And Steph saves the day! Blood Destruction turned out to be pretty overpowered, so Sora and Shiro made the right call in realizing their limits and formulating a plan which involved them actually failing to directly stand up to Izuna-tan. Ultimately, that’s what actually happened – Miko even turned off her TV after seeing Izuna-tan activate Blood Destruction, supposedly because she believed victory was assured for the Warbeasts. And Izuna-tan ended up relaxing too soon after hitting Sora and Shiro, probably didn’t see Steph as much of a threat, if at all. In the end, this game didn’t take up too much of the episode – rather, it was the aftermath and consequences of it that was focused on this week. With all their cheats and physical advantages they had, the Eastern Federation turned out to be really wary in arranging the game, perhaps partly because of Sora’s arrogance in challenging them – they moved all major tech and personnel off the continent before it started, which was probably why it took so long for them to announce a date. That sort of caution does show that they’re not as arrogant as I might have previously thought – to an extent, they did put in some sort of countermeasure in place in the case they lose. Of course, the involvement of Elvengarde and Avantheim ended up dealing irreparable damage, forcing Miko to take further action.
We only caught a few glimpses of Miko in previous episodes – in retrospect I’d have liked to have seen more of her somehow, rather than having the season finale shoe her in. At least, like with the pilot episode, Madhouse really took the initiative with swamping us with scenery porn – the Eastern Federation really is beautiful. This sort of show is like a treasure trove of wallpapers! Anyway, while it does seem slightly anticlimactic to end Imanity’s bid for the Eastern Federation with a simple coin toss, I really do have to applaud Sora’s nerve and daring nature in proposing that sort of thing and then messing with the result of the game. Not only has he created a mutually favourable result, he’s also turned Miko into somewhat of a genuine ally beyond anything enforced by the pledges. Actually, I found it sort of strange that she moved from hostility to support so quickly, even summoning an Old Deus at Sora’s request (which is clearly supposed to be a teaser for a possible second season, as are the new characters we saw). Maybe the realization that Kuuhaku doesn’t actually want to destroy them beyond repair helped.
Although we’re pretty far from seeing Sora and Shiro take on Tet once more, they’re one step closer to uniting all the races with the formation of the Elkia Federation – which looks set to receive a new member in Elvengarde after Kurami and Fi have finished their work. Second season when?
Also, here’s Izuna’s tail being washed. Damn that looks fluffy.
While Madhouse is traditionally a very strong studio, these days their productions can be fairly hit-and-miss – on one hand you have works of brilliance like Hunter x Hunter, and on the other you have something like Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei, which is inconsistent at best. Both of those shows had a lot of potential and a wide fanbase, which meant that production decisions became more important than ever. I think it’s fairly safe to say that No Game No Life has achieved a lot more success as an anime than Mahouka has – it’s stayed strong week on week, and I don’t think my enthusiasm for it has diminished as the season progressed, unlike a couple of other shows. While it does seem to feature a tad too many transition episodes in between games, the games themselves have more than made up for this – aside from Love or Loved 2 (which is more of a parody than anything else) each game has become progressively wackier and (dare I say it) more impressive than the last. They’re not hindered by our expectation that Sora and Shiro will win, either – in line with the elaborate setups, I often found it really fun to see exactly how they would overcome the odds and pull off a victory. Alongside our surprisingly non-incestuous sibling protagonists, supporting characters like Steph or Kurami were all great in their own ways – and of course, Jibril unquestionably remains the best girl. Ultimately, it’s an entertaining show with great animation, and I’ll definitely be picking up the light novels in the near future, as well as waiting for that second season Madhouse will inevitably churn out in order to capitalize on its popularity. I’d say it was easily one of the stronger shows Spring 2014 had to offer.