No Game, No Life

December 20, 2014

Life is like a game. A very big game. Eventually a big majority of us will end up in the rat race of climbing corporate positions and making more money. The usual goal. Tired of this kind of life? How about whisking to another world where you could play games all day and that games dictate the outflow and outcome of life? Sounds like lots of fun, isn’t it? The title itself, No Game, No Life certainly sounds intriguing enough to indicate the ‘seriousness’ and ‘importance’ of games in one’s life but if the setting sounds all too familiar to another anime series, Mondaijitachi Ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu Yo, please bear in mind that this is as far as similar they go. If I should describe and compare No Game, No Life to that Problem Children series, let’s say this one has got lots of brain power.

Episode 1
There is an urban myth that there are 4 players who beat everybody in every game, including one whereby they defeated 1200 players! Because they leave their account name blank, they have been nicknamed Blank. It is thought they are super hackers who cheat but some players who cheat themselves by casting massive spells still couldn’t win. Are they really that great? Turns out Blank consists only a pair of NEET siblings, Sora and his little sister Shiro, each controlling 2 characters. You should see how Shiro controls the controller with her feet! They soon get a message from an anonymous sender who knows their identity. It asks if they are born in the wrong world. Finding it intriguing, they take up the challenge and are surprised to see a chess game. They think a human is playing it since the other player is using weak moves to bait them. After lots of hard work, they finally win. The anonymous sender congratulates them and asks what they think about their world. They feel it’s like a game too. Only crappier. One big sh*tty game. When they agree they are born in the wrong world, suddenly all their screens go out. A voice reaches out to them and will let them be reborn in a world they should have been. The next thing they know, they’re free falling! This voice, Tet introduces them to the world of games, Disboard. Everything here is dictated and decided by games. He explains all the 10 commandments which are essential rules in this world and its games. I think by the time he finishes 9 of them, they already crash down. Thankfully they survive. Tet leaves them once he finishes explaining the last one. At first looks, the siblings think they have made a wrong choice and ended up in some sh*tty game. But they manage to defeat a group of robbers and take all their belongings (based on the commandment, wars, robbing and killing are forbidden and whatever wagered must be upheld). They also narrate some legend how this world was created by some eternal war by the gods. After a long terrible battle, Tet became the One True God as he is the only one who didn’t participate and won by default. So he banished wars, robbery and murder and have them show him how wise they are. And thus this is how the world of games was born.

Entering the Kingdom of Elkia, they witness a gambling tournament to see who becomes the next king. This was the rule laid by the previous king’s dying wish. One of them is Stephanie Dola, the king’s granddaughter trying to inherit the throne this way. Let’s say she doesn’t have good poker face against her opponent, Kurami Zell. Sora provokes and challenges a lady to a single poker game. She thought she won with her full house but he has got a royal straight flush. What are the chances of getting that? Believe it! Of course he actually cheated and there is a loophole in the rule that as long as you don’t get caught, it is okay. Sora must be a veteran gamer because he knows the innkeeper is trying to cheat him when he only offers him a night’s stay at his inn for this piece of gold. After making a cool threatening face and tone, he gets the best deal out of it. They return to see Stephanie still contemplating on her move. Shiro notices Kurami is cheating but cannot analyze how she is doing it. Sora whispers to Stephanie that Kurami is cheating and then leaves. Resting in their room, Sora notes how in fairytales, outsiders will always try to find their way home. He hints he doesn’t want to go back to his. Yeah. Who wants to go back to that crappy world? Later, Stephanie knocks on their door. She lost everything. Only a blanket covering her modesty.

Episode 2
Stephanie blames them for not telling how Kurami cheated. But the siblings realize she has taken the bait. Sora starts mocking her naivety and conservativeness that had her no chance. When he mocks her grandpa as foolish, she becomes mad. Don’t get mad. Let’s resolve this via playing a game. Rock-scissors-paper. He lays down the rules he will only use paper and anything else he will lose. Also, she loses if he beats her with rock or scissors but this means it will be a draw. Everything else is free game. After making their wager, Stephanie analyzes the probabilities and is going for rock all but when she sees his scary faces, she reanalyzes and goes for scissors. He puts up rock. So it’s a draw. Sora explains why he knows she will do so and was confident he will win from the start. Because Stephanie didn’t check her facts, she taught the wager of the draw was to find him a place to live. Apparently he didn’t say he agreed to it. She convinced herself it was so. What he wants is a small favour. Oh no… He wants Stephanie to fall in love with him! Huh? He starts bragging how cool he is to Shiro because this way she will give her all her money and place to stay. But Shiro notes he should have just ordered her to be his and he’ll still have both. Did he miscalculate?! He is sure reeling of his misjudgement due to his desire just to get a girlfriend. Because Shiro is jealous, he had to apologize and explain he had sexual needs (he said it 4 times!) and couldn’t go after his sister who is a minor. Stephanie felt annoyed she has been ignored and I’m not sure if it’s the power of the commandment that she starts seeing Sora in a better light. She tries not to fall for it. Shiro congratulates Sora to lose his virginity and pushes him to Stephanie. She couldn’t take anymore of this and kicks him out. She observes when the siblings are not together, they go into panic state. Even if they’re just a door away. Stephanie tries to resist seeing Sora in her beautiful visions.

Sora notices this country is quite empty and void of people. Stephanie explains their human race is called Imanity and was once Elkia’s largest Imanity nations. But their decline came during her grandpa’s reign and had to wage their territory for chance of expansion but lost. There are 16 sentient races in this world that the commandments apply (all other races are termed as Exceed collectively). They are ranked by their affinity to use magic and Imanity occupies rock bottom because they cannot use or sense magic. Sora thinks if that is what she thinks as Imanity’s reason for losing, it is no wonder they keep losing. He wants to take a look at their library but it is all in Imanity language. Shiro the genius could understand it all in no time as it is written exactly like it’s spoken. Stephanie realizes with Shiro’s genius and Sora’s negotiation, they make a good team with their great trust in each other and could be the ones to save Elkia. Sora stayed up all night to read in the library and asks Stephanie’s reason to become queen. She wanted to save Elkia. Her grandfather kept gambling the country’s territory and kept losing. Despite being called a foolish king for so, he continued believing in Imanity’s potential. So if she becomes queen, she could prove her grandpa right. Sora hates to break it to her but that chance is impossible especially when the next king is crowned. Kurami has won the tournament and is to be crowned. They pass by in the hallway as she throws back Stephanie’s lost wagered dress. She whispers to Stephanie not to make the same mistake as that foolish king. Sora gives the dress back to Kurami since the wager must be upheld. It is hers. For now. Because Shiro has no qualms to go wherever Sora goes, Sora is going to prove Stephanie’s grandpa is right, giving her a lot of renewed hope. His goal now is to become king.

