What a twist.
No Game No Life Episode 8 Review
Well, this is certainly quite an episode on many levels. Instead of doing a review on the day that it airs, I decided to hold off for a day and try to come up with some theories. Alas, I am fairly busy¬†and only came up with some premises and no solid conclusions. However, I will give my take on some information given in this episode¬†so that maybe¬†one of you can put everything together and figure it out. If not, then we can always wait until the next episode.
Note: Since I don’t have any theories I strongly believe are correct, this is going to be¬†me rambling.¬†Do not expect a post with insightful answers. You have been warned.
No Game No Life Episode 8 Impressions
No Game No Life Episode 8 Speculation and Theories
How Sora put the Warbeasts in a checkmate position is straightforward so I won’t delve into explaining it any further. Instead, let’s dig mostly into what happens at the end, and the game that Sora and Shiro are going to play with the lives of millions of people on the line. Firstly, let’s go over an interesting theory that some proposed. Some say that perhaps Sora is a figment of Shiro’s imagination and that he was created in order for Shiro to be able to fend off the world that she hated. This could then be used to explain why they always need to be together, and why Shiro is so quiet most of the time. Some counterarguments to this could be that, well, they kissed back in episode 6, and that all the other characters can see Sora. That said, a counterargument to that could be that Tet actually created him when they transported into the world instead of leaving Sora a figment of her imagination. How likely is this? Honestly, I have no idea. Even if he was created by Shiro in their original world, the fact that he is very much existent in Disboard makes it so that it doesn’t really matter if he actually existed back in their old world or not¬†because it’s highly unlikely that the author would just “kill” off a character as important as Sora. He’ll still be with Shiro regardless of whether or not he actually existed in the previous world. Not to mention, what would be Kuuhaku then? So as interesting of a theory as this is, I’m not sure if this is hugely relevant to what happens in the last part of the episode.
Now, let’s start throwing around some ideas. There are quite a few major things to note so let’s list them:
1. Blank never loses. (Obvious I know, but the first word is important to note.)
2. If a race loses its race piece then it loses its rights as an Exceed meaning the Ten Commandments no longer protect them. (The question here is whether the race that loses their rights are capable of doing things they couldn’t to the other races now that they are not Exceed anymore or if they cannot do anything to any other race because the other races are still protected by the Ten Commandments while they can be fully exploited. There is also the question of how the wager works. Logically speaking, it only makes sense that the¬†wager¬†dealt with first, and then the protection from the Ten Commandments are taken away. However, we don’t know what will happen to those wagers that last for longer periods. So, is it only the protection that’s taken away? Is it only the race that beats the other that has power over them? If the final goal is to gather up all the chess pieces to beat Tet, it’s quite unlikely that obtaining another race’s chess piece would mean that everyone else can exploit them as well. Things are quite unclear here.)
3. Sora is “expecting someone with more backbone.” (This is one of the most important points. Who is it exactly that he’s expecting? One could say that it’s the leader of the Warbeasts, but Sora says, “So before that…” after he talks about how long the Warbeasts were taking. This is a sign that it’s not the Warbeasts that he is expecting here. Another possibility is that it’s Zell and Feel, but it’s hard to imagine that Sora would say they are the ones who have more backbone. It’s possible for them to try and take Sora and Shiro’s representative power away, and in the process, Sora loses on purpose and his existence its wiped all according to his plan. If that is the case, however, it’s even more likely for it to be an even more powerful race such as Old Deus that could utilize incredibly powerful magic. It’s hard to say.)
4. Sora talks to something we can’t see, and he knows what they want.
5. Sora¬†says these lines to Shiro:
“I believe in you.”
“Shiro, the two of us are always one.”
“Shiro, we’re bound by a promise.”
“Shiro, we’re not the heroes from some boys’ comic.”
“Shiro, we always win every game before we start.”
“I’m going to get the last piece we need to bring over the Eastern Federation.”
Here, Sora puts his faith in Shiro because he knows that Shiro will be the one to directly win the game this time. His sacrifice will be so that Shiro can win the game. But before we get to that, let’s discuss that last critical sentence. At first, I thought that this “last piece” is¬†the book from the previous king because it’s only natural that the Eastern Federation wants no record of how to beat them remaining. Immediately, there is a problem with this line of thinking in that they could just structure the wager¬†so that they couldn’t make any copies of the book and had to destroy it. Surely, they would not make the same mistake as they did the previous time. The bigger hint as to why I think it’s not the book is due to how Sora says the sentence. He says, “„Ā¶„Āę„ĀĄ„āĆ„āč,” which means to obtain or procure. I am not proficient in Japanese by any means, but I think this has the connotation that he doesn’t actually have this last piece yet. He’s going to get it now.
