No Game, No Life Ep. 2: Building your harem one girl at a time

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Uh…

Episode Summary
Stephanie Dola gets mad at Sora for not telling her that her opponent had been cheating. The two of them then play a game, which Stephanie promptly loses. In return, the girl has to fall in love with Sora, and this allows the two siblings to enjoy a lavish life in Elkia’s royal palace. After hearing Stephanie’s sob story about her late grandfather’s faith in Imanity’s potential, Sora resolves himself to become king of Elkia. In order to do that, he’ll have to defeat the girl who had victimized Stephanie.

Notes

• Sure…

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Anime protagonists would never, ever do anything untoward with their imoutos.

• So Stephanie, the girl from who lost the poker game (as well as her clothes) in last week’s episode, is now trying to take her anger out on the siblings. But as expected, Sora is both blunt and and an asshole. Those two qualities tend to go hand-in-hand, especially amongst those who are, shall we say, socially disinclined. And they always tend to hide behind the veneer of truth-telling to justify their behavior. I mean, call the girl out for her naivete all you want, but was the cheap shot against her late grandfather really necessary? Sometimes, you have to wonder if it’s really society’s fault that these NEETs are seemingly unable to integrate themselves into the world-at-large, or are these kids just too much of an asshole for anyone to bother with them.

• Sora and Stephanie then play a game of  Rock-Paper-Scissors. Yeah… I wasn’t really interested in all the strategy talk for such a simple game. Obviously, the appeal here is supposed to lie in the supposed psychology of the characters’ decision-making process, but I didn’t find anything particularly profound here.

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The simple truth is that the poor girl is kinda slow, so she got outsmarted. Ho-hum.

• Stephanie realizes she’s been tricked again by the conditions of the pledge, though it seemed pretty clear to me that Sora could and would ask for anything upon his victory. Oh well, I really hope this series isn’t just the two siblings always managing to outsmart people, but it seems like we are destined to head down this path. That would get old fast.

• And for his “little favor,” Sora wants the poor girl to fall in love with him. Yes, he tricks a naked girl down in the dumps into being his girlfriend. Granted, Sora’s never supposed to be an upstanding character, but that’s pretty messed up. He then claims he’s only requesting this in order to get all of the Stephanie’s money, but Shiro correctly points out that all Sora simply had to do to get the girl’s money was to make Stephanie his slave. Sora then beats his head against the wall as he wonders whether or not his fears of never getting a girlfriend had played a subconscious role in this slip-up. In response, Shiro accuses, “You said you didn’t need a girlfriend. You said all you needed was me.” Ugh, “fairly healthy normal brother-sister relationship,” my ass.

• Understatement of the year:

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• Stephanie actually does fall in love with Sora much to her surprise and displeasure. Is the girl merely falling in love with Sora though because she lost, or is she falling in love with him because he’s the protagonist of the series and she just can’t help it? You can never really tell with anime. But if it’s the former, I guess in the magical world of Disboard, something out there makes sure you hold up your end of the pledge if you lose… which is weird to me, because even though cheating is against the rules, people are still able to cheat. Cheaters only get in trouble if they get caught. So why wouldn’t it be the same for losers?

• Welp, this got puerile fast:

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Let me guess… before this show is over, Sora’s going to win himself a harem of girls. But I suppose if there’s one thing an anime female can resist, it’s losing her virginity onscreen (unless you’re a character in School Days).

• So if the siblings are separated from each other…

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…Shiro has extreme abandonment issues…

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…and Sora acts like a traumatized victim of child abuse. This is really kinda… pathetic. It’s all treated like one big joke, so I can’t really sympathize with them. The tone of the scene doesn’t really lend itself to the slightest bit of seriousness. But if this is meant to be a joke, it’s not really funny. After all, what’s funny about abandonment or child abuse? In the end, I’m not sure what the story is going for here.

• We then follow this scene up with a shot of Stephanie and Shiro taking a bath together. Great.

• What follows is a dry, world-building scene. Elkia is the only remaining “Imanity” — they’re basically humans — territory. There are fifteen other races and these pretty much run the gamut from Elves to Sirens to Beasts. The key bit of information here is that every race can use magic except for the Imanities. As a result, magically-challenged have a bit of a defeatist attitude, and as a result, have lost so much to the other races that Imanity is now dead last in the standings. Oh, but I’m sure the two siblings will soon change all of that. Then the final villain will hatch the most dastardly plan of them all: separate the siblings, thereby rendering Sora and Shiro unable to win!

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• Shiro is so smart, she’s already managed to learn how to read written Imanity. As if there was any doubt… Stephanie then stares all doe-eyed at Sora and Shiro. She’s hoping that these two can someho save Elkia and bring Imanity back to prominence. Most of all, she just wants to prove her late grandfather right, which is that Imanity has potential! Or something. It’s pretty generic.

• But first things first, Sora will have to show Kurumi up, the girl who humiliated Stephanie in last week’s episode.

Closing Thoughts
Anyway, this show is shaping up to be one giant fellatio for the siblings. A Hoover vacuum would be put to shame if it could see what is going on here. The first episode was decent because it had something potentially interesting to say, and yes, later episodes could very much emulate the first episode, but yeah… this week’s offering is pretty unexciting and unfunny. As it stands, it’s just a set-up episode for future events — and I’m not saying that this type of episodes should be avoided altogether — but it’s a pity that a lot of us have come to accept that it’s okay for set-up episodes to be boring.

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16 thoughts on “No Game, No Life Ep. 2: Building your harem one girl at a time

  1. elior1

    @e minor the scence where they separated is not mean to be a joke becouse it will effect their games on verge of lose sometimes when they not near each other so this scene was not a joke.

    Reply
  2. elior1

    @e.minor i dont think they did a poor job becouse sora even said in the bathroom that he and shiro can be far from each outher in certian distance so it mean if they will be more far then the one sora talking about they can lose.also it not going to be harem show a few girls will follow him but beside steph none of them will fall in love with him

    Reply
  3. eternia

    People must obey the agreement, magically, because it’s the part of the ten commandments.
    People are allowed to cheat, because it’s the part of the ten commandments too.
    If they aren’t allowed to cheat, the commandments will be this: “thou shalt not cheat”
    But instead it said, “whoever to be found out cheating, loses instantly”
    The creator clearly allowed people to cheat.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      The creator clearly allowed people to cheat.

      Nobody said otherwise. You’re missing the point I was trying to make.

      Reply
      1. higgsbosoff

        I guess the point is: it’s completely arbitrary, but it’s set up like that because otherwise it’d be no fun. Which makes sense since the rules were set up by the God of Games who probably is in it mostly for the lulz.

        Reply
        1. higgsbosoff

          Well, otherwise people could be blatant about it and it wouldn’t even be a game. What fun is there in a poker game where people openly draws aces out of their pockets? If players have to avoid being spotted, they’ll find interesting ways to cheat.

        2. E Minor Post author

          If anything goes, the number of crazy ways you could cheat would be interesting too. Anyway, I don’t care about this issue all that much, but I still think the arbitrariness is silly.

  4. Ax_v

    So far, I’ve only seen these people play games of wits and nothing physical, like a sport. With how unhealthy the main characters are, I doubt they would be able to win those games, if they every play them.

    Reply
      1. A Day Without Me

        Actually, given Lewis’s preference for the little sister in those books and his distaste for adult women/girls who weren’t interested in being little girls forever, the comparison holds up more than I’d initially thought! I’m almost tempted to watch so I can try to figure out who the fuck Aslan is.

        Reply

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