Episode 3
Kurami is about to be crowned when Sora barges in and challenges her to a game. Sora then hints Kurami is conspiring with foreigners to steal the throne as Shiro reveals a hooded Elf girl supposedly to be Kurami’s conspirer, Fiel Nilvalen. Kurami is quick to deflect it that Sora hired somebody to accuse her but she accepts his challenge and as per the rules she gets to decide what and where. Later Sora explains to Stephanie about how she cheated during the tournament. Actually he doesn’t know what kind of magic she has her conspirer do but the tournament itself is full of loopholes. Because Imanity cannot sense magic, Kurami got help from a nation that uses one. Surely Imanity cannot win by this way. After that race got their puppet king and do what they please, what would the other races think? Stephanie thought taking out this magic factor can lead Imanity to victory but Sora isn’t counting his chickens yet. What proof do they have that Kurami will try to use another undetectable magic? They’ll try to make it look at least fair on the surface like altering their memories, etc. Although their chance of winning isn’t high, as long there is a chance, they can. Because they are Blank. Kurami heard them and reveals she joined forces with Elves so Imanity can have a territory to live. Once they have got the minimum territory, she will cut ties with them. This way, they can get protection of another race while giving up on all games and cutting ties with the rest of the world. She requests Sora to withdraw but he won’t. The siblings don’t like to say no to people who think they are superior. And they’re saying that in style! So the challenge is on. Stephanie doesn’t understand why Sora won’t accept such a deal. Then again, do they have proof that what Kurami said was true? Plus, if she was so certain of winning, why ask them to withdraw? She mustn’t be too trusting.

The game will be chess and each piece has their own will. This means a piece can move more than the standard move we know in ordinary chess. Kurami makes good advance but Shiro’s pieces do not take the enemy piece as ordered. Because so, she cannot sacrifice her pieces and is only reduced to moving them. Shiro breaks down when she begins to lose. Sora hugs her and takes over. He yells out to his troops that those who fight bravely will get to f*ck any woman they want!!! If they win, they’ll be excused from further military duties and granted tax exemption for the rest of their lives! This revs them up and they’re ready to go all out battle. Sora realizes they’re not playing chess but a strategy game and thus some crazy morale booster is necessary. Since this is war, you don’t take turns as Sora gives orders after orders to launch an offensive. Kurami gets defensive as Sora continues to mock her cowardly actions of having her men protect her king. The ultimate icing of the cake is that they will have cute Shiro as their queen. Doesn’t that motivate you? Kurami is now backed into a corner and uses some brainwashing magic. Each time Sora’s pieces touch hers, they defect to Kurami’s side. Now it is Sora’s turn to panic as he has not thought that far of Kurami’s other hidden aces. And to think he lectured Stephanie on this. Before Kurami’s queen can slay Sora’s king, Sora jumps in between the pieces and uses his smooth operator skills to convince the queen to defect to his side! Thanks to all the dating simulation he played. But even so, will that be enough to turn the tide? Sora is still panicking inside and now it’s Shiro’s turn to calm him down. When Kurami orders her knight to slay the traitorous queen, it won’t and instead defected. Sora realizes there is another way to win this game without fighting.

Episode 4
Sora argues that Kurami ordered her servants to slay his queen and this makes her a mad queen because no sane men will ever do that. Soon, some of the enemy pieces defect. Stephanie remembers how grandpa told her about a way to win without fighting. Because Imanity is ranked the lowest and without magic, that is why they have wisdom. There must be someone out there with that wisdom. Someone who knows the strength of being weaker than everyone. Back to the game, Sora tells Kurami to surrender but she becomes crazy and orders her men to kill all the traitors. However her king starts to die via poisoning (some reasoning that kings and rules who rule by oppression are usually assassinated by someone who isn’t part of the combat unit). With this, Blank wins. Kurami cannot believe her magic was defeated and wants to know what magic they use. Although Sora doesn’t oppose her idea of getting help from Elves, he didn’t like how it was an insult to Imanity. He makes it sound threatening for underestimating them so Kurami starts crying like a little girl. Oh my. What have you done? You made a girl cry… Before Blank can be crowned king, there seems to be objection coming from themselves. They can’t let the other be king since they fear the other will take advantage. They both can’t be king as commandments say to specify a designated representative. So they challenge each other to a game. For 3 straight days… Neither could get 2 wins in a row in this old maid game!!! How long has it been… Then upon further checking the rules, they realize it didn’t specify any number. Goodness gracious… And so both of them become kings as they get crowned. Stephanie is amazed that they could easily solve and suggest domestic issues like agriculture and financial. All thanks to the quiz game they downloaded, huh?

Blank then addresses their people. Sora begins with why Imanity is weak. Not because of the last king. Not because they don’t have magic. Because they too fought with other races and they all survived. It is because they are weak. He doesn’t want them to feel bad that they are weak and to accept it. They are weak and will always be. Because the strong can never master their special weapon called cowardice. This gave them the wisdom to escape from magic, learn from past experience to predict the future. So be proud of being weak. By being weak, we can do anything. Blank swears to the oath and is given a chess piece to represent Imanity. This revs up the crowd. A very big motivational drive. Sora then declares they’ll go to war with other races to take back their borders. Stephanie is not amused. Are they trying to destroy this country? Well, how do you think other countries will react knowing that they took out the Elves? Till they figure which race is helping them, none can make any rash moves, thus the risky declaration of war. Blank reads up on the race called Flugel. Long living and high capacity magic creatures trying to obtain knowledge. They think of getting them on their side. They get a surprise visit from Tet who congratulates them on their victory. Sora guesses that even his God position can be determined by a game. That’s why there are 16 pieces per side in chess. If you conquer all races, it allows you to challenge God. Tet feels right to have brought them to this world and Sora couldn’t agree more. This is where they truly belong. He reminds Tet he lost to them once in chess (the reason he brought them here as he was upset about his first lost) but Tet is confident he won’t next time. The next time they meet will be on the chess board. Blank’s next goal is world conquest and to become God.

