Overlord (LN)

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After announcing it will be discontinuing all service, the internet game ‘Yggdrasil’ shut down… That was the plan, but for some reason, the player character did not log out some time after the server was closed. NPCs start to become sentient. A normal youth who loves gaming in the real world seemed to have been transported into an alternate world along with his guild, becoming the strongest mage with the appearance of a skeleton, Momonga. He leads his guild ‘Ainz Ooal Gown’ towards an unprecedented legendary fantasy adventure!

Associated Names
One entry per line
Ōbārōdo
オーバーロード
不死者之王
오버로드
Related Series
Altina X Overlord Special Collaboration Booklet (Side Story)
Overlord (WN) (Web Novel)
Recommendations
Dungeon Defense (10)
The New Gate (5)
Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyusoukyoku (WN) (4)
Kyuuketsu Hime wa Barairo no Yume o Miru (3)
Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken (WN) (3)
The Lazy King (3)

Latest Release

Date Group Release
05/20/18 Overlord Translations v13 afterword
05/20/18 Overlord Translations v13 epilogue
05/20/18 Overlord Translations v13c7
05/20/18 Overlord Translations v13c6
05/20/18 Overlord Translations v13 intermission
05/20/18 Overlord Translations v13c5
05/20/18 Overlord Translations v13c4
10/17/17 Overlord Translations v12 afterword
10/17/17 Overlord Translations v12c3
10/17/17 Overlord Translations v12c2
10/17/17 Overlord Translations v12c1
10/22/16 Overlord Translations v11 afterword
10/22/16 Overlord Translations v11 epilogue
10/26/16 Overlord Translations v11c5
10/26/16 Overlord Translations v11c4
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73 Reviews sorted by


June10
New June10 rated it
November 7, 2018
Status: v8
Overlord is a novel that certainly goes above and beyond with it's massive world building that isn't often seen in other works of similar genres but that's basically where most of my praise ends. The novel starts off phenomenally, providing you with a character that's quick to think and act despite the strange situation he finds himself in and a world that's quickly built on through multiple perspectives; whether it be Ainz, his servants, or native residents of the world, the setting is quickly expanded and given life in a... more>> sense. Unfortunately, for me this is where it's biggest problem also lies.

Eventually, there comes a point when there's too much world building and it just gets dull for the wrong reasons. The initial pull of the novel is Ainz, a character that is overpowered and seemingly a good person but forced to act evil for the sake of his guild, and his actions upon this world he finds himself in. However, it doesn't take long for the author to shift focus to other characters and basically leave Ainz in the dust. Most moments involving Ainz are just comedic relief moments of him trying to act the evil part and having his servants cover for him, with the very scarce moments of him in the spotlight actually doing something that's befitting of the title "Overlord".

Another issue I have is the overpowered factor this novel has. Normally I wouldn't find issue with overpowered characters, as is Ainz and his servants, or I wouldn't be reading this in the first place. The author, however, focuses so much on characters that aren't overpowered and ends up making far more compelling stories for them, such as the lizardmen, Climb, and Enri, that it becomes a huge disappointment when most of them simply end with the interference of either Ainz or any of his servants.

Maybe it gets better and all my issues are solved eventually. But as of Vol 8, there really isn't much going on outside of knowledge gathering and base building that Ainz has been doing since Vol 1. Obviously if this is your thing then by all means, give it a go. Overlord definitely has alot of potential and if you go in expecting a VERY slow climb with moderate expectations you'll certainly find an interesting take on the "trapped in an mmorpg/isekai" genre. <<less
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Si Kucing
New Si Kucing rated it
November 3, 2018
Status: v13
Undoubtedly one of my most favorite novel..... if u're looking for a battle orientd novel then don't...... the MC is powerful.... so powerful that any enemies he face could be wiped out instantly (the only exception is when he was forced to fight his brainwashed npc which is in my opinion the only real "fight" in this novel)

This novel is mainly centered on kingdom building, intrigue, n stuff like that..... N although so far the ainz trampled all of his enemies there's a slight hint that there might be... more>> enemy that could oppose him (no, not his paranoia but most likely the slaine theocracy, but we'll see)

Spoiler

one thing that I like about this novel is although ainz strong and cautious even at the start, after shalltear brainwash case.... the sense that he's a special one, if any, completely vanish n he become even more cautious (to the point of paranoia) but this is exactly what I like.... cautious one may, if he still hold the notion that he's special.... then that's the one thing that will trip him on many occasion.... cautious, but didn't register in his brain that what he could do, the enemy might, or even worse do better than him will lead to death

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The misunderstanding factor is huge here.... n in fact so thick that is sickening.... but instead of correcting it, ainz decided to push through.... dunno what this may lead to but we'll see.......

