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Arcology (アーコロジー) is a term referring to the different densely populated, 'complete environmental' megacities controlled by the corporate overlords of powerful business conglomerates in Suzuki Satoru's previous World before he got transported to the New World.

Background

At the end of the twenty-first century, society's old structure was showing signs of strain that the government has trouble recovering from while corporations are steadily expanding more of their economic power over time. There were instances of increasing crop failures as well as damages happening to the environments, such as the well-being of mother nature. Once the beginning of the twenty-second century rolls around, advanced environmental destruction and the drying up of crops finally took it's heavy toll and effect on society as a whole where the system of government ceases to function properly. For starters, primary-sector industries began collapsing. As food ingredients were exhausted, the dining industries experienced a steady decline, making a gourmet meal turned out as something only wealthy residents of the arcologies could now enjoy and no longer for the common people.

This in turn, also brought forth the resulting deflated wages, high prices, shrinking food supplies, scarce resources, and empty bellies. That said, raw fruits and vegetables became luxury goods which ordinary people couldn't easily get their hands on anymore except for wealthy or well-off corporations who could buy it off without problem. Due to these factors involved, it has led to a food riot to occur by some people including the pillaging and looting places like a fast-food restaurant, a store, the blockading of farm and supply trucks, supply depots and protests in town squares that have erupted into mayhem and violence.

When riots are out of control and people's discontent eventually turned into a coup d'etat, the politicians were targeted, they were attacked by a mob of dissatisfied masses. After the end of the coup d'etat that halt the government from functioning, it left a power vacuum, wherein which the huge conglomerates or corporations step in and took immediate action to solidify their power. They smartly saw this as an opportunity to seize legislative, executive, and judicial powers from the dysfunctional government. In the end, they had managed to successfully taken over the country from the ground up.

Truth be told, the ones who actually caused destruction within the environment to keep on happening in the first place without doing anything to stop it were the huge conglomerates working behind the scene. If they had chosen to protect the environment from the very start, there wouldn't have been any food shortages or riots breaking out to begin with. In other words, the conglomerates had been around for a very long time, quite long enough to silently manipulate the World of 2138 in the grand scheme of things.

On the other hand, those in the conglomerates had taken refuge in arcologies as their place of sanctuary where hardly any terror attacks happen at as the lives of wealthy people there are cut off from the world outside their base of operation. It was said that employees and affiliates exulted in how different and so far-removed they were from the outside world. Arcologies ended up turning into states with other new cities built around them as strongholds. At certain times for various reasons, arcologies later down the line went to war against one another, greedily making money and profiting off from each other.[1]

Life In Arcologies

In the far-off past, there was once a war that had taken place between various European Archologies twenty-years ago. Such a series of war-like events are coined as the "Euro-Arcology Wars." Only the rich could launch an attack on the rich, but even when the wealthy clashed among themselves as they're vying for more power, it was the poor who lost their lives during the process. It was the kind of war where the wealthy elites who're rich with a load of money are off fighting one another for dominance in a series of conflicts to enrich themselves while using the poor people to do their bidding by giving them orders to fight on their behalf.

To the wealthy, living in the arcologies where they remain secluded and from the outside world, the rich people lived a privileged, luxurious lifestyle in the arcologies peacefully unlike the poor who're suffering daily to scrape together sufficient money and food. For them, the idea of watching terrorism, war, and looting behind the scenes and enjoying it in the backseat from afar were fantastical things that happened in some far-away land.

These types of cities described as an arcology, are managed under corporations whom are regarded to be influential conglomerates that built them. They hold a certain position of power across the countries in the World of 2138, particularly one like the cities of Japan. There are at least three European Archologies known so far. Additionally, there are even Neo-Nazi elite guards who were involved in said wars though it's unclear what their goals might be.

Trivia

  • Arcology is a vision of hypothetical architectural designs for very densely populated habitats coined by Paolo Soleri.
  • In the Light Novel cities such as Neo Kyoto and Neo Kyoto Hacijo are mentioned and possibly could be arcologies.[2]

References

  1. Overlord Manga Volume 03 Special: Background Material
  2. Overlord Blu-ray 04 Special: Prologue (1st Half)
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