I have never understood why Overlord receives so much praise.
It is practically Sword Art Online but with older characters, giving it the illusion of maturity. Overlord is not mature, it’s not remotely well written, it's visuals don't even look good. The character designs look cool and all but that isn’t enough to carry a boatload of mediocrity. Both this season and the first were at best disposable entertainment, like any other isekai light novel adaptation. What's the appeal of it? Is it that Momonga is a ridiculously overpowered self-insert protagonist and his legion of ladies all want him?
Momonga IS Kirito. An overpowered character doesn’t
become good just by not being a teenage boy. Skeleton or kid, there is no difference. Skeletons are cool and all, I like them as much as the next guy, but he's not a very interesting character beyond his intimidating design. His character is entirely devoid of substance, only existing to continue the story. Even his character art fails at conveying the intimidation of his design. The designs made for the light novel look really good, but this adaptation’s art lacks detail. During conversations, his skeleton face remains unanimated; his voice is undeniably booming, but there’s no impact.
Momonga being a villain changes almost nothing. Everyone still loves him anyway, and he acts like the generic ‘nice guy’ harem protagonist. He’s constantly speaking in his nice guy voice in his head to remind us, he’s not actually a real villain, he’s doing the best he can to be nice. It’s lovely how nice of a guy he is really–wait, stop right there... If the villain protagonist isn’t actually a villain, then this show is literally just the same as anything else… Like the meak voice hiding behind the intimidating demonic skeleton exterior, Overlord is masquerading as something far better and more original than it actually is. The philosophy of: “How can I self-insert if my main character isn’t a good guy?” breaks any potential this show had to become something original.
It’s funny how Overlord shamelessly admits that its female characters are coded to love Momonga, but that doesn’t make it any less bad of writing. A story’s world should ebb and flow without the audience needing to be there. Here it feels like a pandering fest; the characters bend over backward to praise Mr. Skeletor, he wins nearly every fight, and there is no substance beyond “moderately self-aware SAO”.
This new season of Overlord isn’t all harem bullshit, it tries a few new things… and fails at all of them. For some reason, whenever the story follows any character other than Momonga it becomes insufferably boring. We got classic stories to be loved for ages like the tribe of lizard idiots who inevitably get taken over by Momonga, the thrilling backstory for Momonga’s butler (aka Plank of Wood), some random knight guy, and a princess with a dark secret! Remember how Overlord’s first season had somewhat slow pacing at times? This is 10 times worse! Entire episodes are dedicated to characters that we don’t have a reason to care about. We're forced to watch them fighting in their own battles, with their own drama, and all of it barely connected to the characters introduced in the first season. In the end, the stories come together, but does the moderately entertaining end justify the tiresome means? Not at all.
It’s rare for anime to put me to sleep, but Overlord’s first three (lizard focused) episodes truly tested my fortitude. The only plausible reason for the story breaking off from Ainz to follow the lizard people is to keep his harem junk from becoming too repetitive. The thing is though, Overlord will be repetitive no matter what crap they shove down our throats during the filler episodes. Isekai anime are so oversaturated that simply making more of the same isn’t enough these days. I’ve seen so many of these types of anime – and maybe Overlord was more original when the light novel was written, but today it’s trite, overdone, a waste of time.
At least the few episodes Momonga gets are slightly more entertaining than the filler ones. He and the people who surround him have eye-catching character designs, wacky personalities, and enjoyably overdone voice acting. There’s almost no substance to any of them, but at least they’re fun to watch in small doses. The thing is, this new season is barely about the actually exciting characters. The only one in Momonga’s legion who gets a backstory is his butler (the blandest of them all). He has an actually intimidating personality, but none of the charisma necessary to hold up entire episodes on his own. There was a small amount of development seen for a few members of the huge cast, but it’s for the boring ones that no one is watching the show for. An occasional twist in a character's personality following a surprising betrayal may offer some fleeting intrigue, but you will quickly realize that is all those twists exist for. To momentarily add a fresh coat of paint to a cast of rotting cardboard cutouts.
