‘Overlord’ Season 2 Release Date Confirmed By Madhouse For 2018 Anime: ‘Overlord’ Manga, Light Novel Spoilers

The highly anticipated ‘Overlord 2’ anime is coming out in 2018.

Madhouse / 'Overlord' Anime TV Still

The Overlord Season 2 release date has finally been officially confirmed by anime studio Madhouse. It’s been a long wait for anime fans since the last episode aired back in the summer of 2015. Fortunately, the wait has allowed the source material to get far ahead of the anime.

The story of the Overlord anime started when writer Kugane Maruyama and illustrator so-bin began publishing the Overlord light novel series back in 2012 via Enterbrain (the Overlord web novel started in 2010 and the story is significantly different starting with Volume 10). The book series is up to Overlord Volume 12 as of January of 2018, but Overlord Volume 13 is not yet scheduled for release in 2018.

The story was adapted into an Overlord manga starting in late 2014. The English manga adaptation is up to Volume 5, while the Japanese version is serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s manga magazine, Comp Ace. Volume 6 is scheduled for April 24, 2018.

Yen Press has been publishing the Overlord English translation for both the light novels and the manga. The English light novels are up to Overlord Volume 5, with the sixth volume planned for release on January 23, 2018. There are multiple fan translation projects that cover all of the available volumes. However, Skythewood has announced they have discontinued the fan English translation due to the Yen Press acquisition.

Overlord Light Novel Series And Manga Compared To The Anime

The 13-episode first season of the anime Overlord barely scratched the surface of the source material, but Madhouse did the adaptation without needing to alter the story or inserting filler content. Up until Episode 13, Overlord’s anime religiously followed the overall plot of the light novels.

The main difference was the characterization. The personal motivations of Momonga/Ainz Ooal Gown 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 secretly terrified his power levels might not match his strength of the former game world Yggdrasil.

Fortunately for him, this is an isekai adventure with an OP story and he has no reason to fear. Studio Madhouse also did a good job of showing how Momonga’s humanity is slowly being devoured in both mind and body by his new Lich form. Portraying the emotions of a skeletal face is difficult for any animator, so they relied on voiceovers for portraying Ainz’s inner thoughts.

The anime only adapted the Overlord light novel series up until Volume 3. Similarly, the Overlord manga is far behind the main story, although the most recent chapter 30 covers story events that will be in the second season of the Overlord anime since the manga is caught up with Volume 5 of the light novels.

In an interview with the Overlord author, Kugane told Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! magazine that he had originally only planned for the story to be about 50 pages long but fell in love with the characters. When it comes to ideas for stories, Kugane says he has “50 volumes worth” but he has no plans to actually write all of it. He is “writing with an end in mind,” and has “no intention to drag the story on and on.” At this time, he has a vague goal of ending the story somewhere around Volume 20, which means the story is about halfway complete.

Kugane also explained why he changed the story of the light novels in comparison to the web novel.

“The main reason was because it was being published as a novel and people would be paying money for it. I wanted it to be enjoyable to people who were reading the web version. The reason for putting characters in, for example Albedo; Ainz is the boss of Nazarick and it was hard getting him to go outside. So, I put Albedo in to get Ainz to go out and expand the story. The difference in the story is very telling how much a little change can affect a tale. I’d like it if people reading the web version can get new surprises by reading the novel version.”

Kugane said his goal from the beginning was to make an OP story that was “believable” to readers. He made the main character undead because a human would have “problems like poisoning or getting attacked in your sleep, but if he were undead it instantly resolves the issue.” Thus, “because the protagonist was an undead his followers also became non-human monsters,” and it made sense to have these followers be former NPCs because how else would the human Momonga be capable of gaining loyalty as an absolute ruler?

“While Ainz is the ruler of Nazarick, he’s originally a normal salaryman. With that kind of normal person becoming an absolute ruler, of what kind of being would loyally serve him and that was the result,” Kugane explained. “Basically, I took the thing that I couldn’t accept in the internet novels I’ve read and tried changing it around in my own way kind of like writing a fanfic.”

As for the distant future, the writer admits he might turn some ideas into side stories contained in a special novel. But after Kugane finishes writing the Overlord light novel series he’d like to do a pro-wrestling romantic comedy set in a modern school with lots of girls. (He’s seriously not kidding.)

Overlord Volume 12 Light Novel Cover
The cover for Overlord Volume 12. [Image by so-bin/Enterbrain] so-bin / Enterbrain

Overlord Season 2 Release Date

The 2017 Overlord Volume 12 of the light novel series was the source for the confirmation that the second season was coming soon. The Twitter account for the Animate store in Machida teased the new book with a photo.

The Overlord Season 2 release date for Japan is January 9, 2018. The first episode actually received an early screening in Japan before Christmas last year, and there was an early broadcast on AbemaTV on December 30, 0217. Episode 1 has popped up on YouTube, but Funimation is the first legal streaming service to confirm they’ll be carrying Overlord 2 soon with an English dub. Crunchyroll has already begun releasing episodes with English subtitles.

Studio Madhouse has not yet officially confirmed the number of episodes for Overlord Season 2. However, the number of episodes was indirectly confirmed by information for the Blu-Ray/DVD box sets. There will be three volumes of Blu-Ray discs composed of 13 episodes. That means Overlord Season 2 Episode 13 should air on April 3, 2018.

Fans were hoping Madhouse would do a two-cour second season with 24 or 25 episodes since there is plenty of source material to draw upon. In addition, it was recently confirmed that Madhouse will not be doing One Punch Man Season 2 although they’re also releasing Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen in January of 2018.

