「蜘蛛に絡められる蝶」 (Kumo ni Karame Rareru-chou)
“Butterfly Entangled in a Spider’s Web”
It may not be much of a surprise when you know what’s coming, but that doesn’t mean the surprise cannot still be entertaining. From the simplicities of bashing ogre heads in before to some ingenious methods of torture this week Overlord flexed a bit more of its imagination muscle, showing that even the most time honoured fantasy traditions still have some room for (heh) exploration.
While part of my love for this episode may stem from the fact I’m currently working through a Tomb Kings campaign in Total War: Warhammer (nothing says satisfaction like watching skeletons absolutely wreck mortal face), there’s no denying a portion of the fun was the sheer maniacal variety on display in Nazarick. We got a standard fare fight, torture in the guise of physical health (note to self, avoid kidney stones), and one hilarious beat down courtesy of everyone’s favourite pet hamster. Oh and the ultimate coliseum showdown of epic evil, but that’s for next week. Overpowered characters and premises always work best when either treated as farce/parody or carousel of chaos showing the boundless limits of said power, which Overlord (given its serious nature) managed well by embracing the latter. Sure it may not be the best example considering the number of throwaway characters on display and time spent beforehand developing them (if only slightly), but as simple fun and games the event certainly did the trick. Who after all isn’t satisfied seeing one little blondie get the comeuppance he rightfully deserved? I’ll laugh if those elves of his wind up being the sole survivors of the entire expedition.
Beyond base theatrics, however, also lies the more sinister nature of Ainz’s scheme. This is arguably the first time for example that the horrors of Nazarick have been revealed in any serious capacity (beyond a few previous moments), with insects and our aforementioned “medical specialist” showing a little of what lies behind the grandiose veneer. For all of Ainz’s actions in peaceful coexistence (ex. last arc), there’s a significant depth of work actively using and abusing all manner of mortal life for Ainz Ooal Gown’s objectives. These poor Worker bastards let in were never meant to get out alive as openly attested to, intended instead to fuel the fires of experimentation and negotiation both. There is remember a purpose beyond simply letting Albedo and Hamsuke prove their worth in allowing strangers into Nazarick, a reason Ainz (well, Demiurge) intends on leveraging into the start of some nation building. How of course is anyone’s guess right now, but as with all things Overlord I imagine we’ll find out in detail before too long.
Right after watching Ainz beat some poor defenseless faces in of course; it just wouldn’t do to talk about politics on an empty stomach.