I don’t believe men exist in anime anymore. Oh, there’s a man in anime — there’s a man for each anime, to be more precise — but whenever I tune into a show these days, it’s one endless procession of naked girls to the next.1 Sometimes, I really wonder why I’m still watching this medium. Well, I suppose watching anime used to feel a bit like gambling. I had always hoped that I’d one day hit it big and find that perfect show. Yeah, that was what I used to hope for. “Used to” being the key words here. These days, the search for the perfect anime is so futile that I may as well be looking for Shangri-la. The start of the seventh episode of No Game, No Life offers me no respite either. We go from the girls in Sora’s harem bathing together, to Stephanie and Jibril in some sort of magical kitchen, then finally, to Kurami bathing in some fluorescent lake until her Elven friend drops by. Like I’ve said, it’s just one endless procession of naked girls one after the other. The worst part is, they never have anything interesting to say.
Anyway, the siblings have already started planning out their next conquest: the Eastern Federation. More specifically, the animal kingdom full of furry anime babes. Blech.2 Nevertheless, defeating the Warbeasts will be easier said than done. After all, we’ve already been told that members of the Eastern Federation can read people’s minds. Not only that, whenever they win, they supposedly wipe the loser’s memories. Gosh, how is anyone supposed to learn from their mistakes then? In the middle of trying to solve this latest conundrum, however, Sora also learns that Stephanie’s late grandfather had challenged the Eastern Federation eight times. Naturally, he lost all eight of those attempts. This revelation really annoys Sora, prompting him to talk shit about the now-deceased patriarch. In the end, he goes too far and causes Stephanie to storm off. This is apparently a bad thing, because she has a very special key she had inherited from her late grandfather — a key that could very hold that secrets to defeating the Warbeasts! But how can she entrust the key to Sora when h-he’s… he’s just so mean!
Jibril, being the loyal servant that she is, tries her best to mend things. She convinces Stephanie to return to the library so that she can see how hard the guy has been working ever since Stephanie had stormed off. What is he working for, exactly? Well, after his disbelief about the whole eight losses thing has subsided, Sora finally realizes it just doesn’t make any sense for anyone — even the biggest idiot in the world — to challenge an opponent eight times in a row when the odds are stacked against him. Therefore, the late king must’ve had a trick up his sleeve. Now, Sora thinks poorly of humanity in general, but he nevertheless believes in a few, select individuals. Would it surprise you to hear that he thinks Shiro3 just happens to be one of those few, select individuals? Sure, Shiro is smart. I can buy that. It’s everything else that has me rolling my eyes. “In our old world, humans could fly through the sky and travel among the stars,” Sora says, “Somebody, the real thing made it there. It’s our job as normal people to ensure that potential of those misunderstood ones is realized.” Sure, that sounds great. That just doesn’t sound like Shiro.
First off, let’s just assume Sora is right about there being only a few, select individuals with the potential to achieve anything great. I don’t believe that — more specifically, I believe that anyone can become an expert in any field so long as they’re willing to put in the time and the work — but for the sake of the argument, let’s just grant that Sora’s right. The problem here is that even if Sora is right, he’s not describing Shiro. Shiro is a NEET. Not only that, Shiro spends most of her days playing games with her brother. Even in this world where the siblings have ambitious designs to conquer the entire world, they’re really just playing games. They’re not really doing anything that would force either of them to grow as individual human beings. The worst part is, neither she nor her brother are doing anything to correct the situation. At this rate, she isn’t going to achieve shit, and that’s just the cold, hard truth.
Still, Sora’s words somehow bring tears to Stephanie’s eyes. To me, he just trashed the entirety of humanity in order to put a few, select individuals on a pedestal, but hey, those few, select individuals also happen to include Stephanie’s late grandfather, so fuck the rest of humanity! She thus comes around and entrusts that magical key to him. Unlike Nisekoi, however, we don’t dilly-dally here. Our heroes immediately find the secret door that this magical key unlocks, and through said secret door, they discover the late king’s journal. Sora now understands that Stephanie’s late grandfather had lost on purpose. In the end, the Warbeasts’ downfall will be their hubris, because they arrogantly decided not to erase the late king’s memories. Rather, they thought they could trick the old man into challenging them over and over. And he did! But he also knew that he would lose. Y’see, he was playing the long game. He was biding his time and taking notes on the games in the hopes that some fated individual will one day discover his journal and defeat the Warbeasts once and for all. Unlike Stephanie, her late grandfather was merely pretending to be a fool! Aw, what a bittersweet ending…4
1Now, I suppose everyone’s going to be like, “What about Mushishi? What about Ping Pong? What about–…” Obviously, I’m exaggerating so calm your britches.
2Oh, I totally realize that having cat ears and a cat tail isn’t quite the same thing as being a furry. I don’t really care though. I just like needling people.
3According to Sora, he first met Shiro when she was only three. Even at such a young age, however, Shiro supposedly burned him hardcore: “She put together my name, Sora, meaning ‘sky,’ and the fact that I was only smiling because everybody else was, and insulted me with that double meaning.” Yeah, man, smiling during a social interaction totally makes you phony, inauthentic, or whatever bitter shit you can come up with. According to the guy, this event apparently opened his eyes to Shiro’s genius, but I just find the whole thing so utterly pretentious. It just reminds me of the self-proclaimed geniuses who would look down on the “plebes” and incessantly whine about how having any grasp of social mores somehow makes you a worthless sellout. Puh-leeze. You’re not smarter than anyone else for realizing that a lot of people are only pretending to be appear friendly during a casual, meaningless conversation. Those “plebes” realize it too. They’re just willing to the play the game, and for some stupid reason, you’re not. Which is why you’ve had to run away to a fantasy world to play other games.
4Actually, I think it’s pretty lame and corny as fuck.