Anime fans eagerly awaiting to hear that the Overlord Season 2 release date is confirmed have finally received their answer. Studio Madhouse finally announced officially that to Overlord Season 2 is not canceled and we should be expecting the new season relatively soon. Fans are hoping the Overlord light novels written by Kugane Maruyama may provide enough materials even for future Overlord sequel, but at the very least anime fans will have a good idea of what is coming next.
[UPDATE March 2017] The opening paragraph was updated to reflect new information released in the official confirmation of Overlord Season 2 in 2017 (click for more details about the upcoming movie, as well). The rest of this article continues as originally published.
All in all, author Maruyama has released nine volumes of the Overlord light novels since July of 2012, and a manga adaptation has been ongoing since November of 2014. The light novels have yet to finish the story, and Overlord Volume 9 was released in June of 2015. According to Anime News Network, an Overlord English translation for both the light novels and the manga will be released by Yen Press in the spring or summer of 2016.
It is the success of the light novels that may predicate Madhouse’s decision to continue production of Overlord Season 2. According to Niji-Iro, the airing of the Overlord anime caused sales to go from 600,000 copies sold to over two million copies by September of 2015. When Maruyama heard the news from publisher Kadokawa, he sent out this message to the fans.
“When I started to write Overlord, I had never thought that this will ever happen. Even now, I still wonder if that moment was a lie. I was even searching for a ‘but──’ in this news. It was really a surprising number, although I am not sure what to say, I was thinking of Maruyama’s amazingness. For many of those who kindly bought this series with expectations, I will work hard towards thinking the interestingness of Overlord in the future too. Anyway, please anticipate volume 10──! Finally, for those who have read Overlord, those who have watched its anime, and all those who have supported Overlord, I would like to give my heartfelt gratitude to all of you. Really, thank you very much. Although there are still a little bit left in the anime, but please stay with us till the very end.”
The official Twitter account for the Overlord anime has also been very busy this month discussing the releases of various related products. Apparently, in February, there are plans to re-air Overlord Season 1, plus the Pure Pure Pleiades Overlord spinoff. For those who may not recall, Pleiades is the combat maid squad protecting the Great Tomb of Nazarik, and their miniseries included eight episodes.
There’s even an Overlord video game being developed, so it would seem the franchise is expanding, which is yet another good sign for the anime.
How The Overlord Light Novels Compare To The Anime
With this success behind them, it seems likely anime fans have much more coming down the pipeline. The 13 available Overlord episodes for Season 1 barely cover the story elements provided so far. The Overlord intro does show characters fighting Lizardmen, but they do not even appear in the light novels until Overlord Volume 4.
To some anime fans, this may be good tidings. It is fairly common for anime versions of a manga or light novel story to catch up to the source material, only for the production studio to change the plot drastically from there on. While some anime studios have created divergent versions of the story successfully, other anime adaptations like Tokyo Ghoul have departed so far from the manga that some fans are demanding a reboot.
So far, the Overlord anime adaptation seems to be following the overall plot of the light novels fairly well. While some fans may argue over the differences, the biggest point of note is the way the main character, Momonga/Ainz Ooal Gown, is portrayed. The motivations of the main character are notably different, with the anime showing Ainz exploring the New World outside the gates of the Great Tomb of Nazarick largely due to curiosity. With the light novels, readers were given more insight into the character’s thoughts, and it turns out Ainz investigated the nearby village because he was terrified his power levels might not match his strength of the former game world Yggdrasil.
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The Overlord anime does make great use of voiceovers for telling the audience what Ainz is thinking in certain scenes, but always voicing his inner thoughts would grow tiresome. Besides, portraying fear (or any emotion) with the skeletal face of a Lich is difficult for any animator, so it could be argued they took the best approach based upon the media. In addition, the anime adaptation does a good job of showing how Momonga’s humanity is slowly being devoured in both mind and body by his new Lich form.
Directors and authors will often change the direction of the art in film and books, but, in this case, audiences can know they’re still receiving the same overall picture as envisioned by the author. Based upon this premise, the light novels may provide a guide for what will occur in Overlord Season 2 assuming the plot covers volumes 4 through 6.
Overlord Season 2 Spoilers
Tread lightly reader, for here be spoilers. With that double warning out of the way, let us proceed. The content available in the anime has already begun to foreshadow events set to play out into Overlord Volume 9, but for this article, we’ll focus on what will likely be the story of Overlord Season 2. This section is intended to be an Overlord synopsis, but certain details will be left out on purpose so the anime still holds a surprise.
When we last left Ainz Ooal Gown and his (not so) merry band, he had just put down the rebellion by Shalltear Bloodfallen, the Loli vampire. This content was covered by Overlord Volume 3 in addition to Episodes 10 through 13 of the anime adaptation.
In Overlord Volume 4, Ainz sends Cocytus and an army of undead to destroy the lizardmen tribes. The story told in the light novel is largely from the perspective of Zaryusa Shasha, a lizardman who unites the lizardmen tribe against Nazarik. The lizardmen win the initial battle, shocking Ainz, but Cocytus asks him to consider absorbing the tribes into Nazarik’s forces rather than destroying them.
When Cocytus returns with yet another undead army, Zaryusa and his brother decide to parlay with the superior force. Ainz informs them that if they beat Cocytus in battle, their tribes will be spared, but if they lose, they must submit to Nazarik under the command of Cocytus. This synopsis is short, but as for the end of this battle, I’ll just leave it a surprise except to say that Ainz uses a combination of mercy and magic to win the day.
The next major story arc of the light novels covers both Overload Volume 5 and Volume 6. The story follows the characters Climb, bodyguard of the Golden Princess of the Re-Estize Kingdom, and Brain Unglaus, the mercenary who confronted the vampire Shalltear in the anime and lost. Sebas Tian, the head butler of Nazarick, is sent by Ainz to conduct reconnaissance on the Re-Estize Kingdom. The intertwining plots of the three men eventually lead to them confronting an underground criminal organization called Eight Fingers.
The second half of the story arc provided by Overlord Volume 6 covers the battles and intrigue of the Kingdom. In the previous volume, Sebas Tian was suspected of going rogue, so Ainz eventually goes himself to rectify the situation. The butler’s loyalty is proven, but a simple shopping mission turns into a kidnapping, and so various members of Ainz’s forces go to the rescue.
Meanwhile, the Six Arms, an elite battle group of Eight Fingers, prepares to fight with multiple characters including the Blue Rose, an Adamantite class adventurer group. The intertwining plot lines eventually converge when a great demon named Jaldabaoth launches a demon invasion on the royal capital city.
Considering that anime seasons usually end with a large event, it’s safe to presume that Overlord Volume 6 will be the ending of Overlord Season 2. Volumes 7 and 8 would work well for Overlord Season 3 since they cover side stories about the daily life of Nazarik and Carne Village. A group of workers called the Foresight also make the mistake of investigating this mysterious tomb that suddenly appeared in the New World. But the action will be kicked up a notch at the end, since Overlord Volume 9 features total war between empires.
[Image via Wikia]