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Headscratchers / No Game No Life

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  • How exactly do the Commandments prohibit indirect oppression without direct violence, through propaganda, economic pressure, denial of essential resources, and other means of inflicting suffering upon the less physically and magically able races? These would have likely become the primary, predictable instruments of geopolitics, with the actual games being reduced to enforcing sanctions (I.e. actually commanding someone to lose on pain of any of the above punishments).
    • They don't, evident by the Warbeasts worrying over Elven invasion. However, each game requires both parties to wager something of perceived equal value. This inherently creates a high stakes paradigm that could have severe repercussions if the challenger lost. Furthermore, the challenged determines the game, which puts the challenger at a disadvantage. Basically, it's not worth the risk of attempting to oppress other nations.
  • Since we later learn that the Elven kingdom's society is based on enslaving the lower races, what the hell makes Kurami think her plan to incorporate Imanity under Elvengard is a good plan? Especially considering that she herself (at least nominally) is also a slave!
    • Eiel is the de facto successor to one of the most prominent Elven familyes . Kurami likely believed her benevolent nature would be a better gamble than it being overtaken by a more aggressive nation. Put simply, it wasn't a good plan, but a desperate one.
  • During Sora's rematch against Kurami, Shiro questions Jibrill about what does she know about her masters. Predictably, according to the rules of the Memory Stealing Reversi game that is still underway, she only remembers Shiro, to the point where, in her memories, Shiro did all the things that both siblings really did on her own (such as solving the late king's mystery). That also includes her own game of Materialization Shiritori against the siblings... Except late in THAT game, the siblings were only capable of giving an answer in pure oxygen enviroment because they were able to circular breathe together. Jibrill should have immediately noticed that her former defeat by Shiro alone made no sense and realize something is wrong.
    • Shiro didn't tell Jibrill to explain the exact detail on how she lost, she was thinking of the overall outcome at the time.
    • Having done some research on effects of pure oxygen environment (in which one can breathe just fine for a short time), I suppose you're right... which brings the question why exactly they needed to kiss to give their answer ("atmosphere") back then, if one can actually speak in pure oxygen?
    • While they could speak in pure oxygen, they needed the circulation in preparation for Jibril's next counter; if they hadn't done as much, they would have been suffering from the same effects Jibril and Steph were, and not have as much time to place their winning piece.
  • Shiro lost the game against Jibril. She did not take the piece that was threatening her king. Not could she force a checkmate. It ended as a checkmate for Jibril. Why is it treated as victory? Same for their Othello/Reversi game. That last move, with the view we get on the final board, do not give them enough stones to win the game.
    • I can just guess the first part was just an error on the Animator. As for Othello. Looks to me Shiro can only see the pieces that she played and the the one she flip over. The pieces that Sora played remain invisible.
    • For the chess game, Shiro technically cheated according to the rules of standard chess, but the thing is that Jibril never called her out on it. Remember, according to the pledges, it's only considered cheating if you're caught. Whether by accident or design, Jibril failed to call out Shiro's illegal move, therefore allowing Shiro to win.
      • There is an issue with this explanation. Right after she makes that move, it's treated as a win. Instantly. No time between "Piece is placed" and "Game is declared a victory". At best, this could be considered a draw.
    • Shiro put Jibril's king in checkmate with a Knight, a Bishop and two Pawns. Basic rules state that for a king to escape a check, it has to be able to maneuver out of one or more piece's advantage on it, or place the other king in checkmate, which Shiro did and Jibril had no way out of. The real question is, why was her king that far up on the board in the first place?
      • Not according to standard rules. According to standard rule the play following a check MUST BE to remove the King from check. This is a requisite, and if it's not possible the game is over. If the move check(mate)s the opposite king at the same time, great. But the requisite is to remove your own King from check. Since even if you checkmates the opponent's king, he'll just use his "next" turn to "take" your king, while his is still alive. Also of note is that Shiro's King is in Checkmate. She can not move out of check, can not block the check, and can not take the Queen checking her.
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    • The Othello/Reversi could simply be they haven't (and didn't) finish animating all the pieces flipping over.
  • During the Materialisation Shiritori game in Episode 6, when Sora decided to remove 'Nether Regions', wouldn't he have ended up technically castrating himself for the duration of the game?