Episode 5
Stephanie is mad that Blank has been delegating their duties to their servants and done nothing but reading. Today is the day she’ll really tell them off. Guess what? Still being indifferent. Pissed off, she challenges them to a game and if she wins, he must become a decent person. Then it hit Sora that she should wish him to be more popular as he can get the girls! Too bad Shiro won’t allow it. Sora agrees to play the game of Blackjack. A game of pure chance, right? Well, Stephanie has rigged it somehow and is on a winning streak. On the final game where they bet everything, Sora wins everything with his natural Blackjack. How can this be? Sora was counting the face value of the cards and eliminating which one are already used. Yup. He used maths to win. He also hints Stephanie cheated and she is appalled her plan backfired on her. I guess it’s back to work. Blank defeats former nobles in a game and takes everything. Everything. Butt naked… Stephanie can’t believe they were dealt harshly because it ruined her hard work to keep them under control peacefully. Something about distributing commercial rights to nobles to keep them in check. Blank starts going dumbfounded because they never knew she was this smart! Wasn’t that sarcasm and insult? They also can’t believe she graduated top of her class of a prestigious school! Come to think of it, they haven’t decided their reward from the Blackjack game… Yeah… She becomes their dog for today. So it’s no wonder people are staring at them. But hey, why is Blank so afraid of walking in the crowd? I know they are NEET but previously they don’t seem this nervous. Anyway, the uneasy stare of people as Stephanie explains because she looks like a Werebeast, the 14th strongest Exceed and form the third largest nation called Eastern Federation. It is an animal kingdom that can read minds and has enhanced senses and physical abilities. Sora wants to go conquer it and get his harem of animal ear girls! Too bad Shiro won’t allow it.

As Blank continues to seemingly fool around, Stephanie has had it and challenges them to a game. She lost. And Shiro takes her panties and wears it on her head. WTF. Not content, Stephanie challenges them to more games but she always loses. It feels like strip poker because she loses a piece of clothing. Now she’s barely close to naked… She gets frustrated she can never win. Not even by chance. Sora explains about all the invisible factors and its combination that produces unpredictable but inevitable results. There is no such thing as luck. Just like how Sora got the ace of spade in the Blackjack game was because he knew that new decks are generally arranged in preset order and thus at the bottom. A chance to get it from 1/52 becomes 100%. Knowledge changes that probability. That is why Imanity keeps losing. That’s why Blank is unsure what to do. They lack information. Before they can invade Werebeast’s kingdom, they need to know their weakness and all the books they have read doesn’t contain a clue (so they’re not fooling around as thought). Sora warns that this might be Imanity’s last leg and one screw and everything will be over. Stephanie felt bad for thinking lowly of them but they also praise her for helping them out. A floating island passes by. It is Avant Heim, the home of Phantasma, the second ranked Exceed. Sora really thinks of getting a Flugel on their side so Stephanie mentions there is one nearby. Her grandpa waged their library and lost. Sora is freaking upset because it is just too dumb to wage humanity’s only weapon! So they take a step into the library. World conquest is back on track. At the first sight of this Flugel, they are awe struck at this angel of death, Jibril. Until she opens her mouth and sounds like an idiot. That just ruined everything, huh?

Episode 6
Sora gets straight down to business. He wants this library. Because knowledge is the life of Flugel, it is as though they’re offering their lives so she wants Sora to wage something equivalent. How does 40,000 books from his world sound? All in his Tablet. She is very interested (she starts drooling at the sight of unknown knowledge!) but finds it hard to believe they are from another world because it takes tremendous amount of magic to keep them here. Even the first ranked Exceed, Old Deus would find it very hard. She wants to do a body check and Sora quickly approves since it is the erogenous zone. It must be his lucky day since she allows him to do the same to her. But he feels short-changed as her erogenous zone is her wings. That is where her spirit circuits are. Touching them makes her climax. And since Sora is good at touch screen hentai games… Jibril confirms they are Imanity and since this library isn’t enough to match his 40,000 books, she will offer everything about herself. Full rights to her personally. Deal. The game they play will be shiritori. But this is no ordinary word chain as the word they say can materialize or disappear. So be careful what you say… Of course everything returns to normal when the game ends. They lay down some ground rules before the game starts. Sora goes first and picks up hydrogen bomb! If not for whatever sealing spell from Jibril, everything would have turned to dust! So the game goes on for who knows how long but it seems that poor Stephanie bears the brunt of it all. Too bad as their dog for the day, she had to be dragged into this life and death game. Even to a point where the girls become naked and without nipples! So does it count as full frontal nudity???!!!

As the game rages on, Jibril continues to mock and look down on Imanity in between their turns. Sora believes it is time to show her what an empty headed academic she is and that she is the dumb one. So the big finale begins. They already apologize in advance to Stephanie that she has to die for a while. Say wha~… Here it goes! Sora starts saying words that take away the planet’s surface and air have them fall into the planet’s burning core. Jibril realizes Sora has been removing stuffs (like her spirit circuits) to try and kill her and make her lose. Because Jibril doesn’t know her atomic structure, she thought she summon back the lost oxygen via air but pure air is toxic and is taking a toll on her body. Blank is fine breathing through each other’s mouth when they take away the rest of the atmosphere (Stephanie is already dead). Now without air, they can’t speak and if you can’t speak on your turn, you lose the game. Jibril won’t be defeated yet and writes. She thought their own plan backfired but it seems Sora was a step ahead. Prior to this, he had written a word that would cause a huge nova explosion. Jibril realizes she had lost. Ever since the first hydrogen bomb explosion, it was a test to see if he could use words that his opponents didn’t know. That subsequent sealing explosion was all the info he need and the rest were mere distraction. The game was over after the first move. Now that the game is over, they’re back in the library in one piece. Stephanie is furious that she got killed! Oh, welcome back. And they thank her for her part. Yeah, being the sacrificial lamb and all. Jibril admits her defeat and learns Blank was summoned by Tet. Because they want to challenge God, they can’t do it if they’re sane. Now that everything Jibril belongs to them, although the library is theirs, Sora still allows her to come and read. Also, she can read his 40,000 books too as it was just bait. Jibril pledges her loyalty to Blank who will now be her master.

Episode 7
Sora wants to be like Shiro because she has total dominance over Jibril! Sora will have Jibril tell all she knows about Werebeast but all he could think of are the cute animal ear girls who will be his. However Jibril doesn’t think her knowledge will assure them victory. She challenged them once and lost. Fiel reports that Imanity has defeated Flugel and is targeting Werebeast next. Kurami is convinced Werebeast is the one aiding them. Because the Elf nation challenged them 4 times and lost and since Imanity is at the bottom, they must be using some tricks to even defeat the Elf and Flugel. Jibril explains that one of the conditions of the games was the loser would retain no memories of the game. So in addition to Werebeasts reading their minds, they don’t even know how they lost the game. Sora finds it odd they could expand their country so much in just 50 years so Jibril takes them on a flight to see one of the conquered lands. The recent challenge to Werebeast was by Imanity and they lost this piece of land. Sora is so disappointed that Imanity challenged 8 times and lost half of their territory. He might have gone too far by commenting Stephanie’s grandpa to be a crazy old man for gambling away his territory. Stephanie doesn’t like what he said. He can insult her but not grandpa or what he believes in. Stephanie remembers grandpa giving her a key. It is the key of hope that leads to a place where he keeps important things. When she meets someone whom she can entrusts Elkia’s fate, give it to that person. Stephanie is in a dilemma to give it to Sora because part of her doesn’t believe he is the one. She is called by Jibril to head to the library. And this is what she hears Sora discussing with Jibril.

