Light Novel Review: No Game No Life [Volume 4]

Upon beating the Werebeasts and creating the combined nation of the Elkia Federation, a person visits Sora and Shiro in hopes to save her race from exinction. She is the representative of the Dhampir race, Plum. Sora and Shiro decide to help, but in order to save her and her race, they will have to play a game that they could not beat.

A dating simulator in real life.

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The fourth installment of the No Game No Life series take place after Sora and Shiro combine the nations of Elkia and the Eastern Union. It is also the first volume that goes past its anime adaptation. For one half of this two volume arc, the events in this fourth volume are purely setup and preparation for Sora and Shiro to win in one fell swoop, but this could be interpreted either positively or negatively depending on what type of content you want out of No Game No Life.

Plum, the representative of the Dhampirs, has come to Sora and Shiro to ask for their help. Due to a symbiotic relationship between the Dhampirs and the Sirens failing due the Queen of the Sirens falling asleep and the restrictions of the Ten Covenants, the Dhampirs are at risk of being extinct. In order to awaken her, a man needs to be able win her love through a dating sim game. Providing a sure-fire way to win her love, Plum asks Sora and Shiro to beat the Sirens’ game.

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If you were expected a large scale game to take up most of the narrative, you won’t get that here. In fact, quite the opposite, the actual game portion takes up less than half a chapter. Instead, the story goes through a series of interactions between the cast of characters before they enter the game. Now this might seems irrelevant at first, but by the time Sora and Shiro reveal their true intentions, it feels like a intricate yet significant mind game.

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Besides the main plot, the progression in world-building is continuing smoothly as well, providing updates to the world of Disboard. Now the two races of Immanity and the Werebeasts are united under one nation, their resources have to be completely organized. The national strength, currency, social structures, languages and technologies of both nations are completely different, but regardless, they both need equal resources. While this is a difficult problem to deal with, there will be some individuals who to try to gain the upper hand…and that’s where Steph comes into play.

Holding down the fort in the City of Elkia with the help of Hatsuse Ino, Steph is handling all of the politics with the country of Elkia. However, she’s also combatting against the nobles who want to take advantage of the newly gained territory, and winning no less. After losing to Sora and Shiro over and over, she has gradually learned their strategies and tactics. Thus, she’s able to become very strong at games in order to carry out her political agenda. Steph is a completely capable individual when Sora and Shiro are not in the picture, and it’s very refreshing to see her in this new light.

“The female protagonist of this heroic story is actually just an errand girl. The rich ironic twist to this story isn’t half bad, eh.”

While the Sora, Shiro, and the others are playing their mind games, they don’t forget to have fun as well. Volume 4 is definitely a more light-hearted story, containing more suggestive and indecent moments than the previous volumes. One of the characteristics of Plum is that she needs to consume bodily fluids in order to survive-although blood is necessary to grow into an adult. This gets heavily commented on by our characters as they bring suggestive remarks like the concepts of lolitas and the consumption of other bodily fluids besides sweat and blood. There’s even a beach portion of the novel to add to the tomfoolery. Luckily, No Game No Life doesn’t go too overboard with the indecent content.

The illustrations are also tame as well. The beach pictures contains Shiro and Jibril in a swimsuit but that’s the most the volume goes in depicting them. Aside from that, the regular pictures retain the same artstyle as before, adding a bit refinement.

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How much you can enjoy out of the content of this volume depends on what you want out No Game No Life. If you enjoy the antics between the cast or you want to see Sora’s mind trickery, you’ll like this volume. However, if you wanted to see them in action, you’ll be disappointed here. Regardless of how you view it, it’s a good step forward to prepare for the next volume.

Rating: Recommended


Author and Illustrator: Yū Kamiya

English Publisher: Yen Press

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2 Responses to Light Novel Review: No Game No Life [Volume 4]

  1. Frog-kun says:

    Yeah, getting to see Steph be competent for once was the highlight of volume 4 for me. Poor girl, she gets beaten down so much, you just want to see her succeed…

    Like

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