Oh! I forgot what I like the most about this novel that I should say first..... the MC is a human named suzuki satoru that transported to another world along with his game character n the remains of his guild...... many novels drop the whole human transported n become demon, monster, etc which resulted in a monster or demon with human personality.... they tend to act completely like human and completely disregard what they are now, nor are there any changes to their personality despite their new self..... in overlord ainz is an undead with a personality of suzuki satoru..... he didn't become human loving monster or peace loving idiots or "no! I'm a goody two shoes japanese human I'm kind I won't kill humans even if they did almost kill me, or raped my lover, or killed my family, or may retaliate in the future if let alone (many japs novel tend to visualize japanese as kindest, friendliest, etc which kinda irked me as being kind or friendly didn't depends on one's race -_- especialy if we recount on what they did on people of china and southeast asia) the MC of overlord ainz oal gown cares not on humanity as a whole, he might act to save humans, but he did so for the benefit of himself and his family (the denizens of nazarick, the remains of his guild) this is a humanlike thing to do but if killing humans would benefit him or nazarick more, he would do so without hesitation hence, not a monster with humanity, but a monster with suzuki satoru personality.... someone's personality....

Ainz's humanity slowly eroded as the story goes.... but honestly? I like it.... cuz he becomung monster actually, realisticly affect his personalities instead just becoming monster and that's it......

Spoiler

there's also foreshadowing a great war or battle that might happen in the future..... clementine's corpse missing, sister of strong (by that world standard) worker who are killed in nazarick might grow on par with their sister, some unknown grandma discussing with a dragon about the world and how it's going now, brain ungalus left with info on how the sword gazef might harm ainz and therefore a pontential to oppose ainz, a blacksmith of dwarven kingdom ran away with unknown ingot that is stronger then adamantium (though still trash with ainz standard), and how ainz delibsretly spread news that he can't cast a spell that could kill hundreds of thousands of troops for another ten years (although it is a lie to cover another reasons... such info is valuable for those who want to oppose ainz.... lol) iuno if this great battle will happen or not... my bet? It will.... with all of these foreshafowing.... it will

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All in all.... a recomended novel to those who seeks kingdom building.... well... just give it a try... <<less
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rdawv
rdawv rated it
March 23, 2016
Status: --
The memorable thing about this novel for me after the passage of time is the MC’s callous behavior. There haven’t been many LNs and their anime adaptations that describe brutality and disregard for life at the forefront like this, which evokes the images of Light Yagami from Death Note. As it also started off as a VRMMORPG, one can consider Overlord to be one of the first to showcase darker aspects instead of the noble-hearted characters like in Sword Art Online or Accel World (. hack doesn't count because nobody... more>> remembers it).

The main character himself is a dichotomy, two personalities that seemingly opposing to each other. On the surface, he plays a coldly calculating and dispassionate immortal being that sees everything else as inferior. Yet on the inside, he still remembers his original human personality and his lack of confidence, especially when dealing with his followers who obey him zealously. His experiences with his subordinates who are overpowered creatures in their own right reminds me of the humorous scene in “Monty Python’s Life of Brian”, where the protagonist yells at the crowd in exasperation at their blind faith in him, only for them to repeat his words as gospel.

When we read about his fortress-like sanctuary and his numerous and unique minions, it’s like a chuuni dream come true. Remember, the times when you scribble and sketch about yourself being the president of the universe, having your secret base where friends/subordinates with superpowers hang out and an arsenal of ultimate weapons...

The difference is in the writing, which is written in a solemn style that depicts action, violence and black humor. Minor characters die horribly, casually killed by beings that deemed them as annoying little bugs. The MC’s subordinates can barely conceal their disgust and disdain for ordinary humans, putting their master in an awkward spot. But then again, the MC himself treats the inhabitants of his new world with as much interest as a kid with an ant-farm.

The main draw of the series is seeing how an overpowered, deity-like being and his cohort of followers crush all those in their way. Renowned warriors, mages, assassins, the theocracy and the royalty, all their scheming and struggles are petty and pointless because they couldn’t comprehend the sheer magnitude in the difference of power.

