The two gamer siblings have set out to conquer the land of the animal girls. The king and queen of Immanity has bet their entire civilization on a game against the Eastern Union. But before they can move forward, Sora claims that they need one more piece before they can move forward. However after immediately making his wager, Sora disappears, leaving his sister with a puzzling message of trust.
This volume continues where the last one left off. From this, the volume is split into two halves; the conclusion to the cliffhanger and the game against the were-beasts. The first half deals with Shiro and how she handles herself without Sora, while the second half is about how Blank fights the Were-beasts in an apparently unbeatable game.
While Blank is composed of both Sora and Shiro, in the previous two volumes, Sora did most of the interactions in and outside the games. While Blank may be two people that make up one, that doesn’t excuse the fact that those individuals are two completely separate characters. If it was Sora that took up the majority of the novel, what’s the whole point of creating Blank? It might as well be just Sora by himself with Shiro as an assistant.
However in this portion of the series, Shiro gets a whole chapter to herself as it shows her completely breaking down, not having Sora with her. Most of this chapter is written through the perspective of Shiro and compared to Sora, she’s expressed in a very analytical and rational manner. The writing often poses questions to the viewer while bringing up established information to showcase her mindset. In a way, it resembles a small mystery able to be solved through logic. While all of this is happening, Shiro recalls memories with Sora and her history of dependence and trust. It shows her perspective of Sora’s words and actions and how they have affected her. This also applies to the revealed enemy later on as a result of understanding.
The second half of the volume goes back to the typical gaming tomfoolery by Sora and Shiro, similar to the magic chess game in the first light novel. The game is shown into three different viewpoints; Blank, the enemy, and a certain outsider. The writing during this part is very action oriented, using short descriptions of the situation and future predictions of potential options. (Although I found it funny how the enemy’s perspective was written like a 10-year gamer on an FPS game.)
After reading the previous volumes, you probably have an idea of who wins this match, and honestly it doesn’t excite me. What matters is not who the victor is, but rather how the match is won. And after previous events leading up to the game, the conclusion of the match may turn some people off.
Something noteworthy about the is the cover picture for the light novel is that the illustration right behind it, is the exact same character except in her alternate form, which I found was a nice touch. The color illustrations in this volume has a much darker color set which contrasts the vividly colored characters. Otherwise, the illustrations are very similar to the last two volumes; full body profiles with a couple of comedic drawings and a bath scene included.
Volume 3 of No Game No Life has a very nice start, taking the perspective of a neglected character and going deeper into her mindset and history. While this is a good part of the series, it is not enough to make up the second half of the volume as the light novel goes back into the typical frivolous style of No Game No Life with a conclusion so anticlimactic it can turn people away.
Author and Illustrator: Yū Kamiya
English Publisher: Yen Press