Momga’s episodes were at least better than the ones about random boring side characters, especially during the last three episodes of this season. We see all-out violence using nonsensical magic to create exciting gorefests and lots of angry expressions. It’s still never what I’d call good, but it’s passable entertainment. Momonga’s storylines do tend to get repetitive quickly; an issue arises among his legion or in the world, he is literally the most powerful being in the universe and kills shit, then gives us a comment on it in his ‘nice guy’ voice, rinse and repeat. The only reprieve from the mind-numbing formula is the final few episodes, full of gory action, plot twists, and even betrayals that actually had me surprised. Although I struggled to care about the turns the plot took or the characters who took radical changes, it provided a fresh perspective on the tired story even if for a moment. Sadly, the action-packed moments weren’t much better than what we’ve seen before from Overlord; plagued with issues caused by a rushed production.
The action scenes are lackluster at best. Madhouse is airing three anime just this season alone, so it would be unreasonable to expect flawless quality, but this is just flat out the same mediocre visuals as the first season. Action scenes rely on zoom in on still shots, unanimated motion tweens, and jarring CGI. Environments are dreadfully ugly to look at; dull colors, low res repeated textures, a lack of detail and defining traits. It all feels so lifeless, bland, boring. It’s the kind of show I would have forgotten entirely if I wasn’t reviewing it.
The soundtrack is equally mediocre, totally forgettable. The bog-standard sort of booming orchestral music they’re going for simply fades into the background. I didn’t particularly care for the opening song, just a generic rock song lacking of individuality. The ending track “Hydra” was wonderfully wispy with haunting vocals. If the rest of the show carried even half of the emotional weight the ed does then we’d have a much better show on our hands. It was the best part of the show, the only reason why I was hesitant to drop it all season.
Anything separating Overlord from the hordes of low effort isekai adaptations we see every season is only superficial; neither the audiovisual or writing are above average. The main character being a ‘villain’ is just a cheap facade, the setting is lifeless, and even the cool designs are diminished by lackluster visuals.
Overlord is overrated. It’s just more of the same boring isekai drivel.
The greatest allure and strength of the Overlord narrative has always been Ainz’s delicate dance between the ordinary dime-a-dozen salary man of Earth and his Overlord status in this other world. His utterly devoted fanatical underlings treat him like that of a god who can do no wrong. He can’t afford to make mistakes because his servants cannot imagine him making one. To make one is to not be a god. And he intends to keep that image because anything else might disrupt the equilibrium of Nazarick and, more importantly, jeopardize his safety and base of operations. In the strange world he finds himself in,
the most powerful known beings who can threaten his safety are those under him. On and on, his everyman impulses struggles with what he thinks a supreme ruler should act. He must pretend to be prescient when he knows next to nothing and carefully delegate his subordinates in a way that gets his wishes done without revealing that he knows less than them on how to carry it out.
He’s a man trapped in a situation that already slipped out of his control, propelled by his ever-faithful minions’ tendency misconstrue his words as gospel, his musings as genius, and his luck as omniscience, as well as their fear that he would leave them as his guildmates already have. He’s all they have left of the great beings they worship, and by jove they will raze the world to the ground in his name if that’s what it takes to keep him by their side.
Everything else about Overlord is just barely decent. The problem with the anime series is that it fails so hard to translate and convey the strongest core selling point of Overlord.
What Overlord S2 is trying to sell now is the idea of a world bigger than its protagonist and that one fails too on two fronts: the core idea itself and the execution of that idea.
Overlord, due to the nature of the LN, is a series that adds and adds, but rarely expands. You might wonder how can adding more and more detracts from a narrative. It does when you keep adding without expanding on what is already established. Overlord has multiple plot points and threads hanging in the air, the energy and time establishing them being wasted away. We’re not going to tackle the source materials here though because it is a review of the anime adaptation so let’s keep it to the anime adaptation.
