In both One Piece and in Overlord, there is a character named Momonga (in Overlord, Momonga was his earlier name, but he goes by Ainz Ooal Gown during the series).

One Piece Overlord

「モモンガ」 (momonga) is the Japanese word for "flying squirrel" and is used for the type native to Japan, as well as for the northern flying squirrel and southern flying squirrel of North America, and for the Siberian dwarf flying squirrel (in contrast, the word 「ムササビ」 [musasabi] is used to refer to giant flying squirrels native to and outside of Japan), and the marsupial sugar glider is called 「フクロモモンガ」 (fukuro momonga).

These characters both are not particularly cute, are large in size, have small eye sockets, and do not feature a patagium (a.k.a. gliding membrane-like flap of skin or fabric stretched from their wrists to their ankles). In other words, they do not feature the best-known features of flying squirrels. Why were they named Momonga? Is there anything about them that was intentionally derived from real-life flying squirrels?

Ezo momonga

  • 1
    Shouldn't you take these question to the authors themselves? They must have had their reasons. Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 7:34
  • 2
    @Peter Raeves, yes, exactly; in other words, I'm asking if anyone knows of a statement given by either of the authors as to their reasoning when coming up with the character names, such as in a character profile, mentioned in a behind-the-scenes explanatory manga extra, an interview on a website or in a magazine, or the like (something along the lines of this answer). There are many mangaka who have divulged details about their process and how they came up with their naming conventions, particular character names, and character designs.
    – seijitsu
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 8:25
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    The "Momonga" are shown in the intro of Overlord as well, i.imgur.com/3KWMh56.png
    – Alagaros
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 0:44
  • @Alagaros In Overlord's case, does this mean that flying squirrels are a plot element? Or at least that they inhabit that world and so the character is named after animals who live there?
    – seijitsu
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 6:38

1 Answer 1


In One Piece, the animal name is the most typical source of the character's name. You can read how the author decided the name 'Monkey' in the manga #20 Chapter 178's SBS.

The origin novel of Overlord is written on a free novel BBS Arcadia. You can read how the author decided the name 'Momonga' on the following 1st chapter (Japanese) (I'll translate just the conclusion):

※ 名前でモモンガは無いですよね。

※ Momonga is a strange name.
But many working online gamers choose the strange name, I think. Just me?
I'm planning to change his tone and name.

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