Manga-Mania May: Overlord

There has been a load of mangas and animes about people playing MMO games, most of them about also being trapped inside them. Most of them are also not that great.

So, what makes “Overlord” any different?

Well, first of all... our hero is a big skeleton dude. Kinda.

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Satoru Suzuki has no family or friends, so he has played a lot of online gaming. So it is a kick in the pants when his game Yggdrasil is to be shut down. Wanting to enjoy the game to the very last moment, Satoru as his in-game avatar Ainz, walks around in his evil palace and looks at trophies and other stuff he has obtained as an evil tyrant in the game. He even fools around, changing the game descriptions on one of the NPCs that serves him named Albedo so the description says that she loves Ainz.

But when time is up and Satoru expected his headgear to go dark... he is still in his evil lair. Only he is not in the game Yggdrasil, he is in an entirely new world that is actually real. And he is still Ainz, a giant skeleton sorcerer. And his NPCs are there as well as real people, even Albedo who now (because of our hero’s silly antics) is madly in love with her master.

Satoru can no longer treat his role as Ainz as a hobby. He HAS to be an actual overlord.

What makes this story so interesting is that Ainz doesn’t have a classic goal. He doesn’t have to train and become stronger and gain new allies. He has all that already. Seriously, he goes Onepunch Man on anyone he fights. His motivation is instead to live up to his now permanent role. He HAS to be a figure of authority and respect, he has to become the person he created simply for funsies. He HAS to act like he has a plan and isn’t making it up as he goes. Which is hard since he is just an awkward loser who used to spend most of his time with a headgear so he could evade interacting with people for real.

Also, kinda like Sword Art Online, Overlord has a ton of RPG game mechanics, systems and world building. But unlike SAO, it feels genuine. Like it could actually be a game.

The story about a power fantasy turned to labor is a fun tale before anything else. Our hero keeps using MMO terms like damage when he wants to say pain as he makes a dramatic villain speech he practiced in his room and he is adorably awkward. Not the deepest manga I have read, but very entertaining. Give it a read. Or check out the anime or novel.

That’s one down, 18 to go.

I’m Waezi2, and thanks for wasting time with me.