Title: Overlord Vol. 8
Author: Kugane Maruyama (Story), Hugin Miyama (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Volume eight of Overlord brings us the conclusion to the lizardmen story arc. Cocytus prepares to face them in battle alone. When the time comes, the lizardmen are instructed to retreat while Zaryusu and Shasuryu stay behind along with the other leaders. They end up being the final two to challenge Cocytus and they fall before him. After he reports back, Ainz instructs Cocytus to retrieve their representative but Cocytus has already done that. He brings Crusch before Ainz who wants her to act as his informant. In exchange, he will resurrect Zaryusu. In the end, she agrees and the lizardmen are now officially within Ainz’ rule and service.
After this, we turn our attention to the capital to a gold-rank knight named Climb. He serves The Golden Princess known as Renner. You can tell Ainz’ influence throughout the human kingdom as many of the characters in this new arc are recalling stories of a great caster. There are even stories of when Ainz was disguised as the black knight Momon circulating. While this may seem like simple tales among men, it’s a great tool to show just how much Ainz’ influence has spread throughout the land.
Renner, as a princess, reveres her people and wants nothing more than to see no harm come to them. She abolished slavery but a brothel remains in operation under the ownership of the eight fingers, a crime syndicate with eight different branches. Renner’s friend and the captain of the Blue Rose, an adamantite-level squad of highly-skilled knights, Aindra pays her a visit and talk of dismantling the brothel begins. Climb is sent to inform Aindra’s men of the situation and we end up getting more information about the world, especially about magic from Aindra’s top caster Evileye.
It also helps build a history of the world as they talk about the eight kings and their tremendous power and how, after conquering the world, their own greed turned them against each other. Of course, when we are dealing with human kingdoms and royalty, there always seems to be some disdain within the ranks as anyone next in line to the throne has their own agenda. Despite the inner turmoil and politics, the volume closes with the meeting of a shadowy gang, most likely the eight fingers, stating that it’s time to put a plan into action.
I will say that this volume’s story was a tad bit confusing as we went from lizardmen straight into a brand-new story arc with a whole new cast of characters but they’re not really all that new. Some of them were brought back from the first couple of volumes but since we hadn’t seen them in a while, it was hard to remember just who they were. Even with the subtle reminders, I feel like they never received enough previous “screen time” for me to say “OH YEAH! I remember that guy.” Still, I thought the story of how Ainz’ influence is now becoming the subject of stories among adventurers was really well-crafted. Just subtle references here and there coupled with people recalling various tales really helps build up Ainz’ reputation and legendary status.
This was one of his plans in the beginning and it seems to be working very well in his favor. As of now, we don’t have any indication of what Ainz is going to do in this arc but it seems as if we are focusing a bit on Renner and her journey to take the crown and institute her own ideals across the kingdom. Then again, we had a similar focus on the lizardmen before Ainz got involved. I’m assuming we will let Renner and Climb have their story for a bit before Ainz swoops in with a “Demiurge (or whatever servant he chooses) Go check on such and such for me.” Still, it’s a nice change of pace!
Quite a few new characters to talk about this volume!
Climb is a gold-ranked knight in charge of protecting Princess Renner. He is fully devoted to her, admires her politics and her kindness, and is in love with her. Well, it was never flat out stated that he was in love with her but come on. There’s no way that he isn’t given some of his dialogue and actions. Despite being gold-ranked, Climb is rather unskilled as a knight. He’s always receiving advice and training from everyone around him so it’s not like people see him as completely useless. His demeanor is that of a kind, loyal person who would do anything to protect Renner but he is a bit on the naïve side because of his blind devotion. He’s the kind of person who will rush in without a plan thinking that no matter what, he has to protect what is precious to him. He’s like a more tolerable Subaru from Re:Zero in that sense! Still, he seems like a pretty good character that has potential!
Stronoff is an adamantite-level knight and someone who has taken a liking to Climb. He wants to spar with him but the spar ends up becoming a training session. Stronoff sees potential in Climb and even though he is an elite knight, he, himself, feels that he’s still green around the edges. That is a sign of a great knight… never fully confident and never blind to the fact that anyone can always get better. Stronoff knows his own weaknesses and works to protect those with the strengths he does have. He seems like a solid character and has a great attitude.
Aindra is another adamantite-level knight and a close friend of Princess Renner. Unlike Renner, she’s a little more on the brash side but only because she cares about her. While she supports Renner’s ideals, she’s quick to point out the folly of some of them… such as when Aindra was talking about the farmers and their crops and how rotating crops would provide more yield over six years. Aindra points out about those six years leading up to the higher yield and if she would expect farmers to accept losses during that time. She also had to remind her of how the other nobles would have their power grow in that time period while the King’s would be weakened. She’s kind of like the voice of balance to keep Renner in check. She means well but she has to be a bit stern and debate her ideas otherwise Renner could end up over her head. She reminds me of a big sister character and I actually like her.
Speaking of Princess Renner, I think when offering my thoughts on Aindra, I already hit the nail on the head with her. Good-natured, overly kind… the type that would get taken advantage of. Her ideals are noble but she lacks the discipline to be tough for the sake of the kingdom. Despite that, she keeps good company so she’s not completely naïve. It’ll be interesting to see where her ideals take her but characters like this don’t usually have happy endings… either that or they get shown the grim side of the world they wish never existed (cough cough enter Ainz in a future volume cough cough).
This is about what you can expect from a volume that’s in the middle of a transitional period. I felt volume eight of Overlord did a great job moving from one story arc to the next. Our new cast of characters provides a nice breath of fresh air as the lizardmen arc was going a bit long. We’re getting back to a more traditional fantasy setting with royalty, knights, swords, and magic which isn’t a bad thing.
As I mentioned before, the world building they did with Evileye’s story on the previous kings as well as tier-10 magic was great and gave us some wonderful insight to the world that’s been missing for several volumes. Add in the subtle results of Ainz’ plans of having his name circulate and become more and more revered by people, and you end up getting a sense of a living breathing world that continues to march on with or without the main character in the picture. Not many series will take the time to show the effects of plans put into motion several volumes ago to this degree. Usually, it’s a “hey, remember when this happened? Well, here’s the result” type of situation but here, we just get the subtle nuances of those results coming into fruition. I thought it was a really nice touch!
This new arc still begs the question of how Ainz will get involved and what his goals are. Obviously, Renner is going to be a pivotal character for whatever Ainz has planned and I can almost predict he is going to take advantage of her kindness to get his way. Then again, I could be wrong. We’ll have to wait until volume nine to see!
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**This item was provided for review by Yen Press