Recaps for Overlord

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Overlord Episode #13 Anime Review (Season Finale)

Momonga and Shalltear are locked in an intense struggle to wrap up the series. Shalltear may not be much of a final boss, being an ally simply controlled to go against her master after all, but in a one-cour adaptation of a story far too ambitious to accomplish much in that time, the first real challenge for the protagonist will have to do. Ah, but how much of a challenge is it really? For the cliffhanger leading up to the finale, Momonga actually seemed to be the one on the ropes. Shalltear seemed to know everything about his battle capabilities, and it seemed that it would be enough to turn the tables. But that’s exactly what Momonga wanted her to think, and we don’t learn what he’s been hiding until he reveals it to her. It’s so early in the episode that the credits are still rolling, but Momonga lets loose every deception that has tricked Shalltear into thinking she had the upper hand, and before long it’s not unlike the domination we’ve seen from any other battle involving Momonga. It was a fun idea while it lasted, but in the end 13 episodes simply wasn’t enough to introduce anyone capable to actually standing a chance against Momonga. READ MORE...

Overlord Episode #12 Anime Review

After a season of Momonga getting settled into his new world and generally steamrolling anyone who crossed his path, he’s found himself face to face with one of his own allies, more unfortunate a situation for the fact that he had pretty much every great power of this world on his side and therefore only faced a true challenge when pitted against one than for any sense of camaraderie that may have slipped through his quickly dehumanizing mind and view of these people as video game NPCs. The real enemy is not Shalltear but the person controlling her, but he wasn’t someone skilled enough in combat to be a final boss after her, or even to survive for anyone else to meet him. So Momonga’s one great enemy is one of his own, one unsure of what she’s even fighting for due to the source of her control no longer being there. One could assume everything about this scenario sets her up to be freed from her control after Momonga has soundly defeated her, but given the brutality and mercilessness we tend to see in this show, there’s no real telling. READ MORE...

Overlord Episode #11 Anime Review

Dealing with someone on the level of Shalltear is a big deal even for Momonga, and with the power that she’s been put under, he finds himself in an especially difficult position. This calls for a lot of thinking, and the outcome isn’t going to be ideal. Momonga has asserted absolute control over his realm since he came to this world, and any opponents he’s come across elsewhere he’s been able to wipe the floor with as quickly as he decided to. He’d only have any reason to be unhappy if he cared about his weaker comrades were who taken out while he was away. The persona he portrays to those around him is meant to convey that he doesn’t, but it’s not hard to see the truth. Now that he has one of his loyal and powerful followers under the control of someone else and faced against him, he has real issues for the first time, so while a puppet Shalltear may not seem the most exciting final boss, it’s still the first time he has the potential of a struggle. More importantly the implications are that whoever can pull her away from him and make her oppose him must be the same as him, a "supreme being" from the expired world of Yggdrasil and, therefore, the far-away reality the man behind Momonga is from. That’s what he’s been seeking all this time, so it’s an appropriate climax, given that a one-cour adaptation of this story wasn’t going to find a real ending. READ MORE...

Overlord Episode #10 Anime Review

There aren’t many anime this can be said for, but the most common theme across the main cast of Overlord is probably mercilessness. Momonga had a villain who made a point of being as despicable as possible to play against in his showing last week, so at the very least it was relatively easy to get behind his actions in the end. Shalltear is not the main character, not originally a human or from another world, and not the sort who has ever seemed to care much for ethics. When Momonga suddenly got the news that he had apparently been betrayed, surprised reactions likely stemmed from the obsessive devotion Shalltear shares for her lord with everyone else he rules over, not from any notion that the act seemed at odds with the fundamental nature of her character. So when we turn the clock back to see what she’s been up to and it puts her in the position to lead a strike against enemies, it’s expected to be sufficiently brutal. READ MORE...

Overlord Episode #09 Anime Review

It’s just a fighting episode this week, but that’s fine. Sure, I’ve long said that Overlord’s greatest strength was in its character exploration, mainly because Momonga is in such a unique position mentally, but it doesn’t take long to prove its worth in the action department. This is probably the first big example of how well it can handle such content, since action scenes earlier in the series haven’t been the most thrilling, with Momonga generally ending them quickly and easily. As we eventually learn, perhaps the tables haven’t turned so much this time, but with all the buildup Clementine and Khajit have had, Momonga at least gives us a fun show worthy of the wait. He naturally takes the former while he lets Nabe handle her shriveled bald companion. Both battles are well-choreographed and call upon MADHOUSE to ramp up the animation quality, even if it was never to quite be the level of the studio’s top projects. Battle music is always an important component as well, and what we get matches the intensity of the fights well. READ MORE...