    • This one is simple. That was a [Woolseyism], which the subtitles are full of. The word used was a crude slang word for female genitalia, in reality. But even if it wasn't, would it matter? His goal was to see his SFW Paradise, who cares if it affected him too.
  • During the same Materialisation Shiritori match, the heroes win by removing the Coulomb force, therefore initiating transformation of the planet into a hypernova. However, their bodies did not undergo the same process, even though they were also built from matter; and even if it wasn't so, removing this force would have destroyed their neural systems, which essentially runs on electric charges. Why were they still alive?
    • I think it's a case of stretching moments of time for drama. Actual loss doesn't come from being dead, it comes from being unable to answer. Thus, even if Sora and Shiro die before Jibril and she is able to hold her body and mind together, supernova explosion obliterates her before she has a chance to answer (within fraction of second, that is).
      • The rules for victory are that the opponent repeats a word, or is unable to answer within 30 seconds, or crucially, is "unable to continue". Dying does count as a loss from being "unable to continue", so Sora and Shiro answering then dying before Jibril would mean rule 3 activates giving Jibril the victory and she doesn't need to answer.
    • One of the rules is that players cannot directly attack each other. Removing Coulomb Force from the bodies of the players would presumably count as an attack, and so all three players are simply rendered immune to the direct effect, keeping the Coulomb Forces active on the matter in their bodies. That just leaves the hypernova, which would be fatal to Jibril just due to the heat, and would reach her first, leaving her unable to continue whilst Blank still could, and giving her the loss.
      • By that logic what constitutes an "attack"? They stole her spirit circuits so they can obviously affect each other directly. And even then why didn't their clothing explode? Being unable to continue also means you lose which means that even if the energy in her clothing wasn't enough to kill Jibril it would still probably disqualify Blank. And ignoring that, the hypernova itself wouldn't have to hit them to kill them. The heat and radiation should have killed them before it killed Jibril.
  • Why don't people ever seem to refuse games? Imanity seems to have constantly lost land to others and at the end the Warbeasts fear attacks from the Elves and Flugel. Right after Shiro and Sora's coronation they claim to have said certain things to buy time from any other race invading. Yet all conflicts are to be solved with games and nowhere is it stated that they must participate. During the game with the Warbeasts, they even mention backing out after hearing the rules. So, why is everyone so afraid of being "invaded"?
    • Because all they're fools that take everything way much serious than it actually is? Sora and Shiro, while considering the games itself Serious Business, they're practially slackers in terms of ruling over Elchea and don't see anything wrong with taking over the world as a way to challenge Disboard's god. Why? Because they're savvy enough to know that everything is just like a game.
      • That doesn't answer the question though. Like previously stated, Sora and Shiro both say they declared war to keep other countries off their backs. Being genre savvy has nothing to do with why people just don't refuse so they don't lose their land in the first place. Nothing is forcing them to play the game.
    • But, if they don't play the game with one race (and furthermore, that race being the lowest rank, Imanity) it's like saying to the other 14 races that they're weak in a way. Others aside Imanity will come. They could refuse the game but sooner or later they'll need more resources, lands and whatnot, leaving them in a corner, dying slowly. One could say, they don't refuse to play games because of pride, greed and necessity. Pride and greed are not as stupid as it may appear. The rule states that the challenger must offer up something of equal value as he demanded of the challenged. But it's quite clear that this value is set on the standards of the challenged. This means the challenged most likely wants the prize offered by the challenger just as badly as the challenger wants to prize he demanded of the challenged. So then according to a risk-reward type of thinking, what you get out of winning the game is always going to be worth risking what you will loose. For both sides.
    • "reuse to play games" was actually part of Kurami's plan if she became Elchea's king. She said this to Sora. It's similar to an isolationist foreign policy.
  • Is there a reason why the Warbeasts, at least when challenged by an Imanity, do not simply decide to play tagging, or even simpler, racing, which they should win due to their superior physical strength?
    • Obvious reason one: they would confirm Sora accusations with this choice. Obvious reason two: seems like Blank has a right to substitute Jibril for themselves in any challenge they take. Good luck winning against her (at least in real world).
      • Adding on: They specifically requested for all four of them (Sora, Shiro, Steph and Jibril) to play the game at their meeting, and we all know Jibril would destroy them.
      • They had no reason to believe Blank had any knowledge of what a FPS was, thus no perceived risk. It's actually a subtle example of fringe logic on Blank's part, who likely accounted for that very question.