Sora is trying to find the reason why the previous king did so because something doesn’t add up. Plus, most of the lands lost were useless lands. Then he might have stumbled upon something. Could he have achieved something and stopped after 8 tries? What if he didn’t lose his memories? Jibril believes not all humans think like him so Sora guesses she might comment how he can believe in a lesser life form like humanity. Because he doesn’t believe in humanity. They are lowly stupid creatures. There are no differences with this world and his old one. They fight among themselves instead of trying to save. However he believes in humanity’s potential. Shiro is proof. His name can mean as both sky and empty. Shiro commented on that because he was smiling emptily since everyone else was. It made his heart skipped and that such people exist. He wanted to be like her. Therefore as normal people, it’s their job to ensure the potential of often misunderstood people is realized. After riding a roller coaster of emotions, Stephanie approaches Sora to give him the key. She might regret it since he thinks it is where the porn is! They know where the key to the secret room is since they’ve been living in the king’s room and prodding everything. In this small room lies the previous king’s journal. He hopes the next king of Imanity won’t be the last but the one who restores them. He doesn’t mind being remembered as a foolish king as he hopes the next king will use his research to restore their glory. Sora deduces Imanity were nothing but easy prey for Werebeasts. They didn’t erase his memories as they want him to keep trying as bait to defeat him. He knew of this and went ahead. He didn’t tell anyone probably because he swore to the commandments as long as he lived. But this doesn’t apply now that he is dead. After 8 tries, he must have found a loophole and entrusted what he knew to a king that would restore humanity – the greatest gambler. That’s why a gambling tournament was held to determine the next king. He made a bet and the probability is very close to zero but since it’s not, there is always a chance. Sora believes the previous king was a great man who pretended to be a fool, challenged and lost and devoted himself to finding his enemy’s secrets. This journal is his trust in humanity. Stephanie breaks down after taking the journal. Blank believes they can do it. And the ironic part is, Sora is wearing a shirt that claims he loves humanity.

Episode 8
Sora and co arrive at Eastern Federation’s Elkia Embassy. They meet this old doggy guy, Ino Hatsuse, the assistant ambassador. He was the person Sora waved back this morning when he saw him from his library. Stephanie wonders how Sora can see from so far. Could it be the game has just begun? Later Sora shows that he was just guessing and pretended to see. Ino hopes Sora could make a better appointment next time because of some construction incident where both sides try to outdo each other by building a bigger building, the Werebeasts are harbouring animosity towards Imanity. Jibril trades sarcasm with Ino. They are introduced to Eastern Federation’s ambassador to Elkia, Izuna, Ino’s granddaughter. Instantly Blank goes to rub her ears and tail. She scolds them but tells them to continue. Of course grandpa didn’t like it and shows the middle finger. What do those 2 care? The negotiation begins. Sora starts off by wagering Stephanie’s panties as wager! Before Ino can say anything, Sora tells him to drop the mind reading and if he could actually read thoughts, go for the panty game. Because it’s not the panty he wants but the chance to wipe their memories of how their games work. Sora is so cool and confident that Ino can sense he is not bluffing. Blank then tells their goal about world domination and wants to challenge a game between nations. Sora says their wager of Stephanie’s panties has not changed and they should have wagered Izuna’s while they had the chance. Thanks to Eastern Federation’s advance technology, it is rather difficult to be advanced seeing their federation is on islands. They need lots of resources from the continent. Werebeasts could have lured the Elves to play a game. Of course nobody would play a game where they couldn’t win. It would mean they never got the continent. They should have just lost and paid the price.

Let’s solve a few questions with Sora. Why were their memories wiped out from the game? Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to win every time. Even if their memories were wiped out, it still doesn’t change the fact that they have lost. Why did the Elves challenged them 4 times? Because they want to find out why they lost. In those few tries, they must have figured out the ‘magic’ they were using but still lost. But why stopped trying after the 4th try? Either they realize the game is impossible to win (and could have exposed this cheat in the next challenge) or they figured out the game but not why they lost so they stopped trying. What kind of games work against other races that only Eastern Federation has the technology for? Video games. This is the only country with video games and technically you can ‘cheat’ as much as you want if you’re a game master. There’s no way your enemy is going to find out. Sora busts the myth about their mind reading ability. They can’t. All they can do is tell someone is lying or not by their heart beat. Sora lets Ino answer the next question how they know all of this. Sure, the previous king did it and although he made an oath never to tell it while he was alive, it didn’t apply when he was dead. Sora threatens what happens if the Elves get hold of this information? Then they’ll have to play a game and wipe their memories too. It would mean what Sora said had been true all the time. His only option is to deny and run away but Blank will not allow that. Sora wagers the entire Imanity! If a race piece is wagered and lost, that race is no longer bound by the commandments and this means death. Sora points out another thing Ino didn’t see. When they waved at each other, had it not occur to him how an Imanity could do that? It means they are not from this world and you know about their reputation of having never lost a video game match. He doesn’t have to play it now since it is of this magnitude so come see them once they are ready. Back home, Stephanie chides Blank for their reckless move. The Imanity people are already angry that they have been wagered but Blank doesn’t care. Then it’s time for the game. Sora talks to Shiro about always being together and winning every game before they start. When he goes off himself, Shiro finds herself alone. When she wakes up, she is frantically looking for her brother but Stephanie doesn’t know of that name.

Episode 9
Shiro remembers she was put in an orphanage due to her intelligence. That is where she learnt to play games. When she first met Sora and commented him as empty, that is when they clicked. Shiro runs off to find Sora but he is nowhere. She asks Jibril who her master is and everything from her earliest memory she only credits Shiro as her master and great mastermind. Later Jibril and Stephanie discuss the possibility of somebody else besides Shiro. They ask around town and nobody knows anything more. It could mean that Shiro might have challenged somebody and lost. The price to pay was her memories. More precisely, false memories were implanted. Jibril challenges Shiro to a game in hopes she will lose. Shiro is about to just do that when she hears Sora’s voice. This convinces her Sora is real and she wins her game. She is damn sure about it and has the girls remember what they did 2 days ago. They couldn’t. Then they try to figure out if some sort of large scale magic is affecting them. Shiro could hear faint voices of Sora calling to her so she thinks harder on the words he said to her before this mystery. Then she figured it out. What if the game was to steal each other’s existence? She collapses. This is what happened. Sora is in a game of reverse with Kurami and Fiel. The stones constitute their existence and they won’t know which stone constitutes which part till your opponent takes it. In the end if all your existence is taken, you disappear. The winner gets to make 2 demands. In short, they’re betting their existence and complete rights over their partners.