It is very well written, though the author can veer off the path considerably for padding material. For those who want to read more after watching the anime, you can continue from volume 4. However, I strongly suggest reading from the start as the novel version had a lot of internal monologue and descriptions that adds to the characterization which were glossed over in the anime. <<less
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Xire
Xire rated it
October 10, 2017
Status: v5
Rating this 1 star on the basis of having hated reading it, not on the basis of it necessarily being a badly written story. Put simply, this story is a sociopaths wet dream, and I despise evil characters. I can't relate to them, I detest them, and when I can't help but want the MC to die horribly then I can't enjoy a story. With that said, the story is well written and reasonably fleshed out. My issues with it are purely down to moral differences - the author spent... more>> a lot of time fleshing out side characters for the explicit purpose of later on killing them in various sadistic and gruesome ways. I stopped reading at the point when the MC intentionally baited a bunch of very kind humans into his graveyard and then butchered them whilst hypocritically acting righteous as if they were invading his land. These people had families back home relying on them to survive etc. In terms of the narrative I suppose it makes sense, but the MC really does literally become a monster, and I for one didn't enjoy it at all. If you like kicking puppies and cooking children though, it'll probably be a 5/5 for you. <<less
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Archerreborn2
Archerreborn2 rated it
February 26, 2016
Status: v10
Overlord is a lot closer to a real novel than most of the stuff you'll see on this site. If you're used to the light novel format and expect the plot to move at a breakneck speed while focusing mainly on the MC with small sections for the side characters, then this won't be your cup of tea.

I would say about half of Overlord is about the MC. The other half splits its attention over the various colorful side characters both from the MMO and the New World. It does... more>> a really good job juxtaposing the differences between the MC, his minions, and the people of the new world.

If your only interested in the perspective of the MC, then I don't think this novel will be a good fit but for people who really like world building and character interaction this is probably something you'll like. I consider this to the one of the best Japanese light novels on this site. <<less
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Thanh
Thanh rated it
September 21, 2017
Status: v11c5
This novel is definitely one of the best that I have read in my life. And I mean "novel", not "light novel", since this novel, in my opinion, is qualify as a real novel. I love to read and I have read many novel before, written by English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, etc. And I assure you that Overlord is very good.

It is true that there are still many flaws, but this one is not just wish fulfillment or being dark and such. In fact, the author seems to be very... more>> good in mocking those dark, bland stereotype with his many colorful characters. While character's development is indeed slow, it is definitely there and is interesting, if rather subtle. And KodamaDauragon, did you ever read past a few pages, or are you a brain-dead fool? He is NOT transfer to a game, but a REAL world, with pre-existing natives. And he is not dark or showoff, if he does occasionally, they are just acting to mislead other, and is a very effective way to show that he is actually decently smart, just spineless and have weak will.

The best thing is that the author show many point of view, and while it is true that the pace is slow down because of that, it make the world 'real'. All characters in power are intelligent, whether in game or this world. So the many point of view show how they see the MC and explain very well why they all cower before him, even though you know most of the achievement come from misunderstanding.

The final thing, KodamaDauragon is an idiot, that world is real and feel real. This novel actually seem to occasionally mock the other LN's stupid point, such as make everyone dumb to make the MC look better, dark/emo tween, pointless harem and such. If you like novel with author who actually RESPECT the reader's intelligent instead of treating almost all of them as immature brat or idiotic pervert who only care about pu**y and pointless harem, you should read this and I assure you that you won't be disappointed. <<less
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Framee
Framee rated it
February 14, 2016
Status: --
Reason to read
- Game like world
- Reasonably strong MC (between player), but also OP for the current world.
- Funny in some part
- Albedo
- Albedo
- Story
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xDarkness
xDarkness rated it
February 2, 2018
Status: v12c1
5/5 for the world-building, story and well portraied side characters.

-1 for Ainz being an inconsistent AND incompetent character. He basically can read neither situations nor persons. Although he was supposed to be an ordinary, working adult, he ACTUALLY feels more like a NEET with no experience of social interaction

-1 for the pointlessness of most of the plot, don't get me wrong, it's well structured and well written, but I really don't see any point in so many side plots, if 90% of them are dead ends with the introduced characters... more>> either dying or never being relevant again. Besides, it's really depressing too. Lizardmen are an exception though

How do I start, I kinda have a love-hate relationship with Overlord.

The story really draws you in and the characters are really well-written, interesting and realistic. Alhough some volumes have a rather slow start, in the end I always end up reading them until 3 am.

The world-building is well structured and interesting too with several big things foreshadowed which keep it interesting.

Although some things are predictable, the whole development on a big scale is not, so if you're bothered by predictable plot, fear not (too much).

However, it really bothers me how hypocritical Ainz is at times. For example:

Spoiler

in volume 12 Ainz says all the time that he dreams about a nation in which all races can live alongside each other and is portraied as someone who doesn't randomly kill anyone without a good reason (so basically he won't needlessly kill the innocent), but then he proceeds to kill half a nation for no apparent reason except maybe information gain and making them immediately surrender to his rule? Although there would've been plenty other ways of achieving that??

