No Game No Life volume 1

“We are the weakest race!
We are those who, in endless cycles of history – devour the fattened strong!
Take pride! For we are the weakest – we are the most empty-handed! We are born with nothing – and we can become anything – we therefore are the strongest race!
– Come, let the games begin!”

23197324Sora, an 18-year-old virgin man, and Shiro, an 11-year-old genius girl, are a team that make up for a legendary gamer called ” “, or Blank (Kuuhaku in Japanese). None of the fit into society and they are shut-ins that always plays games.

One day they receive a mail with a link and a cryptic message:

Dear brother and sister, do you ever feel like you were born in the wrong world?

The link leads to a game of chess and Shiro plays and wins, with the support of her older brother. As a response, they receive a new mail, asking if they don’t find it hard to liv in the world. Then another email asking if they enjoy the world. And a third one telling about a world ruled by games.

The siblings reply and are removed from this world to Disboard – a place where war and violence does not exist. Everything is settled through games.

No Game No Life is a fantasy story without neither violence nor war. The first books gives you the background of the siblings as well as what has happened to Immanity – the human race in the new world the siblings enter. The human lands are down to the last country, last city, of Elkia and the humans as a race are on the verge of extinction.

Although parts are rather dark, it’s balanced up with humour to make the reading lighter. When I received the book in the mail, soon after it was released in April, I was looking through the pages to count the illustrations (because it’s such a thin book I wanted to count the illustrations) and I showed my partner some of them. He said I had bought an ero-book, and that’s also where some of the humour goes. Parts of it isn’t fun, and to be honest the bathroom scene when the naked Stephanie Dola washes Shiro while Sora records it, just makes no sense.

That aside, I actually enjoy the book with its ridiculous and funny surface, but the grave and serious premises, ideas and thoughts that exist if you dig deeper. When I watched the anime adaptation of the series, I didn’t catch the latter as deep as I saw in the book, perhaps mostly because of the bright colours in the anime and the fact I can read a book as slowly as I wish and think more while reading. I look forward to the next volume which comes in July (so it’s released in about 2-3 month at the time of writing).

But! While reading it, I honestly thought there might be some translation issues. The lines seemed like that could be a lot smoother – at the time of writing I haven’t checked the original – but in English it seems a little broken to me at time. It might be a choice of the translator, but at times… It just doesn’t sound as smoothly as it could, I guess. But again, I haven’t compared the translation to the original language yet. It might be the way Yuu Kamiya wrote it, although I feel the language is more awkward in the beginning than the end of the book, so I’m not sure. But never mind me, my English maybe is just bad – it’s not my mother tongue nor native language after all.


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