The Two Leaders was…well, a little disappointing. This book focuses primarily on character development, with a little world-building and no real plot development. The novel actually contains two separate (although connected) stories: one focusing on Enri and the second on Ainz. In a nutshell, each story shows what day-to-day life is like for both of them as leaders of their communities. Both stories seem to take place around Volumes 5 and 6, as it is mentioned Sebas is still in Re-Estize. While having a different spin on Overlord is nice, The Two Leaders lacked the flair of the previous volumes.
Looking solely at character development, The Two Leaders was great. Enri’s story displayed how life is for normal, everyday people in this fantasy universe. It also shows how far Carne Village has progressed after being attacked way back in Volume 1. Readers are starting to see humans and non-humans living together peacefully, something that will be required in the future if Ainz is to successfully take over the world without using an iron fist. The resolve of the villagers is made apparent, as they refuse to be defenseless victims again. Enri dealing with many of the same personal issues, as a leader, as Ainz makes for a great comparison.
Ainz’s story shows something touched on in previous volumes: his transition from a normal man to an overlord. As a former Japanese salaryman, he uses what business skills he has to run Nazarick. Many other administrative functions are left to Albedo and Demiurge, since that is literally what they were made for. Ainz’s acting skills are also shown to have improved as he prepares himself for more public appearances as a leader. While seeing big fights is always neat, seeing the day-to-day activities that are normally passed over was interesting too.
Had it been placed between other volumes chronologically, The Two Leaders may have worked better. Having it so close to the also slow Volume 4 may have been problematic but being hypothetical that is really neither here nor there. The biggest gripe with The Two Leaders is that it interrupts an ongoing storyline. Volume 7 ended on a fairly sizeable cliffhanger that is clearly leading to something big. And then this side story just gets dropped in immediately following that, which is frustrating. Frustrating enough, in fact, to knock a star off the rating. But at least Volume 9 will, hopefully, impress well enough to make up for the interruption.