that good. A few thousand lower than that and it may depend on other merchandise and boosts in light novel sales. Speaking of other merchandise, if you want to support the show, you can go buy some merchandise yourself. You can Google some, but AmiAmi¬†(No, I’m not referral linking you, so don’t worry), Hobby Search, and so on are places you can go to. I’m not too familiar with most of those stores because, well, I don’t have that much money to spend, so research a bit more into them before deciding your purchase. I wouldn’t want you to get a bad deal because of my crappy recommendations. Anyways, although I kind of wanted to touch upon some themes in this episode, I’ll save that for my eventual analysis which will be very long. It’ll probably be on video format too, but don’t expect it in the next two to three weeks. This one is going to be a very long and fairly thorough one. Hopefully it’ll clear up some misconceptions some people may have (especially towards that chess game which everyone finds to be full of ass-pulls). Go support the anime if you have the money to spare and you enjoy it. Doing so will get it that much closer to a season 2.
No Game No Life Episode 12 Review
Phew, what a ride it has been. Looking back to what I said on the first episode, I can say that this anime met my expectations and then some. Not only is it exciting, but it is also quite well-thought-out at times. Right now, I’m very close to finishing my analysis of the chess game. What I noticed upon analyzing it a bit more closely while keeping the rest of the games in mind is that the games in No Game No Life has one very clear problem. That is, there is a lot of uncertainty. In the chess game, we don’t know how strong the elf magic is relative to Sora’s charisma until the results are seen. In this last game, it’s also difficult to know how much stamina Sora and Shiro really have that allow them to escape a Warbeast which was introduced to be monstrous in terms of physical ability. We could rationalize and try to make sense of things as best as we can in favor of the show, but you have to wonder if we are really justified in rationalizing it in such a way at times. Still, for the most part, it’s made a lot of sense. But what’s truly fantastic about this series and how well-thought-out it isn’t just about the games because at times, there are some clear flaws. It’s the preparation, planning, linking of objectives, and the way Kuuhaku strives towards defeating Tet with elaborate strategies¬†that continuously fascinate me.
Look at what happened this episode. Using what they won from the previous game, Kuuhaku will probably manipulate the elves into making a move they’ll regret later down the line. They think far, far ahead, and it’s exciting to see everything unfold. What once seemed to be related to the bigger picture in ways you may not comprehend turn out to be strategical moves that add that much more to the exhilaration of watching this anime. Moreover, the show does a great job of constantly touching upon the final¬†chess game with Tet using the race pieces, the ten pledges, and so on. It keeps the final objective in sight while not being too annoying with its attempts at building things up. We know it’s going to take a long time to get to that point, but the road to obtaining all the pieces will be quite something to witness. From the powerless Imanity breeds a federation that will challenge God. Gradually, all the pieces are coming into place. I can only hope that the conclusion will do this journey justice.
With all that said, there are also problems I can finally talk about now that the anime has finally ended. I talked about the lack of character exploration last time, and my complaints are now more valid than ever. We didn’t get to see anything surrounding Sora and Shiro’s backstory. We don’t know exactly why they are as close as they are. Even though¬†Sora and Shiro are cool and entertaining, I can’t say I deeply care about them. I’m not one of those people who say that characters have to be relatable. Still,¬†I do need to see more into their mind. I want to see their inner characteristics. It doesn’t have to be fed to me explicitly. In fact, I’d prefer it if it weren’t, but the anime is so focused on making them do as many awesome things as possible that it doesn’t expand upon who they really are as much as it really should. As I said previously, it’s not as if it doesn’t do this at all. For the amount of emphasis¬†it puts into¬†trying to make it seem like there’s this incredibly tightly-woven relationship between Sora and Shiro though, I can’t say I truly felt it myself.
I actually found it more enjoyable watching this finale a second time for some reason. Maybe it’s because my expectations are a bit too high due to how overrated this anime currently is. No, seriously. It’s very, very, very overrated. Yeah, it’s MAL, but still. It’s a metric that shows the rough picture of the absurdly high rating of this anime. I was actually more excited when I watched the Sora’s creative and bombastic methods of playing the chess game (except for the anticlimactic assassination) than I am excited now. I suppose I got used to expecting ludicrous things to happen, and it¬†doesn’t affect me as much anymore. It may also be due to the show reaching such a high point of hype-inducing goodness so quickly instead of building it up more gradually. To maintain an extreme level of excitement, a show needs to constantly best itself which isn’t¬†easy to do when it does so well in this respect close to the very beginning. Maintaining a constant quality may simply not be enough. Am I suggesting that things need to get even more insane? Yes. Am I crazy? Yes. Yes I am. In the end, I’ve had a lot of fun watching this anime week to week and very much hope for a continuation.¬†You can stay tuned for my review (which will be coming hopefully in a week and a half and will be far more detailed than this review section) and my analysis that will come much later down the line. Thank you very much for sticking around with me for this ride, and I hope you stick around for some other ones as well. The games have ended for now, but they’ll one day begin again. Until then…¬†ASCHENTE!