“PVP: Player vs. Player”

Alright be honest, who was actually surprised how things went this week. No? Really not? Yeah I thought so. It was pretty much a given how Overlord would choose to end things with this finale—i.e. setting up for even greater shenanigans later on—but there were certainly a few eyebrow raising morsels to spice up the smorgasbord. Gazef actually dying? Momon returning in a hilariously fitting role? El Nix finally understanding the true risk of his plan? We got all that and more (including everyone’s favourite little princess) as Overlord, for all intents and purpose, gets set to start exploring the world at large. Where the story goes from here is going to be the purview of the light novels for a while yet (if there’s ever a sequel), but you can bet when Ainz and friends come back, this little tale—and the scale of it—will be wilder than it ever was before.

Final Impressions

One way or another it’s hard to deny: Overlord has certainly shown its past two seasons just what makes it so damn popular. From standard-fare isekai into fully-fledged fantasy, the show has evolved in ways few of contemporaries ever have, delving deep into its tale of anti-heroic evil and and one man’s (skeleton’s?) pursuit of answers. It’s a show which has matured well in these past arcs, and while not devoid of issues, it’s one which has shown that not all isekai is necessarily made the same.

The defining trait of Overlord of course lies with Ainz and the show’s focus on his anti-heroism. From the start this was the show’s main selling point, it defined certain actions, gave a reason to watch it over similar isekai, and kept everyone on their toes to wait and see when Ainz would finally start doing the naughty (the other naughty). While the previous seasons sustained themselves without a hard focus on this (mostly on the back of world building and minor character development), eventually Ainz would have to go full evil and this season was arguably the best point for it. We had received all the fleshing out and premise-building beforehand, we got an understanding an emotional connection with Overlord’s world at large, all we needed was a real threat and like clockwork here comes Ainz to provide that threat in spades. It’s the ideal execution of a story focused hard on long-term development (and one likely not possible without all that buildup time), and while arguably cutting off just as things are really getting started, it’s to Overlord’s strength that little effort was spared in ensuring Ainz’s “awakening” would be as dramatic as possible.

Where there’s a problem with Overlord’s strategy though is in terms of longevity. For better or worse anti-heroes (or protagonist villains) are hit or miss, you’ll either love them or hate them with no middle ground, and Ainz accentuates the issue. Our spooky boy is not just evil, he’s evil without a counterweight; there’s no L to Ainz’s Kira, no Suzaku to this murderous Lelouch, just one lich who keeps on winning and winning and—you guessed it—winning. It can be wickedly fun to watch for the first bit, but everyone has a tolerance limit for this type of character and Overlord will eventually pass it overall. I’d personally argue it hasn’t at this stage considering the heavy focus on certain matters requiring character thought, intelligence, and strategy (ex. setting up Ainz’s country, infiltrating neighbouring foreign powers, the presence of side “filler” arcs), but soon Ainz will need someone capable of giving him a run for his money to keep things refreshing. Of course we may be building up to that considering the musing from the likes of El Nix, Gazef, and a few others this season, but until Ainz does meets his match, until a bit of effort has to be expended for Ainz Ooal Gown to come out victorious, this will remain one prominent concern dangling overhead.

Building off of this as well is one aspect with no room for excuse: visuals. While last season was never particularly stunning in terms of visuals, this one definitely was a letdown (particularly the latter half), with not only shoddy animation at times, but some horrendous use of 3D CGI negatively impacting certain key scenes. Whether or not computer animation is here to stay in anime matters not, one cannot deny stuff like this simply hurts the eyes to look at and negatively impacts the viewing experience. Now to be fair this matter isn’t entirely Madhouse’s fault (they are given a set budget and timeframe to work with after all), but considering Overlord’s popularity you’d imagine someone would want to throw a bit more money at this, at least enough to enhance what the light novels bring to the table. Anyone’s guess really, but without a doubt the choices made here hurt the show far more than they ideally should have.

In the end, however, Overlord this season easily did what it set out to do, warts and all: the story was advanced, Ainz’s true nature was brought to light, and the hint of even greater things to come successfully laid bare. A fourth season may or may not be coming anytime soon (and bets are on not considering that ending scene), but you can bet this series will be sticking around the collective conscious for a good while yet. No other isekai (at least in anime form) has successfully done what this one has so far, and until a competitor finally emerges from the vacuous nether, Overlord will remain a good example of just what’s possible with some writing chops and a little bit of imagination.


    1. https://randomc.net/image/Overlord%20III/Overlord%20III%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2022.jpg
      I wonder if Renner is a reincarnated person since she seems really smart, in the unnatural sense. She is probably the smartest political human in Overlord, though Demiuge may be smarter. I really can’t tell what is her “real” face.

