Anime

Review: No Game No Life Episode 10: Flügel on the Roof and Full Dive Couches

Quick Summary

In No Game No Life episode 10, “Blue Rose,” Sora made a surprise announcement: in order to increase teamwork, everyone had to introduce themselves. Kurami Zell didn’t really want to say much more than her name, but with a little prompting from Sora (who mentioned something about padding), she did her part. All was going well until they got to Fil Nilvaren. Apparently, she wasn’t about to work with the Flügel Jibril, who had apparently destroyed at least one and maybe more Elven cities back in the Great War. Can Sora and Shiro keep their little group together long enough to take on the Eastern Federation? Or will Jibril’s past transgressions (and complete lack of contrition in the present) doom their plans?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

What’s in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Moment 1: The Trial of Jibril the Flügel

All these years later, Jibril still remembers the bump she got on her head. You know, the bump that triggered a city destroying rampage? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’m beginning to think I just like the word “Flügel.” I seem to be using it every chance I get…

Sora’s plans to build teamwork hit a snag. Sora might have anticipated this obstacle and planned it as an exercise for the team to work through, but I’m not sure Sora has a deep enough understanding of folks for that. The snag? Fil was still furious at Jibril for an event that happened years and years ago during the Great War.

Apparently, the Elves had placed the equivalent of magical speed bumps in the air about their cities to discourage arial attacks. Jibril was flying a combat mission when she collided with one. It knocked her out of the sky. In a rage, it seems she destroyed at least one city.

And Fil’s still quite irate about it.

Fil holds a bit of a grudge against Jibril. Can’t really say that I blame her… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

In response, Jibril tried to justify herself, saying (04:34), “I fell from the sky and got a bump on my head from that. I don’t see how you can blame me if I accidentally let you all die.”

Two things struck me about what she said. First, when the show calls the Flügel “god killers,” they mean it. It’s not a nickname or a euphemism. Jibril and her kind were made for combat in a way that Takao and the other Mental Models from Arpeggio of Blue Steel could only dream of. Second, Jibril’s delight in her past — and her inability to admit she was in the wrong — remind me strongly of a child. A very, very spoiled child.

A child who can destroy cities.

I like Jibril, but I don’t think I’d want to have coffee with her or anything. Way too much stress.

Moment 2: Sora’s Memories are Not Enough

What kind of intimacy must it be for Kurami and Sora, who aren’t lovers or even friends, know each other so thoroughly? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Kurami tracked down Sora and Shiro’s secret library (the King’s old secret room). She accused them of goofing off, but as Shiro read furiously (if one can actually do such a thing), Sora explained that he was just helping — it was Shiro who was doing the actual work.

Kurami was still very uneasy, and Sora guessed why. He didn’t ask her, he told her that she didn’t believe they could win. Sadly, she agreed, saying that she’d been through his memories (since she had them, and he had hers) and had come to a troubling conclusion. All of their victories had come down to the wire. Yes. they had won everything so far, but they could just as accurately said they just barely didn’t lose each time.

“I don’t think you can win like this,” Kurami said (13:01).

Kurami didn’t disagree with his plan out of spite or pique. She honestly didn’t think he could pull it off. And to be candid? That’s progress from the perspective of their relationship! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This is where it got interesting. Sora didn’t claim he could do it. In fact, he came out and said that if it were left up to him, he’d screw up so badly they’d lose. But he wasn’t Blank by himself. He told a still skeptical Kurami that Blank always won because Shiro was there to pull their collective fat out of the fire.

Kurami seemed to get it. “The reason I think you can’t win is because I only have your memories,” she said (14:11).

I liked scene for two reasons. First, it reiterated the high esteem in which Sora holds Shiro. It’s not a shallow thing. He honestly believes she’s the more intelligent of the two of them. And second, I liked seeing how having Sora’s memories affected Kurami. She was still enough of herself to have doubts about Sora’s plans — based on her assessment of the situation. But she also would listen to him now, where she wouldn’t before. She accepted his argument that Shiro’s actions would make all the difference.

