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No Game No Life Vol. #04 Light Novel Review

3 min read

No Game No Life Volume 4 Novel CoverNo plot, no depth

Creative Staff
Story/Illustration: Yuu Kamiya
Translation: Daniel Komen

What They Say
Having been transported to the world of Disboard, where everything is decided by games, Sora and Shiro (who together form the unstoppable gamer team “Blank”) are still winning. They’ve racked up an unbroken string of victories against opponents armed with all manner of magic and treachery. As the pair enjoy a well-deserved vacation in the Eastern Union, they’re approached by a Dhampir named Plum. Sora and Shiro prepare for battle, but this game is one of the very few they haven’t beaten and mastered – the game of love!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As the volume starts up, we unsurprisingly get your usual mix of perversion and comedy, this time focused on the new character, Plum. She’s come before our heroes representing her race, Dhampir, who seem to be essentially a mix of vampires and, to some degree, succubi. This of course results in a lot of torturing Sora sexually, and ends up with the rather awkwardly sexualized bit of Plum licking the sweat off of Shiro’s feet. So yeah, that’s a little messed up considering Shiro’s age, but it’s not especially new for the series.

Once that’s out of the way, setting the tone for most of the volume, we do actually get a quick look at Steph. And it’s surprisingly neat as, though it’s once more focused on her continued torture, it actually does show her growth pretty well. Anyway, the actual plot here centers on the plight of the Dhampir and one other race, the Sirens, who are essentially mermaids who need to drain the life essence of men from other races to reproduce. It’s kind of interesting that this problem is brought about by the way the covenants inconvenienced their races, and there is some neat setup on how they were trying to handle the matter. But yeah, essentially it comes down to the idea that Siren’s queen decided to go into a deep sleep until she was awakened by true love, causing the coexistence between Siren and Dhampir to break down. And thus the challenge for our heroes is to win a “real life dating game” to awaken the queen.

After that’s done with, we get… some beach shenanigans, followed by dating game based shenanigans. Which means that essentially, this volume ends up as a big old onslaught of goofy filler, which is a real shame. There is a bit of a twist in the truth behind the game, but it can be seen a mile away, so that’s not the best either. Though at least it does promise a potentially intriguing follow-up matter next time around, so hopefully that book will end up better.

In Summary
Put simply, this is a volume almost entirely made up of filler, unfortunately. That’s not to say that it’s a bad read per se, but this time around, the intellectual thrills step aside entirely for goofy comedy and fanservice galore. As someone who felt the strength of the series was primarily held in the depth of the games themselves, that means this book feels like a real letdown, but were you to feel otherwise there’s likely plenty here that you’ll enjoy. There are of course a few attempts at adding a bit of depth, but they’re pretty minor, though there is at least an intriguing setup for next time around. Hopefully the following book can run with that, but for now we’re left with a book that is serviceable, though it’s sadly unexceptional.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: N/A
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: March 22nd, 2016
MSRP: $13.99

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