[collapse]

I really don't mind good characters dying, even without a reason, buuuuut the author just spams it too much. For the sweet and juicy love of god (no homo), if you bother to introduce a character in great detail,

Spoiler

to the point of actually writing 1-2 volumes mostly about him,

[collapse]

then don't just friggin kill him off on a whim without storyrelevant reason whatsoever purely to portray Ainz as a cruel game of thrones like ruler which is totally in contrast to how his personality is usually shown as. This is completely tilting me because the author does it so frequently and because it's totally predictable. Why bother saving, being nice to and even TEACHING a character, if you're gonna let them die a dog's death? Are you for real??? I get that Overlord is 18+ so we're gonna have torture, cruelty, interesting characters dying and whatnot, but if you don't give a f**k about them surviving, then don't bother being so nice to them in the first place, that's needless cruelty which doesn't even fit to how Ainz's personality is displayed usually in the first place.

So far we've had

Spoiler

Arche dying after being saved by Ainz,

Neia who was basically the only topic the whole 12th volume was about being pretty much sentenced to death at the end and probably gonna die in the next volume

Evileye being foreshadowed of being killed off pointlessly some time in the future

and many more less relevant characters like Neia's father, Stronoff, etc.

[collapse]

It greatly rustles my jimmies to the point that if the foreshadowing in volume 12

Spoiler

of Neia dying a friggin pointless dead too, just because Ainz is too friggin dense to realize how much she admires him

[collapse]

is fulfilled in vol13, I will just quit this novel, no matter how good it is in all other aspects.

There's really no point in reading a novel if you already know that every more than just a bit interesting character introduced will be killed off in a cruel and pointless way.

You might have noticed, but I'm really mad, writing this review immediately after having finished volume 12. Still, besides that, the novel is just so unbelievable good, so although I'll most likely gonna quit reading if vol13 disappoints me too, I still can't rate this lower than 3 stars. Dammit author, why do you do this to me........ <<less
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keklel
keklel rated it
July 29, 2016
Status: v4c2
>We’re almost out of time, what the hell am I doing? It seems like my mouth won’t stop whenever I talk about the glories of Nazarick...

The story is very verbose, almost filled to the brim with grandiose descriptions of various aspects of the world which aren't really relevant or important to the story, for example various characters' appearances, dress, equipment, decorations, mannerisms and so on. If you like to visualize then I imagine reading this would be like watching a movie or TV series. But if you just want to... more>> know what happens like me, then it would be quite frustrating to have to read through all that needless exposition. The level of detail is insane. Everything from characters histories, personalities, relationships, abilities, items, to the traits of various races. It's all described with painstaking verbosity.

>There are two volumes that are just a bunch of side stories. I know side stories are fun to read but not as a single volume. There are many ways to weave these into the end of the chapters or volumes but when it takes a single volume it just spells of bad writing to me. Especially when the last volume ended in a cliffhanger (Volume 7). And these side characters never really gets a focus aside from the side stories they were introduced which makes them somewhat a distraction and a waste of time to read. Most of the time it takes a chapter or two to flesh out a character which is a drag. I think this could be summarized better as we are not really moving plot wise. The lizards are just mention in a single scene cameo and that is after 2 volumes from their introduction, I felt these characters should be at least have some more focus if the author spent time to flesh out their stories for one volume.

This is one of the major gripes I have with the story. The author spends an entire volume talking about the tribal politics of lizardmen and the romantic relationship between 2 lizards specifically and they're never mentioned again, which makes it feel incredibly boring and pointless especially since the lizardmen are so weak that Ainz could have just walked over them which makes all that description just pointless. It's like spending an entire volume describing how people were rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

The pacing issues aside, the story is simply just not interesting. Shalltear gets MC'd, then the MC decides to go invade lizardmen. What? Many chapters later it's still not revealed who MC'd Shalltear. Whatever I've lost interest.

At first sight you'd think the MC is some genius overlord, the reality is he's anything but. Keeps making basic blunders like TELLING YOUR ENEMIES IMPORTANT INFORMATION BEFORE KILLING THEM or just letting them go without capturing them or anything. Kind of dumb. I mean he's supposed to learn from his mistakes later on but this seems kind of out of character since he's supposed to be really cautious and plus he has those mental buffs from being undead so he isn't supposed to lose control over his emotions or do anything rash yet he keeps making blunders repeatedly as well as do things emotionally which makes him a really inconsistent character.

I don't think I have to mention the other characters who are LITERALLY NPCs. I mean that is as bland as you can possibly get. They're not well written either, they're all basically just slaves to the MC (or his guild). Anything bad about them will be attributed to the fact that they're NPCs and anything good would elicit the "wow the author is so amazing he can even make NPCs seem humanlike" type of response. They're basically single-trait one dimensional cardboard cutouts. We don't even get any insights into how they think either (well I guess it'd be pretty boring anyway) so they're just presented as robots.

Definitely overrated. I wonder how many people reviewing this have read this as their first LN/transported to another world novel. <<less
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Fhighlander
Fhighlander rated it
April 17, 2017
Status: v11
One of the best LN I've read so far.

