Tag Archives: Ainz Ooal Gown

Book Review: Overlord, Vol 4 by Kugane Maruyama

Overlord, Vol 4     

Author: Kugane Maruyama

Publisher: Yen On

American release date:  May 23, 2017

Format/Genre/Length: Hardback/Fantasy Adventure /304 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

The day begins much like any other for the lizardmen. Until the ominous black cloud appears out of nowhere with a warning – The Great One is coming in eight days, with a great army, and you will be destroyed. Naturally, the members of the lizardman tribe are alarmed. Who wouldn’t be? Zaryusu is a member of the village, a traveler who happens to be in the village when the message arrives. He goes to see his brother Shasuryu, who is head of the village. A meeting is called to decide what to do. According to the messenger, they will be the second lizardman village to be destroyed. So there must be others who have survived. What to do?

After much discussion, they decide that Zaryusu will travel to the other villages and attempt to arrange an alliance with them. Surely, they will be stronger together than separately against this unknown menace. The first village he visits is the Red Eye village, where he seeks an audience with their leader, who turns out to be an albino female lizardman named Crusch Lulu… and Zaryusu finds himself instantly attracted to her. She seems amenable to his suggestions and determines that she will go with him to talk to the other villages. In the Dragon Tusk village, he encounters a big guy named Zembel, who challenges him to a fight.

But when the time comes for the promised army to return, the sheer numbers alone are daunting, and it will take everything the lizardmen have to defeat this unknown enemy… who is actually none other than Ainz Ooal Gown and his followers from the Tomb of Nazarick.

This volume of Overlord is a definite departure from the first three in that we are introduced to and get to know the intended targets, the lizardmen. And that makes a great deal of difference. I have supported and applauded Ainz in everything he did previously, but here I found myself hoping he didn’t really mean to attack them, and that he certainly wouldn’t hurt them, as I came to know and like these lizardmen. I know that Ainz’s guild was known as PK, which means they would fight other players. I tend to avoid those fights myself, whether in D2 or WoW. But until now, I’ve never really thought about what that means in these books, and I have to admit to finding myself a little disturbed at the attitude that is taken toward these lizardmen who have done nothing to warrant being attacked simply as a matter of subjugation. I hope Ainz reconsiders his strategy and chooses a path of peace and prosperity rather than war. I understand he doesn’t know exactly who or what he is up against. And I have to wonder if there are other actual players out there doing the same thing he is. Definitely opens up some moral issues, which I expect will be addressed in future volumes.

I have been getting each volume from the library until now, but I love these books so much that I have decided to purchase them. I already have volume 5 and look forward to reading it.

Book Review: Overlord, Vol 1 by Kugane Maruyama

Overlord, Vol 1   

Author: Kugane Maruyama

Publisher: Yen On

American release date:  May 24, 2016

Format/Genre/Length: Hardback/Fantasy Adventure /256 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

Yggdrasil  has been a very popular multi-player online game for a dozen years. But nothing lasts forever, players’ tastes change, and all good things must come to an end. So it is with this particular MMORPG. One of the game’s  guilds in particular, Ainz Ooal Gown, is composed of very dedicated players, led by the Overlord Momonga. But the time has come for the game to end, and out of the 41 members of the guild, only a handful  remain. Of these, only two show up to the Tomb of Nazarick to witness the end of their beloved game—the Momonga player and his friend. But his friend is very tired from working hard and even he doesn’t stay the course, so Momonga finds himself alone, waiting for the countdown that will signal the end of Yggdrasil.

As Momonga waits for the end, he remembers the other guild members, and the accomplishments of the guild, with justifiable pride. Each of them has created the various NPCs that populate the tomb and designed their personalities. Momonga isn’t happy with what the creator of the NPC Albedo did, though, making her into a veritable bitch. So he does something he normally wouldn’t do, and goes into the program and changes her. Just for fun, he adds the line that will come back to haunt him… he says she is in love with Momonga. What the heck, the game is going out in a few minutes anyway.

Just before the game is scheduled to wink out of existence, though,something happens, something inexplicable.  Momonga first realizes it when he notices his senses actually working in this place, for example he can smell things around him, something he could never do before. And the NPCs… are actually responding with lines that are certainly not pre-programmed, and moving in ways they previously had not been able to. And why is Albedo looking at him so oddly? Almost as if she’s in love with him or something. What has happened here?

Before I read this, I started watching the anime, unaware that the books existed. But then the first volume showed up on my daughter’s wish list, so I bought it for her and borrowed a copy from the library for myself. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very pleasantly surprised at what I read. Reading the novel helps me make sense out of what is happening in the anime. In fact, I think I’ll start the anime again after reading a couple more books.

As a gamer myself, this is a very fun read, one that I am greatly enjoying. Momonga finds himself living inside the game, except it’s not a game, it’s a real world. Good thing he worked so hard on his character all this time, because Momonga is a force to be reckoned with! Kugane Maruyama is taking us on a fascinating ride into an MMORPG, but the difference is everything is real, magic exists, and the sorts of things players do in a game are the same things these people do here. I love how devoted and unabashedly lovesick Albedo is over Momonga, despite the fact that he is literally a skeleton, albeit a very powerful one.

The book contains some fabulous color drawings as well, done by the illustrator so-bin. I loved them! I also love how Momonga is quickly adapting to this new life in which he neither eats nor drinks nor breathes… nor anything else associated with his prior human life. His first order of business is to have someone scout outside and find out if they are still in the area in which the guild was located… or somewhere else. Also, he decides to meet with his staff, ie his NPCs, and see what’s up with them as well as give them their orders.

A new world has just begun and Momonga has to figure out how to live in it, since he has no idea if he can even get back to the real world… assuming he wants to.