Isekai is not a fairly new concept. This decade did not see the first people to fall down a rabbit hole or frolic into a fantasy world within a wardrobe. Isekai by design is the ultimate expression of one of the basic tenets of world-building: the learning curve. There’s a reason why several fantasy stories start in a quiet town or village with country bumpkin number 30040507. Towns generally aren't the most whimsical place in a story so they serve to establish something familiar and ground the story before the crazy fantastical of the great wide yonder. That country bumpkin character becomes your POV into
introducing the wonders of your world in a way that allows the viewers to experience the world just as the characters are. You establish the setting with a character who is unfamiliar with it, allowing for more leeway in introducing said world. This goes doubly easy for isekai settings, a strength which most isekai squander so easily. And it's a shame because the setting is one of the greatest draw and allure of fantasy fiction. It's a celebration of our ability to imagine and paint whole new worlds alive in the mind's eye.
Is Overlord an exception? Sadly, it isn’t. It tries to be, and maybe it could have been one of the few select isekai, but it’s just an overall incompetently handled adaptation. What few genuinely strong moments it could have had, it squanders for failing basic character investment and basic world-building tenets.
A painful example of this is Zaryusu's rather interesting and compelling argument (on why they should fight) that lost every sense of impact possible due to the fact that it was said immediately with nary a proper establishment of the Lizardmen economy and culture or Zaryusu's place in all that. It was pulled out of the hat and we're supposed to just accept it because it was said so without planting the seeds of ideas first in the viewers (sadly this isn’t an isolated case or adaptation specific failure even). That's not how you do fantasy stories. It doesn't even need to go to great lengths for its setting. It just needs to establish the setting enough to ground the arc's main character in it. It failed.
And half of that failure stems from how it failed to pace itself.
The second season of Overlord begins with the Lizardman Arc, in such a spectacular failure as Madhouse forgot one simple Ron Swanson principle: never half-ass two things; whole-ass one thing. You can feel the oozing, overpowering, rank mediocrity as the studio rushes through the Lizardman Arc to get to the next arc. Rather than skip this arc to focus on the next or give this arc justice, they decide to do this arc but do it in such a way that they get to the next arc faster. This decision gives us a lot of hastened info dumps, uninspired character designs, insipid backdrops, and budget fight scenes.
Of course, since almost every indication points to the fact that this arc is crippled for the sake of the next arc, Overlord S2 can still pick up…
The beginning of the second arc of the second season points to the idea that Madhouse did not even bother to do this decision justice. It’s just as rushed and confusing, not to mention that it is a jarring transition. These are two unrelated arcs that do not seamlessly blend at the seams. There are two different set of major players for each arc that what they ended up doing is introducing a set of characters before the first arc could truly begin in earnest then ripping them off the one cour story halfway through and then casually slapping another batch of characters. There just simply isn’t enough time and yet they tried to squash together two disparate arcs. It simply isn’t done.
Each arc has its own story to tell and the main character of each arc changes. The cast of characters for each arc is large enough to make it even trickier and each arc has at least two different storylines running in parallel. It’s a mess of plot threads. The primary danger isn’t confusing the audience. It’s losing all the fucks they can give. These kinds of stories draw on the investment and goodwill of the viewers and Madhouse couldn’t be arsed. Why even give it a second season? To punish the fans who dared ask for a second season?
Maybe Overlord simply wants to be another one of those isekai. You know, the LN advertisement types because frankly, it's basically just one giant fan-service to LN readers right now. If you're an anime only watcher, good luck with following the plot threads and getting invested in any of them without knowing these guys beforehand from reading about them.
Before I start off, I highly advise to not listen to the reviews that complain about something as if they’re expecting lots of action and/or overloaded focus on the MC. Trust me, those are not very helpful if you’re one that actually likes other equally important aspects of a series that focus more on the settings, story, and even development of supporting characters.
There are mixed reactions of how the first Overlord season went: some were raving about how OPed Ainz is, as well as his servants/guardians, and watching him display such power all season...while others felt like it was the elephant in the room. So
now, we jump into a second season that might offend "Ainz devotees and fanatics" because of how much more it dedicates itself to other characters. However, I don't particularly find any problems with it at all; while the first season is better in terms of visual appeal, the second season is better in terms of overall character development and story. In short, people shouldn't really overreact so negatively about how this series goes.
STORY: I really like the fact that the series switches up from the previous season and focuses on the actual "heroes" within Ainz's universe. Be mindful....Ainz, while being the main protagonist, is also technically THE main villain, which would make sense considering his appearance as a Lich. The pacing of the story is also very good for an adaptation, imo, and it really lets us look into the lives of the characters who are trying to oppose Ainz, which include the likes of the Lizard Men tribes. The setups of each important event or plot point are also done very well, and are not bumrushed like in most other series of the same genre. Now before one complains that the arcs seem out of place with no siegeway in-between and just focuses on the characters important to that arc and feel all over the place....this is actually still a method of world-building, much like how Log Horizon did in both seasons, though not as substantially as this series.