A overpowered MC making his dream come true for his former comrades sake. Sometimes I miss a little more intrigue in his battles but so far I can't complain.

Take your time and read this piece knowing that you will not waste your time. Believe me.

And [Grasp Hearth] magic will stole your heart, I really mean it.
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razgallo
razgallo rated it
December 28, 2015
Status: --
You either love it or hate this story, I like the theme and story but the author’s style leave something to be desired.

There are two volumes that are just a bunch of side stories. I know side stories are fun to read but not as a single volume. There are many ways to weave these into the end of the chapters or volumes but when it takes a single volume it just spells of bad writing to me. Especially when the last volume ended in a cliffhanger (Volume 7). And... more>> these side characters never really gets a focus aside from the side stories they were introduced which makes them somewhat a distraction and a waste of time to read.

Most of the time it takes a chapter or two to flesh out a character which is a drag. I think this could be summarized better as we are not really moving plot wise.

Spoiler

The lizards are just mention in a single scene cameo and that is after 2 volumes from their introduction, I felt these characters should be at least have some more focus if the author spent time to flesh out their stories for one volume.

[collapse]

It is mostly assumed that his human psyche is being dominated by his undead body however I could never see it that way, his inner monologue never has him talking like an evil overlord at all, he is just a spineless human who is depressed from being abandoned in-game. Its not that he is becoming an Overlord he just can’t say no to his minions and tries to be an Overlord for them.

Spoiler

He still has emotions which I would think is suppressed because it was after all written there, then later he gets embarrassed and angry from riding a giant hamster. Further in Volume 7 he is enraged by some adventurers he lured, which he explains that his emotion is actually just cutoff after a certain threshold, meaning if he gets too emotional he loses the emotion which is retarded.

Don’t even try to explain the significance of him keeping that small town alive aside from the potion productions.

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Overall you will have fun reading it but there are better stories out there. I am just keeping this low rating as a bitter reminder that this author and its editors I should shun in the future. <<less
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animanaicT
animanaicT rated it
October 24, 2015
Status: --
The reactions of the characters and how they handled the situation is why I love it... God those usernames! yea... what did I expect from a mmo.
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captain crunch
captain crunch rated it
April 6, 2017
Status: v11
Rating: 4-4.5 stars, Translation: 5/5

(My reviews may sound negative, but I'm just listing reasons why I didn't give 5 stars.)

[[5 star = almost all readers will enjoy. 4 star = large majority of readers will enjoy. 3 star = 50/50 of readers will enjoy. 2 star = a niche audience will enjoy. 1 star = maybe portion of niche audience will enjoy.]]

[[5/5 = Infrequent minor errors. 4/5 = Frequent minor errors or infrequent major errors, no difficulty to read. 3/5 = Frequent major errors, some difficulty to... more>> read. 2/5 = Difficult to read. 1/5 = Unreadable.]]

MC is a lonely salaryman whose only friends are guild members in landmark but aging VR dive game. He logs into the game on the day the servers close. He is alone in the final countdown hours, as everyone else has stopped playing. However, the game does not end, and MC cannot log out. MC, his guild hall, and the guild's numerous support NPCs appear to have been transported to another world. MC goes on an adventure to explore this world, look for other gamers, and protect his guild hall from potential dangers. The series is a transported to another world genre, has a magic fantasy world, demi-humans, politics/factions/nations, lots and lots of subordinates, some kingdom building in the later volumes, an OP MC, small and large scale battles, but no romance.

I may be biased, because Overlord is the first LN that I've read, and it got me into other JP and CN LN/WN. I started with the anime, and ended up wanting to know more, since the anime probably would not get any more seasons. The MC was different for me, because it was the first morally ambiguous and immediately OP MC I've seen. MC isn't particularly evil, but does or condones questionable actions to protect or enhance his guild. He retains all his skills, items, wealth, and guild hall/NPCs, which are OP in this new world. The subordinates are quite varied, and have interesting personalities. His attempts as a salaryman to lead OP NPCs-turned-into-real-beings/monsters is the source of most of the humor. I liked the journey of following MC along as he tried to understand this new world and crushing any obstacle he meets. My main issue is that the subject matter in some of the volumes were not as interesting as others. For example, v4 is about lizardmen. Quite a large portion is from their POV, and the author tried to show their lifestyle, but I couldn't relate to them and wanted to the story to move on. Another one is about focus. There are a lot of loose threads that are occasionally touched upon, such as the search for other players, or events in another country. The story might comment on some of them, but then ignore them for a very long time. Some readers might feel like the comedy starts to get old, as it is consistently about the same joke of the MC unable to return the advances of his female subordinates, or how he is a somewhat bumbling leader but usually accidentally succeeds, either by chance or because his subordinates are competent. Other readers might not like a villain character, or an automatically OP MC.