  • Jibril shielding Sora, Shiro and Steph from the hydrogen bomb. While shielding Sora and Shiro made sense (she didn't want the game to end on the first move), there was no reason to protect Steph, especially since at that point Jibril cared so little about Steph that she basically said "Why don't you sit in that corner and shut up while the big people talk" in the novel (cut from the anime). If anything, you think she'd want to see what an H-bomb does to a person, seeing how she'd never seen one before.
    • This one's hard to find a proper explanation, but I'm just going to go out on a hunch and say that she shielded all of them out of instinct since she was taken by complete surprise. She probably didn't have enough time to notice Steph's presence and cast a shield around Sora and Shiro's general area, which fortunately included Steph.
  • In the Materialisation Shiritori game, how was Jibril using "empty headed academic" supposed to help her?
    • It wasn't suppose to help her. She thought she had won at that point and was saying it to gloat, since Sora and Shiro won't be able to talk either at that point. Though I am surprised that she didn't think of the high possibility that they were using it to bait her. I guess even the perfect weapon is fallible...
      • That tied into Sora's explanation thereafter. She was too distracted to actually think strategically, and essentially ended up reacting to everything Blank did.
  • What stops the challenged part from deciding upon a game that's impossible for the challenger to win? Nothing in the 10 pledges says that the games have to be fair or even winnable. Sure, soon no one would challenge you if you kept setting things like "being me" as a win condition for your games, but that's arguably a win in itself.
    • Would you agree to play a game like that?
    • It was covered while explaining the Warbeast game tactics. If a game seems fundamentally impossible to play, then the challenge would just refuse the game and the resulting reputation of the challenged would lead to no one challenging them in the future. Which would suck for the challenger in Disboard as it is the only form of force allowed as such a key negotiation tool.
  • Why did the Old Dei wage war against each other to become Disboard's one true god? Were there any privileges to becoming the world's One True God? Furthermore, why did Artosh, being the strongest Old Deus, simply not declare himself as Disboard's supreme deity? He could've done so and nobody would be able to do anything about it because, well, he's Artosh.
    • The only reason that Tet's pledges are inviolable is because he is the One True God. Therefore, it stands to reason that this title enables its possessor to control Dishboard's reality.
      • Correction: It's not the title that enables this, but being in posession of the Suniaster, which is the core of the planet, an infinite source of mana, basically (not necessarily literally infinite, but for all intents and purposes), which is why they wanted it so bad. The Suniaster is also responsible for creating all of the infinite number of Old Dei
  • How do Sora and Shiro's electronic devices live for so long? They're in Elchea most of the time and the country isn't technologically advanced.
    • While I cant talk for the novel in the anime they have a solar panel charger
  • Why doesn't the second Pledge work? Obviously not every conflict has to be resolved by games, otherwise any disagreement over what constitutes equal value would be delegated to a game instead of haggled over and that's just off the top of my head.
  • Why hasn't anyone bet things like skill, luck or proficiency in magic? I mean betting for 1% of an elf's ability to use magic would at least give you a rudimentary magic sense. And if you beat a fairly small number of the higher ranked Exeeds you'd still be a better magic user than most of the lower ranked ones. Or if you bet one percent of your luck against one percent of someone else's luck and won it'd be an exponential curve of winning at fifty percent of all games. Sure stuff like chess and the various word games wouldn't work but anything with an element of chance. The third pledge just seems underutilized.
    • The rules can't make people do something that isn't possible, such as give up something that's immaterial and give it to someone else. You can use the covenants to enforce certain behaviors on a person. You can take away a flying person's ability to fly, but you cannot grant the ability to fly to someone who cannot do so. An enforced behavior that's possible for the individual WILL be carried out regardless of any physical or magical limitations placed on them by something else, like when Steph shot Izuna even though she was dominated by Izuna. But that's still within the confines of what is physically possible. Similarly, to forget about something is as simple as forcing someone to not remember.
      • This is pretty clearly not true. Materialisation Shiritori is shown to be able to warp reality to the degree of removing fundamental physical laws, in addition to one of the first effects being the removal of Jabril's spirit circuits. The rules of the game stipulated that everything would return to normal, but removing and adding matter is controlled by the magic blue gem, which was also used to facilitate Memory Stealing Othello, so the capacity to remove or add magic circuits exists and thus it could be wagered.

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