Trapped in another world or Isekai series have seen a tremendous rise in popularity ever since the advent of series like Sword Art Online and Re:Zero. With a large number of series like this to come out, it is hard for any particular series to make a name for itself unless it does something unique. When it comes to unique, Overlord definitely takes the cake in terms of taking a slight twist on the trapped in a video game world genre of series we’ve seen over and over again.
Now that Overlord Season 2 has started, I thought it was time to answer the question once and for all: Should You Watch Overlord!
Overlord is set in the year 2126 where an incredibly popular DMMORPG (which is like a regular MMORPG, but significantly more interactive) named Yggdrasil is set to be shut down after running for 12 years. In the game there is a guild named Ainz Ooal Gown, which was created by 41 members. Sadly most of those members left the game or stopped showing up entirely, which led to the leader of the guild, an elder lich character named Momonga, leading the guild alone. Momonga decides to stay in the game until the very last second the servers are shut down. He walks around his guild’s headquarters and examines the NPC’s his guild has created and then he waits. When the game finally ends, Momonga walks up to find himself still in the game, but strangely enough, he finds himself in a real life version of Yggdrasil along with the NPC’s he and his friend have created. The NPC’s are real now and Momonga finds himself turned into the elder lich character he portrayed. In this new world, Momonga tarts exploring to understand what has happened to him, if there are others like him, and HOW HE
SHOULD TAKE OVER THIS NEW WORLD AND CLAIM IT AS HIS OWN!
Made by Studio Madhouse, Overlord looks pretty good. Unfortunately, the CG doesn’t blend too well with the traditional 2D animation, which can be a bit jarring sometimes. With that being said, despite the occasional battles that happen in the series, when the animation is ramped up it is really nice. There’s one decisive battle that basically ends in a hug and although the animation in it is split quite a bit between talking and bragging, the visual result of the action is great. There’s a scene where a character transforms and they look like something out of a nightmare. The final battle is a bit anticlimactic (at least in the first season), but it is still fun to watch.
The Character Design
I think it would be a crime to ignore the character design for Overlord. This is not your typical generic anime boy trapped in another world with a harem of beautiful girls and sidekicks surrounding him. If anything, the more beautiful characters
end up being the most frightening to look at. Hell! The main character is a giant skeleton monster. When I first saw videos of Overlord, I thought Momonga was the villain! Not the protagonist of the story.
It’s a pretty bold choice to make the main character so visually off-putting. I don’t mean that in a negative way either. I like the fact that when characters transform in this series they do not look like the shining hero, but like a thing of nightmares with unimaginable power.
Overlord is not a typical fantasy series of a guy being trapped in another world. In fact, Momonga is not trapped in another world, but this new world has been forcibly given a God and his name is Ainz Ooal Gown. I think that’s what makes this series preferable over other isekai ones. Momonga isn’t someone who is thrust into a world he knows nothing about. In fact, he knows more than most characters who live in the world he has been thrust into. Momonga doesn’t battle but instead creates situations that are designed to help him make a name for himself. Momonga isn’t trying to get out of this world, but instead, he is trying to understand it and….most importantly take control of it.
Momonga doesn’t care about the number of people he kills or maintaining balance or being seen as a good guy. Momonga thinks about himself and his guild and that is all.
I think, as a series, Overlord makes a name for itself when you see Momonga and his subordinates make the push towards world domination. When that happens, Overlord becomes a bit of a horror series. There are characters that would fit well in any other fantasy world as a hero, but instead they find themselves dead or indebted to someone who is far stronger and greater than they can possibly imagine.
As the name suggests, Overlord is a series about a person of great power that can never be challenged and will slowly encompass everything around it.
As long as Overlord continues down this path, I think this is a series worth checking out at the very least.
I am curious to see how Ainz Ooal Gown continues towards this path of dominating this world filled with unsuspecting people that have no other choice but to accept that his power is absolute.