Suffice is it to say that the way Overlord is setup forces a quandary on the series. The first season does not easily expand into this second season and the first arc of this season does not expand into the second arc. You could say that they are merely individual build-ups sections – badly done build-ups at that, not because there is no immediate pay-off but because they feel like (and probably are) build-up to different things. It’s risking the fact that you may not get invested in the flow of the story because there is really no smooth flow of the story yet. Again, this isn’t a fault of the adaptation and it can very easily be rectified by solid execution. It starts off with a little bit of disadvantage but just really needs to present itself right and everything will fall into place.
Season 2 is an adaptation of Volumes 4, 5, and 6 of the light novel. Volumes 5 and 6 are two continuous stories, a mega-arc if you will. Volume 4, however, connects to Volume 5 with only the barest, thinnest of threads. These are two very different arcs with vastly different locales, (massive) set of characters, and conflicts that need to be established all under 13 episodes. That’s simply not enough time for two different stories (with at least two different storylines running in parallel.) in two different types of settings. That is insane.
The characters could have been the saving grace in the transition but here’s the thing: Overlord S2 sidelines the Season 1 characters with significant screentime to side character status. That’s not a bad thing. Heck, done well it could have been a good thing. The problem is that the new season starts with a new set of characters you don’t really care about and then the show botched its attempt at making you care about them and then uses them for only five episodes before they are then discarded to introduce yet another fresh batch of characters. The problem here isn’t even in you losing track of who they all are. The problem here is if you even care at all who they are. It’s a large mess that frankly is easier to follow than to care about.
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 the first arc to focus on the next or give the first arc justice, they decide to do the first arc but do it in such a way that they get to the next arc faster, a decision that they didn’t even do justice come the next arc. This decision gives us a lot of hastened info dumps, uninspired character designs, insipid backdrops, and budget fight scenes.
What few genuinely strong moments it could have had, it squanders for lack of pacing. 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). It didn'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. It simply did not have the luxury of time for the size of the story it attempted to tell.
Imagine if it developed that. Imagine a tribal setting, a rarity in anime, with Lizardmen instead of humans as the main characters, which is even rarer. Imagine how much it could have had expanded on what little the LN established. Imagine the different tribal colors and patterns depending on the locale of a specific tribe: say solid, blocky lines for the mountainous, flowing curves for the lake-bound. Paint a picture in your mind’s eyes, a cacophony of colors and patterns anime never tackled before. Imagine the new-ness, the fresh-ness of it all. Can you see it? It’s only a simple scenario of how they could have gone with the series if they focused on one arc and did it justice.
To be frank, Overlord S2 is boring. Not because it’s too slow but because it’s too fast. The entire season feels like it’s just a pure un-distilled fan-service for the LN readers. It’s a chance for them to see their favourite scenes and characters animated and acted out. If you’re an anime-only watcher, expect not to care about anything because this show is the equivalent of you in a tour through a safari/wildlife preserve and your tour vehicle is moving at 100km/h. There’s something out there, you just can’t savour it.
In fact, the second season seemed like it was made just to keep the Overlord flame going. The studio realized they have a popular IP and they need to keep what little hype was left from the first season two+ years ago so that they can revisit the idea of another season down the road if they need to. And it shows. This is as cheap, as rushed, and as unimaginative as they can make it. Frankly you should ask yourself this: if Madhouse couldn’t be arsed enough to care, why should you?