So, I am probably biased, but I think a large majority or more may enjoy this series, especially if they were a fan of the anime. There are some less interesting volumes, but I think most reader would still trudge through them.

Other thoughts: There are currently 11 LN volumes. #12 is rumored to be out in late summer/early fall of 2017. I didn't read the WN, but I heard that it is significantly different. The LN is now licensed, so it may be difficult to find all of the fan translations. <<less
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MagicPill
MagicPill rated it
December 9, 2017
Status: v12c1
Basically an OP antihero organisation led by a transported (or left behind I guess) undead king protagonist that was once a normal salaryman in Japan. The protagonist has compassion for the members, but not for life in general. A refreshing hypocrisy that fits the protagonists species.

What sells this novel for me is the interactions within said organisation, and with the normal people outside of it.

The side characters are just lovely, the twists resulting from their personalities and capabilities are what I look forward to in each new volume.
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janrrah18
janrrah18 rated it
December 1, 2016
Status: v11c5
One of my favourite LN!!!!! &Lt;3

For starters this is a pretty good LN IF you like the MC to be evil (except for the people in the guild), an OP character with many loyal servants willing to give up their lives for him, and most importantly how he is spectacularly misunderstood by people which is really amusing for me.

Don't expect romance element here.. Even so give it a read if you preference is more on serious read with fantasy setting sword and magic
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ThreePointsShort
ThreePointsShort rated it
June 19, 2016
Status: v10c1
OP protagonist, virtual reality MMO, alternate fantasy world transfer, it seems just like any other light novel - SAO, Log Horizon, the list goes on and on. So what makes Overlord special?

Humanity. The protagonist, who goes by many names, had no friends or family in his real life and found solace in his online friends. But as they left him, one by one, he found himself all alone once again. Lost in his own melancholy, he speaks to himself, indulging in memories of the past, in the last minutes before... more>> the servers for the game shut down forever.

When he is transferred to another world, never, not once, does he ponder trying to return, nor does he ever wonder what is happening back on Earth. For him, it was always the game that was truly real - real life was just somewhere he had to work to keep himself alive and playing. And although he suddenly finds himself with an army of devoted followers at his fingertips, he still quietly aches for real companionship, not mindless devotion.

Unlike other typical LN MCs that end up in inhuman bodies (Rimuru from Tensei sh*tara and the goblin from Re:Monster come to mind), Ainz isn't totally human on the inside and you can tell. His subordinates' disdain for human life is ever-apparent, and watching Ainz's personality slowly and subtly warp for the darker over the course of many volumes is one of the great pleasures of the series. While in the beginning, Ainz's human side would wrestle with his other desires, it's clear that Ainz is becoming less and less human - and inhibited as an overlord - as time progresses.

Overlord is not a perfect LN, but it's my favorite LN (and I've read a lot). Don't be put off by the OP MC tag - Ainz makes mistakes, he gets confused, and sh*t happens. He's not the calm, confident, domineering author self-insert you'd expect. True, there are very few moments when Ainz is personally in serious danger, and Nazarick generally annihilates all opposition. But if you want a thoughtful, engrossing, well-translated read, definitely give Overlord a try. <<less
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Viridius
Viridius rated it
September 21, 2018
Status: v13 afterword
So Overlord is one of those novels that feels so vastly different from others that many people force their ideas of what a "good novel" is onto what was never supposed to be compared in the first place. Many of the lower ratings are due to this, not fully appreciating the charm of the story.

Overlord is a transmigration story about Momonga, who was the head supervisor of Ainz Ooal Gown, a guild composed entirely out of high-level non-humans and considered one of the strongest guilds in the game Yggdrasil. They... more>> killed countless attackers, a seemingly last-boss type organisation. After transmigrating, he himself adopts the name of the guild.

Right there. See that? That means Ainz is a villain. The story seems to center around the side characters, meticulously fleshing them out but sometimes just killing them off for "fun". Many reviews bash this style of storytelling, complaining about how much these dead characters were focused on. But this is intentional. Ainz is an antagonist to the many "protagonists" we see. The various characters on the side each can be considered a main character with their own story in their own right. We start to find the overarching plot within these. Many people appear to think that novels should work on developing the main character, and the main character only. Overlord does not do that. This makes the plot seem to trudge along slowly, but if you look at it from the perspective of each "side character", it starts to speed up. We read various short, fast-pace anecdotes of people each with their own unique personalities and circumstances, developing and furthering Nazarick's (Ainz and his companions') goals. This creates complex characters and world-building. The appeal of the story, like a premium wine, is enhanced and enriched by its slow pace. We savor every bitter, cruel, insidious moment for what they are, instead of thinking, "Oh, another side character died" like we would in countless other stories. Our sympathy and love of them makes Ainz the villain he is. The climaxes are accentuated by the gradual buildup; the structure of each volume generates rising tensions, furthering our excitement. The whole story reads like a fluid symphony, with different movements, different feelings, all coming together through one focal point: Nazarick.

