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When it focusses on story, and ditches the fanservice, No Game No Life is an amazing show. The rest of the time it skates along the edge of squick, only just staying good enough to keep watching.

The basic set up is a brother/sister pair of hikikomoris who are summoned into a world ruled by games. Given that Sora and Shiro are legendary gamers themselves, this suits them just fine.

The chance to challenge a world run to rules that they can master? Oh yes, Blank[1] are good with that.

It must be said that Blank also a fairly sleazy pair, resulting in the princess of Elkia Stephanie Dola being their fanservice Chew Toy in several episodes.

The pacing of the storyline thus far makes me wonder if the scriptwriters have left enough time to wrap everything up in time[2].

Which brings me to episode 8 Fake End.

Like several of the previous episodes, the writing and character work are superb. The concepts and world building are fascinating and are also well handled. Whilst there’s some surprisingly effective comedy moments, the core of this episode is all story, and it simply sings as a result.

Unlike previous episodes, there’s almost no fanservice, and very little of Stephanie Dola being the twins Chew Toy[3].

Overall: Fake End is astonishing, and quite possibly a classic example of the Wham Episode. Especially with the [SPOILER DELETED] at the end of the episode including the [SPOILER DELETED] changes to the end credits[4].

Fake End is definitely worth persisting past the fanservice for.

Right now No Game No Life is the best of the Spring season shows I’m currently watching[5] on CrunchyRoll, and the only one that’s managed to inspire a blog post.

 

[1] Shiro and Sora gamed together on Earth as a single unit with blanks in the player name, and became known as “Blank” as a result, they even self-identify as Blank.

[2] Or even if they will try to wrap things up. The light novel series is still running.

[3] Some of course, but not nearly as much as say episodes 5 or 6.

[4] The only reason I mention this at all is to make sure you watch the end credits to Fake End. Trust me on this.

[5] The other three are World is Still Beautiful, Nanana’s Buried Treasure, and Kamigami no Asobi.