Yen Press released the manga adaptation of Kugane Maruyama’s 2012 web novel “Overlord.”

Maruyama’s story starts at the last hours of the online role-playing video game “Yggdrasil.” Player Momonga decides to see to the end of its 12-year run, sadly without the other members of his guild “Ainz Ooal Gown.” Something goes wrong when the scheduled shutdown leaves Momonga still in the game inhabiting his digital persona.. Shock fills him when the NPCs (non-player characters) come to life and gain identities like the lore he and some of the guild members gave them. As Momonga explores the area, he finds out that it is far different from what he remember in the game and questions if the land is of its own. When he leaves his domain and intervenes with conflicts of the local townspeople, a flame of valor fills him and his once empty life gains meaning as he takes on the name of his guild to become a legendary hero.

“Overlord” joins the ranks of other series that blur the boundaries between the virtual video games and physical world like “.hack,” “Log Horizon,” and “Sword Art Online.” “Overlord” seems to share a closer relation to “Log” with Momonga’s lack of desire to escape  his new life. Momonga’s decision is to become a hero runs contrary to his meek persona outside the game and contrary to the devilish persona most associate to his lich-like character ingame, and makes for an interesting read.

Both the original novel and the manga adaptation are ongoing in Japan. Madhouse studios made an anime during the 2015 summer season, consisting of 13 episodes. Interested fans can watch the series through Funimation’s streaming service while waiting for Volume Two of the manga to hit shelves in September.

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