No Game, No Life Episode 9 Notes

June 4th, 2014.

How to Change when You Can’t.

So, static noise, a video game, Sora disappearing, Blank never loses, and Shiro has to win. I suspect we’re already in the game. Time to make it good.

(Screenshot album for this episode)

Thoughts and Notes:

1) What They Ask For Vs. What They Want:

No Game, No Life Episode 9 anime notes - Sora questions people's ability to change

Sora and Shiro, and also the birth of “Blank”? Shiro was bored of her life, and just gave the adults what they asked for, which was her playing their games for them, with them. Shiro though doesn’t really understand people – she didn’t give adults what they wanted, but what they said they wanted. Sora may not be as smart as she is, but he was smart enough to know what they truly wanted was not to see this 3 year old child beat them at chess, so he says what they truly wanted to.

Yes, Sora had to hide his true nature, and his own desires, until he had been given this sister, and the two of them can’t beat one another, but they also don’t really desire to, for with one another they can be equal.

And now Shiro is without Sora, for the first time in eight years.

Everything is in off-colour and with a slight echo. One could assume it’s due to the state of shock Shiro is in, but I’m all but certain we’re already within the warbeasts’ virtual reality game.

2) Living in a Game-World:

No Game, No Life Episode 9 anime notes - Jibril watches crying Shiro

Well, there’s also the “Altered memories” due to loss option, but come on, it fits too neatly :P If anything here is actually non-game, I’d say it’s that they played with the Warbeasts once and lost, and the wager was Sora ceasing to exist, and if Shiro wins, she’ll get him back, but I still put my chips on virtual reality. Of course, it can be both.

“Wager your lost memories, and lose.” – Man, being a detective or something along those lines in this world. Arbitrary game-like rules, but that can make it interesting. Heck, we’ve seen part of it in this arc already, to have a “perfect crime” one must also get the other side to play with them and risk losing their memories. It’d be really interesting to see more situations from our world in this world. Psychology? Someone’s depressed, so you can just play a game with them, have them lose, and have them lose their sadness? Then again, our personalities become easily manipulated barter chips as well.

3) Change Without Change:

No Game, No Life Episode 9 anime notes - Sora and Shiro

Hm, that small Sora and Shiro discussion. “People don’t really change”, after Shiro is crying. It means that their lives won’t change if they rely on others to change, and that it won’t truly change with age. The other people might not mess with Shiro’s toys, but they’d still treat her as an outsider, just as the adults in the orphanage had.

So Shiro tells her to change, not herself, because she can’t, but how she does things, which relates back to her seeing him an empty – they will be “Blank”, and they will act as those around them demand, while inside they will not succumb, and remain themselves – not just because that’s what they should do, but understanding that there is no other option. Of course people change, and of course people mostly stay the same. Both are true.

Sora is telling Shiro on one hand that they will conquer the world without changing, but that they will also have to change, and adapt to the world, to not be crushed by the harsh reality of it. They will change, how they relate to others, how they are in the world. They will change what they can, and accept what they cannot change.

But in this world of Flatboard, everything is up for change, it seems.

“Brother said we’re not the heroes of boys’ manga.” – So, is that why you keep referring to it, cause you wish you’d be? Well, today’s recollections of their past meetings make me think that they would like to be, but they’re aware they’re not.

4) The Big Bet:

No Game, No Life Episode 9 anime notes

“He’s going to get an elf?” – Ooooh, last episode he said “They’re here, those with a spine to challenge us,” and I was sure he was speaking of Kurami and her elven friend, who were brave enough to challenge them and wouldn’t put up with his gambit, so perhaps they’re still relevant, but he’s going to use them. He’d prove to her he’s not on anyone’s side but humanity’s by… something.

“Brother, you’re amazing, no one would figure it out.” – Shiro, you figured what he’d play, based on his personality, and constructed a whole game from scratch, without remembering any single move, you’re the amazing one :P This is the TVTrope called “Gambit Roulette”, where it’s all planned out, including your loss, your friends’ memory-loss, their memory-regain, them seeing all the moves you’ve made, etc. So yes, it’s either a big leap of faith for Sora, insanity, or him being a genius. But does Sora not have to be even more genius for it to work? I’d say yes.

Shorter Notes / Asides:

No Game, No Life Episode 9 anime notes - Shiro fondles Stephanie

  1. “So Shiro, why did you fondle my breasts?” – “To thank you.” – That’s a child raised on otaku culture for you :P
  2. Oooh, you can lose your limbs, or your whole body, but your partner would still be there.
  3. It’s a nice touch, how the Othello stones punch into reality, but also match with the opening sequence, of Shiro punching the black holes on the monitor.
  4. Happy Shiro is literally using the :3 smile.
  5. Kurami now knows Sora better than almost everyone else. She knows all that he thinks and believes. Shiro might know him better, because she might know what he’s capable of that he doesn’t believe in either. I do wonder, will she like him more now? I suspect she’ll dislike him more, if anything ;-) Dislike and respect.

Post Episode Thoughts:

No Game, No Life Episode 9 anime notes - Child Sora

Ok, so it was all a game, a virtual reality, so to speak, but not the one with the Warbeasts, which I thought it’d be! That game still has to be played out, but now Sora got “the last piece he needed”, so his victory isn’t up for question. Then again, “Blank never loses”, so this show isn’t really about tension of wondering whether Shiro and Sora will lose, but seeing how they win.

This whole show is one big case of Gambit Roulette, the focus had always been on how they’d win.

Unless of course, this whole show is Tet’s Gambit Roulette. I think it might be, and then Sora and Shiro’s Gambit Roulette will show they knew that! Hue.

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

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