6. The grey buzzing fluctuations. (The sound effects used right before Sora disappears sounds a lot like a video game sound. It could be that he got transported into the game or that Shiro got transported into the game.)
7. Sora says after he disappears, “Now, let’s start the game.” (The key is to note that he says this after he disappears. Did he get transported somewhere so that he can play a different game? Did Shiro get transported into the other game and Sora is playing that game or is it the other way around?)
8. Shiro wakes up¬†and only Shiro knows of Sora’s existence. Sora’s existence is erased from the world itself.
9. Day 21 on phone whereas it was day 19 when Sora disappeared.
Okay, now that we have almost everything that’s important, let’s try to put things together a bit more. The most important point in this entire episode is undoubtedly number eight. The fact that Sora’s existence is gone from the world is the most critical point that we must fully understand in order to figure out¬†the game or at least so we can understand what is even happening. At the same time, this it is also the point that has the most possibilities which makes it not only complex and difficult to fully solve, but also very time consuming as well. But let’s give it a shot and try to find a¬†direction by tackling number nine.¬†It’s the morning on the twenty-first day when Shiro wakes up which means that Sora did something on day twenty. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to find it strange that there’s no month or not, but it feels like with how the anime highlights this on several occasions that these dates¬†have some significance that I’m not aware of yet.¬†It is strange that Shiro woke up not even realizing what happened on day. It’s not like she could just miss a day when Sora disappears from her life. It’s as if she got knocked out and perhaps got transported into the game. That, or her memories of what happened on that day also got wiped.
So what exactly happened on that day? What did Sora do? One can aim some speculations at the fact that Sora could have exploited the rules by having his existence wiped out in the world except in Shiro’s mind. He probably said something along the lines of “If I lose, then wipe my existence from all of of the people born in this world.” (I don’t think it’ll work if he says “Imanity” because Shiro is part of Imanity now with how she also had the glowing piece on her chest when Sora put down the race piece. Also, for those of you saying that he can’t lose because of number one, look at the first word. It says “Blank,” not Sora or Shiro. They can both individually lose, but together, they will never lose.”) Since Shiro is not from Disboard, she would retain her memories. If this is what he did, then he must have played a game against Old Deus because no other race would be capable of using such large scale magic. But why? How is erasing his existence the key to winning this game? Let’s lay down a few possibilities: a) Shiro is already in the game, and Sora wipes his existence as a necessary condition for playing the game in the first place. b) Shiro is already in the game, and Sora has played a part of the same game which led to his existence being erased. (Perhaps he lost that particular part of the game.) c) He loses¬†to another race¬†like Old Deus, wipes his existence from the world, and Shiro is playing the game afterwards.
There are obviously way more possibilities, and they go on and on. I’ll leave you to figure out more possibilities. What I will finally discuss are just some random thoughts that you may find useful in figuring out everything. If we think that Shiro is in the game when she wakes up at the end, then we have to wonder what kind of a game this is. Perhaps, this is a game where Shiro must find out what happened on the twentieth day. So, it’d be a mystery game then. A virtual reality mystery game or something like that. We also have to keep in mind that the Warbeasts can use cheats, so we have to question what kind of cheats are they using. What are the extents of cheating? Could the cheat be that Sora’s existence is erased? What does the title of the episode, “Fake End,” have to do with it all? Is Sora’s existence disappearing just a form of deception? Again, it all comes back to the single question: Why is it necessary that his existence being removed from the world, or the game, the key to Shiro beating it?¬†Perhaps it is only because his existence got wiped from the world that the Warbeasts accepted the challenge¬†because otherwise they may have found it too risky.¬†I’m sure that if we keep thinking things up, eventually we’ll get close to an answer that sounds right. As for knowing for absolute certain whether a single theory is correct or not, I don’t know if that’s possible with the information we currently have. I’ll have to stop here because this can be quite endless, but hopefully some of you found my thoughts at least somewhat useful. Well, I know that I’m horrible at speculating these kinds of things so I’ll probably just be flat out wrong on most things as we’ll see next episode. Oh well, it was fun trying to figure things out, and hey, No Game No Life¬†deserves more of my attention because I love watching it, and I’m someone who doesn’t say that lightly. Next time, we’ll find out the true nature of the game and exactly what Sora did. Let the games continue!