Shiro wakes up and asks Jibril about the possibility of players stealing each other’s existence and the possibility of collaborating with an Elf. Theoretically, yes. So could this mean Sora’s erased existence means he has lost? Shiro believes the game is still underway. She has Jibril sense any magic and though she could, she couldn’t detect its exact location. They search around and see 3 unused reverse stones on the floor. Shiro remembers she is also participating because as part of the rules, if one of them passes out, their partner takes over. Sora purposely makes Kurami win at first so she could see his memories and prove he isn’t collaborating with any other races. After Sora ‘disappears’, it is Shiro’s turn. She now understands why he deceived his opponent in this manner and knows how to win with these 3 stones. The moment that happens, Sora comes back and everything reverts to normal. Sora expects to be punished but Shiro starts crying in his arms and apologizes. Since Kurami lost, she is like a vegetable. Sora might seem like a tyrant trying to make his demands as agreed. First, they get a copy of each other’s memories while retaining their original one. Kurami comes back to live. Sora’s second demand is to take the rights to alter Fiel’s memories and be his spy. Kurami allows it since she has seen the things in his head and understands. So once all that is settled, Sora-Shiro and Kurami-Fiel turn into cry-babies hugging each other crying out loud they were so scared, etc. That was fun, wasn’t it?

Episode 10
While the riot is taking shape outside the castle, Sora reveals why he bet the Imanity race, he knew the Elf spy would form contact with them. And by beating them in that game, he could bring them to his side without having to use the commandments. So the important reason he has gathered them all here now is for… Introductions! Kurami is forced to make hers or else Sora will start spouting embarrassing secrets. He has her memories, remember? When Fiel goes next, seems she hates Jibril. Something about during the Great War, she destroyed part of her people. Sora judges Jibril to be guilty and since they are essential in the next game, Kurami wants them to get along. So how will they make up and move forward? Fiel wants Jibril to lick her feet and apologize! Must she do it?! Well, she’s guilty, right? And if Shiro the master says so… And with a very reluctant heart, Fiel enjoys every moment of it and forgives her. Kurami adds Fiel is her childhood friend and more accurately her master. Although Elves have a democratic system, they still have this slave system. Kurami’s family has been slaves to Fiel’s family for generations. Fiel always treated her nice and as a friend. Recently the head of Fiel’s family died and she is now the de facto head, which puts their relationship in a complicated spot. Actually she doesn’t care about her race as long as Kurami is fine. Yeah, everyone can go die for all she cares! But seriously, it’s time to move on discussing their strategy against Werebeasts. Not so fast. Sora wants to enhance their bonds by taking a bath together?! I’m sure after 30 minutes of the explanation of its importance and Fiel’s sarcastic mocking of Kurami’s non-existent boobs, I guess it’s settled. Sora even wants to be transformed into a girl to join them but Fiel warns he won’t be able to transform back. That sucks…

Later Kurami talks to Sora about his close call victories and doesn’t feel confident he can pull this one off. What if he makes a mistake? Sora says that he might but as Blank they won’t. If he ever missteps, Shiro will be there. They embarrass each other quoting lines from the other’s memories. The day has come for the game with Werebeasts. Although the crowd is rowdy, they still let them pass. Sora notes the riot is part of his plan. As they are waiting in the game area, Sora has Jibril cast a special spell on Stephanie. This doesn’t sound good. Too her. Sora, Shiro, Jibril, Stephanie and Izuna will play the game as they sit in their game chair. Ino goes over the wager where by Eastern Federation will wage everything it owns on the continent as well as the rules like the usual memory erasing thingy if they win. Sora also adds a couple to it like if they are caught cheating blatantly, it will result in immediate loss. As the game begins, Sora notices Izuna nervous. He asks her when was the last time she had fun. Ino could sense magic and that Kurami and Fiel watching them. This is so that Eastern Federation cannot use any obvious cheats. Stephanie is still being a pessimist that they can’t win so Sora tells her the reason why he allows audiences to watch this game and why the riot is all part of his plan. Because he doesn’t need the trust of those who believe they can win. With Imanity watching them closely, they will make sure they won’t lose deliberately as they are at stake and this means harder for Eastern Federation to use obvious cheats. There is no more trusted observer than someone who suspects you. What determines their victory is how quickly they react to what they expect. When the game setting is Akihabara in Tokyo, Blank suddenly shrivels in fear! Sora even says Imanity is doomed and can’t go on! Big sh*t dude!!!

Episode 11
After all that confident build-up and now they’re in this pathetic state? Well, that is until Ino tells them this isn’t real and just made up. Sora blows his top for scaring the sh*t out of him. So with Shiro back to normal, here are the game rules. In this twisted FPS-cum-dating-simulation with a freaking long title, all the girls in the world love you. However, you only have sights on one true love (Izuna). As all the girls are out to get your ass, you must fire your love gun filled with your love power at them. Not only this ‘vanishes’ them but this also recharges your love gun. Getting touched or swamped by those girls means you love your love ammo and you can’t fire your love gun. However if your teammates fire at you, you can recharge although you become madly in love with the shooter for a minute. But if you get shoot by Izuna’s gun, you become her slave. They take turns shooting at each other to see the love effects and of course Stephanie gets experimented on and they discover certain things like the bullet bounces at certain angles. Also, Sora tells Shiro to conserve her energy since their stamina is like in the real world and not to run around too much. While Izuna is feeling hot under the collar about Sora’s question, here Sora is trying to shoot naked the girls for some fanservice. Yeah, the Imanity guys are just loving it. Imanity is doomed… Izuna hears Shiro coming and fires at her but to her surprise Shiro can dodge all her bullets and fights back. Sora explains Shiro holds the best record in FPS so much so she can understand everything from your movement patterns and how fast you fire. This causes Izuna to sweat and take retreating measures. She escapes the building but only faces Jibril. Izuna survives the mid-air fight when she could see Sora’s shot coming from far away. But this only ascertains that Izuna can actually see into the future aside the fact she can also use her clothes to block. Thus the reason why this ‘cheat’ cannot be proved. Not only that, Ino can telepathically communicate with Izuna where her enemies are and tells her to go on the offensive. Izuna could feel her heart pounding very loud and she refuses to believe in Sora’s words that she is having fun.

