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Overlord LN Vol #7 & #4

October 5, 2015

postscript 41

So I went ahead and read some of the Overlord Light Novels. Here’re my impressions.

First off, seeing as these are translations, these stories lose a lot in terms of the “artistic” aspect. Like, ordinarily when you read a novel, the writing style can draw you in y’know? But of course, a lot of that aspect is lost here.

Each paragraph seems more like a short description rather than something to incite the soul with its “art”, but I’ve a feeling it’s not too far off from the original anyway. Perhaps it’s just a matter of how prose differs across languages/cultures?

That said, perhaps it’s due to having because I’ve read the manga and watched the anime, I found the novel enjoyable enough. Having watched the anime, it was easy to visualize the descriptions in the LN as well as to assign voices to the characters. The way they moved, their inner monologues and even the environment was easy to envision. In fact, the LN almost felt like a storyboard description for an anime adaptation.

While the writing style is rather… well, it’s very structured. Hence why I said it felt like a storyboard. But the thing I like about the author is that s/he does explain a lot of things that would otherwise be plot holes. It’s actually written in a very stream of consciousness style, but the very organized/structured format keeps it from rumbling.

For instance, I rather enjoyed volume #7, “The Invaders of the Large Tomb”, which tells of how a group of unofficial Adventurers try to investigate/tomb rob the Tomb of Nazarick. These unofficial Adventurers, known as “Workers”, are described in quite a fair amount of detail. It explains that, yeah, Workers are adventurers who do the dirty work that Adventurer Guilds can’t condone, but that doesn’t mean all Workers are amoral rogues. For instance, strictly speaking, if an Adventurer comes across someone who was injured, they can’t use magic to heal that person without charging a certain fee. The reason is that in this world where magic exists, the task of magical healing is left to the priests, who charge for their services. So if Adventurers were to just go around healing people willy nilly… and for FREE… well, that just ain’t kosher.

So the Churches/Temples/Priests force the Adventurer Guilds to strictly enforce this. BUT it’s not simply because the Religions are greedy. In this world of probable gods and definite demons, the Religions depend on charging for healing as a source of income in order to retain a separation of powers from the State. Of course, Workers can just bypass the whole “charging someone for healz” thing. So while Workers are generally in it for money, they aren’t necessarily evil types.

Anyways, volume #7 focuses almost entirely on an expedition of Workers and in particular, a group known as “Foresight”, who take on a commission to explore the Tomb of Nazarick. The usual Overlord crew are almost entirely absent.

However… it’s pretty obvious that these people are going to DIE. The first half of the volume’s pretty entertaining for what it was. But then we get the latter half of the volume, which was expectedly, just low grade torture porn. It was pretty boring because you knew it was coming.

Volume #4, “The Lizardmen Heroes” is much the same. We get a buncha’ Lizardmen who are basically our main characters for the volume. But ultimately, they’re just fodder. This volume fairs better than #7 because it’s something of a full story whereas #7 was just the characters nailing their coffins airtight with constant death flag raising.

All in all, if you’ve seen the anime, the Light Novels are not too bad. I’m currently reading Volume #5. Having read these though, I hope we don’t get a second season. I don’t think they’d really translate well to anime form. Because as of now, it’s really just setting up a bunch of characters for the sole purpose of our main characters steamrolling over them.

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