If you don't mind all the suggestive (and outright blatant) visuals, then No Game No Life, Please! Volume 3 features a fun dose of Izuna's foul-mouthed self while still including the other characters.

No Game No Life, Please! 3Title: No Game No Life, Please! (No Game No Life Desu!)
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Media Factory (JP), Yen Press (US)
Story/Artist: Yuu Kamiya, Kazuya Yuizaki
Serialized in: Comic Alive
Translation: Daniel Komen
Original Release Date: February 6, 2018
Review copy provided by Yen Press.

It was a coin flip going into this third volume of No Game No Life, Please!: would this be full of Izuna like the first volume, or would it be like the previous entry and be light on the werebeast fun?

The answer: a good mix of Izuna-centered and Izuna-featured stories. Even when Izuna isn’t the focus, she plays a fun role even when it’s not a large role. Stephanie, for instance, gets caught up in cork fever when all the local kids start using bottle corks as the new currency. Of course, being Stephanie, she loses out in the end, but Izuna just helps add insult to injury. Izuna fans should be happy even when she isn’t the star or co-star of a chapter.

No Game No Life, Please! volume 3 picks up right where the previous volume left off. This threw me off a bit, as instead of starting out with their usual misadventures, several characters discuss Izuna’s future and a plot to have her take over the shrine maiden’s duties. I had to double check that this was the spin-off manga and not the main story. It was different but not unwelcome, as I think a good spin-off series should add to its source material.

After the serious start, there are the usual random plots like hunting for a food thief in the castle and Plum agreeing to protect Izuna from the aphrodisiac-laden other girls. Who knew dining at a new restaurant could be such a battle of pride? It seems ridiculous to spend an entire chapter on monologuing on what goes with fish, and it is. But that’s what makes it so funny; people in Discord make everything into a challenge, especially the young Izuna.

For me, though, one of the worst parts of the entire No Game No Life series has been its ecchi side. But in the author’s notes, Yuizaki assures readers that they and Kamiya will try to keep this series as a “wholesome manga”. And if you just did a double-take, well, I nearly did a spit-take considering this came after:

  • The two of them tried to get a special screentone approved for the young-looking Holou by arguing she’s technically well over age 18.
  • A mostly-naked Plum getting “attacked” by other girls, with only his tail covering up his private areas.
  • A topless Stephanie with a bottle of alcohol in her chest being told by a boy she needs to “pop my cork too” and her protesting they “can’t all come at once”.

Maybe this was a case of a not-so-good translation or just a way to refer to non-adult manga. But “wholesome” is hardly a term anyone would use for No Game No Life, let alone No Game No Life, Please! which is shrinkwrapped and has a parental advisory warning. I don’t think I want to know where this series goes if the creators decide to be more risque… I mean, the art style has always been pretty, and the busy, vibrant world of Discord shines through even in the monochrome pages. Even with computer assistance, I am still amazed that Jibril with her halo always looks good and that Izuna herself is a pile of foul-mouthed adorableness. But I would love for it to be more wholesome and not have boyish looking vampires drooling over an eight-year-old wolf girl’s bodily fluids.

If you don’t mind all the suggestive (and outright blatant) visuals, then No Game No Life, Please! Volume 3 features a fun dose of Izuna’s foul-mouthed self while still including the other characters. Although the opening was a bit of a surprise, perhaps in the future, there will be more story-related plots instead of just random excuses for fanservice.