Sequels based on light novels aren’t too common but for a series like Overlord, it felt like it was inevitable. The meme of “Madhouse not making sequels” got flushed down the toilet when Overlord II became a reality. As someone who has read part of the novel and seen the first season, I’m sad to say that Overlord II didn’t manage to step up the plate. What could have been a chance for the series to improve itself and set new bar instead is met with a step back. If you’re expecting the second season to be a glorious showstopper, then I’m afraid I got
I’ll say right off the bat that Overlord II pretty much screams “watch the first season!” In fact, I suggest checking out some of the more prominent episodes from the first season is necessary if you want to get a better experience. This show isn’t here to feed you with exposition anymore. The first season has done that already and viewers should expect a developing storyline with established characters. Or that seems to be the case at first. However, the first few episodes not only reintroduces previous characters but also introduces new ones. An important race known as the “Lizardmen” get their spotlight as we are introduced to their society. We learn about their culture, characteristics, military, economy, and motivations. To me, the Lizardmen possesses many human traits and emotions that aren’t too different compared to our own. Characters such as Zenburu Gugu, Green Claw Tribe Chieftain Shasryru and his brother Zaryusu displays their fierce personalities that makes them example of being capable leaders. Then, there are characters like the priestess Crusch Lulu who represents a more fragile and feminine side of the Lizardmen tribes. The point of the show seems to be trying to get viewers into accepting them and worth investing into. However, it didn’t do an adequate job as a good amount of these Lizardmen characters aren’t well developed. It’s a series that attempts characterization at non-human characters but ends up not accomplishing the job. It also doesn’t help that the story is incredibly predictable for their inevitable fates when facing off against powerful enemies.
This only consist the first half of the show that adapts volume 4 from the light novel series. These first six episodes tries to get fans back into the mood but honestly, I felt like expectations were betrayed. As a curious person, I was hoping the remaining episodes would improve but oh boy, I was wrong.
The remainder half of the show (roughly 7 episodes) covers the plot from the novel based on the “The Men in the Kingdom” (volumes 5-6). My initial expectations weren’t high as the first of these episodes had odd pacing and didn’t get me interested in characters except for Sebas. The other problem is that he is already a somewhat established character so it easy for viewers to accept him. Characters such as Climb, Brain, Tsuare, and Renner are much harder to accept. It falls into the pit of weak characterization again as they are hardly well developed outside of their personalities. We don’t learn much about their past and their motivations for fighting is hardly interesting. Renner is also a character that’s easy to point fingers at once viewers discover her true personality. The one character that does stand out a bit is Sebas during this arc as he shows a more valiant side of him after understanding Tsuare. Does that make him a breakout star? Not really. While Sebas is definitely a motivating factor to keep up with the arc, he is limited to a generic philosophy of helping a damsel in distress. I also find his role with Solution to be rather blend. The way Solutions suspects Sebas of being a betrayer to Ainz can easily make the audience dislike her. Still, I think the weakest part of this arc involves the antagonists, the Eight Fingers. Their key members are incredibly ill-written with dull motivations and stereotypical personalities. None of them are worthy enough to remember and I honestly wish they didn’t even exist. They didn’t manage to bring out the best out of anyone and in fact, I think they even puts a shame in the limited battle scenes.
I’ve talked a lot about the minor and supporting characters of the show. What about the main characters? Sadly, there’s hardly any development for them. For the case of the floor guardians and battle maids, we only get to see a few of them showcase their abilities. If you’re a fan of Cocytus, Demiurge, Aura, or Entoma, then it might be a soft treat. Don’t expect much from them as their roles are limited. It feels like this second season tries to do too much to give them any sort of meaningful place honestly. Oh and how can I forget the infamous Ainz/Mmonga. It may sound strange for me to mention him this late in the review. Save the best for last right? Actually, Ainz is far from the best character in this series and I would actually label him as one of the worst. As the guild master of Ainz Ooal Gown, he feels a lot more like a background character this season. There’s virtually no development for Ainz and it’s a big slap to anyone who wants to understand more about him. We see him sit in the back like a God monitoring his servants and issuing orders. It’s incredibly stale to see Ainz in such a role. The first season at least established his personality in a way that was thrilling enough but this sequel dropped the ball. Sadly, his biggest fangirl Albedo isn’t any better this season besides glorifying her own fetishes.
