「旅立ち」 (Tabidachi)

If there was ever a moment for Overlord to split opinions hard, this would be it. Tales of an OP skeleton and his increasingly assertive wife harem? Who needs that, have some anthropological lizardmen studies and a bit of penguin chicanery for brevity instead. Albedo tomfoolery, Shalltear sorrow, hell even giant hamster riding? That can assuredly wait, right now we’re talking about the important stuff.

All playful joking aside, however, Overlord’s choice of adaptation right now is certainly a divisive one. The lizardmen arc is one of the series’ notably weaker stories, focused heavily on material largely isolated from the main cast whose main benefactor is one of the more unlikely candidates. It’s the sort of thing one would expect an adaptation to quickly gloss over in favour of the good stuff (i.e. the big climactic fights), letting any interested viewer pick up the source material if interested in the nitty gritty. Such a strategy isn’t even hard to implicitly understand (i.e. avoids potential viewer boredom), but sometimes expansive secondary development can still prove effective. The Chimera Ants from HxH—particularly the King and Komugi—for example show how impactful side stories can become with proper fleshing out, attention to detail, and tie in with more main characters. These narrative off-tangents may be unimportant to the central premise, but offer as much (if not more) payoff.

The question therefore for Overlord at the moment is how narratively effective its side story is/will be. Light novel readers (and those who read all the spoilers) obviously know what’s coming in the next episode or two and how all this disparate material ties in with Ainz and crew, but what about anime only viewers? Will the payoff for them be enough to make up for all the buildup? Personally I’m not so sure yet. While it may be hilarious watching reptile courtship—and that dubstep video destined tail pounding—cranked up to 11 alongside some bloody pragmatic and realistic discussions on inter-tribal survival, it’s not the sort of story Overlord the adaptation is known to tell. Considering the focus on Ainz and his floor guardians prior, suddenly telling the lizardman perspective story of a lizard hero’s quest to save his people is strange when many viewers are already accustomed to getting things from the viewpoint of the spookiest of scary skeletons. It’s certainly debatable that these developments would have been better off adapted differently given the format, but until we see how Overlord handles what comes next, it’s a preemptive argument. Given the series’ penchant for showing how various groups come to meet and interact with our glorious pile of magical bones, seeing how Ainz and his chosen executor choose to deal with the lizardmen is half the fun, and all the development this week will factor into that response one way or another. No way of knowing yet if the payoff will make up for the buildup, but I’m optimistic it will easily do so.

After all Overlord may be a little too slow burning in spots, but when it promises a fight we always get one, and one way or another it never lacks for entertainment. Don’t give up hope here yet boys and girls, this show—and all the albino lizard love—is just getting started.


ED Sequence


  1. I don’t like that most monsters race in Japanese fantasy series don’t have much culture or uniqueness that make them stand out. Most monster races i see in japanese fantasy seem all live in tribal society ( live in hut, mostly are hunter and gatherer). Compare this to something like Warhammer fantasy, in which they compiled an existed culture with a monster race( Mayan/Inca+ Lizardmen+ dinosaurs= awesome) make them have more personality than just a standard fantasy race.

    Saurus Warrior
    1. It’s true for most fantasy though. A lot of the time monster races are tribal because it’s an easy way to differentiate them from the more relatable races (humans, elves, dwarves, etc.). Basically why put serious effort into characters and people most audience members likely care little about? Overlord is arguably one of the few to actually try and flesh the idea out rather than simply leave it as iron age primitives living in huts.

      1. I work in a book store i can tell you the light novels up to 5 are out right now and 6 will be out at the end of the month. And the versions you find on line are badly translated frequently i would get the actual book its better plus has the art and other stuff -its also a hard cover.

      2. The fan translations that came out before Overlord was licensed were done by a really good translator. The quality is easily professional level, maybe even better than the industry standard as some “official” translations have errors that passionate fans don’t make. Of course you should totally buy the official releases if you can and they are quality products, but don’t shit you dare shit on fan translators. Granted quality DOES vary from person to person and not all of them are good.

    1. I believe so too (I’m one of those that read the spoilers :P), but I’m hesitant that those in the dark may see and appreciate how buildup works in the greater scheme of things.

      TV is a lot different from the written word, we implicitly expect things to happen “faster” because we cannot skip through the fat (i.e. turning the page). Depending on how the showdown goes next episode or after, it may have been worthwhile for Overlord to have trimmed down on some of the lizardman exposition in favour of a more exhilarating climax.

