Imagine watching a show set in a premise as interesting as game logic and giving it characters that are plain black and white when it comes to morality. Can’t be Overlord! Say what you will about the pacing of the popular Isekai, no one can deny how its characters are probably some of the most we’ve experienced in a while. They are trope-y and yet, unpredictable as all hell. And when you have a giant skeleton lord as your protagonist, you have to ask if characters like Ainz Ooal Gown are actually the villain.
In a way, yeah, Ainz Ooal Gown is definitely the villain to anyone not residing in Nazarick. To the people outside of his own Sorcerer’s Kingdom, he is probably the demon lord from hell who is going to kill them all in his conquests. Though it’s more applicable to say that he is the protagonist of his own story while being the villain in the plot itself. He is an evil protagonist, and yes, those do exist.
Listen, the main character you love may be kind of an arse to everyone else in the story. They don’t have to be canonical good guys with noble ideals and lofty personalities. Not every hero gets by on the ‘power of friendship’. And that’s cool because it’s what makes for a compelling story. It’s something different when your character is nuanced and layered instead of being one-dimensional and boring.
Multi-faceted characters add flavor to an otherwise simple plot. How bland would it be if Ainz was your prototypical hero that takes over the land by being kind and nice? That’s not how games work anyways! So today, let’s discuss the intricacies of Ainz’s villainous persona in another segment of Character Analysis! Where we take a closer look at what makes some of our favorite anime characters so iconic. Let’s get started on the Lich King himself.
Ainz Ooal Gown: Villainous Tyrant Or Calculated Ruler?
So, between Momonga and Ainz, it’s easy to forget that the Overlord everyone is so scared of? He was human once. Ainz didn’t start this way, he was a recluse who spent most of his time on YGGDRASIL, an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) that was all the rage in a dystopian future.
One day the game was getting shut down, so Momonga decided to have one last hurrah. And promptly got Isekai’d into the game itself, with all of his previous settings for it becoming permanent. So, that means however he coded the NPC (Non-Playable Characters) of Nazarick to be, they got stuck like that. Which is how you get Albedo being a lovesick yandere.
Now, he is a good Sorcerer King. He takes meticulous care in maintaining the Tomb Of Nazarick and the areas surrounding it. He may come across as cold and calculated but that’s because he’s always planning for the future. Like, he’s not just trolling around here, despite being obscenely OP. He’s training and putting in the time and effort to further the Sorcerer Kingdom, at all costs.
Now, ever since he got transferred into the New World, he has felt his emotions get repressed, which is why he comes off as aloof and even desensitized. He’s waging wars, committing mass genocide but like, that’s every monarch ever.
Why Ainz Is The Perfect Protagonist For A Show Like Overlord:
Ainz makes for an entertaining main lead because he’s treating this like an actual job because that’s what this is. He isn’t just having fun here; this is a responsibility on him where he’s conscious of the fact that this strange world is his new reality.
He can do as he pleases and burns it all to the ground. Or he can use his knowledge from a prior life to build himself up anew. And that’s exactly what he does here. Yes, that does mean he becomes evil in some cases because he has the foresight to predict and maim his foes ahead of time. But wouldn’t you do the same if you were in his place?
In the end, all monarchies are slightly evil at their core, so no wonder Ainz Ooal Gown is heading towards the villain route too. In the end, Democracy for the win baby!