This alone makes Overlord a story worthy of five stars.

However, many people seem to dislike the main character, and it's a reasonable thing to do. He gives the impression of a terrible leader to his capable subordinates: weak-willed, indecisive, and unintelligent. Yet, in my eyes, while it's not executed as well as it could have been, his apparent incompetence is what makes Ainz human. The story itself focuses on the various horrible things he does, building up each character just to be crushed or oppressed under his hand. However, most of the time we see him, he seems to not be the malignant evil he is in the eyes of others, but rather reminiscent of a child playing with goldfish. The goldfish may do various things to escape its grasp, but with minimal planning he easily squashes those plans with overwhelming power. And why would he not? It's clear he has absolutely no sympathy towards humans, as he himself is a different race. However, he can still grow close with them, like an owner grows close with his dogs. The author clearly wants us to realize that he is not deranged nor insane, but only slightly psychopathic. He does this through the various flaws that Ainz portrays while the focus is on him. While the recurring "As expected from Ainz" gag of his subordinates overestimating his capabilities is not something I particularly like, the rest of his antics are something I see the need for. If not for these, we would push him away as a terrible person and a despicable main character.

If you enjoy fast-paced, protagonist-centric novels, this is not for you. Reading this novel brainlessly is enjoyable, but at best makes it a mediocre tale. I believe this is what many of the lower-rated reviewers are doing. Overlord is outstanding: its world-building, character development, and plot perhaps makes it one of the best novels I have read to date. Therefore, do not be discouraged by the negative reviews. Overlord deserves the attention it gets. <<less
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DeathGun
DeathGun rated it
July 4, 2018
Status: v9c4
K so for the dude below, ‘BrotherofHavoc’, like I don’t even know how I should start this off but,

please don’t be like those types of people, like for me and for the vast majority of the people who wrote these reviews (surprisingly, especially since its novelupdates) really do enjoy reading the novel and find it interesting if the novel has a rating of 4.7 stars

like I don’t really get where you come from at that the novel is “bad” and list reasons why people shouldn’t read them like, I’m... more>> just reading your list and wondering if you even think about what you’ve read and at least try to understand....

like since when had the people Ainz saved die?

and no sht there would be him going from an evil dude to a nice guy, like one he has to become one who’s not evil when he’s momon san to keep up the guise and two he was still a dam human bro, the only thing keeping him from not saving every suffering person is because he’s an undead, now possesses no human emotions (although sometimes he internally becomes nervous and frantic), and he has to keep up his act of being the supreme leader and rule of Nazarick and live up to the expectations of every being within including the guardians

also, ofc the author would have to focus the center on other side characters sometimes, like you know how boring the novel would be if it was always centering around our op asf mc? Like, you really want to just read about our MC just hunting down every monster in one hit or letting his opponent underestimate him and then completely obliterate their asses? No, that’s boring asf

And wtf do you mean there’s no challenge in this world whatsoever, like r u dumb? Or have you not been paying attention while reading. Ainz literally stated and confirmed that there were the world items in the new world, and the one that we were shown was able to mind control shalltear so wtf you going when your saying there’s no challenge at all. These fuqing world items could simply ignore level differences and defy common sense, even Ainz’s super tier magic

ofc he wouldn’t question albedo’s stalker attitude and stuff, he’s the one at fault anyways for changing albedo’s instructions into being “OBSESSED” with him, not that he knew he was going to have to put up with it, and because she’s like a child to him since every being in Nazarick were basically created by the 41 supreme beings, him and his friends.

And yes the plot is kind of confusing and a bit hard to understand but the general one is that Ainz is trying to gain a general understanding of the world that he was forced into, which he is completely unfamiliar with, and he wants to gain a solid foothold in the new world so he is able to protect the tomb of Nazarick from any potential threats, and also to find out if his friends were transported there too, or an other players

on that note, there is players, wth you think the people of the new world learned ‘tier’ magic from? The eight greed kings, the six great gods of the Slane theocracy, the minor gods, some of the thirteen heroes, and etc were all players........

and the way you’re wording and listing these things makes it sound like your making a statement that this novel is basically trash and that newcomers shouldn’t read it. And why’s that? Just because that statement is based on your own opinions doesn’t mean that you should go out of your way to say that it’s not worth reading, like you have to give others a chance to find out for themselves if it’s interesting for them or not, different people have different tastes, just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean others won’t, for example me,

so if you like an op character but written correctly, this is a great novel, centers typically around MC, although it does focus quite a bit on side characters but they all link up in the end to our MC, and in some way towards the plot of the story :p <<less
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auroraRMC
PiCrazy31415 rated it
March 28, 2018
Status: v12 afterword
Honestly LOVE LOVE this book. Took a while before getting around to writing a review for Overlord, since I've mostly been thinking of it as an actual book instead of a light novel.

