Sora is absolutely insane. Risking his very existence in an attempt to gain a couple of new allies? And he left Shiro all alone too – who was only able to keep her memories of Sora due to her status as a participant in that game of Reversi. To Steph and Jibril, all the events that have happened since Kuuhaku arrived played out with Shiro replacing Sora – in their eyes, it’s fairly logical to assume that Shiro had lost some sort of game and had been given false memories. At that point, I’d actually thought that the Eastern Federation were behind it – that they saw Sora as a credible threat and decided to erase his existence through a game in order to protect their pre-eminence. In the end, they had nothing to do with it at all! And of all people, it ended up being Steph who believed that Sora and Shiro wouldn’t lose – that Kuuhaku as a pair wouldn’t lose, no matter what. I love how Madhouse decided to continue with the monochrome theme they featured in last week’s episode – to Shiro, a world without Sora is a world without colour.
Whenever it’s time for a new game, I keep thinking to myself that it’ll be hard to out-do the last one (especially since the incumbent was Jibril’s shiritori) but every time, No Game No Life somehow manages to come up with something even more remarkable. It was interesting how they decided to throw us into it from Shiro’s point of view after the damage had been done, instead of explaining what was going on right from the get-go – Sora was in fact speaking to Kurami when the screen kept flickering and static was everywhere. A game to steal your opponent’s existence is crazy and reckless, even for Sora – this is especially true for a game like Reversi, where you may not necessarily have a higher number of stones at all times, even if the goal is to end up with a majority overall. You’ll suffer losses for sure, as Sora experienced. But the true star of the episode was definitely Shiro – who didn’t break even when Sora disappeared, predicted Sora’s strategy and even figured out the three parts of him he considered more important than “himself” – the most significant of which was Shiro herself. And I suppose Steph helped too, by tripping over nothing 😀 Admittedly it really is imaginative to have each of your 32 stones constitute one part of your existence, although it’s a bit sadistic to have your subconscious assign your priorities for you – meaning that you don’t know what each stone contains until you lose it. It’s another example of how you can exploit the pledges to do the impossible for you – which is an interesting mechanic as ever.
With his relationship with Kurami being one of caution at best, revealing everything about himself to her (and coaxing out the vice versa) is probably the best way to build some mutual trust between them – if she’s aware of his true intentions and agrees with them, she’ll help him. Although again, like with the Eastern Federation, Kurami didn’t really have a choice in playing as she was worried about Imanity’s Race Piece and the upcoming territory game. I wonder how Kurami’s the last piece they need to face the Eastern Federation… I suppose what Sora’s really after is her partner, Fi. As an elf, she wouldn’t be subject to the same penalties an Imanity would, and Elvengarde’s been the only other nation we know who’s put pressure on the Warbeasts in the past. Apart from that, memory altering would also make them effective double agents, with Fi being able to report stuff she genuinely thinks is correct back to Elvengarde.
Anyway, new harem girl(s) get! It was scary when Kurami became an empty shell… thought we’d lost her for good. Welp.