Overlord Episode #08 Anime Review

Momonga has completed his mission and even acquired an adorable new pet in the process! All is well, right? Ah, but just when it seems it should be, the now-unprotected Nphirea party is faced with someone who can easily kill all of them. Furthermore, she happens to be someone who likes killing people more than anything. That sets Momonga up as the savior as per usual, but the timing isn’t quite right for him to be able to sweep them all up before they can get into any trouble, as he has no reason to think anything went wrong until he comes across the crime scene. But his plans were leading him there anyway, and he soon realizes just how horribly late he was. READ MORE...

Overlord Episode #07 Anime Review

Momonga presses onward in this foreign world, looking to make connections with the game he once played. As it turns out, there are connections to be had all over the place, whether or not they’re of the sort Momonga is hoping for. Although the goal is to get his name out there, he goes by more than one name, and doesn’t necessarily want them to be identified as the same person. This comes up in an interesting callback to when Momonga did some rescuing under the name Ains Ooal Gown as he meets Nphirea’s friend, who happens to be Enri, the girl he bestowed with an item to summon goblins and a rare potion. Between these connections and the conversations had as Momonga was assuming each identity, Nphirea is able to discern that Momon is this same Ains, and that he’s even more than simply the very powerful warrior he appears to be. This isn’t what Momonga was hoping for, but at least Nphirea isn’t someone who would do anything to cause problems for him, and it only serves as a reminder that people assuming multiple identities had better not allow for any evidence that groups them together to spill out. This is a world of real, thinking people, after all. This series of connections was more involved and creative than I was expecting, so I give it credit for being pulled off in the way it was. I could see the case being made for it being a bit too contrived to all work out so perfectly, but in a way that just further serves to show how the unexpected and random can occur in a natural, organic world like this. READ MORE...

Overlord Episode #05 Anime Review

Overlord is on the verge of breaking into major development from the world all around as well as the characters we’ve met and many more to come. Momonga takes his proper venture out into the great beyond, covering himself from head to toe, going only by "Momon" (and insisting Narberal goes by "Nabe" and acts as his equal), and taking every measure to ensure nobody discover that he holds any power or is from Yggdrasil, should he come across someone else who knows what that even means. In contrast to the sense of royalty Momonga has enjoyed until now, this requires he start from the bottom, joining a guild as the lowest rank and taking on missions, specifically the most trivial as one of his apparent status isn’t allowed to seek out bigger ones yet. READ MORE...

Overlord Episode #06 Anime Review

For all its similarities with other series that appear to be from the same mold, the first several episodes of Overlord have been quite different from most anything of its kind. The closest parallel for recent popular series of the sort is Log Horizon, as both are more concerned with the realistic implications of such a scenario interacting with a world that used to be a game, or rather a world that was real to its inhabitants before the former "players" ended up living inside it as well. To start the series out with not just a few but many episodes with such focus and relatively little action is a bold move, but it’s one that primarily worked for Overlord. Now that it’s gotten itself settled in and requires a bit more exploration to discover what all is going on, it’s interestingly shifted a bit more to the standard kind of format one might expect from its kind of story. Now Momonga has become a regular adventurer anew, joining a party to defeat monsters and collect loot. Meanwhile, a villain of villainous villainy is coming their way, her sights set on the head of Momonga’s group and countless bodies left in her wake. It’s all pretty typical for what it is, but it never forgets to contribute to the overall plot that had been established in the earlier episodes. READ MORE...

Overlord Episode #04 Anime Review

As the series continues on, we’ll likely be hearing a lot less of the name "Momonga" and a lot more of "Ains Ooal Gown" to refer to our protagonist. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll stop calling him Momonga anytime soon, half for consistency with how it started and half for how much simpler it is than choosing which part of his mess of a newer name to go with. Perhaps if all references to "Momonga" are removed I won’t be able to avoid switching over, but for now that’s how I see it. In the first few episodes this series seemed to be about this protagonist himself changing more than he could control or even fully comprehend. This continues to a degree, but there’s a greater sense of self-control to his actions compared to the previous episode’s implications of a potential turn to full villainy. If there’s one thing that has been the case since the world changed from that of the game Yggdrasil to the new reality for Momonga and perhaps other former players it’s that Momonga is considered pretty great, with the specific implementation shifting slightly from all those around him simply validating his existence with their every breath to more recent events requiring actual action from him and showing just how overpowered he is. READ MORE...