Overlord (Ōbārōdo) is a Japanese dark isekai anime series adapted from the manga with the same name. This supernatural adventure series is written by Kugane Maruyama and illustrated by so-bin.
The series follows the story of diehard gamer Momonga and his adventures when he finds himself trapped inside a Dive Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (DMMORPG) right after the creators shut it down for good.
Madhouse’s adaptation currently consists of 3 seasons with a total of 39 episodes. The scriptwriter for the fantasy series revealed that there is a strong possibility for the production of a fourth season.
1. Quick Review
In the distant future, a DMMORPG called YGGDRASIL is released to the public and becomes an instant hit owing to its highly realistic virtual interaction. After a successful decade-long run, the game is set to close its doors permanently.
The series focuses on Momonga, a highly skilled players of this game who wishes to relish the game in its final hours of existence. In the game, he is the master of a dark guild and a powerful wizard, Ainz Ooal Gown.
As a final farewell, he decides to stay logged in to the game until it is out of his reach forever. When zero hour arrives, Momonga’s life as he knew it is changed forever. He finds that the game hasn’t shut down; instead YGGDRASIL has become his new reality consisting of its usual non-player characters and he is now his official gaming character.
With no option of logging out or contacting his online friends, Momonga sets out to learn more about the world he is trapped in and find out if anyone else from the real is stuck in the game with him.
Overlord succeeds in escaping the clutches of becoming a run-of-the-mill “stuck in a video game” isekai by putting an unforeseen spin on the protagonist’s character. The refreshing take on an overused concept will leave you hooked to every episode.
2. Info Card
OverlordAir Date: July 7, 2015 Status: Airing Studio: Madhouse No. of Seasons: 4 No. of Episodes: 41
3. Is it worth watching?
The series is a good choice for action enthusiasts who live for brutal fight scenes and can tolerate the use of some profanities. Having said that, Overlord paints a unique picture accompanied by some well-constructed characters.
The creators succeed in building a world that feels whole due to their attention to the side characters and some excellent voice acting that really brings the characters to life.
The wonderful artwork with respect to character design triumphs in maintaining the impression of the DMMORPG world that is being created in the show.
In the final moments before its permanent shut down, a virtual game called YGGDRASIL traps dedicated gamer Momonga in its simulated world. The plot follows Momonga’s journey through the game as tries to figure out the reason behind his virtual imprisonment and search for fellow gamers who may share a similar fate.
The animation works wonders in creating fluid and life-like movements for the characters, especially the skeletons. The complete 180 turn of the main characters’ personality from the first episode when compared to the rest of the series is an intriguing development to witness.
Momonga a.k.a Lord Ainz
Momonga is the main protagonist of the series.
In the virtual world of YGGDRASIL he goes by the name of Ainz Ooal Gown, a powerful wizard and master of a dark guild. His online character has the appearance of a skeleton devoid of skin and flesh. At the beginning of the series, we can see that Momonga is innocent young man who is truly dedicated to the game and is sad to have to let it go.
When he realizes that he is stuck in the game, his online character slowly begins to take a hold of him as he embodies the Overlord which brings along with it a completely different personality.
She is one of the main character in the series and a non-player character in YGGDRASIL.
We come across Albedo in the first episode. It is through her that Momonga learns that the gaming world has become his reality as she is now able to speak to him and appears to be a real person with a pulse and realistic emotions. Her character seems extremely loyal to Ainz and is willing to do anything for him.
- Location: The entire series takes place in a massive multiplayer online role playing game called YGGDRASIL.
- Animation: The Overlord series started off with some exquisite 2D animation with the introduction of a few 3D-looking monsters. As the series progressed the heavy use of CGI animation becomes apparent but it fails to meet the superior standars set by the initial 2D animation.
- Artwork: The character and background art in the series is sketched in a realistic style as can be seen by the character’s body proportions. The art is full of color and remarkable details that breathes life into the series.
IV. Theme Songs
- Opening theme songs:
|Title||Original Artist||Genre||Episodes||Watch Links|
|“Go Cry Go”||OxT||J-Pop, Rock||14-26||Youtube|
|“Voracity”||Myth & Roid||Alternative Rock||27-39||Youtube|
The highlight among the list of great opening themes is Clatanoia by OXT. It’s a great way to start the series off with an intense beat that can only be arranged by the wildly talented Tom Hack. The visuals act as a means to introduce the various characters of the season and increases the viewer’s anticipation.
- Ending theme songs:
|Title||Original Artist||Genre||Episodes||Watch Links|
|“L.L.L.”||Myth & Roid||Alternative Rock||1-13||YouTube|
|“Hydra”||Myth & Roid||Alternative Rock||14-26||YouTube|
|“Silent Solitude”||OxT||J-Pop, Rock||27-39|
The ending theme songs produce the same intensity as the openers and is accomapnied by some amazing instrumentals. The visuals in “L.L.L” focuses on Albedo’s character.
- Original Sound Track (OST): The OSTs have a recurring dark undertone which is perfectly suited to the mood of the series. The beautiful music by Shuji Katayama transports you to a realm of fantasy with his orchestral symphonies. The most memorable OST is Ōbārōdo – shi no shihai-sha (Overlord – Ruler of death)
- Background score: The fight scenes have some of the most intense background music that is delivered with a great sense of timing which increased the intensity of the fight scenes and overall suspense in the series.
- Sound effects: Right from creaking doors to the marching of a skeleton army, the sound department deserves praise for the great sound effects used throughout the show. Similar to background music, timing is key when it comes to sound effects and Overlord delivers beyond expectations.
- Voice Acting: Voice acting can make or break a character and plays a crucial role in bringing the characters to life. The non-player characters in the series have distinct voices that flawlessly match their personalities.
V. Action Sequences
The series fight scene displays some excessive violence with blood and gore. In other words, the fight scenes are brutal. In other words, the series wasn’t overloaded with censored scenes which plays out great for action lovers but not so much for those who can’t stand violence and obscene language.
Breaking down the action, the battle scenes are incredible. We witness sword fights and magic duels in this fictional gaming world, accompanied by music that takes the entire scene to new heights.
4. Grade: 4 out of 5
5. Final Thoughts
The Overlord series official trailer ends with an interesting quote “He’s not trapped with them, they’re trapped with him.” This one line sets the story apart from the rest of its kind as it unfolds the out-of-the-box concept of the series. The story, characters, sound and art played their part perfectly in bringing the show together. The animation, though a little shaky towards the final season, does not take away from this remarkable dark fantasy.