Moment 3: A Very Good Reason to Riot

Stephanie’s scared enough that she’s not taking any crap from Sora. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Stephanie Dola was aghast. The subjects were rioting, and Sora insisted they ride in the carriage right out the front door. Not only that, but to make sure no one missed the event, he had Jibril sit on the roof and spread her wings wide.

When Stephanie complained, Sora told her the riot didn’t happen accidentally. “I started it,” he told her (15:21). But we didn’t know why.

Later, just after Sora, Shiro, Stephanie, and Jibril entered the full dive couches (with apologies to Sword Art Online: Alicization) and were waiting in the pre-game initialization area, Stephanie was in full panic mode. To calm her, Sora shared why he had instigated the riot. Given the way the Eastern Federation conducted their games, Sora needed to have eyes on what happened. He didn’t need someone watching with the attitude that they were sure to win because they trusted their representatives. No, he wanted the riot and the hatred, because (20:54) “They’re looking as hard as they can to make sure we don’t deliberately lose.” That meant the Eastern Federation couldn’t use obvious cheats.

I’m not sure this was the only approach he could have taken, but I can’t argue it’s effectiveness!

Thoughts

You know, if your subjects are rioting and you really want to attract attention, putting a Flügel on the roof of your carriage makes quite the fashion statement. It’s also a reminder that Sora and Shiro actually have some skills in these games. After all, Jibril is their subject now.

I can’t really see the fashion of using Flügel as hood ornaments will catch on in Disboard. I mean, to start with, they’re really expensive. You have to practically destroy a universe to afford one… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’m having a hard time deciding if a comment that Sora made to Izuna Hatsuse was a psychological time bomb, an honest appeal for someone else to join Blank’s way of life, or both.

Maybe you can figure it out.

As they all got comfy in the full dive couches, Sora causally leaned over to Izuna and said, “Hey, Izuna.”

I’m still not tired of the way she adds “please” to everything. “What, please?” she asked (19:15).

“When’s the last time you thought a game was fun?”

The questions seemed to shock her. It’s like he asked her a complex physics problem — or whether she liked to eat muffins. Given how we’ve seen Uncle Iroh — I mean Ino Hatsuse — put tons of pressure on Izuna to win, not to mention the Shrine Priestess, it’s easy to see how stressed and unhappy Izuna is. She’s forgotten that the point of games is fun.

Sora’s question shocked Izuna. She didn’t seem capable of understanding that a game should be fun — or even could be fun. But she’s a kids — she should have fun playing games! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Given this line of thought, I can see why Tet wanted to bring Shiro and Sora to Disboard. The inhabitants were thinking too small. They were playing games for low stakes like money or other forms of wealth. No one was challenging the status quo. And especially, no one intended to challenge Tet himself. For a god who loves games, that would have to be a boring realm. Though given what Imanity has gone through in this world, it’s no surprise they’re cautious. But that’s really a topic for a review of No Game No Life – Zero. If I ever get the courage to write it.

What did you think of the introduction scene? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “Review: No Game No Life Episode 10: Flügel on the Roof and Full Dive Couches

  1. I hope you do get the chance to write the review for No Game No Life Zero. No Game No Life is one of my favorite anime series. I feel like its very well done, despite the flaws of its protagonists.

    All the characters are interesting and serve a purpose beyond one and done, or existing just for comedic effect.

    I love the writing and I love the art style for the anime. I am almost done reading the 10th light novel for the series that has been translated into English. It never fails to entertain.

    1. “I hope you do get the chance to write the review for No Game No Life Zero.”

      I’m gonna try! The reason I haven’t is that the movie was so heavy. Delightfully, brutally, heavy. It’s one of the most tragic pieces of fiction I’ve experienced, and that’s saying a lot.

      “I love the writing and I love the art style for the anime. I am almost done reading the 10th light novel for the series that has been translated into English. It never fails to entertain.”

      How many light novels does the first season cover? An article on Crunchyroll suggested the series covered the first 3 novels, so it sounds like there’s plenty of material for at least two more seasons!

      1. No Game No Life Zero is certainly heavy. I wish you the best of luck should you endeavor to write about it.

        The anime does cover the first three light novels. And in fact the 6th book if I recall correctly is the source material for No Game No Life Zero.

        So there is certainly plenty more for them to create and animate if the willingness to make more is there.

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