Wednesday, 23 April 2014

No Game No Life - Episode 3

Kurami Zell is about to be crowned the king of Imanity, having exhausted any opposition that faced her.  Well, almost all opposition that is, as a certain interloper still has designs on ensuring she fails in her plan.

Although it's too late to do anything about Zell's cheating in her poker game against Stephanie, barging in on her coronation to accuse of her cheating still works wonders, especially when Sora can not only claim that she was working together alongside another race to use magic to fake her way to victory, but can also unmask the helper in question as as a young Elfen woman.  Once Sora has deflected any counter-accusations, the whole commotion leaves Kurami with little choice than to suggest a match against Sora to prove her abilities beyond question.

Rather than poker however, it's to chess that Zell turns for reasons that eventually become clear - this is no ordinary game of chess though, but a match played with pieces which each have a life and will of their own.  Leaving chess master Shiro to start the game, it soon becomes obvious that this is no ordinary game of chess - in fact, it isn't really a game of chess at all but rather a test of the player's ability to imbue confidence and growing morale amongst the "troops" on the board.  Once this is revealed, there are twists and turns aplenty as "Blank" and Zell wrestle for control of the board and its occupants.

After last week's frustrating instalment, this episode of No Game No Life was a far more positive example of what the series can offer - some of its twists (and more importantly some of Sora's outbursts) are ridiculous and feel light typical light novel fodder, but in spite of this the build-up to and aspects of the execution of its "chess" match prove to be compelling and allow the episode to fly by in an entertaining fashion.  I imagine we'll be seeing plenty more of this kind of inconsistency from the remainder of the series, but if it can keep pulling out episodes somewhat akin to this one then I can probably more easily forgive the show its foibles.

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