Madhouse returns and while I can’t say I’m impressed by the overall quality, it does make a nice attempt at designing the Lizardmen. They look faithful to the light novels and expresses human characteristics that I occasionally find enticing to watch. Violence is also exploited to bring out the dark fantasy elements of its story. However, there are two main drawbacks that I find unappealing for this season. First, it’s the action scenes as some of them are very limited and lazily animated. Second, it’s the world setting. It feels like once you’ve seen it once, you’ve seen them all. Hardly original and uninspiring.
The first season’s OP song was quite a thrill to the ears. This season took a step back and I find it skippable at times. Similarly, most of the human characters’ dialogues consists of weak words choices that I can’t really find worth quoting. On a more positive note, I did like the way the season used its battle OST. While some of those fights did feel short, the soundtrack did make up for a bit of the impact to highlight their intensity. Some of the emotional segments of the sequel (in particular Sebas and Tsuare) also felt real with the melancholic usage of the music.
Ah, Overlord II. It’s a sequel that shouldn’t have been resurrected if this is what the creative team had planned. Adapting those light novels into a 1-cour show felt like a risky plan and they didn’t manage to capitalize. It’s a series that’s exciting to watch as a linear continuity but if you’re interested in a well-developed story and characters, then look elsewhere. Too bad really. The show boasts a talented cast that kicked off with some wild entertainment before spiraling into disappointment with no looking back.
Overlord 2, written by Kugane Maruyama, Illustrated by So-bin.
My Review About Overlord Season 2 (Winter 2018) (Sorry for my bad english :( )
It contains some spoiler, Read with your own risk ^_^ .
- Story 8/10 - :
Overlord Season 2, comes with 13 Episode, Animated by Studio Madhouse.
First Episode you can say it as Introduction about Overlord Season 2, Flashback about what is happening in Previous season, and preparation for the next Arc.
Overlord Season 2, contain a "World Building Arc", where the side characters spawn more than the Main Characters and explain what happening with this Side Characters and their Story (it's kinda like every human
have own Story of their life). If you still don't Understand about it, I recomended you to play RPG-Game first before watching this show.
At the beginning (Episode 2) we will redirect to Lizardman Arc. Lizardman Arc is one of the "World Building Arc" which is the last goal of Ainz Ooal Gown(or you can say The writter) to make a Country where all of Demi-humans can live together with Happiness (Including Dwarf, Lizardman, Elf and others).
Back to the Story, this Lizardman Arc, show about how Lizardman live together, suffering about food, sacrifice others Lizardman using a War in order to reduce an overpopulated Lizardman. Everything you see in this 4 Episode mainly about Lizardman's Tribe. (Episode 2-5)
Zaryusu Shasa is the Main Protagonist for this Arc, it ll explained well how he re-united all of the Lizardman's Tribe after the last war, found his Lover Crush Lulu, preparing a war agains Nazarick, Killing Iguva (Ainz Undead), and later killed by Cocytus and got revived.
The Story is good, its explained well from Viewpoint of Lizardman, nothing rushed in this Arc, it was same as Light Novel Story, I really love episode 3 where Zaryusu vs Iguva , and episode 4 where Ainz move like a Supreme being in front of Lizardmans. its kinda unique and interesting for me.
Move to next story about Man In Kingdom 1 & 2 Arc(Episode 6-13), about this Arc im agree with some people that it rushed since they already wasting few episode focusing on Lizardman. but im not really worried about it, basically the main plot are still there and still explained carefully so the audience will not confused about it. this Arc will explore more about the characters on Re-Estize Kingdom (Climb,Renner,Blue Rose etc), and continuation of 'Sebas Story' (If you watch season 1 Sebas was sent by Ainz to Re-Estize Kingdom as a bait to find people who brainwashed Shalltear).
