No Game No Life Volume Five: Under the Sea and In the Sky
Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
It’s been a while since I last wrote about No Game No Life. The light novel has been a pleasure to read since page one of the first novel, but the series has only continued to impress as it has gone on. Volume five brings the story to a whole knew place, and brings a lot of excitement.
After beating the Eastern Union in a game the wear-beasts were almost guaranteed to win, Sora and Shiro are greeted by a Dhampir named Plum who asks for their help in waking up the queen of the Sirens, with whom the Dhampir’s have a symbiotic relationship. The queen has been asleep for over 800 years after casting a spell on herself, telling the other sirens that she wants to be woken up by her true love.
One of the main beats in No Game No Life that has made it such an enjoyable read is the relationship between Sora and Shiro. The series often times goes out of its way to show that, despite the antics and funny jokes, “ “ bond is most certainly an unbreakable one, and no more clearly is that on display than in book five.
One of the best demonstrations of their bond is during the game of tag with the Flugel on Avant Heim. The game involves Sora and Shiro relying on Plum’s magic to create wings so they can fly, but they decide to each take one wing, having Plum disguised as a scarf around their necks. To a normal person, and especially to plum, it seemed ridiculous to expect two people to be able to sync up so well that they could fly while each controlling one wing. But, sure enough, they did, and within the first ten minutes of the game they were out-maneuvering, with the help of the game’s magic of course, the Flugel.
Volume five also has a lot in the way of good storytelling. It was interesting to read about the relationship that the Dhampirs and Sirens have. Due to the ten covenants, the sirens cannot just attack any person they see in order to reproduce. Similarly, the Dhampirs cannot simply drink the blood of anyone they want. This left Dhampirs and Sirens with really only one answer: to use each other.
This bit of lore is not only interesting, but is implemented well into the core of the game they have to play. The Dhampirs need to reproduce soon, but since the queen is asleep they can’t. Meanwhile, since the queen is asleep, the Sirens have not had a leader for 800 years. This increased urgency raises the stakes of the game and makes the twist all the more enjoyable.
Volume five has all of what makes No Game No Life an amazing series, and a lot more. It also does a good amount to move the plot forward, seeing as how Sora and Shiro now have control of five race pieces. It is indeed a pivotal point in the series, but one that is nonetheless incredibly fun.
Have you guys read No Game No Life? If so, what do you think of it? Let me know in the comments. If you would like to support Animated Observations or are just feeling generous, consider donating on Ko-Fi:
If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friendos!