“A way for the weak to stay weak, but still defeat the strong. A way to stay who you are, but surpass your limits. To soar through the sky, even if you can’t fly… he’s always found a way, inside despair, suffering and darkness.” – Kurami
The last episode of No Game No Life wastes no time at all the jumps directly into the action of the game where Izuna has gone into her Blood Destruction warbeast mode. She continuously pursues Sora and Shiro and Blank is forced onto the defensive. Even Shiro cannot predict Izuna’s movements now. Although the warbeast Blood Destruction mode is rare, it allows the user to completely overcome their physical limits which makes Izuna pretty much unstoppable. Luckily, Blank’s amazing foresight and planning comes in handy. Izuna ends up shot by Steph who’s being piggybacked by an NPC. Shiro, having calculated the movements of the NPC managed to sneak up behind Izuna. Victory is declared for Blank. The plan goes back to the beginning when Sora made Steph pledge something before the game began – to obey Shiro’s order but forget it. Again Sora and Shiro have displayed amazing tactical planing and battle prowess when it comes to games. Although the old warbeast is reluctant to announce it, Elkia is the winner. Izuna is devastated because she believes that her having in the game has caused her people much suffering however, Sora and Shiro assure and comfort Izuna of her worries.
We finally get to meet the Shrine Priestess warbeasts in charge of overseeing and representing the warbeasts. They end up at the capital of the Eastern Federation: Kannagari at the priestess’s shrine. The priestess naturally wants to challenge Sora and Shiro to another game in order to reclaim their land. Blank settles on a coin toss AND just as the coin is tossed, the priestess uses her own Blood Destruction mode to predict whether the coin will be heads or tails. Luckily Blank has it all planned out and it ends up being a DRAW (like planned). Both parties either win or lose and in this case, the priestess has decided on two wins so that the Eastern Federation retains self-governance despite being under the sovereignty of Elkia. Thus, the Elkian Federation is born. The warbeasts fear that the Elves will challenge them to war soon enough because Elvan Garden now knows the warbeasts secrets but Sora has already altered Fil’s memories so her report to the elves will be falsified. As a result, all secrets have been safely preserved.
Sora, Shiro, Steph, Jibril and the three warbeasts end up admiring the horizion of the Disboard together. Blank reiterates their goal – to beat Tet. Everyone is totally appalled that they would challenge the One True God himself but Blank doesn’t see anything wrong with that. They’ve picked up tons of hints. 1) The race pieces are shaped liked chess pieces. 2) There are sixtenn races in the Exceed in this world (much like the pieces on a chess board) 3) There are a few giant chess pieces on the horizon. In other words, you can only challenge god once you’ve conquered the other races. The others wonder if this requires taking the Exceed’s chess pieces but Blank reminds them of the last rule – to play together and have fun, to build up their wisdom together into a tower, up to God. These scenes bring us completely full circle to Tet’s words when he first conquered the world – when he asked the other races, which of them possess enough wisdom to challenge God.
As the credits roll we see Kurami and Fil set out… somewhere. Perhaps they will appear again to aid Blank.
Just as the shrine priestess is about to leave, Sora says the if the female warbeast is a shrine priestess then she must have… one. The entire world begins to quake from the sheer power exploding from the priestess. We see Old Deus, rank 1, manifest from the priestess. AND THEN THE EPISODE ENDS RIGHT THERE. DAMN I want to see that game happen.
Thoughts on the Ending
For twelve episodes, No Game No Life managed well-rounded character building, great supporting character appearances, a quick plot and a neat ending without wasting screen time on any filler scenes or rushing to wrap up loose ends. Did we get a full and proper ending to the warbeast arc? Definitely. Am I disappointed that we did not get to see an actual ending to the larger overarching plot in question? A little however, with what little tweleve episode we have, I am immensely pleased that the writers did not think to rush all sixteen race games and battles into one season. However, Blank’s brilliant planning has assuaged any immediate questions we may have about the fate of the warbeasts. As well, Blank’s last conversation with their allies has answered a few key and greater mysteries about the Disboard world… or at least provided us enough information to answer some of the big challenges that Tet has supposedly set in this world.
Challenging a member of Exceed’s Rank 1 to a game is definitely another story for another time. No Game No Life will definitely have a season two what with how it’s ended. I really this anime could have bled into the twenty-four episodes range however the pacing of the plot would have been a lot slower if there were twelve more episodes to kill. The ending of season 1 gives us enough answers to satisfy our curiosities about the premise of the show but left us with a major cliff-hanger that leaves us totally excited for season 2… and with how it’s ended there must be a season 2 because if a season 2 never happens this ending would not make any sense. Since Blank has stated numerously throughout the series and just before the ending that they are set on challenging the One True God, the story won’t feel complete without at least another season.
Series Overview & Final Thoughts
I’m always that type of person who is really picky about her favourites when it comes to anything. I find it difficult to find favourite timeless anime series in the seasonal shuffle of anime adaptations. However, I really think No Game No Life has made it to one of my all-time favourite lists. It has a way of challenging the stereotypical ways we approach, strategize and play games. Although the show has its count of action-packed scenes with high stakes and higher risks, it never takes itself too seriously. As much as Sora and Shiro plan beforehand to game against their opponents, they never forget, and as a result, the audience never forgets that they are playing a game and games should be fun.
If you think back on the twelve episode season, we are really only watching Blank take on three ranks – Imanity for their Kingship, the Flugel for her library and finally the warbeasts for their land and resources. However throughout these twelve episodes and despite there being only three big rank matches (with a few fun games interjected in between), the plot never wastes a moment lagging on comedy or dialogue. Every episode has a clear up and down flow of plot build up, climax, resolution and transition to the next episodes. No Game No Life proves to be the strongest of the new spring anime season shows with its complex but fluid storyline, its distinctly lively style of animation and fun otaku-relatable characters.
I am pleased to recommend No Game No Life to any and all anime viewers. Whether you’re into action or romance, comedy or slice of life, you should be able to find something amusing in the No Game No Life story. As anime fans and gamers, naturally we can relate to the characters of Blank and the different personalities they encounter in the fantastical Disboard world. No Game No Life is a fun series to introduce to friends who are looking for an introductory off mainstream little series to spur them into the world of anime.
Thank you guys every much for following me these past twelve weeks on No Game No Life. I had so much fun with this series and I have almost nothing bad to say about it. Each week kept me wanting more from the story and the series really never disappoints. If you guys are looking for more of my No Game No Life thoughts, an overall series review will be posted on my channel shortly so stay tuned for that! Till then, take care!
What are you pondering today?