About this arch i really love Last 3 Episode, especially when Entoma vs Blue Rose and Ainz vs Jaldabaoth. its make me want to watch more of this anime. (and luckly they announced the Season 3).
For me the Story of Overlord season 2 is Very Good with this all of World Building.
- Art : 8/10 -
Animated by studio Madhouse, the Art is Great, the Colour, the Brightness the Graphic and the Blur Effect, Texture, and the some Side-effect mixed well, even in some scene the character face was changed a bit but it still acceptable since it doesnt change that much.
- Sound : 7,5/10 -
I Love the Opening and the ending Song, the sound effect, and the Bg Music also well-played
- Character : 8/10 -
The World Building Arch explained well how the character grown up and their specific characteristics. it explore well how Zaryusu come as a Brave Warrior, how he has a feeling with Crush Lulu, you can even see their Sex scene !!, Crush lulu that always support him until the end.
the 'Yandere' Princess Renner, Loyal Dog Climb, how the relation about Master-Servant was build among them. Sebas that have "Touch-me settings" inside him, Tsuareninya feeling througt Sebas, and also how Evileye fallen in love with Momon, Entoma's character was shown in this Season 2 as well, Sadistict Mare ,Brain Unglaus that face up his fear again Shalltear and a lot of it. it was Very Good and explained well in this Season.
- Enjoyment : 9/10 -
Great !, im already Enjoyed this show since first Season, what makes me enjoy this show?.
*This is a Dark show with a lot of Blood, Gore, where cut human's head is acceptable, its fit well for me. its also contains a Funny scenes, especially when Ainz-sama talking in his mind about what he need to do, or when the emotion taken away because he is Undead. its fun and refreshing.
*The Master-Servant relationship between Ainz and his Guardians is also interesting, the Loyalty of the Guardian is so awesome, you can only find this relationship only when you watching Overlord (The Master-Servant relationship without any betrayal from both side). where they can accept each other, Hating anyone outside but Loves everyone inside 'Great Tomb of Nazarick', Believe that you can't betraying someone who gives you a life, the Truth about Loyalty, sometime it feels Heartwarming (If you watch last episode of Overlord Season 1).
*There is less lovey-dovey scenes where the MC is surrounded with a lot of Girls who loving him, the only people loving Ainz is only Albedo !!!, yes Albedo !!, what about shalltear??? She is loving Ainz because of her fetish about Undead !!, so dont calculate her !!! :P , Evileye? ah She love Darkness "Momon" not our Supreme Lord Ainz-sama...(eventhough they are same xD)
*Non-idealistict show, its not the show where the MC trying to save everyone he met (especially girl), even its impossible, its also not the show where someone can gain Over Power when they are pressed..., this show teach you how to become more Realistic, what you can save and what you need to sacrifice in order to save someone, the difference between the Strong and the weak,Profit and loss, it also teach you even you are OP(Overpowered) you still need a plan boyo!
Thats the point why i enjoy this show, its a Great show for me.
- Overall : 8,5/10 -
Overlord Season 2, a sequel of Overlord Season 1, was a good show, there is a lot point if you watching it carefully,If you think Overlord is Anime with full Action Genre then you completely wrong. it also have political scene and Drama like Anime "Maou No Yuusha" but with more soft scenes that make people understand what's going on, this anime will not fit for someone who searching a lot of fight and battle scenes. and this series need a continuation to connect all of the side and main event, thats why i recommended you to watch it properly.
Basically Overlord are different with some anime like SAO and Log Horizon. Overlord, Ainz and his NPC was Transported from Game World (YGGDRASIL game) to Another World (Isekai) called New World(NW), he cannot using the Game feature anymore right after transported to New World, he cannot logged out because of this, while SAO and Log Horizon still remain in their Game World(Trapped in Game World) and still able to using the Features of the game itself. Thats why they are searching the way to logged out from the Game. Some people are misunderstanding about this matter.
My overall for this show is 8,5 and it is Great, worth and enjoyable to watch.