They always ask you how you Isekai’d but never why you Isekai’d. While I’m pretty sure that’s not how the saying goes, every anime fan that’s into Isekai must’ve wondered why their favorite characters are getting transported into different worlds. The anime usually explores what happens after they get transported, but they rarely work on why they were chosen to do so in the first place. At best, it gets mentioned as some secret ‘Chosen One’ trope or a step in the villain’s Master Plan. But surprisingly, Overlord has never really branched out with this.
While there isn’t a confirmed reason for Momonga being stuck in the game turned magical dimension over countless others, we do know he wasn’t the first one. Likely, someone has been bringing humans into the fictional landscape for a while now, but for what reason, we don’t know. However, the fictional landscape in question is up for debate as well, considering it isn’t YGGDRASIL anymore but a dimension called the New World.
So, pretty confusing situation overall. The DMMO-RPG (Dive Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), known as YGGDRASIL, has shut down, but the New World remained. And that is where our protagonist, the fearsome Ainz Ooal Gown, thrives. Well, he is a literal undead being who has to commandeer all these strange mechanics and characters. But hey, it’s an honest-ish life.
However, the problem is that he seems to be the only human Overlord there. If other players were being brought forward from our reality, where are they, and why hasn’t Ainz encountered any of them yet? For answers to all this and more, let’s get right into Lore Analysis – where we take a look at the history of a specific story and analyze whether its mythos can help us divulge some of its secrets. Today, we’re going to discuss why the Lich King is stuck in a world that isn’t his.
YGGDRASIL VS The New World: Which Is It?
In order to get down to why Ainz is trapped in another dimension, we need to properly describe what that dimension even is. Because for the longest time, fans believed it was a real-life depiction of the game Momonga enjoyed as a human, known as YGGDRASIL. Though now we know that isn’t true.
The story of Overlord is currently taking place in the New World, which is a setting that is similar to YGGDRASIL in its Middle Ages meets Fantasyaesthetic. But the truth is that the dwellers of the New World are far, far superior. Where in YGGDRASIL, magic was just a power dynamic to abuse, in New World, magic is a real entity that doesn’t just end after your XP finishes.
Though, perhaps the scariest difference of them all is the fact that while in YGGDRASIL, a game over meant you had to start from scratch, at worse. But in New World, if you die, you stay dead. You simply cease to exist, just like in real life. This might also explain why Ainz never encountered any others like him. Likely, they never survived for long enough.
An Entertaining Cycle Enforced By A Maniacal God?
So, a theory that many in the fandom believe is that this is all the doing of a higher power that can control dimensions and multiple universes, aka Zeno from Dragon Ball.
Think Eldritch horror, but for some reason, they love playing around with humanity. Basically, the theory states that there is someone (or something because yikes.) in the New World that has enough influence to be able to drag players from their host dimensions to the fictional one for some unknown reason.
We know that the Dragon Lords have been expecting more Players to show up ever since the Eight Greed Kings killed almost all of them, so maybe it’s some sort of cycle? Players come and toss up the status quo, rinse, and repeat.
Overlord: A Simulation Created By Capitalism?
Okay, so this one is the one that has the highest chance of being true. Nothing is more terrifying than corporations ruling our collective consciousness, of course!
So, the year 2138 on Earth is described as a real hellscape. It’s a dystopia with acid rains, thinning plant life, and thriving MegaCorps. So, is it hard to believe that the higher-ups know that the Earth is a lost cause?
Hence, they created the New World as a form of Matrix-Esque simulation to eventually preserve themselves. And players like Ainz are guinea pigs to test the long-term effects. One of the biggest proofs of this is Bellriver, Ainz’s guildmate, who was assassinated by the corps because of some potentially disastrous information he had encountered. Now, why would such a specific fact be present unless it’s relevant to the current plot?
So yeah, the possibility that the New World is in its beta stage with Ainz to see if humans can stay in this sort of simulation forever. This way, the elites of Overlord get the best product possible.