Sora and co are forced to take defensive measures now. Shiro is writing a long list of theory in the sand. I guess things are not working out, huh? When Shiro seemingly stops, did she reach an answer? Actually she asks if Sora trusts her. Of course. And then she quickly jumps to take a shot from Izuna meant for Sora. Oh no. She’s under Izuna now. Jibril wonders if it is over for them but Sora believes it’s not that Shiro couldn’t find the answer. The answer was left blank. They are Blank. Therefore everything including Shiro joining the enemy’s side is part of her calculation and Blank’s power. Now it is up to him to complete that magic formula and lead to the promised victory. Sora orders Jibril to stall Izuna. She relishes going all out with her. Meanwhile Sora escapes from Shiro’s firing. He is baffled that she could have got him if she ran but instead walked. Was his earlier warning still in effect? Then at the rooftop, Sora charges straight at her. However Shiro misses because she never expected him not to dodge. Once he tackles her and they free fall down the building, this is Izuna’s cue to finish them. To her surprise, Shiro fires back at her. Izuna takes a closer look and realizes only Shiro’s panties are gone. This means Shiro pretended to be shot (using Sora’s button as a deflection to hit her panties) and be her underling. Izuna is cornered now that Jibril is coming from above. Recalling Sora’s word about having fun in games, sure she is now. So much so she transforms into her true beast form.

Episode 12
Izuna activates Blood Destruction that allows her to surpass her physical limits. She’s faster and stronger. Each time Blank fires, she dodges. Is this like cheating? Blank is reduced to running and defending. They have no time to think. Just when Sora tries to pull a last ditch attempt, Izuna fires double shots that hit both of them precisely in the head. Their heartbeats go still. Game over. As Izuna relishes in her victory, suddenly she is shot in the back by Stephanie! For once she becomes the heroine? Sora explains when they Izuna activated Blood Destruction, they weren’t firing randomly but at one of the NPCs carrying unconscious Stephanie below. Because so, it is impossible to sense her. Before the match, Sora had her pledge to wait till her energy is about to run out and then shoot straight. All that is left is to calculate the NPC’s predetermined movements and lead Izuna there. Blank knew Ino was monitoring their heartbeats and relaying their location to Izuna. They took advantage of this and make it seem like Ino was in control but in actual fact, Blank had everything under their palm the entire time. Ino is forced to declare Elkia as the winner. Izuna feels guilty that her race lost because she had fun. Blank denies it. Because she was smiling then. No matter what she thought, she could never have won anyway. How does it feel to go up against an unbeatable enemy? It’s awesome, right? And because it’s her first loss, that is why it is fun. Once she understands that, she’ll become their friend and fellow gamer. So while our heroes have some skinship bath with the Werebeasts, here comes Stephanie announcing the horror that Werebeasts have moved all their technology off their continent land and back to the islands prior before the game. Sora expected this since he would have done the same. All part of the plan? Because here is the designated representative of Eastern Federation, Miko. She invites them to Eastern Federation’s capital. She is impressed that they had been had by them. She notices that with Imanity’s victory, their tricks are now known to the Elves and even Flugel. Though she feels they can still beat Imanity with their tricks exposed, but not with Elves or Flugel. That’s why she wants to take revenge on Imanity now!

Sora agrees and throws her a coin. What’s this? He is tired with all the complicated schemes so a simple coin toss will do. So they make their wager if Blank wins, they get to control everything under Eastern Federation. Miko wagers Werebeasts’ right to rule, their own rights as well guarantee of resources. She thinks of her people’s priority because if the Elves invade, it will be over. She also wants her people to be taken care of in the event she loses. All Miko need to do is name heads or tails and Sora will choose the other. Once he flips the coin, Miko activates Blood Destruction and calculates with precision how many flips and bounces before it lands. Tails it is. But the coin gets stuck standing up! Sora says since it’s a draw, it’s either they both win (and get both their demands fulfilled) or both lose. Ino fears Sora wants to take over Eastern Federation and destroy Werebeast but Sora denies it. Why would he destroy his ultimate paradise of animal ear harem girls???!!! Miko realized she got played into his hands again because after he tossed the coin, he used his feet to move the loose tile to make it stuck. Miko is worried that even if their countries are united, they stand no chance against the Elves. Sora assures them that he has altered Fiel’s memories (the reason he made that deal during Kurami’s rematch). She should be giving wrong information to her elders. Sora is confident of getting the Elves when the time comes. Because checkmate isn’t just cornering your enemy’s king but a declaration that the enemy king is yours. Miko chooses for the win-win situation and with that, Elkia Federation is born. Blank further explains that they don’t want to start another Great War. If they had wanted to, they would have taken their race piece. Sora has a few questions about the race pieces, the races and what lies beyond the horizon so perhaps he wants to get those answers by challenging Tet. Besides, the final rule in the commandment seems to be contradicting and why put it there when it doesn’t have to be followed? That rule states to have fun with everyone. Basically if they aren’t having fun together, they can’t beat the game. As they don’t steal each other’s pieces, all 16 races must use their wisdom, talent and resources and build a tower on Disboard. Tet cannot wait for that day to happen and is glad he brought Blank here. Blank finally have a wish that Miko could process. Because she is a shrine priestess, she can summon the Gods. She calls forth Old Deus! It’s game on for Blank.


Specials that last 3 minutes and that something extra (read: fanservice) for your 2 cents worth when you buy the DVDs.

Special 1
Stephanie gets a big shock to see Sora and Shiro naked. Although their clothes are in the dryers, she claims to have left them spare ones. However this scene has her start fantasizing that they bath and dress together. Oh yeah. Sexy fanservice of the duo putting on clothes on each other. Sexy talk. Sexy moaning. Just too sexy. Lastly, Sora is going to help put on her striped panties. It’s like a game, huh? When it is Shiro’s turn to put on his briefs, he feels embarrassed and won’t allow it and goes into serious meltdown that he can’t ever get married. In reality, the duo observe Stephanie’s insanity. In a (sick) world of her own. Shiro thinks it is Sora’s fault somehow.

Special 2
What’s this?! A steamy erotic novel-like scene with Stephanie going to give something precious to Sora?! For real?! Sora tries to stay cool but his mind can’t help scream like crazy. Suddenly Shiro stops the entire thing. CUT! Wait a minute. Were they filming a movie?! What kind of movie was that?! Seems Shiro liked a certain erotic scene from an erotic game and wanted to remake it. She even hints doing that indecent up-and-down hand gesture to show that minors like her these days aren’t as naive as you think! She is going to redo this scene and turn it into a classic story. So take it from the top again. Because Shiro is now your goddamn producer!

