I was a fan of series before I picked this book up. It is the first volume I've read. After watching the anime, I wanted to see more. Naturally, the animation crew had great material to work with because this volume delivers on the appeal of the series.
It was fun and satisfying to see the aftermath of the events of the anime. It turns out the stinger for the anime occurs in a later light novel. It was a great cliffhanger, definitely, but caused some confusion on my part. Anyway, the ongoing process of it merges the real-life-implications of such an event and the games-resolve-conflicts rules of Dishboard.
The game of the Sirens is a real-life Romance game (dating game), which one of the few that the gamer siblings have not mastered. Far from being afraid, they are so proud of the fact that they are socially incompetent shut-ins that they emit a battle aura. Furthermore, the mystery of the nature and victory conditions of the Siren's game is intriguing and compelling, especially given that it is the gamer siblings' logical weakness.
The deviousness and cunning of the gamer siblings also continues to impress. One would be surprised at how much of their silly antics are actually a cover for plans, and how much of it is both. They certainly surprised me with their exploitation of the Beach Episode trope.
I want to focus on that. Beyond the lighthearted and fanservice of the trope, and even beyond the covert deviousness, it specifically deals with the gamer siblings' opinion of beach vacations. Due to their backstory as Hikikomori, they see this common vacation destination as too messy, too hot, bad for one's hair etc. It's pretty deep given the archetypal form of this trop.
Also worthy of note is that Steph does something awesome, proving that she is not "a steph" once and for all, while simultaneously exploiting her reputation as such.
The new character, Plum, is definitely a woobie. The circumstances of the Dphamir race elicit much sympathy, and Plum makes a great Straight Man for the stupidity of the Siren race as well as the silliness laid-backness of the main cast.
The ending was both satisfying and exciting. It achieves all the advantages of a cliffhanger without actually leaving anyone hanging, as well as the advantages of a resolved conflict while still going full steam. It is impressive.
Trickster Eric Novels gives "No Game No Life volume 4" an A+
Click here for the previous review book (for fun): Dungeons and Dragons - Heroes of Battle
Brian Wilkerson is a freelance book reviewer, writing advice blogger and independent novelist. He studied at the University of Minnesota and came away with bachelor degrees in English Literature and History (Classical Mediterranean Period concentration).