Author: Kugane Maruyama
Publisher: Yen On
American release date: September 27, 2016
Format/Genre/Length: Hardback/Fantasy Adventure /256 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
Ainz is having issues he never dreamed of when he was playing Yggdrasil! Two beautiful women are at war with one another…over him! Whodathunkit? Two of his NPCs – Albedo and Shalltear – are ready to fight one another to win his love. What’s a man to do? Except, he isn’t a man, not anymore. He’s an undead lich king. Man, life is complicated.
He decides he needs more information about this new world he finds himself in, more than he has received so far. Actually, he really needs to see things for himself. He sets out with one of the Pleiades warriors, Naberal, and presents himself as an adventurer named Momon, and her name is Nabe. But it’s hard to get her to keep from calling him my lord. Guess he’ll have to work on that. Heading to the nearby city of E-Rantel, they first rent rooms at an inn, where Ainz has to deal with a troublemaker, but in doing so he accidentally breaks a young woman’s potion. She is less than thrilled with him and lets him know about it, so he gives her one of his Minor Healing potions to make them even. Little does he know….
Next they seek out the Adventurers Guild, from which they can find offers of employment and make some money as they explore the land. The trouble is that, while Ainz can speak the language, he cannot read it, never having acquired the skill to do so. In all fairness, he never thought he would need it. The jobs are posted on a board, according to skill level required. As a newbie, Ainz is at copper level, but he has no idea which jobs he would qualify for and he can’t let them see that he can’t read. So he grabs one job request and takes it to the receptionist, who disdainfully tells him that is mythril level while he is merely copper. He asks her for the highest job he can do, but before she can respond, he receives an offer from a group of adventurers who ask if he would like to join them. This doesn’t sound too bad, so Ainz agrees.
They are known as the Swords of Darkness, and their leader, who looks like a warrior, is Peter. The other members include ranger Lukrut Volve, Spell Master Ninya and Druid Dyne Woodwonder. Lukrut seems inordinately curious about the relationship between Momon and Nabe, which mystifies him. But once he explains that they are friends, the truth is revealed when Lukrut makes a declaration of love for the girl! She shuts him down immediately, but he doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the word no. Luckily, she has no problem with telling him how little she thinks of him.
Just when it seems things are settled with these adventurers, Momon receives a personal request for his services! A young man named Nfirea, a well-known apothecary in the village, wants him to accompany him while he gathers herbs in a dangerous area. But Ainz is reluctant to simply abandon his new companions, even though they say they understand. He finds a way to combine the two requests that is mutually beneficial to all. And off they go!
Meanwhile, there are sinister goings-on beneath the cemetery of E-Rantel. Something’s going to happen, and it isn’t going to be good!
I am totally loving this series! It’s like being inside an MMORPG except for real! I love Momonga/Ainz! He is coping with an unusual situation rather well, I think, and adjusting to being a skeleton instead of a man. The rivalry between Albedo and Shalltear is hilarious, but I admit to being Team Albedo. Nabe proves herself to be a good companion for this first adventure, and the apothecary Nfirea is cute! I’m looking forward to the next volume!