Special 3
Stephanie wants a rematch with Sora again to avenge her humiliating loss. Oh dear. Will she ever learn? I don’t know what game they’re playing because for the first round, Stephanie got tentacle raped. Didn’t last 30 seconds. Sora wins. Second round. Slimy slime that dissolves her clothes. Didn’t last 30 seconds. Another win for Sora. Third round. I don’t know what the heck this liquid is but you’ll notice Stephanie is getting more violated than ever. You know how it ends… Sora is impressed with Flugel’s technology and wants to try something out without playing a game. Okay. Sora is going to materialize his dream game girls! The perfect harem ever! In the end, he is left disappointed and sad because… This kind of things doesn’t exist! Ever!!! NOOOOOO!!! YOU JUST CRUSHED THE HOPES OF ALL SINGLE OTAKU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He wanted to believe… We wanted to believe…

Special 4
Thanks to the humidity, Kurami’s clothes aren’t drying fast. Fiel returns with lots of clothes she bought from town for Kurami to try out. And so for the next few scenes, we see Kurami in various ‘cosplay’ outfits. From sexy maid to school swimsuit to bunny Playboy and sailor school uniform. But it seems Fiel’s comments only serve to piss her off. Like as though she is being made fun of. I think she is. Just when Kurami’s heart goes soft after Fiel explains she did this because she loves her and wants her fully clothed, Fiel then uses her magic to quickly dry her clothes. She really played her on.

Special 5
Sora rues that too much steam is blocking him from peeping the girls taking a bath. We have a still group picture of the girls lining up by the size of their breasts. From smallest to biggest: Kurami, Jibril, Fiel, Stephanie and Sora! Oh sh*t! The flattest one is the biggest one? Because she is still growing. So to say Kurami’s won’t grow anymore? So they talk and compare about breasts. So the bigger the better and higher chances of winning the war? If it only was this logical. Sora proceeds to tell them the secret and powerful technique of breast massaging that will enhance it. Kurami thinks Stephanie did that to grow that big but she rebukes it and says hers are naturally natural. Fiel then decides to take responsibility and massage Kurami’s non-existent boobs to ‘repair the injustice’. Yuri moment! Jibril cannot take it anymore and decides to join the fondling session. So while Kurami gets sexually violated and harassed, Stephanie closes Sora’s eyes since minors aren’t allowed to watch this. Yeah. Yuri stuffs aren’t for minors either. And the biggest loser is Shiro who is outside the bath, cursing his predicament. He’d do anything to transform and join in the lewdness…

Game Of Thrones
Hey wait. That’s it? Oh come on! I was just getting started with the fun and the interesting parts. What do you mean there isn’t any second season yet! Ah well, no continuation, no fun. Overall, this series has been quite exciting because the games that they play are interesting. Although the game itself looks simple, it is the tactics and strategies employed by our leading duo that makes it a good watch. If I may so consider this series to be of a puzzle genre, I think this one is very good indeed. Because every game has its own rules and quirks and all you need to do to beat is learn them, which is basically like solving a puzzle.

I hope this series gets another season since it was interesting enough for me to do a little research (read: random browsing of the series over Google). As the light novel that this series is based on is still ongoing, it looks like Blank is making steady progress in forming alliances with other races (defeating them in games of course) in their bid to challenge Tet and be the next One True God. While there is a range of different races of Exceeds (from dragons to giants to vampires to mermaids to dwarves to fairies and even machines), I am intrigued at the different types of Exceed in this world and so much so I had the liberty to guess what they are despite officially not much is known about them. Like for the 2nd rank Phantasma, I think they are spirits. You know, phantoms. And those Lumaluna people who only live on the moon. Moon people… Aliens… Bunnies? Hah… 3rd rank Elemental… Beings with super elemental powers? Like Superman? I am sure Sora would love to add all the other tropes to his ‘collection’. Why should he stop at animal ear girls when he can have mermaids, vampires and even half machine beings to his harem. Yeah, he is on a roll and you can’t stop him.

The games played are very interesting and I have to admit that each one played made me glued to the screen. Thanks to the in-depth analysis and explanations throughout the game, it keeps things fresh and exciting. With Blank being able to see and think every step all the way, it feels like they are just living a scripted life since everything eventually falls into their hands. Like a cheat code, huh? Well, only thing is that they aren’t using any and sore losers have only got themselves to blame for not thinking so far ahead. The only down part is that sometimes the explaining of the details need more brain power and time to digest. I know I’m not a smart guy so I had to frequently rewind and replay those explanatory parts just to try and understand. Because if it was me playing all those games, I would have completely lost without a fight at all. In record time! Shame on me. Hate to admit it… I must be that dumb :’(.

Blank has got to be the best combo and partner in the history of anime. It is their mutual and 1000% trust and believe in each other that make them excel in every game. It is like they have one mind but 2 bodies. Think of their brains being connected by some sort of invisible link 24/7. Although they may not be perfect individually, thus the reason why they have each other to cover for each other’s short comings. In that way, they are always invincible and many steps ahead of their opponents to take them by surprise. It seems like they possess some sort of super powers if you think about Shiro’s God-like calculations and analysis as well as Sora’s confident and very assertive negotiations. They analyse the enemy and think ahead. In a sense they make the game they play exciting to us watching spectators. They’re the Gods of the gaming world and even if you cheat or hack your way, you’ll never beat them. In the end they’ll always take you by surprise because you’ll never expect the unexpected. So if you are playing Blank, always bear in mind that you are fighting a losing battle. When they say with confidence that they will always win and tell you point blank in your face that you will lose, it is not arrogance or cockiness. It is a fact! So accept it!

Their wisdom and foresight are their greatest asset and wisdom and I truly respect them for seeing so many steps ahead and making plans along. Everything else just needs to fall in place. Despite being super unbeatable game players, Blank fail as human beings (by standard norms, that is) since they have their quirky and odd weaknesses. Like Sora being a pervert whenever he can and sometimes tries to show off to his sister (which makes him look like a fool after all that grand build-up and confidence) but Shiro would prefer him to stay a siscon forever. They’re not good in crowds and panic to the point of silliness when they are a few metres apart. Well, at least this shows they are not perfect and just humans. At least they play their games well and with pride. However you look at it, the interaction between them is amusing as hell as with their interaction with others. You’ll never be bored with them, guaranteed. In fact, some of the best quips in the show are from them.