For fans who missed it, there is also the spin-off anime Pure Pure Pleiades and the Overlord OVA episode. The first compilation movie, titled Overlord: Fushisha no Ō (or Overlord: The Undead King), was released in Japan in February of 2017. The second compilation film, Overlord: The Dark Warrior, was released in March of 2017 and gave audiences the first hint that Overlord Season 2 was coming. Incidentally, Overlord: The Undead King and Overlord: The Dark Warrior happen to be the titles of the first two volumes in Kugane Maruyama’s original Overlord light novel series.

'Overlord' Season 2 Release Date Spoilers: Why Madhouse's Anime May Follow The Light Novels' Success

Overlord Season 2 Spoilers

When we last left Ainz Ooal Gown and his (not so) merry band of NPC followers of the Great Tomb of Nazarik, Ainz had just put down the rebellion by Shalltear Bloodfallen, the Loli vampire. This story was covered by Overlord Volume 3 and Episodes 10 through 13 of the first anime.

In Overlord Volume 4, Ainz sends Cocytus and an army of undead to destroy the peaceful lizardmen tribes as an “experiment.” The story is largely told from the perspective of Zaryusa Shasha, a lizardman who unites the tribes against Nazarik as the Lizardmen Alliance. The lizardmen win the initial battle, shocking Cocytus, but the Nazarik leader is impressed by the lizardmen and asks Ainz to consider absorbing the tribes into Nazarik’s forces rather than killing them.

When Cocytus returns with yet another undead army, Zaryusa and his brother decide to parlay with the superior forces of Nazarik, especially after they realize Ainz froze a great lake simply because he didn’t want mud on his shoes. 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. Without spoiling the ending of that fight, Ainz uses a combination of mercy and magic to win the scaly hearts of the lizardmen.

Audiences should keep in mind that this is an OP story so the author will often build up enemy characters to make them seem strong. He also has the artist so-bin make them look as scary and formidable as possible. In the end, all that effort is to show just how OP Ainz really is.

“Building them up to seem strong and then having Ainz defeating them in an instant is kind of a running gag in the series,” Kugane admitted. “It’s funny. And it also serves to show just how much of a gap there is.”

The story of the lizardmen is finished with a single volume. The story of Overlord Volume 5 and Volume 6 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 the Eight Fingers. Their leader is furious with the kingdom’s princess because she had outlawed slavery, the main source of income for the criminals. They have been kidnapping women and have earned the ire of many adventurers.

The second half of the story arc covers the battles and intrigue of the Re-Estize Kingdom. In the previous volume, Sebas was suspected of going rogue, so Ainz eventually goes himself to investigate along with Victim, Demiurge, and Cocytus. The butler’s loyalty is proven through a test, but a simple shopping mission turns into the kidnapping of a maid named Tuare, older sister of Ninya. She had become a maid of Nazarik, and was under Ainz’s protection, 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 culminate with Demiurge, Commander of Nazarik’s NPC Defenses, taking on the guise of the Demon Lord Jaldabaoth. Demiurge launches a demon invasion on the royal capital city to kidnap citizens and raid the storehouses, but his plan is to really attack Eight Fingers while using the name “Jaldabaoth” as a cover story.

The demonic invasion would probably be a good ending for Overlord Season 2 since Madhouse plans on finishing the second season with Episode 13. That means anime-only fans will need to wait until Overlord Season 3 before watching the story of Volumes 7 through 9.

Overlord Volume 7 Chapter 2 Light Novel
[Image by so-bin/Enterbrain] so-bin / Enterbrain

Volumes 7 and 8 cover side stories about the daily life of Ainz in Nazarik and chief Enri Emmot of Carne Village. Several groups of workers and adventurers also make the mistake of investigating this mysterious tomb that suddenly appeared in the New World. But Volume 7 is also where Ainz declares he intends on taking over the entire New World and establish Nazarik as an independent nation called the Sorcerer Kingdom.

Ainz Ooal Gown allies himself with Emperor Jircniv of the Baharuth Empire. At the same time, the emperor is terrified by Ainz’s power and seeks to form a coalition against Nazarik by uniting with the Re-Estize Kingdom and the Slane Theocracy. But Ainz easily sees through the emperor’s scheming and seeks to demonstrate the foolishness of opposing him.

The resulting confrontation quickly develops into a total war between nations and Ainz leads his Death Knight forces into battle while riding a fiery mount. This confrontation would make for a great ending point for either Overlord Season 2 or Season 3 and author Kugane has admitted to plans for largescale warfare.

“I have some vague ideas floating around, for example; there are multiple countries in the middle of the continent, and they will eventually make an alliance and will fight against the floor guardians in a huge war. And the reason for making Gargantua is to make it fight a company of golem cavalry. So, I haven’t made detailed settings for every country on the continent and who lives there and what level they are. But I have thought of settings for the characters that I plan to write in Overlord. Like who existed before. It lacks depth if it doesn’t have those settings.”

Overlord Volume 9 Light Novel Cover
The cover for Overlord Volume 9. [Image by so-bin/Enterbrain] so-bin / Enterbrain

With all of this devastation and loss of human life, it’s not surprising that the author has been asked if he purposefully considers the protagonists to be an “evil army.”

“While I also call Ainz and the others an ‘evil army,’ whether they are evil is…. it’s probably my ‘chuunibyou’ mind showing but I don’t think they can be labeled completely evil,” Kugane replied. “The world of Overlord operates on the law of the jungle, so I write as if the strong are good and the weak are bad. While some may view their actions as evil, they act on their perception of ‘good.’ For example, you would be confused if someone said you’re evil for stepping on an ant, right? So, I didn’t make these setting because I wanted to express evil.”

Evil or not, the anime will make for some epic entertainment. Fans of the series will just have to wait until the Overlord Season 2 release date for the boning to commence.

[Update January 10, 2017] Added more details, including the final release date, number of episodes, Funimation English dub announcement, and the information about the current light novels/manga.