「絶望の幕開け」 (Zetsubou no makuake)
“The Dawn of Despair”
Talk about ringing the New Year in with style. This season’s official start may not be for a few days yet, but Overlord apparently decided to get a head start and begin cashing in on the hype. Yes everyone’s favourite tale of skeletal domination is finally back for more, and no character was left out in this early feast for the eyes. It might have been an exposition-drenched return heavy on new faces, but lacking in Albedo (Hara Yumi)? Definitely not.
As anyone reading this probably already knows (and if you don’t go watch the first season, spoilers may be prominent hereafter), Overlord is the story of one kid trapped in a game world as his skeleton avatar Momonga (Hino Satoshi), otherwise known as Ainz. He doesn’t know why, doesn’t know if he is the only one, and has no firm idea where to start finding an explanation beyond conquering the world. For reasons. It was an intriguing twist on the well-worn SAO/Log Horizon-esque story, although I personally felt the first season was more teaser material and light novel advertisement than standalone show. Overlord certainly had its moments, particularly later on with Ainz’s fights against Clementine and Shalltear (Uesaka Sumire)—especially Shalltear—but for me it cut off just as things were getting good. Lo and behold then the surprise season two announcement which promised (if only partially) to fix those issues round one left behind.
While this episode is unlikely to change those of a similar mindset, it’s a good refresher overall for Overlord. All of the main cast makes an appearance in one shape or form, the soon to be critical political situation is succinctly described, and future developments teased in all their glory. In effect a good episode “0” not unlike Youjo Senki’s premiere; nothing new really given, but everything you could want to whet the appetite. Glorious Albedo preemptively proclaiming victory in the perpetual war for Ainz matrimony because Shalltear did a naughty? Damn right I’ll take all of that (and more cute drunk Shalltear too please and thank you). Still not sure how she intends on making a baby with a pile of bones, but really, who’s concerned about those superfluous details? It is slightly annoying how much time was given to new characters and secondary developments here (some entirely unconnected to previous events), but it’s arguably a suitable way to show Ainz’s growing influence and reach across the known world while teasing later developments. We won’t know how Overlord intends on adapting the upcoming arcs (and the importance of those lizards) until episode two, but I do know right now if mystery girl isn’t shown again I’ll be quite sad. Three girls in a free-for-all over skeletal baby-making? I can already taste the glorious catfight(s).
While we may have a bit of a wait for the next episode, you can be sure I’ll be back to see just what Overlord has planned for this season. Three episode rule or not, this one is being covered come hell or high water. After all, with MYTH&ROID doing the ED and Madhouse seemingly back in form, it’s only looking up for Overlord going forward. It’s about time to see just how fun this series can truly be.
Note: Please refrain from posting spoilers if possible. If you need to mention one use the spoiler tags, that’s what they’re there for. Any comments with untagged spoilers will be liberally edited as fair warning.
ED: 「HYDRA」by MYTH＆ROID