Stephanie not only feels like the joker but a punching bag for Blank. Thanks to her gullibility and naïve nature, I guess it is no wonder why they love to take advantage of her. Well, saying taking advantage may be too misleading. Because in a way Stephanie is honest with her feelings, she is the best person to ‘test out’ certain things. You’d see an interesting response. Sometimes it is fun to see her being ‘bullied’ but sometimes I sympathize and feel for her. Because I am not a smart person myself and the way Stephanie thinks and decides is no different than what I would do if I were to be put in her shoes. After Blank’s revelation and explanation, it feels a little embarrassing if you reflect and compare their thinking or analysis to hers. I know… It somehow makes me feel small. Don’t worry Stephanie, I understand how you feel at times. And at times when she displays her intelligence, this just dumbfounds Blank! It’s like an insult! More shocking than the meaning of what she said. Yeah, they never knew she also had intelligence, do they? So truly, is Stephanie doomed to be the dumb joker of the series?

Jibril compliments the main quartet as being both smart and funny. Oddly despite having a large database of knowledge, she still cannot best Blank. This goes to show that knowledge is infinite and you don’t stop learning. I wonder if Flugel is part of the Elkia Federation since Jibril has sworn her loyalty to Blank (according to the ongoing story, they are already part of the federation). I don’t think she is the designated representative for Flugel and it might just be herself personally who have sworn her loyalty and not binding her race entirely. The same case with Kurami and Fiel. They might have lost to Blank and share his belief and vision but that doesn’t mean the Elf race has submitted to them. They are just conspiring with him as partners individually instead as a collective race.

Subtly this series tries to paint both the best and worst of human beings. Just like how Imanity have been designated the king piece and just like that piece, it is the weakest among all the pieces in chess but by foremost a very and the most important piece. Every race has their own weaknesses and bad traits but none other would match those of a human/Imanity. Because Sora and Shiro come from such a sh*tty world, you can say they have experienced the worst and do not place much hope in humanity. But it is that same reason why they have hope in bringing out humanity from the doldrums. Confused? After all, Blank is still humans no matter how you put it. You’d still support for humans anyway because you’re one and that is basic human nature. When it comes down to games, humans are no different than other races. As long as you have that gamer heart and never give up, fight till the very end, there is still a chance of victory no matter how miniscule the chance is.

The art and drawing seems a little odd. They aren’t your usual standard anime bishoujo or bishonen type and a bit cartoonish. But the biggest eyebrow raising thing you’ll notice is the colouring hue. In many scenes, there is this excess of reddish-purplish colouring. Like as though the producers somewhat ran out of other colours or they had too much of this colour tone and forced to apply them throughout the anime. This reminds me of another anime in which they ‘screw up’ the colour hues. Remember K? It is quite ‘glaring’ at first but once you are into the groove of this series, it becomes natural. There are a few fanservice scenes too but I’m so engrossed and more interested in the games that I don’t really pay attention to this side distraction. Really! Especially with Stephanie doubling as a joker and punching bag, I feel she also triples as the fanservice poster girl. Unless you’re the kind that favours Shiro’s shima pantsu. That naked scene during the shiritori game, it makes me wonder of the loophole as long as you don’t show nipples or private parts, it won’t constitute to full frontal nudity. Now I guess I know why during transformation scenes in certain animes they show such dangerous borderline naked scenes. No nipples, no private parts, no breaking rules.

There are also tons of trivia for you to spot. Not that the series parodies the games but you’ll find certain parody moments to be a gem and a true delight once you spot them. Like that “OBJECTION!” retort which is of course from that Ace Attorney series. Fancy to spot Yugioh cards or even that classic Laputa reference in the anime? Spot that Gendou pose too? Did a certain character from Steins;Gate make her short cameo appearance? I’m sure seeing such references would bring lots of smiles. This is of course you are quite familiar and knowledgeable with the anime and pop culture.

There are a handful of seiyuus that I seriously wasn’t able to identify at first and checking the list after I watched the anime, I was really dumbfounded I couldn’t recognize them. For example, Rie Kugimiya as Tet. Now, I haven’t heard this ‘tsundere loli’ specialist’s voice in a long time but I would certainly recognize her trademark squeaky voice anywhere. It doesn’t help that her character Tet doesn’t appear often so there wasn’t enough ‘time’ to recognize her. But this is not the first time Rie Kugimiya has voiced a character outside her recognizable voice. Miharu from Nabari No Ou and Al from Fullmetal Alchemist come to mind. Then there is Youko Hikasa as Stephanie. I don’t remember but was her voice a little this shrieky? I know she has the potential to make such voices but trying to imagine this was the one behind K-ON!’s Mio and High School DxD’s Rias didn’t quite do the trick. Also, it was Miyuki Sawashiro behind Izuna? I didn’t know she could sound so loli. Probably I wasn’t thinking about Rozen Maiden’s Shinku. Same case with Jun Fukuyama. Code Geass’ Lelouch is the voice of the former king? Is my voice recognition for popular (in my books) seiyuus starting to fail me? Yuka Iguchi wasn’t that bad although I didn’t initially recognize her as Kurami since she had that deadpan emotionless voice like Girl Und Panzer’s Mako and Mayo Chiki’s Subaru till she put up her trademark bratty voice subsequently.

Thankfully all is not lost because Yukari Tamura’s trademark shrieky voice as Jibril is recognizable from the start and she does indeed breathe interesting life to her character. More importantly and the big saviour of them all… Mamiko Noto as Fiel! Thank goodness I didn’t lose touch with this one. That is all that matters :). For the rest of the casts that I am not familiar with :’(, they are Ai Kayano as Shiro (Inori in Guilty Crown), Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Sora (Kirito in Sword Art Online, Sorata in Kanojo No Pet Na Kanojo), Naomi Shindou as Miko (Shizuru in Mai-HiME) and Mugihito as Ino (Keel in Neon Genesis Evangelion). The opening theme This Game by Konomi Suzuki and the ending theme is Oracion by Ai Kayano. They’re both upbeat and lively. However they aren’t to my taste and personally just feels okay.

Overall, I recommend this anime for everyone to watch. Whether or not you are smart or dumb, there is some entertainment and enlightening value in watching this series. I am sure that your views on games would differ or at least the way you think in playing games. Unfortunately for me I still can’t find true pleasure in playing games without using a cheat code. Maybe that is why I never got better. Maybe that is why I keep making the same mistakes all over and over again till I finally learn and improve after the umpteenth time. Maybe that is why I wasn’t summoned to Disboard. There is one thing similar about how games dictating Disboard and how the way our real world works: Winners write history! Only difference is that everyone in the end has fun. Unless you’re the sore loser type. Well, nobody likes to lose… Like they say, winning is not the only thing. It is everything! No seriously, no kidding!

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