Title: Overlord Vol. 9
Author: Kugane Maruyama (Story), Hugin Miyama (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Shounen, Battle
Publication Date: February 19, 2018
Volume nine of Overlord takes us into the city where Sebastian and Solution are posing as merchants in the city. One night, Sebas was wandering the streets, trying to get a lay of the land when he stumbles upon a building. As he walks through it, a hand reached out and grabs him by the leg, gaining his attention. A woman is badly hurt and can barely speak. A man appears and tries to get Sebas to leave but Sebas insists that he’s taking her to get healed, even though he knows that it’s probably something that he shouldn’t do.
The only problem is that the woman is part of the Eight Fingers crime organization as one of their prostitutes. Knowing that this might cause problems with Ainz, Sebas pays off the man and takes the girl back to Solution who is convinced to heal her. We learn that her name is Tsuare but her mind still cannot cope with freedom. She can barely speak any words but Sebas continues to look after her despite the troubles it could cause.
Then, those troubles do show up as Patrol Chief Staffan Heivish and another man named Succorante, who is obviously with the Eight Fingers, show up and start questioning Sebas about the woman he paid for. They suspect him of human trafficking but Sebas is able to buy them a couple of days’ time. Solution wants to know how he intends to deal with this and he opts to go take a walk to think. It’s at this time that Solution contacts Ainz and informs him of the emergency as well as the possibility that Sebas could have betrayed them!
I don’t really agree with that cliffhanger. I mean, it’s quite obvious that Sebas hasn’t betrayed anyone but from a character knowledge standpoint rather from the standpoint of the reader, it’s understandable as to why Solution would think that. Sebas, for an unexplained reason, wishes to care for Tsuare and not leave her side, even when he knows that there is no benefit to Ainz for doing so. I have a feeling the reasons will lead to his backstory and that backstory will end up clearing his name with Ainz who will deal with the Eight Fingers in a prompt manner. That’s my guess, at least. Still, a bit of a slow volume but it’s refreshing to see more supporting characters get their moments in the spotlight. Just having it focus on the main character all the time is very typical of most series. Focusing on other characters shows just how important they are to the overall story. They’re people, too, you know!
While we don’t know the extent of Sebas’ actions, we can tell that despite being the Butler of Nazarick, and a trusted servant to a Supreme Being, Sebas has a human side to him. He felt compassion for Tsuare and was even captivated by her beauty. He simply couldn’t ignore a woman in peril and did what any good-natured person would do. The fact that he was fully aware of the ramifications of the situation clearly exemplifies his compassion. The way Sebas is drawn, art-wise, down to his choice of words and attitude makes him fit the loyal and honorable butler archetype that we often see in a lot of stories. Thankfully, it’s one my favorite archetypes and I’m always happy to see a character like that pop up!
I guess there’s just something about butlers named Sebastian… although, he’s quite different a certain Black Butler…
We are introduced to Tsuare and while her backstory speaks for itself, her personality really shines through to the point where you can’t help but feel for her. The fact that she’s still afraid of the world around her, that she can’t speak full sentences, all of it brings upon her a certain innocence that makes you wonder how someone like her could be treated so terribly. Usually, characters like this are around for an arc and then disappear, though. Her archetype is a perfect fit for a temporary character and, heck, I will even take a wild stab that she’s already had a death flag planted on her. If she doesn’t end up dead and that death does end up triggering Sebastian to destroy the Eight Fingers in an instant, then I’d be pretty shocked. To me, it’s a classic set up. Take a nice character that seems so innocent, get them attached to the reader, and then have tragedy befall them to tug at our heartstrings. Then gives that moment of satisfaction by experiencing the rage vicariously through the character most affected by the tragedy. It’s a simple formula used countless times. The question here is if Maruyama-san will go that route!
I enjoyed this volume of Overlord. It’s the beginning of a new story arc and we’re getting to spend some time with some of the other characters from Nazarick. I’m really liking Sebas’ character, but then again, I’m a sucker for any character named Sebastian because it’s my favorite name for a boy. It’s also why I have a character named Sebastian in my light novels Final Hope and A.R. Dragonfly. To me, Sebastian is my version of Final Fantasy’s Cid. You could even have a Sebastian character so terrible that he could destroy the world and eradicate mankind, bringing the planet to utter ruin for the most heinous and vicious reason possible and I’d still sit back and smile just because their name was Sebastian!
Solution didn’t play much of a role here outside of being the objective character. Her suspicions of Sebas turning against them are a bit contrived but, again, from a character perspective, it’s easy to understand that point of view. Now we are left wondering what Ainz is going to do about this situation. I am sure Ainz is smart enough to know that Sebas hasn’t really betrayed them but what if… and I do mean this is a big what if… Sebas really did? What if his compassion for Tsuare made him question everything that he’s been doing with Ainz and made him go rogue? It’s a far-fetched theory, sure… but that would certainly be an insanely big twist and it would be the perfect swerve given the way things have been set up.
The whole scenario is very subtle. It’s been built in such a way where it is easy to think that Sebas turning on them is just a false accusation from Solution. The big shock here would be if Solution is actually correct in her assumptions. Again, it’s not likely but that would make for a hell of a twist. Get it? Because Sebastian is one HELL of a Butler?
I’ll see myself out.
See you guys in Volume 10 where most of my theories will probably be proven wrong.
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**This item was provided for review by Yen Press