Overlord Anime Review: How to Take Over the World… Unintentionally.

After watching and loving Tanya the Evil, I decided to be more open to watching isekai’s and my first stop was Overlord.
I had actually tried watching this anime about a year or so ago but, for whatever reason, only got to episode three before I gave up.
This time, I actually committed to watching all three seasons and I enjoyed each one.
Adapted from the Light Novel by Kugane Maruyama, and directed by Naoyuki Itō, Overlord follows the story of Satoru Suzuki (Satoshi Hino), a salaryman in the future who is playing his favourite video game YGGDRASIL on its dying day.
Role playing as the skeletal overlord Momonga, Satoru decides to stay logged in until the game shuts down for good, only for him and the game’s NPCs from his tomb of Nazarick to be transported to another world.
Trapped in the body of his player character, Satoru takes on the name of his guild, Ainz Ooal Gown, and seeks to spread his name throughout this new world in the hopes of discovering other players trapped with him.
It’s just too bad that the NPCs, now very real monsters, see this as an attempt at world domination and now Ainz has to act like he is this all knowing overlord to keep their trust.
This makes Overlord different from many other anime out there because our main characters are quite literally evil.
And by “quite literally evil” I don’t mean, “oh, they’re just morally grey characters.”
No, what I actually mean is, “Jesus Christ, Ainz! Did you really have to go THAT far?”

That said, I am surprised that many people were surprised by the terrible things Ainz does in the third season, when he had been doing terrible things in the first two as well.

It’s a good thing that many of our central characters are so entertaining because, if they weren’t, then we would hardly be able to stomach their evil acts.
There’s Demiurge’s (Masayuki Katō) constant and humurous overestimating of Ainz’s abilities, Albedo (Yumi Hara) and Shalltear Bloodfallen (Sumire Uesaka) fighting over Ainz, Cocytus’ (Kenta Miyake) warrior code, and Sebas (Shigeru Chiba) the butler who is the one good guy of the bunch.
All of these characters are incredibly overpowered, which could have been a big problem because, in most shows with characters like this, their power makes it obvious that they will win any fight they have, resulting in zero tension.
However, because of the characters’ evil status, this is not the case with Overlord, though, as the ones our main characters face off against actually are good people and likeable.
Thus, the tension of these fights come not from us wondering if our main characters will win, but through us wondering if the likeable side characters will survive.

Every time a relatable character goes to fight Ainz, you will find yourself hoping that someone or something can come along to save them.

Despite the overpowered characters not being an issue because of how their fights are handled, I do hope that in the future of this story there is a point where Ainz has to actually struggle in a fight, without secretly having it all in the bag.
Maybe he could finally come across another YGGDRASIL player trapped in the world with him and they could offer him a real challenge?
Well, even if that does not happen, at least there will still be the entertaining characters with great humor accompanying Ainz’s continued unplanned takeover of the world.
These elements really do hold the show together though because the animation is nothing special.
It’s usually pretty good but there are some atrocious instances of CGI, especially in the third season.

Please. no more CGI goblins in the fourth season.

One thing that stays consistently great about Overlord, though, is its openings.
“Clattanoia,” ‘Go Cry Go,” and “Voracity” are all top notch openings that do a great job of showing what you can expect from their respective seasons.
I’m glad I picked up Overlord again.
I may have given up on it the first time after episode three, and I also felt like the first season did not grab me very well, but from season two onwards it’s been an enjoyable time.
Fingers crossed that Season Four can be just as good when that arrives, maybe with some improved CGI too.

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