I would say this is probably the 2nd? Light novel I've ever read, so there's definitely some sentimentality there (right after the King's Avatar). Watched the anime, and after rewatching several times decided that I wanted to know more. I didn't regret it.

The MC is OP af, which is so satisfying. Plus he is OP from the start,... more>> so there's no cultivation and rank up BS at the beginning. And the side characters are all amazing and OP as well. I love seeing him dominate over the rest of the world, especially with his genius Demiurge and Albedo. I'm this satisfied even without any ostensible romance, which is a rarity. The comedic moments are great as well. I'm pretty addicted to this series (probably reread 3 times so far?), though volume 12 should be split with volume 13, so there's definitely some cliffhangers there. Looking forward to the next volume! <<less
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SnoopyGM
SnoopyGM rated it
January 19, 2018
Status: v12
When you see a novel with 4, 7 rating and most top review is 5 star you know its good. Some people rate it 3 star or less, its cool they just never read 'real' novel and mostly glorified the mainstream novel with too many complicated sh*t like SAO that have plot make on the go (seriously its should just stop after ALO, after that just clusterf**k of BS). Anyway Overlord is different, its unique, not because its cool full of action or cool MC, but because all the plot... more>> is only just a build up. Build up of what you say? Of course 'sasugasm', the misunderstanding is the selling point of this novel, its meticulous, its cool, and importantly its funny.

Meticulous, so many detailed thing in this another world, so many secret, so many history and little got explored/leaked, you can feel the size of the information and for those who have adventurous soul, you can feel how good and vast this world and Yggdrasil world is. So many character with different personality that impact the story from many pov, you can feel how 'alive' they are. You cant read the story, maybe little but definitely cant predict all the storyline, its maybe kind of random but then BAM, its buildup to a point you just say wow.

Cool, yes its different world, its so vast and interesting if you play game you can feel how cool and interesting the setting is. When the MC fight you can feel and understand what he think also as a gamer. The fight is cool, every fight have a different sense of cool, but its very good and very logical, not just some kind of willpower bullsh*t but really the real logic, did you can solo 1 vs 1 Boss monster, logically no, but how about level difference of 70lv, definitely it got rekt.

Fun, those who rate this novel 3 or less definitely cant feel the fun part of the story, yes sometimes the MC is kind of stupid and the misunderstanding also stupid, but the whole story is a build up of the funny part of 'sasugasm'. What is sasugasm you ask? Its when the misunderstanding got the whole new point of funny, when the MC is praised as super genius even though he isnt, but how he can get to that point is the whole 'build up' and if you see it that way maybe he is genius in a way (luck).

I cant say too much too spoil the fun, but let me tell you this novel is an unique kind of masterpiece. As a person who read almost 100 different novel western and eastern, this definitely is one of the top that give me new kind of experience. Its unique, most 'top' (mainstream) novel sell how cool their MC or the heroine (s), but here none of that matter, the plot is the most selling point of this novel! Here you cant really say the MC is very cool, or the heroine is waifuable (weebo stuff), but you will feel how interesting the plot and how fun you can have when you read this. So for any kind of people, for any kind of age, I recommend this novel for all of you, feel the plot, feel the story, and got the fun, cause its what the story should be all about! Have a nice read. <<less
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Chulloswag
Chulloswag rated it
July 13, 2017
Status: --
Probably my all time favorite Light Novel. However, most of what I could say about has already been stated in other reviews. In any case, it seems like the few people that gave it a poor review kept harping on the same reason, the large amount of divergence from the MC's perspective. While I will agree that the fourth volume (my least favorite of the series) gave too much attention to minor, nonrecurring, characters, that alone can't take away from the fantastic world building and character development.

When I say character... more>> development, I am referring largely to the big cast of supporting characters within Nazarick and the surrounding countries, and getting chapters from their POV is anything but boring, because it shows us how the outside world views Ainz and his subordinates. Those who say the changing perspectives are detrimental to the story are either too impatient to properly enjoy Overlord, or become disconnected with it from not having a constant narrator. So if you prefer the typical fast paced, action packed, Shonen series, then you probably shouldn't read Overlord. However, if you enjoy stories with depth and detail, I would strongly recommend it. <<less
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SlashCrit
SlashCrit rated it
February 21, 2016
Status: --
One of the best vrmmorpg reincarnation fantasies I have ever read. No complaints. All hail Ainz-sama. Looking for a miracle that volume 10 somehow gets translated.
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