Review- No Game No Life Light Novel Volume 1: The Start of a Fantastic Adventure

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Despite a lackluster ending, the anime adaptation of No Game No Life has ended up as one of my favorite of all time. Maybe not my top ten, but definitely top twenty. It brought to life two of the most interesting main characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. When I started reading the light novels I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought, “Seems like it’ll be boring just reading what I’ve already watched.” However, I’m happy to say that the light novel proved me wrong in so many ways.

If you have seen the anime, then you already know the basic plot. Brother and sister Sora and Shiro, bored with the shitty game known as reality, one day receive an email from someone who claims to be able to be able to bring them to the world they will enjoy much more than their own. Upon responding to that email, Sora and Shiro find themselves falling out of the sky into a world that looks much different than the one they know. They find as they’re falling through the sky from the god of this new world Tet that their perfect world is right in front of them, known as Disboard. With a brief nap after literally falling into Disboard, the two awake and begin their journey.

One of the things that makes the light novel much more interesting than the anime, as I’ve talked about before in a previous post, is the amount of detail we get about both Sora and Shiro and the world of Disboard. Some of the appeal of No Game No life is lost in the lack of detail that the show presents, leaving out important descriptions about details about Sora and Shiro’s past. As screen time isn’t an issue in a light novel, the book gives a much more vivid description of the world and the reasons that Sora and Shiro are so perfect for Disboard.

Another thing that the book did well was portraying Sora and Shiro amazement of the world. A lot of the appeal of the show comes from the fact that we as the audience know that brother and sister Combo Blank are doing what they are for fun. If they weren’t bored of the world they were in, then they wouldn’t have half-jokingly agreed to come to Disboard. This can be seen in the descriptions of their reactions, with the middle of the first chapter describing a scene in which Sora reads over the rules of the world and then smirks after he reads the tenth rule, which is “Let’s all have fun together.” While Sora and Shiro are competitive, they play games for the reason everyone plays games. The smirk shows that Shiro is enjoying himself.

The only real problem I have with the story is the comedy. The show has a much better sense of comedic timing than the light novel, but I think that has more to do with the fact that reading the joke means that the comedic timing is going to be different for everyone because everyone reads at a different pace. I also don’t blame the light novel for this as much because my sense of grammar and syntax isn’t exactly the best.

The writing overall is fantastic. It’s descriptive, and Yuu Kamiya knows how to write characters that are both eccentric and loveable. If you’ve watched the series but haven’t read the light novel yet, then you should. It will make you fall in love with the world of No Game No Life all over again, and the light novels actually go past the series so the story will finish.

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