ART: While not exactly breathtaking or eye-popping, the animation style was as consistent as it was last season. Even the 3D animation wasn't really bad at all...it was actually very clean, even though the movements can get kinda choppy. The downside is that I wish they could've improved a little bit more on the overall style instead of staying the same.
SOUND: When it comes to the tense moments, the soundtracks do their job VERY well. Additionally, the light-hearted moments are accompanied by equally light-hearted bg music as well. Not much else to say there. Overall, the sound gets an efficient grade.
CHARACTER: This has been partially touched upon in the STORY section. The focus on other major characters, such as the Lizard Men, are really key to giving more structure to the overall story of Overlord. Despite what many people think, the series still gives an adequate amount of attention to Ainz and co...in particular, I benefited from learning interesting characteristics not previously touched on; for example, despite his intimidating looks, Coctyus is still a good person at heart for suggesting to spare the valiant members of Ainz's targets...I felt that important plot points like this give the already prevalent characters from the first season even more background and "colorfulness". As for Ainz....he is just being Ainz as always...OPed, and very thoughtful in terms of military strategics and planning, and hilariously getting creeped out by the advances of the overly devoted Albedo (one of the most prevalent and lovable characters of this series).
ENJOYMENT: For me, Overlord is always hype, whether I physically display my jokes out loud or keep it to myself while intently watching each episode. The 2nd season brought to me new perspectives that were already mentioned earlier. Additionally, for a guy like me who loves series where the main antagonist can be OR is the main villain, Overlord is like a "godsent" for me, and while it doesn't have the intense furious battles from stuff like the Fate series, the clashes are nonetheless quite the spectacles.
OVERALL: Don't listen to people complaining about this season; they're most likely very impatient and may or may not quit on the show too early when it would still be in early story development. Also, many people have said they hated the Lizard Arc from the book series, and thus by default, hate this season as well.
I advise one to watch it because I feel it's a refreshing break from a previous season where all we saw was just Ainz and his co, and not much anyone else. If you like more development with support characters, then it's all the more reason to watch it.
In short, it's a good season that doesn't deserve so much early criticism.
If you don't like fantasy or magic or like a human being stuck in a game/world... this anime is not for you.
Overlord - an anime that is able to portray a wonderful story through
interactions of other characters in a unknown world despite the fact that the MC is not "human".
After watching Overlord I, many people were awaiting for the sequel...
and the wait is over.
And I gotta say, the plot of this anime and how it's portrayed is superb.
Everything I say in this anime is assuming that you have watched the first season of Overlord. I highly suggest you watch the
first season, or you wouldn't be able to enjoy the full experience season two will be giving you. (and you won't understand a thing... so yeah !)
I don't really understand some beef people are giving the anime arc. Like sure the first four episodes so far has been about an arc that isn't really focused on the MC in the light novel. But there's obviously a reason for this The reason for these episodes is literally an introduction of the plot and is super hyped later. Trust me. The suspense in the light novel, if portrayed in this anime, will be no joke. It will be one word: amazing.
The art is really nice and is better than your average anime.
The beginning OST fits well with the theme of the anime. The ending... not so much but it's still pretty good.
Characters are really well developed in this season. Even characters that are supposed to be side stories, the anime provides us the chance to understand these characters and their actions, attaching the audience to these characters and their emotions.
I'm really enjoying this anime. You will too.
Overall the only thing that this anime is not perfect in other eyes is because the first episodes are about an irrelevant arc in the light novel. But trust me, as soon as this arc gets rolling the anime will become super fun to watch. Like Naruto(if you watched it), there were many parts that were "boring". But those boring scenes help hype up the whole season and were the main reason that the anime could grow in development.
Note:This is a preview so I am gonna keep this short I will edit this after all the episodes have aired.
Overlord 2 is pretty much what you expect Overlord's second season to be like.It still has the same charm the original had making it stand above most isekai or transported to another world anime.
Story:8:Overlord's second season main focus is in it's different story arcs that are very interesting to watch each having interesting characters.
Art:8:The art of Overlord is very well designed with distinct backgrounds and character art that makes each character have a distinct style which matches their personality.
Sound:7:The overall musical score in Overlord
is good but not amazing but it matches the tone of the series well.
Characters:9:This is the strongest point of the series, each character has likable personalities and the character interactions among the characters in it's arcs is very enjoyable.
Enjoyment:8:Overlord is generally a very enjoyable series and you will enjoy it just as much as the first season if not more.
Overall:8:This season has the potential of beating the first season in terms of overall quality, plus now Lord Momonga has a lot more foes to deal with that can actually challenge him which will make it more interesting.