Just a little over two and a half years ago I talked about the series Overlord. It had some interesting ideas but was kind of mediocre. The second series came out early this year. Now, one thing I was very clear on when I reviewed te first was that it had potential. Rather like Made in Abyss, which I just reviewed. But, like that series, it wasn’t there. So, let’s see what we get in the second series to improve on things, if anything.
We open with our guard captain from the prior series, Gazef, discussing the great and powerful magic caster who saved him. No, it’s not Trixie. We also see various other characters discussing their take on the current situation, just to remind everyone what’s happening. Our series starts properly with a bunch of lizard people living their everyday lives. That’s when they’re greeted by what looks like a Legion Persona telling them they’re all going to die. The Green Scale tribe acts quickly, sending an envoy to meet with the other tribes and unite them to deal with the threat.
It turns out the threat is Cocytus, commanding an army of low level undead, but forbidden from fighting himself. After that tale wraps up we move to Sebas who finds a battered, abused woman on the street. He decides to rescue her and unintentionally brings the wrath of a major criminal syndicate against him, possibly drawing attention to Nazarick.
Let’s start with what I don’t like about this series. First off, the lizard man bit ends rather abruptly and leaves a pretty major question unanswered. Now, I’m sure they’re going to bring it back up in series III but it would have taken a couple minutes to give us some closure on that front and there’s not really a reason to make it wait for another series. The second issue I have is one I’m a bit mixed on. There are points where ladies being attracted to Ainz borders on harem shit and it gets really cringey. However, his discomfort with that does lead to some of the funnier comic relief moments so I can’t just outright hate it as an element.
One of my issues with the first series was that the Nazarick crew, Ainz in particular, are over-powered and it hurts any chance of tension. In this series, they address that by building the tension around other characters that they spend some time building up who are just normal people. The tension surrounding the Nazarick crew is more built around what they’ll do to these other characters and whether or not they’ll be revealed to the world. And that’s a legitimately clever fix to that problem. So, full credit on that one.
The series is still good about introducing intriguing plot lines that they can go into more detail for later. They also resolve enough within the series to make it feel like it has a satisfying conclusion while also leaving plenty of room for more developments. Which would still be true if they’d taken a minute or two at the end to answer the question about the lizard men and I think that’s a big part of the reason that particular oversight bugs me because the lizard man bit doesn’t feel like it has an entirely satisfying conclusion whereas the other arc does.
Gradually, Overlord is doing more to develop its main cast. Sebas, Cocytus & Demiurge in particular. I actually rather like the way they tie the two of them to their creators and I like that Sebas was created by a dude who went by the moniker “Touch Me.” That’s a great screen name. Overall, the series focuses more on developing the characters they’re actually building tension around than the Nazarick crew though. Which is a real necessity given that we’re supposed to be concerned about their fates. And if the series keeps giving different members of Nazarick the spotlight in different arcs all the major ones will be nicely fleshed out in series V.
I really like the character designs in this. There are a few additions in this series that I can appreciate in particular. The first is that the female lizard people don’t have large bosoms in spite of all logic. And so many works just toss pronounced boobs on their lizard women just because people like boobs even though it makes no sense given how reptiles work. Most depictions of the Yuan-ti, the Cardassians, the Yinchorri, the Falleen. and many many others have gotten that wrong. So, well done on that front, Overlord. They also have Entoma, an insect woman who just looks really cool and she has a great power set. And I know she was in the first series briefly, but I don’t recall seeing her true form in that one.
The acting is quite good in this one. Since there are characters who get a bit more development, there’s more of an opportunity for their actors to shine. So, Chiba Shigeru, Katou Masayuki, Miyake Kenta, Osaka Ryota, Touchi Hiroki & Amamiya Sora get the chance to really do their business. And they all do it well. I didn’t really like the theme tune much, but I did like the music in general.
There really isn’t any.
This is a franchise that gets compared to Sword Art Online quite a bit because they both deal with people in a game world, although in this one he’s glad to be there and this franchise also isn’t bollocks so they’re quite a bit different. And this instalment just further distances the two because it’s legitimately good. It’s not just a mundane series with potential that’s only superior to SAO by virtue of not being rubbish, it addresses a lot of the issues that held the first series back and provides an entertaining viewing experience. It still has some issues but they’re a lot more minor. Ultimately, I give it a solid 7/10. I actually look forward to reviewing the third series when it finishes airing and I can get round to it.