      Notably, I will make a small unlikely prediction. The kingdom will use the Magic item that Ainz, somewhat gave to them in season 2.
      In order to get revenge on the slaughter of this season, the King and the Nobles will use the Armageddon Evil (Prototype) to destroy Ainz and E-Rantel, and it fails. Ainz will then declare he will destroy the Kingdom but Renner will give herself as a political hostage, Climb will naturally follow her to the Sorcerer Kingdom where Renner can choose to openly marry Climb (the brave knight who followed her to “hell.”) Renner will then say “just as planned.”

      1. This only works as long they do not “betray” Ainz-sama or they render useless for him with time

        If Ainz-sama would give his protection oath, like he done for the Maid, then only the betray from their side can break this up

  1. https://randomc.net/image/Overlord%20III/Overlord%20III%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2015.jpg
    I wonder if the Gilgamesh-looking character is laughing simply out of madness, which would make sense since the slaughter was bigger than he imagined and he unintentionally caused genocide. Or maybe he is laughing because he is thinking Ainz is too powerful and valuable as an ally and making an enemy out of him would be a HUGE mistake. This is me making a small joke in what the Emperor is possibly thinking – “I must now go to my treasury to get Ea and unleash Enuma Elish on Ainz!”

    Mommon – “No one would want to marry a woman like you!”
    Albedo- Hearing that from you doesn’t make me……cough.”

    Me- I am wondering what Albedo was going to say in that sentence.
    Anyway, It is obvious that Momon was Pandora’s actor. Albedo was blushing at Ainz, not Momon, meaning that Mommon was not Ainz. The plan was pure genius, get Mommon to be a “hero” to protect the weak, and Momon can prevent or “rat out” anyone planning rebellions, wondering if this was all Ainz’s long-term plan or just a coincidence.

    I don’t know when is next season, but I hope that Ainz is able to fight against Dragons. I am actually wondering what is that Dragon, from Episode 1 of season 2, doing now, is he sleeping?

    Notably, taking the second Prince as an example, I can imagine that many nobles (second born and so forth) are happy about whoever died in that slaughter.

    1. The strings of these here was surly all done from Demimurge… Remember what Ainz-sama was in the real world until he ended up in this World…

      Demimurge is the best candidate to “coup the etat” on Ainz-sama. But he is faithful loyal to him..
      Everybody would want some kind of Demimurge, the light and the dark. It is in how they use him

      1. Also if i lean way of of the windows.. Some “country first!” president is the same.. the Surrounding employers are the real one in charge. he is only an “dummy”

    2. “Mommon – “No one would want to marry a woman like you!”
      Albedo- Hearing that from you doesn’t make me……cough.”

      Me- I am wondering what Albedo was going to say in that sentence.”

      Probably a variation of the “I am the head of the guardians… You will not speak to me so lightly!” remark that she made when she first met Pandora’s Actor in the treasury in season one. I’m sure that “No one would want to marry a woman like you!” was a smart ass ad-lib by PA that wasn’t in the script that they had rehearsed.

      Kling Klang
    3. Last episode the Emp thought 2 things

      1. A magic caster can kill maybe 2-3k. Ainz killed 70k in the first stage then killed a lot more than that in the rampage of the adorable goats. He got it right and wrong. He was right in that Ainz will kill a lot of people. What he got wrong was the SCALE!

      2. If we cant’ beat him in strength, we can beat him with guile and manipulation. If the emperor wants a coalition of the willing to against Ainz, he done goffed. Why? Because:

      a) He was the one who wanted to start the war with the strongest magic. He shares the blame for the catastrophe. He wanted to showcase Ainz’s danger. Well, he got it. It’s like being the only country with a nuclear monopoly. Make ainz an enemy and his empire is squashed like a bug.

      b) Any other kingdom would more likely surrender to Ainz now rather than oppose him. The weak bow to the strong. So shall it be written. So shall it be done.

  2. Our spooky boy is not just evil, he’s evil without a counterweight; there’s no L to Ainz’s Kira, no Suzaku to this murderous Lelouch, just one lich who keeps on winning and winning and—you guessed it—winning.

    Here’s what I want to see going forward. I want to see Ainz Ooal Gown evolve. I want to see author argue through the narrative for a kind of unique “good” that only Ainz’s “evil” can produce. It could be said that Ainz’s “evil” actions stem not from any fundamental foulness within himself, but rather from emotional and moral non-conformity (being undead). And perhaps there is an argument for a more perfect form of justice that only one external to human social/moral norms may enforce as an absolute ruler. Perhaps the interplay between said human social/moral norms and Ainz’s own unique code of honor as ruler brings about an idiosyncratic, utopian equilibrium- culminating in an eternity of peace and prosperity under an immortal god-emperor. That would be a really interesting take. Sufficient groundwork has been laid to enable such future developments; this episode marks the beginning or Nazarick’s conquest of the alt-world.

