No Game, No Life – 2

I get probably way more excited than I should when I see that the RSS feed has downloaded a new episode of No game, No life. After the strong showing in the first episode, I just can’t wait to see more devious mind games and high stakes craziness, and this week hasn’t let me down. In this episode, the show attempted to establish the “norm” and our main goals; to become “king” and defeat the other races by bringing humanity from last to the top.

Why are we at the bottom anyway? Apparently, humanity can’t use or even detect magic and this severely hampers their ability. Sora isn’t exactly intimidated by this (which is exactly what I was hoping for) and seems to think he’s got what it takes to take them all down in his wake. It’s funny to see them take such interest in the real world when it was all they couldn’t stand previously. It could be argued that the “real world” here bears so little in common with ours that it’s technically a higher staked game. It could also be argued that you’re thinking way too hard about chinese cartoons.

I have to say that Sora is absolutely awesome. He’s so psychologically intimidating and intense that even I got uncomfortable from the other side of the screen watching him posture his way to victory each time. Sure, we’ve seen some great psychological masters in anime, but I feel the distinction with Sora is that he seems to use it only when necessary; when it comes down to game time, like a switch, he activates it and does whatever he must at any cost to win. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the fighter’s mentality, and it’s crucial to victory at higher levels of play.

Interesting to note that when losing, one is forced to uphold the stakes that they bet at the beginning of play. That’s right; you do not have the choice to decline or be duplicitous, if you lose, you lose. The finality of that definitely worries me as Sora has a habit of betting his life every goddamn time. Hubris is not a great feather to put in your cap in a work of fiction.

Now that Sora’s aspired to be king, things are going to get even more interesting. I would have been happy with just watching him outwit everybody and get nothing done, but this is even better, of course.

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