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I was reading about Overlord and I would like to talk about what I think are forcing or wrong narrative choices in the workers issue. I am not criticizing the tropes selection work.
- Fatal Flaw: Ainz's question was too vague (obviously those who accepted did it for money). Furthermore, it is unlikely that a person will talk about their problems to a stranger in front of other strangers. It must also be said that Roberdick and Imina talk about the arche sisters when they tell her to run away and Ainz was there. That was obviously a clue that they weren't there out of greed. If Ainz wanted to know more about the workers he could talk to each team during the camps or use shadow demons to spy on them. We do not take into account that Ainz stole in the previous volume and the exploration of ruins is something that even adventurers do.
-Foil and Heroic sacrifice: It would have been interesting to see Ainz retrace his steps. This would have shown us an evolution of the character, which actually remains static from the start. If the author had shown us that at first he tried to avoid the massacres and then as the story progressed he became insensitive, then this choice would have been interesting.
-One last Job: This, coupled with the fact that Arche said that finished the job would take the sisters away, made me understand that she would end badly. No surprise.
- Unwitting Pawn: There were other ways to gain power for Ainz.
- Cover Identity Anomaly and Too Dumb to Live: Justified: After trying to apologize, Hekkeran tried to explain their situation but Ainz shut him up. It seems to me a stretch that a character described as cautious in situations he does not know and who has spent a lot of time between life and death uses such an elementary lie. There was no reason for Ainz to let the team go before he made sure it was the truth, and Hekkeran knew that Ainz had the means not to let them escape. At this point he could go on trying to explain their situation and lie saying they were exploring a newly found ruin for the safety of their country. He could thus have shifted Ainz's attention to Count Femel or the emperor.
-Death by Adaptation and Mercy Kill: And how: In the end Ainz had no reason to kill her and the excuse of anger is stupid as the protagonist's nature prevents being blinded by her emotions. Not only did that group represent what Ainz would like from adventurers, but Arche was still a very young tier 3 wizard and had a similar reaction to Fluder. Was it possible that a collector was not interested? Arche is also a waste as she could help Fluder with research and could open up Ainz's improvement in the relationship with the NP Cs.
- I read about this character that she would be the cute girl who doesn't save herself but I actually see it as a nonsense. We have Enri and Tsuare (described as beautiful) who are saved through plot armors and luck) while Arche (described as not beautiful) who saving himself through Ainz who respects the friendship of the group would have made sense and without some plot armor.
As a big fantasy fan, I don't like Overlord. It's not because I hate a villain driven narrative, cause Overlord has all the same flaws that made me outright hate Arslan no Senki. A group of like-minded characters that have virtually no internal conflict and proceed to bull-doze entire civilizations because no one can challenge their archetypes.
I found Nazarick's comedy to be the best part of the show, as it has an ensemble cast of different designs regularly clashing against each other over the most mundane of circumstances, and because they are all evil, they can exaggerate these conflicts for all they are worth. Nazarick is great, but only when you don't take them seriously. Unfortunately, because they are the major shakers of YGGDRASIL, the plot requires the readers to take them seriously. The plot brings out characters with great presence, dedicated backstories, and perceptions of the world and has them jobbed by a bisexual, virginal, lusty, murderous, sadist, sex avatar. The author throws DBZ level super weight into a relatively Low Fantasy setting and throws commentary on how they aren't able to keep up.
Yet in spite of this, all of the kingdoms have the textbook fantasy complications, racism, economic competition, and class stratification. In Game of Thrones, while the White Walkers were a very real threat to Seven Kingdoms, but the Kingdoms still had resources capable of defeating the White Walkers, with the question looming if their continued infighting would cost them those resources. Contrast this with Nazarick more or less curb-stomping most of the characters that came to face them. Plots started including more things like if Nazarick's new recruits could fight people that were once their superiors. In other words, it wasn't about whether a Y hero could fight Z Nazarick member, it was about whether they could fight Z member junior. As befitting a villain, Ainz never fights fair, but with these power scales, I really wonder why he bothers fighting dirty at all.
On the heroes' end of the scale it was pretty much impossible to like anyone. Many of them were Mauve shirts that simply died and others existed simply to get humiliated. The exceptionally minor victories became more laughable as the plot continued including Brain cutting off one of Shaltears nails or Zaryusu striking a single (useless) blow against Cocytus. Apparently, being as inconvenient as an eight year old kicking your shin is worthy of accomplishment.
Overlord puts a lot of weight on political intrigue, but political intrigue only matters when there is significant enough blowback for physical force to look unappealing. The Red Wedding was brilliant because it was a study on how political armor could shift and leave a person vulnerable to a swift blow of physical force. With a spell or two, Ainz can destroy any armor and kill any person that stands against him. It's really just a question of whether or not he is bored enough to kill his opposition outright.
I have only watched the anime but I do know that it's a fairly faithful adaptation. Overall, I found season 1 rather fun for two reasons: watching Ainz flail around in confusion like an ordinary person and exploring the setting. After that everything just became tedious. There is only so many evil deeds a Villain Protagonist can commit before they become impossible to root for. But it's not like anyone else in this world is worth rooting for either. Between obscenely OP villain sues of Nazarick and the helpless extras that populate the rest of the world, it's just plain boring.
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