    1. They actually touched upon the concept of justice in the current Paladin of the Holy Kingdom Arc in the LN. As twisted as the entire arc was, it does give a good argument on the relationship power and justice (ie how ideal justice becomes a handicap if you don’t have the power to back it up).

    2. Indeed, it’s all contingent on what Overlord’s author has planned next (or at least in the next light novel arcs). There is a good basis to explore some very interesting themes while having Ainz actually have to exert some effort to do so, but whether such things materialize is anyone’s guess. I hope so given what we’ve seen so far, but one never knows haha.

  3. Well, we must admit that Ainz-sama is now an strong 3rd Force in this World we know. Until know both countries where at war (perhaps the old thing from when it was an MMO), now both countries fear Ainz-sama.. Will we see an “the enemy of my enemy is my friend!?” ally? an Ally of both countries against Ainz-sama? or do he can keep both countries under his rule of fear?

    in some case you could compare it with “cold war” (at beginning) and the Iron curtain. just that no other beside Ainz-sama has the Nukes at hand..

  4. https://randomc.net/image/Overlord%20III/Overlord%20III%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2026.jpg
    “Punish one educate thousandth”

    In this case he did not killed this Boy to educate the Civilians and city what could happen if they really want to fight him…

    But perhaps if Ainz-samas enemy here will perhaps use Children against him… when i try to syncron with the Manga-kas way of thinking. This would slip even deeper then “All Hail Britania” dude and put Ainz-sama over the top

    Choose the path of the darkness. But do not cross the mindless massacre. What use is an Country or power if there is no one that “serves” him.. the goal of an Battle Royal is the same.. He would be all alone if the winner will look back

      1. Athena was that cruel though as they threatened to kill innocent villagers and chained hostages if Sparta would invade that country. Think it was the battle of sphacteria where athens pulled that one off.
        Think it was something along the lines of: If you invade here, these people will get killed straight away.
        First thing that came to mind though while i was thinking about it, so there might be more obvious and extreme examples…

      2. Greek gods where as entertaining to read about as they where cruel.

        Artemis for example turned someone in a deer for seeing her bathing, and let him be torn to shreds by his own dogs.
        The Arachne one with athena is a weird one as it doesn’t fit with most of her stories if you actually look up her stories.

  5. Our spooky boy is not just evil, he’s evil without a counterweight; there’s no L to Ainz’s Kira, no Suzaku to this murderous Lelouch, just one lich who keeps on winning and winning and—you guessed it—winning. It can be wickedly fun to watch for the first bit, but everyone has a tolerance limit for this type of character and Overlord will eventually pass it overall.

    Well put, Pancakes. This is defintiely my main gripe with Overlord. There’s no real challenge, no obstacle to be overcome, no conflict.

    The worst part? We know the series can do better.

    The first season was a perfect example. Ainz was already overpowered, but completely new to his role as an actual overlord. And when it seemed that nothing in the world could touch him or his minions, shock!, Shalltear is brainwashed and our protagonist is thrown into a situation where he could well die. He learns he’s not invulnerable and that there are things in this world that can hurt him.

    And… That’s it. It hasn’t become a plot point ever since.

    In fact, I’d say that the series has made sure that any other hint at a challenge is squashed the moment it appears. The Emperor’s plan (guile against raw power) was a great example: as soon as it’s shown, Demiurge is already deconstructing it. Oh, yes, I know that the “potential” for more artifacts and a certain dragon conspiring against Nazarick are out there, but that’s it. It’s only “potential” at this point.

    It also doesn’t help that Ainz gets more powers (ok, technically they are “revealed”, but let’s not kid ourselves: narratively speaking, it’s the same as if he magically acquired them) that are absurd even for a MMO. Artifacts that can summon entire armies? A spell that can kill 70,000 NPCs in one go? Time-stop? Seriously, what kind of MMO was that?

    1. Well, the only Hope we have is the owner of the World class Item that manipulated Shaltear.. But until now nothing

      I think that was an try to explain the fight between them, that slowly is getting out of hand now

    2. If there is any future Overlord anime in the future I really think this season will be the turning point. Either we get something which forces Ainz to have to fight like he did with Shalltear—i.e. still win, but not have it be easy—or we get cruise control victories with the only difference being who Ainz walks over. How Overlord’s author chooses to approach the story now (or at least in the yet to be published arcs) will determine its future success, because all protagonists need a good enemy every once in a while lest the issues cropping up here dominate.