  2. The Lizardmen: The Battle of the Five Armies

    I’m sorry for the lizardmen, because we all know that this is a lost cause; the Overlord of the Ring, as the MC, simply won’t be destroyed by them.

    The suffocated
  3. Well, side story are effective if you can build sympathy for the characters otherwise it’s just a waste of time. Judging from the comments around, this wasn’t accomplished.
    Now maybe they unintentionally created hate for them and hopefully we will all find enormous joy seeing them suffer an horrible and painful death soon since it will mean this incredibly boring arc has finished…

    And to all saying it is following the source faithfully, we are talking of 13 episodes and the aim should be to create a product as much enjoyable as possible as that will affect the chance that more novels may be animated. We are not talking of One Piece where you can be sure everything will be adapted.

    1. Right now I think it’s a case of not being creative enough with the adaptation. The arc could have been faithfully adapted and still kept interesting per say by potentially interspacing the lizard scenes with more from Ainz Ooal Gown characters—for better or worse Ainz and friends are what got a lot of people into this series.

      I believe the anger will dissipate once the payoff arrives though, especially once we get into next arc. There’s too much tasty stuff ahead to really abandon hope just yet.

  4. I actually quite like the Lizardmen lore. The lore itself is good and well thought out, but more importantly it sets the actual feel of the setting to me. The very pragmatic views the people in this world need to embrace in order to survive tells a lot about it.

    It also makes a question of how Nazarick will resolve this. Will they kill the Lizardmen, will they reach ĆStatus Quo, will Nazarick make the life better for them in the end? The outcome would decide what kind of characters Nazarick’s cast are for the rest of the story.

  5. Um, yeah, couldn’t they have cut it shorter without the meetings of the tribe chiefs and just show the result of all 5 clans standing together?
    OTOH considering the buildup it would be boring if this ended up with them simply getting crushed by Nazarick, so it will probably play out differently, I guess.

  6. I honestly REALLY LIKED the Lizardmen as a group and an entirely different perspective for this arc in the manga, and a lot of people seem to think the same! Yes, it does make a big departure from the cast we’ve followed so far, even if it has importance towards the way things pan out in the long run; but although they weren’t that complex, I find them compelling. It’s logically expected to be a divisive arc, but if the anime does it well, then to some people at least it should be a cool one.

  7. I loved the military understanding that if the enemy is giving your all going to die warning the enemy is not lying the enemy knows your strength and is sending a force they think powerful enough to achieve the desired result. So the hard choice is to offer a defense primarily expecting that defense to cull enough numbers that those fleeing can survive. In the hope of rare luck or enemy bluff, this defense also can win. This combined with prior trible actions were interesting and real politic.
    I quite enjoyed the culture, politics and mating habits of the lizardmen.
    I love to have set up on fights. Slow movements then fast then slow again is a winning formula in many works but one must develop the patience to enjoy the slow as well as the fast.
    One Punch Man is actually an example of slow then fast just that the pace is contained inside of each episode. One Punch except rare occasions is going to win in a second, Genos is going to lose fast. So in one Punch normal domestic life and villain development make up the slow.

    1. The realpolitik was incredibly surprising in a show like this, most of the time the story just comes down to heroics and a massive charge or stalwart defense (ex. Lord of the Rings) against a superior foe. Doubly amazing though was that talk on cannibalism and death by evacuation, I’ve never seen attention to such logistical aspects outside of certain fiction books. For such throwaway characters the entire discussion was seriously captivating.

      What matters now, however, is that the inevitable showdown properly capitalizes on all this material. Slow pacing can work, but it needs a big enough boom at the end to dazzle the eyes and make you forget all the time spent getting to that point.

    1. Yeah, iirc she’s some sort of sociopath or something. Surprising that they put it in the ED this early when it wasn’t made fully clear to readers until sometime afterward.

    2. She isn’t a sociopath though, that much is sure going by the LN…
      It would be more accurate to say she is a psychopath as she does feel remorse at times while a sociopath is incapable of that.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. I think the leading hypothesis right now is volume 8 just being entirely passed over, except for certain parts which may work as brief flashbacks for example. Of course that all depends on if we even get a season 3 😛

    1. Three reasons:

      1. To check how well his armies will do against enemies of this world – Ainz does love experimenting
      2. To collect soldiers by killing the lizards and reviving them into the Undead. Lizardman skeletons are probably also stronger than human due to claws, tails, and bigger physique
      3. When you are an expanding Empire, you naturally first attack the weak neighbors. The Lizardmen tribes are weak, and thus a perfect target to start your conquests

      But really, it is just what evil Overlords do.

