No Game No Life Episode 5: Steph is a Steph


“I mean, Steph… you’re a Steph, right?”

NGNL 5 Img011What a great line. And there were many others, too! Even though this episode primarily served as a transition between arcs with a bit of plot and fanservice thrown in (those two terms aren’t interchangeable for once), it still managed to hold its own in terms of entertainment value. Steph really is a Steph – god knows how she’s managed to last as long as she has! Admittedly, she’s surprisingly able to handle a large amount of domestic political work, but in a world where games decide everything, standard tactics aren’t going to get you anywhere with your foreign policy. She’s learning, at least. She actually tried to cheat in that game of blackjack, albeit not very well – I actually thought she stood a chance, given that Sora wasn’t paying attention out of boredom. Like the Chimera Ants in HxH, it seems that I’ve clearly underestimated humanity!

NGNL 5 Img040After all those consecutive losses though, I did start feeling pretty sorry for Steph – and it got stranger and stranger when Shiro kept asking for pieces of her clothing. Sora I can understand, but Shiro? Steph seems bound by the preconception that games and luck are closely connected – they’re linked, yes, but not to the extent she thinks they are. Statistics and information can influence a hell of a lot – and Kuuhaku understand that fully, which is why they’re being really careful about how they take their first steps into foreign territory. Although I must question Sora’s claim that the victor of a game is decided before it even begins – I think how a game progresses and the different variables in play can have a huge influence on things as well. And tables can turn, too; Sora came extremely close to losing (and almost thought he would) during his game with Kurami for example.

We also learnt a bit more about some of the other races. There was a mention of the Warbeasts, who are ranked #14th of the Exceed. Supposedly the Eastern Federation is a kingdom full of glorious kemonomimi girls according to Sora’s fantasies – that would indeed be wonderful, although I don’t think it’s quite as he imagines. And although they can read minds, they must have some glaring weakness if they’re so near the bottom of the rankings. Surprisingly, the Old Deus also made an appearance during a scene with Tet – with how godly and distant they were alluded to be, I didn’t think they’d turn up at all, instead being a mystical race that descended into vague legend. But (like Laputa) they do exist, and they do definitely sound godlike – more like some sort of entity than a “physical” race too. Sora and Shiro will probably find out more after they’ve gained more knowledge. Knowledge can be gained from books, and books can be gained from her!

NGNL 5 Img055

Oh god she’s cute. And probably really dangerous too, if the preview is anything to go by – at least, she definitely looked the part until she opened her mouth and that terrible attempt at Engrish came out. “Me no library”? Really? If the Flugels only play one game, they’re probably really, really good at that game – so this match will be intense… and awkward too, if Shiro’s going to keep Steph’s panties on her head for the whole of next week’s episode.

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  1. higgsbosoff says:

    I think Shiro was simply jealous of her (and of the prospect of Sora becoming “fulfilled” and not needing her any more for emotional support) and thus was happy to go on humiliating Steph. But yeah, this episode didn’t do much in the way of advancing the plot but the comedy was hilarious. Steph’s grandpa ghost’s apparition was the best ghost ever. When she said she was challenging Sora to a game of Blackjack I laughed as they lost interest (if you’re even a bit game and math-savvy, or have watched the movie “21”, the trick Sora uses is pretty well known!). I also generally enjoyed how the two brothers showed more of their NEET side by being scared by people and sunlight in general, or the Laputa: Castle in the Sky reference. Good episode, gave me lots of laughs (last but not least, the post-credit scene with the Flugel!).

    • Vantage says:

      Jealous Shiro is fine too!

      That ghost could have piped up earlier in Steph’s gaming career 😀 And the way they went through town looking terrified was hilarious, especially as they’re supposed to be the king and queen. Where did all that confidence from the coronation speech go?

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