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Overlord: The Undead King Oh! Vol. #01 Manga Review

6 min read
I'd definitely recommend giving this a read if you're a fan of the original series.

Sometimes you need a break from taking over the world.

Creative Staff
Original Story: Kugane Maruyama
Art: Juami
Character Design: so-bin
Translation: Emily Balistrieri

What They Say:
The Great Tomb of Nazarick has never been busier, with a rib-tickling showdown underway and a Don’t Laugh Challenge featuring your favorite characters-a cross-dressing Sebas, a lovestruck-succubus-turned-actress Albedo, and your awkward guardian, Pandora’s Actor-just to name a few! Join the cast under the almighty Lord Ainz Ooal Gown to give a warmhearted twist to the mega-popular series, Overlord!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ever wonder what Ainz and the gang are up to when they aren’t preoccupied with world domination? Wait a minute! This feels oddly familiar. Oh right, that’s the exact same way I started off my review for the first volume of Overlord a la Carte. Coincidentally, Overlord: The Undead King Oh! also has the same answer to that question – silliness, lots and lots of silliness. While both manga series are comedy spin-offs, the major difference is that the former is illustrated by various artists while the latter is exclusively drawn by one person. That being said, there is a lot of quality laughs to be had here.

So, what shenanigans are the denizens of the Great Tomb of Nazarick getting into? For starters, Ainz decides to hold the first-ever Nazarick competitive field day. Naturally, he doesn’t compete in it himself because that’d be too distracting for everyone else. We all know how much they love Ainz-sama! Everyone is divided into two teams, the Red Team and the Blue Team. The Red Team consists of the ladies and the Blue Team consists of the men. It only turned out that way because none of the girls wanted to be on the same team as the Prince of Fear. Well, that’s just rude. It’s not his fault he’s a hideous cockroach monster that has to have his image blurred…you know what? The girls made the right decision. The events included a three-legged race, giant ball rolling, a candy eating race, and beanbag tossing. It was nice seeing characters that don’t appear often get a chance to shine such as Pandora’s Actor and Neuronist. Neuronist even won the candy eating contest! Hamsuke shockingly loses the giant ball rolling contest because her ball was covered in the blood of many enemies. It did not smell pleasant, that’s for sure. In the end, the Red Team defeats the Blue Team thus making it known that the girls are better than the boys. As punishment, the Blue Team had to clean up the mess. I did not envy them.

My favorite chapter had to be the one where everyone in Nazarick was trying to make Ainz laugh. After failing to make him laugh with impressions, Albedo ropes everyone along into trying to make him laugh. She forms a comedy duo with Sebas but their jokes still don’t make Ainz laugh. By the way, their comedy duo name was Seccubas. Seccubas. Haha, I probably laughed more than I should have at that. Ainz eventually realizes what everyone is trying to do. He didn’t want to laugh because he didn’t want them to think he’s ridiculing them. However, once he tells himself he can’t laugh, everything starts becoming funnier. He’s determined to make sure no one sees him laugh! He tries to hide in places where people won’t find him but that’s easier said than done. He even finds a Demiurge hug pillow in his room! My sides, they hurt. Ultimately, he goes to hang out with Pandora’s Actor because he knows no one will be there. Ainz doesn’t want anyone to get suspicious so he orders him to act as his double. In hindsight, that was a bad decision. Pandora’s Actor, disguised as Ainz, ends up laughing at the first joke he hears. It was a pretty funny joke, too. Well, that’s okay! Ainz will just tell everyone it was his double. Although, Ainz can’t help but spend the rest of the day wondering what that joke was.

A bunch of other fun stuff happens in this volume. Ainz tells everyone that good acting skills come in handy when negotiating or infiltrating. In response, they decide to hold a play of Snow White. Just for the record, they make their own version of Snow White. The prince in this version is Ainz. Naturally, Albedo and Shalltear both want to play Snow White. They both end up getting to play her because nobody was going to tell them no, haha. Also, the seven Pleiades play the seven dwarves. Needless to say, the play was hilariously chaotic and ends with the evil Queen being forced into hot iron shoes and made to dance until she died. That sounds painful. There’s a chapter that features Yuri teaching Hamsuke how to read and write because she’s bored. Hamsuke wants to look cool for Ainz and that’s adorable. There’s another chapter where Ainz plays a game of Werewolf with everyone. Things seem to be going well until everyone decides to make changes to the game. They add in a new role called Ainz. The Ainz role always wins the game, no matter what. Thus, every game ends in the first round. Not much of a game, eh? But at least everyone seems to be having fun with it. The last chapter was a fun skit on how they came up with the name of this manga. My vote would have gone to Overlord: Unser Mund sei voll Lachens. It sounds cool, doesn’t it? The best part is that Juami’s editor confirms that this was based on how the naming process actually went down.

Speaking of Juami’s editor, one of the cool things about this manga is that he put editorial comments on every single page. He sure had a lot to say! It was neat getting to learn about how this manga came to be and his own thoughts about the series. Some of the things he wrote down were hilarious, too. On one page, he simply wrote that Demiurge’s face pisses him off. There were a few pages where all he did was sing the first OVerlord anime opening. He really liked that opening song! Haha, Juami’s editor seems like a fun dude. As a bonus, there’s a fun short story at the end of this volume written by Kagune Maruyama himself. It revolves around Ainz trying to get the maids to take a vacation. His ingenious solution? Take a vacation himself. If he takes a vacation, then they’d probably take the time to relax as well, right? Wrong. It just puts them more on edge and Ainz can’t even enjoy his own vacation. I guess there’s always next time.

In Summary:
This was a fun read. I always enjoy seeing the usually serious characters of the Overlord franchise acting silly and getting into various shenanigans. I also appreciated that a lot of the minor characters were shown some love, too. The comedy was great. The editorial comments on each page were delightful. I’d definitely recommend giving this a read if you’re a fan of the original series. Season four of the anime when!?

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: T
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: November 12th, 2019
MSRP: $13.00 (US), $17.00 (CAN)

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