What’s it about ?
Adaptation of a light novel series with the novel premise of “player stuck into a MMORPG that became real”. Never seen that one before.
From what I can gather, it has nothing to do with the various videogames of the same name.
So, Yggdrasil. One of the big full-immersion MMORPG of its time. But it’s been 12 years, the player base had been dwindling down considerably for a while, so its editor has decided to call it a day and shut the servers down tonight.
Momonga, our protagonist, was the leader of one the biggest and strongest “monster” guilds of the game. Max level, tons of stuff and unique items (including his super-wand that can wish nearly anything and even bypass some programming), their own giant demon castle lair, dozens of custom NPC servants, the works. By now, of course, most of the guild members have left, with barely a few of them making an appearance on this last day. But Momonga has decided he’s going to stick around until the end, reminisce, and let the system log him out when the servers shut down.
When he wakes up after midnight, he notices with shock that he’s still in the throne room. The HUD and menus are gone, and he can’t raise anyone (be them other players or GMs) through voice chats. On the other hand, the NPCs now act a lot more real than their previous AI-constrained selves, and obey to all his casually-phrased orders (instead of needing specific commands).
And well, there’s Albedo, his NPC demon secretary, whom he had just rescripted to be in love with him, on a whim. This might have been a poor decision…
What’s going on here ? Has he slided into another world that’s identical to Yggdrasil somehow ? Can he get back to the real world ? Does he even want to ? Will the NPCs keep obeying their very confused master ?
Quite good ; there’s some obvious CG work on some undead battle sequences, but it looks okay. And the animators have really managed to make Momonga expressive, with a body language belying clearly a benign middle manager disguised as an over-the-top overlord.
Well, there’s a reason the cliché premises are still being recycled : they caught on our imagination and offer numerous variants. And hey, I don’t think I’ve seen any of these stories take the point of view of “the bad guys” (who are actually punch-clock villains more than anything else), so that’s something new for this show to explore. And it does so quite well ; Momonga truly feels like a MMORPG guild leader, and a very sympathetic protagonist. The NPC supporting cast also feel like they could grow into interesting characters (or at least entertaining ones).
If there’s one thing that’s lacking here, it’s a clear notion of where the story is going ; we don’t even know whether there’s anyone outside the lair at this point. But hey, that’s something for future episodes to explore ; this one has accomplished its job of selling me on the premise, at least for now.