No Game, No Life Episode 3 Notes

April 23rd, 2014.

“Cute is Justice!” and JoJo References.

The last few minutes of the last episode were pretty good. We even saw some hope for Sora as a likeable protagonist. And he sent a declaration of war, to reclaim the kingdom, and to become king. Let’s see how it pans out.

Episode:

1) For Humanity!

No Game No Life Episode 3 anime notes - Sora and Shiro JoJo's Bizarre Adventure reference

1) This is so Code Geass / Valvrave, which is exactly what I wanted to see. Find the people helping her cheat? No problem, accuse the other side of planting them to convince the other side. Never defend, always use the other side’s methods to try and attack them and damage their credibility further.

2) So, Clammy and the elf are real friends, or is the elf putting up a false front as well? Notice Clammy’s words – the one who detected her could do so because they’ve had the same idea as her. Meaning they too must have a dishonest soul. Or why the distance between cops and the crooks they chase is so small – they must have the same thoughts and instincts, even if not the same motivation. Give in to your desires, or rein them in.

3) JoJo faceJoJo “sound effects” and pose along with a quote! Together with last episode’s “WRYYYY!” guess we’re going to have more JoJo references here.

Heh, they have a list of favourite quotes, but yeah, the awesomeness of JoJo scares away the uninitiated;-)

4) And that’s Sora’s last message, his true motivation, “You need to stop looking down on humanity.” No Game, No Life is the show, is the world, for Sora to finally come to power through what he’s good at. The world is arbitrary, so he will game the system. The world is arbitrary, but humanity can still win. Sora does not wish to be looked down upon, to be considered a non-entity, a mere NEET.

2) For Cuteness!

No Game No Life Episode 3 anime notes - Sora and Shiro -

1) Lelouch is the king of Chess. Chess is about trading pawns for victory, or even trading away everythingbut the leader. So long you win, it’s all worth it. “Leave no one behind!” is the diametrically opposite stance. But what do you do when the piece will not be commanded to sacrifice itself, and will not sacrifice itself of its own volition? Well, guess it’ll have to be… persuaded.

Sora isn’t entirely right, it’s not just “Glory to our cause!” that’d drive one to self-sacrifice, that’s a very cynical view, where is the very common theme in anime, of dying to protect your allies? :3

2) Sora is pulling a fast one. The winner of this game is going to be crowned. That means if Sora and Shiro win, it’s not Stephanie who’ll become ruler, but the two siblings!

3) “Cuteness is the only universal justice all men obey!” – Honestly, this truly feels like a parody of Code Geass. The overly dramatic voice, the hidden charisma, the machinations, plots, and seeing others as pieces on a board. Charisma? It’s a game to him, to get people to follow him and defeat the others.

4) But he might believe these specific lines, “That’s all men are! They are being whose entire existences are to strive for, lust after the cuteness!” – The uncute girl cannot accept this truth! (That’s another JoJo reference, by the by)

5) When you think about it, Sora’s move is obvious. If the other side uses brainwashing, then so would he. The only unfitting piece is, where does his charisma come from? :P This lying liar.

Ah-ha! Dating sims are the source of his power! Dating sims tell you how to cheat, lie, and swindle romantic interests! Of course, I talked about all this at length back when TWGOK S3 was out, how it assumes people are deterministic and easy to manipulate. Well, they are easy to manipulate when theywant to be manipulated, which is often true for romance (we all want to believe, after all). Here though, the Chess pieces aren’t real people, they’re as real as the characters in dating sims, so it makes sense.

6) Here is the cuteness to calm and enflame every heart, at Sora’s side.

Multiple victory conditions, as befitting a strategy game. The other side can give up, or they can convert all the pieces to their side, or they could surprise us.

Post Episode Thoughts:

No Game No Life Episode 3 anime notes - Sora - JoJo's Bizarre Adventure reference

This show is a parody. The references to JoJo and such aren’t parody, they’re the usual “comedy” in anime these days, which aside from gags relies on references to other works, which is amusing, but also lazy, as it isn’t an outgrowth of characters’ personalities or the situation, and could honestly be lifted straight to any other show, as is.

I came to this show expecting things reminiscent of Code Geass and Death Note, with bluff-battles, and psychological warfare, with fearless leaders, and such. Sora is doing all of that, but since it’s unearned, and the source of his knowledge and charisma isn’t inborne but referenced to otaku-culture, it’s something of a parody. Yes, Lelouch and Light are just as ridiculous, and Sora not taking himself seriously showcases that.

Some of this show’s subtext messages are bad, such as dating sims teaching you to manipulate people, but nothingis taken seriously. Except, the spirit of humanity, and the desire to never lose.

Return to the No Game, No Life Episodic Notes page.

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