Anime

Review: No Game No Life Episode 11: Hiding in Plain Sight and a Game of Millimeters

Quick Summary

In No Game No Life episode 11, “Killing Giant,” Shiro and Sora were enormously relieved to learn that what they thought was Tokyo was actually the fictional level in a video came called Love or Loved 2: Hit Her with Your Bullet of Love! Their relief wasn’t long-lasted, though, as it became apparent that no matter how well they played, Izuna Hatsuse seemed to be one step ahead of them. Shiro and Sora knew she was cheating. So did Kurami Zell and Fil Nilvaren, who were watching the game from the outside. But the Warbeasts prepared their game well, and it was impossible to prove. Is victory even possible — especially after Jibril is turned to Izuna’s side?

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

What’s in This Post

3 Favorite Moments

Moment 1: The TL;DR Version

Shiro and Sora are gaming professionals. They don’t need the marketing copy; they prefer the bottom line. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

After Sora and Shiro finally figured out they weren’t really in Tokyo but were in a video game instead, both of them switched to consummate gaming professional mode. They began building their understanding of the game and its mechanics. Ino Hatsuse spent an inordinate amount of time explaining everything, and he did so in character (for the game). For example, he went on about how they needed to use their “love-love” gun. Sora frowned down at the bulbous thing in disgust as Shiro said, “Lame” (04:12).

My first favorite moment was when Ino hyperbolically explained how if Izuna shot any of them, they immediately became her “love slave.” He went on to say that while all the girls in the world (the non player characters or NPCs) hurl their love at our heroes, their goal is to get Izuna to fall for them (by shooting her).

Neither Shiro nor Sora were impressed with the game’s look and feel! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

“Conveying your love power to make her fall in love with you is the goal of this game!” he practically screamed (03:28).

He built it up like it was this amazing, previously unknown plot device.

As he examined the gun and other devices, Sora said in a bored voice, “In other words, Izuna wants the harem ending where all four of us fall for her, but we’re after her only” (04:44).

I loved seeing Sora in gaming mode. Precise, efficient, and no-nonsense. A great way to start the game!

Moment 2: Izuna’s Definitely Not Feral Smile

Izuna wasn’t used to enjoying a game. Sora’s barb had sunk deep, but it wasn’t only for his team’s benefit. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Those of us in the audience (okay, all of us — I know Disboard isn’t real) learned what the Warbeasts’ real cheat was. Ino, who was outside the game and could see everything on the monitors, could communicate telepathically with Izuna while she was in game. He could relay the enemy’s position and condition, and no one could see him do it.

Fortunately, our heroes realized it, too. They were resting, trying to figure out their next move, when Izuna crashed into the room. Jibril’s fast-thinking saved them and she hauled them out of the line of fire, but from that point on, they were on the defensive.

Izuna was in hot pursuit. And by that, I mean she was actively tracking them, apparently exerting more effort than she had in past games. Her heart raced. Her breath came in gulps. When she passed a reflective surface, she halted in shock.

Sora, Shiro, and Jibril were on the run. Sora and Jibril kept watch as Shiro tried to figure out how to get them out of this mess. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

She was smiling (15:24). And not a casual “Well, that was fun” kind of smile. She was smiling the kind of smile you get when you’re doing something that brings you a quiet, fulfilled joy. Yet, there was a hesitation there. A sense that something was wrong.

Clutching her chest, she remembered Sora asking her when was the last time she had fun. She still tried to deny it. She still tried to be the dutiful soldier for the Eastern Federation. She still tried to live up to Ino’s expectations.

But Izuna was having a good time.

Seeing someone who’s basically a little girl, pressed into service by her country, slowly regaining her sense of childish delight was really cool.

Moment 3: Izuna’s Definitely Feral Smile

Izuna remember what enjoying a game was like. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

A lot of good shows I’ve watched have solid foreshadowing. Where they just don’t quite reach greatness is the payoff. This show has a habit of nailing the payoff, which is one of the reasons I keep rewatching it. It’s just so much fun!

Remember all the way back in the previous episode (seems like forever ago!), when Sora asked Izuna when was the last time she’d enjoyed a game? In my second favorite moment, we got to see that idea beginning to bear fruit. In this moment, it blossomed.

Izuna just learned, to her great shock, that Shiro had never been on her side. Shiro now clung to her brother as the two of them fell from a skyscraper, their backs to the approaching ground, her love-love gun pointed at Izuna. Sora taunted Izuna as she realized how they’d tricked her. A few excellently placed love-love gun shots later, and Izuna, probably for the first time ever, was on the defensive.

I don’t think Izuna had ever competed against anyone like Shiro and Sora. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

In feral joy, she transformed into her animal self. Her grin now was well past quiet joy. There was no reservation. There was no hesitation. Izuna was completely in the moment, and she was having the time of her life.

“This is fun!” she said (22:07).

Given her capabilities before the transformation, she’s going to be quite the handful. I hope Shiro and Sora planned on the leap in her capabilities!

Thoughts

I thought the opening to the fictional game Love or Loved 2: Hit Her with Your Bullet of Love! was hilarious. The song, called おねがい☆すにゃいぱー , translates to Please ☆ Snipy. It’s from the No Game No Life Soundtrack, which you can buy from CD Japan (I’m an affiliate):

I enjoyed the fictional opening even more when I read a post by forgottencake on Reddit. The post pointed out that Love or Loved 2: Hit Her with Your Bullet of Love! was based on a real game, Gal Gun. Sora actually came out and said as much (“Isn’t that G*l Gun?” at 03:58), though it had to be beeped/censored in translation to avoid copyright entanglement. The whole sequence gives homage to the Gal Gun opening.

Shiro was Blank’s top gamer for first person shooters. Her reflexes and wildly intelligent mind made her amazing. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

As a dad whose daughter is into video games, I thought it was cool to see that Shiro was Blank’s best at first person shooters (FPSes). I remember playing Unreal Tournament in Capture the Flag mode with my daughter. Like Shiro, her reflexes were better than mine. That’s why she’d go capture the flag, and I’d snipe the enemies who tried to follow her.

No Game No Life impressed me again with its panache. There’s a risk in setting up a nearly unsolvable mystery. What if the payoff/explanation falls short, even by a little? Then it ruins the impact. In this case, the mystery was how the Eastern Federation had beaten everyone, even the Flügel, every time.

What did you think of the explanation?

Keep in mind that almost the entire Imanity nation was watching. Through Kurami Zell’s eyes as relayed by Fil Nilvalen, even the Elven nation was watching. You’d think they’d spot a cheat right away, and I don’t think the Eastern Federation could erase everyone’s memories. They only did that through the pledges.

Kurami knew the Warbeasts were cheating. She also knew she couldn’t prove it. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

So what did the Warbeasts do? They came up with the cheat that Ino and Izuna used. Publicly, they cultivated the notion that Warbeasts had an incredible sixth sense. It was well-known that their reflexes were amazing. It was likewise well-known that they were physically powerful. It’d be easy to insinuate the idea that they were so fast and strong that what they did appeared to verge on seeing the future, as long as they were careful. It’d be like using a “see through wall hack” in an on-line video game. If you were careful, it’d be hard for your opponents to detect and almost impossible to prove.

The rumor of a sixth sense was a perfect cover for the Warbeasts. All Kurami and Fi could do was prevent the Warbeasts from using any other more obvious cheat. The rest of it was up to Shiro, Sora, and their friends to face head on. Even though I’ve seen the series a dozen (or two!) times, I’m still looking forward to seeing how they do it.

To me, that’s the sign of series that’s worth celebrating!

What did you think of Jibril’s ferocity in this episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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