Overlord Volume 18 ending the light novel series, confirms author Kugane Maruyama

Overlord Ainz Ooal Gown
The Overlord creator has changed his plans for ending the story multiple times over the last several years. Pic credit: so-bin

Overlord light novel series creator Kugane Maruyama has officially confirmed that he is ending the Overlord book series with Overlord Volume 18.

The Overlord Volume 16 release date in Japan was July 29, 2022. In the Overlord Volume 16 afterword, Maruyama confirmed that the Overlord light novel series is ending in two more volumes in Overlord Volume 18. He also wants to release Overlord Volume 17 and Volume 18 at closer intervals, similar to the release schedules of Volumes 15 and 16.

“Overlord will end in two volumes. Thank you so very much for sticking with me up ‘till now. Maybe, there is a possibility the final Afterword will close with, ‘Thank you for everything,’ so this may seriously be the last one. This is because I think this will be what’s left of the story, so as much as possible I want to release both at exactly the same time,” Maruyama explained on July 29, 2022.

Unfortunately, the author didn’t reveal the Overlord Volume 17 release date. Instead, he teased that the wait could be long.

“I think the wait for the next volume will be quite long again, so I would be happy if you could take it easy and wait for it in a carefree manner. So long, then,” Maruyama wrote.

In recent years, the Overlord creator stated that he had intended on finishing the story with Overlord 17, but a recent change of plans caused the author to revert back to his original goal. The reason is that Overlord Volume 15: The Half Wood Elf God-kin was split into two separate books that comprise Volumes 15 and 16.

The story first started life as a web novel back in 2010, but starting in 2012 Kugane teamed up with illustrator so-bin to adapt the story into the light novel format. Japanese publisher Enterbrain released Overlord Volume 14: The Witch of the Falling Kingdom on March 12, 2020.

Initially, Maruyama’s goal was to reach an ending somewhere around Overlord Volume 20. In the past, he stated that he has “no intention to drag the story on and on” despite having  “50 volumes worth” of ideas. He just wants “readers to relax and read” although the author is “writing with an end in mind.”

But by May 2016 he tweeted out that he was planning on ending with Overlord Volume 18. Three years later, this plan began to change.

Fast forward to April 2019 when Maruyama released a bonus Overlord book called The Vampire Princess of the Lost Country (Bokoku no Kyuketsu-hime). The novel is a side story focused on an alternate timeline for Ainz/Momonga’s story.

A month later, a Twitter user named RainyCloud pointed out to Maruyama that an English translation had been uploaded to an overseas website. He asked if there was any way the author could take legal measures against this copyright violation.

In response, Maruyama said that his motivation to write Overlord had been going down the drain. He even suggested that he might go back to being a company employee after finishing Overlord!

Maruyama also stated that he was planning on cutting down the amount of story content in order to finish the light novel series. He claimed it would be difficult to conclude with Volume 16, so he decided to take things at a moderate pace and target Overlord Volume 17 for the ending.

On August 5, 2019, German publisher KSM Anime claimed that Maruyama confirmed at AnimagiC 2019 that ending with Overlord Volume 17 is the final plan. However, other attendees claimed that Maruyama simply said that he was losing the energy to write and he is very tired. He would first aim for completing 17 books because even finishing 16 volumes is exhausting.

When Overlord Volume 14 was released on March 12, 2020, the author’s notes in the book also confirmed that Maruyama still planned on ending the entire light novel series with Overlord Volume 17. Based on the last page of Volume 14, the Overlord Volume 15 release date was originally planned for Spring 2021, but now it seems more likely to be coming out in 2022.

Fast-forward to March 2022 and the Overlord: The Half Wood Elf God-kin release date was confirmed to be June 30, 2022. On January 4, 2022, Maruyama tweeted that the first draft for the Overlord Volume 15 manuscript had exceeded 700 pages. As such, the book is being split into Volumes 15 and 16.

The good news is that the wait for the Overlord Volume 16 release date was much shorter since it came out a mere month later.

“Happy New Year! The draft manuscript is now over 700 pages,” the author explained. “Therefore, it will be divided up and down into Volumes 15 and 16. I’m working hard to get them out as close to each other as possible. I hope you can wait a little more …… I know it’s been quite a while.”

At the time, Maruyama didn’t explain is how this major change to Overlord Volume 15 impacted his plans for the Overlord light novels’ ending. It wasn’t until the end of July 2022 that he confirmed that Overlord Volume 18 will now contain the ending.

Even though ending with Overlord Volume 18 is now the current plan, this ending is still years off in the future since Maruyama has two more novels to complete so the author’s plans could change again in the meantime.

  • Updated August 2, 2022: Maruyama confirms that Overlord Volume 18 is the ending.
  • Updated March 12, 2022: Overlord Volume 15 release date confirmed.

Overlord Season 4 anime release date confirmed for Summer 2022

The Overlord Season 4 release date was confirmed for 2022 by an Overlord 4 trailer that came out in December 2021. A second trailer released in March 2022 announced the time frame was Summer 2022. Please click the other news story for more details.

The returning Japanese voice actors for the Overlord Season 4 cast:

  • Satoshi Hino as Ains
  • Yumi Hara as Albedo
  • Sumire Uesaka as Shalltear
  • Emiri Katou as Aura
  • Yumi Uchiyama as Mare
  • Masayuki Katou as Demiurge
  • Kenta Miyake as Cocytus

The announcement also confirmed that the main staff at animation studio Madhouse would be returning to produce Overlord Season 4.

Overlord 4 anime
The key visual for the Overlord Season 4 anime that was released in December 2021. Pic credit: Studio Madhouse

Overlord: Holy Kingdom movie the next sequel

When the Overlord Season 4 anime TV series was announced, the team also confirmed that the next Overlord sequel would be an Overlord movie that covers the Holy Kingdom story arc.

“Total episode count and how far the story will go are still a secret, but honestly, it seems like I hear the clamor of footsteps charging up from behind,” said Maruyama. “Yikes. But ignoring the pressure that an author feels, I will genuinely be delighted to have you all enjoy the show. But really, yikes…”

That means that the Overlord Season 5 anime TV show should adapt Volume 14: The Witch of the Falling Kingdom and Volumes 15 and 16: The Half Elf God-kin.

The Overlord movie release date hasn’t been announced yet, but it’ll likely be in Fall 2022 or 2023. Stay tuned!

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