  8. The biggest problem is how pointless the Lizardman Arc is. It adds nothing to the overall story, the character development is relatively small and Show Spoiler ▼


    As the ED might imply, the characters of the Kingdom like the Princess and her bodyguard play central roles in many future arcs. They are strong supporting characters who become significant later on.

    The subsequent arc, the Men in the Kingdom arc, does more or less set up the template for many of the future arcs; one or more personalities of Nazarick are heavily involved in events and get some shiny character development along the way. However the story revolves around someone else or another group.

    For example, the Men in the Kingdom Arc has excellent characterization for Sebas, as you might expect of him picking up that blonde pseudo meido.

    We also get to see Show Spoiler ▼

    in action for the first time as well as the return of a certain “hero”.

    The next big, multi-volume arc may never be animated but it is easily one of my favourites. It features the founding of the Show Spoiler ▼

    and Papa Bones himself gets plenty of of development. The POV character however is Show Spoiler ▼

    who is a human rather than a denizen of Nazarick. The current ongoing arc, that of the Holy Paladin seems to be cut from the same cloth.

  9. The more material from the early light novels they adapt, they longer the anime will go before getting bogged down in ‘teh evulz’ the later novels suffered from, so I’m all for this lizardman arc.

  10. Yeah gonna have to bail out, this part of the serious really made me sick to my stomach and threw away the whole charm of the story.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. You’re silly, that’s like being upset that Book of the Dead in The Evil Dead is raising the dead, what the hell is he suppose to do? He’s a max level skeleton Overlord, she’s gonna have to make damn skeletons out of something

    2. Hum, Ainz’s slow descent into true Lichhood is one of the best parts of Overlord though! The way it sneaks up on you is really something. Show Spoiler ▼

  11. Even if the story is not focused in Ainz and the rest of Nazarik right now, I must say it is truly fascinating to watch as the series expands the world it has been slowly building ever since season 1. I find myself caring for all those poor lizarmen and it pains because it´s obvious they don´t stand a chance in hell against Nazarik, even more so if Ainz decides to crash the party.

  12. It is a mistake to refer to the lives of the natives outside the glory of the Great Tomb as side stories.
    Lord Ainz is the central character; he is not always the protagonist (often, in fact, he is the antagonist), central, or linking, character is something entirely different from “main character.” Yes, Lord Ainz is often the protagonist, and he is the character who links all the individual story threads together, but those threads follow the exploits and trials of several compelling characters, all dealing with the rise of Nazerick…it would be a horrible mistake to just focus on The Great Tomb of Nazerick effortly bulldozing helpless, nameless, background characters; the whole point of making the traditionally villainous characters sympathetic is the depth it adds to a story; turning their victims into unsympathetic fodder defeats the purpose. Overlord deftly avoids that trap; this is one of the few franchises you will ever see where you honestly feel for both sides in a conflict, and that is definitely part of the reason Overlord won so many devoted fans over the years, while “safer” but ultimately forgettable imitations got quicker adaptations.
    Overlord stands out a an adventure story that will be remembered…and if you new fans remember, many of you found the first two episodes of last season “slow” as well, and thought they were a distraction, but in retrospect most of you see why they were necessary. The Lizardman Heroes might be considered the “weakest” story arc, by some, but it prepares you for understanding the scope of the rest of the story. One of the chief complaints about season one was the large number of compelling characters introduced, who you never get to see more of…soon we will get to see characters like Coycutus and (fan-favorite) Sebas, and more importantly, we see Lord Ainz, not only from his point-of-view, but from that of his worshipers, and foes. Rather than falling into the traps that so many stories with overpowered, or villainous, protagonists face, Overlord manages to preserve what makes Lord Ainz a compelling character that we keep wanting to spend more time with, even though most of the stories are from his point-of-view.
    Enjoy the stories in Overlord with other protagonists; it wouldn’t be the same story without them.

  13. I actually loved the lizardmen story, it is not often we get to see the fanatasy world thru eyes of non-humanoid races (elves, dwarves, all get their fair share of stories, but lizardmen?)
    And since their story will certainly affect the denizens of Tomb of Nazrick – if only because how they all vie for attention of Einz, and Cocytus has opportunity to show hismelf as capable or be saddled with failure – the lizardmen story is not completely irrelevant.

  14. I actually like this focus on the lizardmen. It fleshes out the world without dumping exposition-no-jutsu on our faces, showing and not telling.

    Plus the whole point of Overlord was non-human races being as valid as human races at a chance at life. I do enjoy it.


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