Saturday, March 12, 2016

No Game No Life, Volume 3 Review

No Game No Life, Vol. 3No Game No Life, Vol. 3 by Yuu Kamiya
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hmm... I'm not exactly sure what to say about volume 3 of No Game No Life. In many ways, it was worse than volume 2, but in some ways, I liked it more. Since I'm a jerk, let's start with what I didn't like: the grammar.

Like volume 1, the grammar in volume 3 makes me feel like I'm losing brain cells from reading, which I never thought I would say. The English in here is atrocious. At the same time, I'm 100% certain that this is a stylistic choice of the original author, which means the translator is being true to the author's writing. That being said, even if someone wishes to keep their translations accurate to the source content, if that writing doesn't work well in another language, then it is the translator's job to make it flow more smoothly. Here, I feel like the translator stopped at the translating and didn't even bother trying to make it better. The paragraphs in this volume were all like: "Sora stood there. Wearing a smug expression. Looking like a douchenozzle. King. Eighteen. Virgin. Stop being a n00b."

If you look at the paragraph, the only complete sentences in this entire paragraph are the first and last sentences. The rest aren't. Now, while I can deal with this sort of writing if it serves a purpose, such as to increase the pace and flow of a story, when 90% of a story is written like this, it pisses me off.

So, I bet you're asking yourselves: If he hates the writing so much, why does he continue reading? That's because the story is interesting. For all its faults, this is probably one of the most entertaining light novels I've read. The characters are intriguing, the story is awesome, the humor is hilarious, and despite how horribly written it is, I really do enjoy reading it. I wonder if that makes me a masochist? Aw, well.

One other thing that people should be aware of is how awkward some of the dialogue can be. Yuu Kamiya apparently doesn't believe in adding dialogue tags. This isn't a problem when only two or three people are talking and each person has a distinctive speech pattern. However, when six or more people are talking at the same time, even with distinctive ways of speaking, it's impossible to know who is saying what. Toward the end of the book, this issue becomes even more prevalent.

All this being said, if you can enjoy the story for what it is and not remain hung up on the grammar, then you might just like this. Sora and Shiro are in fine form this volume, Jibril is as hot as ever, and Steph makes for excellent comic relief. I think the only awkward thing was the bath scene with Shiro and Izuna. I don't know about you, but reading about an 11 and 9 year old taking a bath is just awkward. I know that Japan has different beliefs on nudity than America, and I don't really get hung up on stuff like that, but it's still awkward when the characters are that young. I almost skipped that part because reading it makes me feel like a pedobear.

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