I have to say that although episode 9 was confusing, it not only moved the plot forward but also opened insight on how strongly Sora is devoted to Shiro and how much Shiro loves her brother.
The entirety of episode 9 is told from Shiro’s perspective. We begin with her back story. When she was young, she was sent to an orphanage and ended up undertaking a lot of intelligence tests because of her brilliance. A few years later, she was adopted into a family with an older brother – Sora, who use to cater hit words to gain favour with adults. Shiro called him “truly blank” because he didn’t care about anything. The siblings begin there.
Shiro wakes up in shock, having no idea where her brother is or what he’s done. From Shiro’s perspective, everything is in black and white. Although Jibril and Steph at first try to convince Shiro that she’s been implanted with false memories, Shiro is adamant that Sora exists. Jibril attempts to play a game with Shiro, asking Shiro to lose and the penalty will be the removal of her false memories. Just before Shiro can make a fatal move that costs Blank a loss. Shiro remembers Sora’s words and his presence… BLANK NEVER LOSES. The chess game brings Shiro back to her senses. Steph is the first person to acknowledge the fact that Sora might be real too.
Shiro begins her investigation. She asks Steph and Jibril what they did on the 20th, but they can’t remember… nor can they remember where they were two nights ago. Shiro confirms the strange change by groping Steph. Since Steph isn’t in love with Shiro, but Sora, she isn’t exactly aroused with Shiro gropes her LOL hilarious but effective way of testing Sora’s existence.
Jibril claims a large scale magic spell couldn’t do it because they’d leave traces. Shiro proposes that it was a game and that Sora’s disappearance was part of the rules. Shiro goes through her memories, Sora’s words to her… a promise, Blank, the last piece to face the Eastern Federation… Shiro figures out that Sora wants an elf to help him but Kurami would never agree to trust Sora unles…
Shiro deduces that the game was to steal each other’s existence. TALK ABOUT THINKING OUT OF THE BOX.
Now we flash out to a game of Reversi or Othello to demonstrate exactly what Sora had in mind. The 32 stones constitute and represent your existence and ranked in importance according to the priorities assigned by your subconscious. You start to lose and gain parts of yourself back as you play the game. In the end, the loser loses his existence. The winner gets to make two demands of the loser. ANY demands of the loser and his/her partners. Sora’s last rule is that should the participant of the game be unable to continue, his or her partner can step in for her.
With the collaboration of elven magic, it could be possible to erase someone’s existence in this game. Shiro has Jibril scan the room for magic and it exists but she is unable to pinpoint its location. Shiro hypothesizes that the game is still underway… Blank hasn’t lost yet. Steph trips over… something, even though it’s nothing. She trips over three Reversi pieces – 1, 2 and 3.
Shiro remembers Sora’s words about the two of them being ONE, as Blank, as one player, which is why she still has her memories. Shiro finally figures out what Sora has in mind and because Sora knows she’s brilliant, she knows what moves he would play. As the chips flip back and forth, Kurami gets more and more of Sora’s memories and glimpses of his existence. When Sora’s entire person disappears because most of the chips have been flipped in Kurami’s favour, he STILL hasn’t’ lost the game because he hasn’t lost his entire “self” – the last three stones contain three things even more important to Sora than his existence which is why he hasn’t lost. The third is the method to win the game. The second is his complete trust in Shiro and the first is Shiro HERSELF. The two of them ARE BLANK after all.
Does that make sense to you guys?
Shiro turns the entire board around with her three remaining pieces and brings her brother back, along with victory. The entire room collapses on itself because the game has finally finished. Kurami ends up being a blank shell after she loses because she’s lost all her pieces and therefore lost her metaphysical existence so to speak.
In the light novel after Sora disappears, Kurami has no choice but to sit and wait for her opponent to make a move because she still doesn’t understand the entirety of Sora’s intentions with the game. Sora never lost because he never used the last three key pieces of his existence. Even though he himself disappered, three vital parts of Sora’s existence in the game do not even pertain to him. They are all things outside him. He was technically waiting for Shiro to deduce what was happening which is why the game went on hiatus after Sora “disappeared.” The purpose of Sora’s game was to make Kurami understand everything going on in Sora’s mind. Demand 1 is to allow both players to keep a copy of their memories and their opponent’s memories. DUEL MIND SWAP and Demand 2 is the right to alter some of Fie the elf’s memories. Kurami finally understands Sora’s plan. Kurami and Fie are to spy for Blank…
Once the game is over and the demands have been made, Sora, Shiro, Kurami and Fie ALL START TO BAWL. AWWWW. It was a HUGE gamble and Sora came up on top. I guess it was pretty scarry for Kurami and Fie as well because their existences were on the line. This was a really great game to kick off Sora’s plan against the Eastern Federation and bring the many characters together. I am really curious to Kurami and Fie’s past. Why are they so close? They’re from different races and theoretically should know nothing about each other… more back story is needed.
Another really great episode of No Game No Life. This series is going really strong. The use of black and white animation at the beginning to showcase Shiro’s hesitance and confusion was brilliant. When she becomes certain of her brother and Blank, the sudden flood of colour into the screen adds to the intensity of the moment. Episode 9 assuages my worries about Shiro and Sora being dysfunctional when they are apart. Though Shiro was pretty panicky at first, she quickly gets her wits about her and in the end she comes through for her brother. I am also very impressed with the way the comedy is inserted in this episode and how it was placed at the end as a way of relieving the audience of the gravity of the game. I’m really impressed with No Game No Life week after week. They really do not disappoint.
What are you pondering today?