OP: 「GO CRY GO」by OxT
「集う、蜥蜴人」 (Tsudou, Rizaadoman)
“Lizard Men, Gathering”
While Overlord may be attracting its fair share of disappointment of late, I think the “worst” of it is now behind us. Sure Ainz remains a godly enigma floating around the edges and the Albedo baby rabies is nowhere in sight (for better or worse…mostly worse), but part of what makes Overlord fun was finally back on full display. Talkative development, roundhouse strategizing? Nothing a little head bashing and Palpatine Force lightning cannot patch over.
Arguably one of the reasons Overlord’s lizard arc splits opinions so hard is that its payoff is not immediately apparent. We spent over an episode on pure dialogue serving to build up a group of characters with no direct attachment to the familiar cast. It was a curveball out of left field, upending the familiar and causing most to simply question “why?” Well the reason was finally made clear. As the focus on Cocytus this week showed, the lizardmen and their fight exist to test Ainz’ most arthropodous of floor guardians. Fully fleshing out Zaryusu and revelling in the inner workings of tribal lizard politics? Designed to give depth to the mental wrangling Cocytus is going through. All will be made clear next week (hopefully), but those familiar with the first season—and the keen eyed here—likely remember Cocytus as being the warrior of the bunch. He’s relatively simple-minded, holding honour and loyalty up above all and seeing failure on his part or others as a direct affront to Ainz. Any order from best skeleton is to be obeyed with little questioning because Ainz is never wrong and changes to his words could bring defeat. Thus the purpose of this arc. Ainz’ hope is to ultimately instill some independence in his underling, to get him to question and never consider all commands as sacrosanct. Maybe the lizardman don’t all have to die, maybe they might better serve Ainz Ooal Gown in a different capacity—this is arguably what Ainz meant for Cocytus to consider after setting him up to lose.
While certainly debatable how needed last episode was in terms of this purpose, it’s hard denying all the focus on lizards worked in uniquely defining them. In the face of annihilation the tribes still banded together and presented a united front; they fought to win and organized themselves to that effect. When presented with a powerful enemy the lizardmen’s most skilled leaders faced him head on with no thought to surrender. Unlike many of the nameless enemies with singular purposes typically found in similar shows, here the lizardmen had a raison d’etre beyond simply stonewalling the protagonist(s). It may be a simple purpose overall (i.e. collective survival), but the intent of it sharply differed from Cocytus’ mission, who for all intents and purposes was the nameless baddie trying to ruin the good guys’ day. Ainz and company after all are supposed to be the evil ones of this story, they’re supposed to put the primal fear into all they come across. Without the lizardmen and their perspective to properly show Ainz Ooal Gown’s evil ways, such an aspect could have easily been lost amidst all the other comings and goings of Ainz and crew. The past couple of weeks may have been imperfect development deviating away from expectations, but they arguably did their job in showing what Overlord is really all about.
All that remains now is to show what happens when you upset the supposed plans of the world’s most powerful set of bones. Think those lizardman will get off easy now that Cocytus’ lesson has been taught? Think again you sweet summer child, the spooky scary skeleton isn’t that nice. The reptilian
suffering fun and games hasn’t even started yet.