      I think what makes it noticeable is your comment on the show’s capability to do more Mistic, we all know it has the potential, so seeing Overlord kind of neglect this aspect in favour of quick release is slightly concerning. We’ll just have to see what the future holds.

      1. Best example (for me): One Men Punch

        In the start he was the only one OP.. He did even not sweet a little.. Sure the manga had his fans, but more joined when “One men Punch” grow larger and stronger enemy’s appeared

      2. oh.. well i try some other Mind Picture:

        – right now Ainz-sama is an Pop idol

        – But what will happen if “overlord” goes AKB48? of course not that man, but you get my gist?

      3. @Worldwidedepp
        Yes, One Punch Man is a good example. Saitama remained as powerful as ever, but not only he got better opponents, his supporting cast took the spotlight. We could see them struggle for real, having to hold the line in meaningful ways, and be glad that Saitama was there to save the day in the end.

        However, that reveals another problem in Overlord: Nazarick’s supporting cast is almost as overpowered as Ainz himself. The struggling, sympathetic cast are actually their opponents… and they don’t stand a chance.

  6. Hopefully the wait for season 4 isn’t a long one. Some studios seem to be announce recap movies before announcing further seasons, at least from what I’ve seen. That’s something to look out for as Madhouse have two seasons to recap the heck out of for $$.

    1. well if they did do a movie am prolly guessing it’s vol. 10 (as it’s bascially an aftermath report of vol. 9 + some foreshadowing). S4 would ideally cover Vol. 11 (dwarf kingdom) + Vol. 12 and 13 (paladin of the the holy kingdom arc)

      1. I think the only movies we’ll see will be recaps, with maybe some bonus footage as they did this before. It’s a good way for studios to raise some cash and get the show some exposure before releasing further seasons.

    2. All depends on Overlord’s continued popularity I think. If the franchise levels off or starts faltering with later volumes I can easily see the plug being pulled over a fourth season. We’re only going to get one if the producers believe it will sustain and grow light novel sales.

      1. The BDs have sold reasonably well so Madhouse should be happy enough, but if they ever decide to drop the show after season 4, I’d imagine another studio would pick it up. Four seasons is remarkable for any show and there’s likely another studio out there which would see the value in continuing. I remember this happening a few times with shows when the original studio drops and another picks up later down the line.

  7. There was a blurb at the end that said “The Story Continues”

    Gazeff’s death…what a waste. Ainz at least made his death swift and painless.

    Now the Emperior realizes the scale of power he is dealing with. More an intelligent WMD than anythihg a medieval human can see.

    If there’s someone who can oppose Ainz directly, it will have to be another player. The floor guardians can do it but their loyalty is firm to Ainz.

  8. I was expecting maybe a big set-piece battle between Gazeff and Ainz, but of course the difference in their powers was off the scale and so it was over in an instant, or at least that’s how it would have appeared to the bystanders. The thing that really got me, though, was what happened next, with Ainz reverently lowering Gazeff’s body to the ground in something almost reminiscent of a pietà. Although Papa Bones’ visage may be emotionless, his actions demonstrated if not sorrow then at least regret at killing Gazeff.

    1. Ainz supporting Gazeff’s body as he falls forward and lay him on the ground is actually a sign of respect towards his opponent. He was not regretting his action. He just felt like a waste for a person who caught his interest to die just like that.

    1. With how atrocious CG was in the last 2 episodes, I don’t think there were any corners left to cut for them… Animation quality took such hit in this season in makes me question the point of making it at all. If something looks so bland at best or so terrible at usual, why even bother. I feel like Madhouse ruined its brand with this season of OL (not like S2 was building on it but still…).

  9. A couple of questions:

    I thought that the Empire/Kingdom war took place during the harvest time, aka autumn, but now Renner and Climb are picking spring flowers.

    I really don’t understand what Ainz gains from taking over E-Rantel. His new palace and throne room are much less impressive than Nazarick and he has the headache of governing a city of humans. Now Pandora’s Actor will need to spend the majority of his time impersonating Momon keeping order in the city just as Cocytus is tied up with the lizardmen and Lupusregina Beta with Carne Village.

    Kling Klang
    1. Empire/Kingdom war usually took place during winter but Kingdom/Ainz war happened took place during winter. When Sorcerer King’s procession enters E-Rantel, it was in early spring as Re-Estize Kingdom requires time to ‘prepare’ E-Rantel before officially hand it over to Sorcerer Kingdom.

      E-Rantel just happens to be near Nazarick and also the base for Dark Hero Momon. Them taking over E-Rantel is to establish Sorcerer Kingdom and announce to the world of their presence and power. And also act as a beacon if there is any of Ainz’s guildmate whom was in similar situation as him.

      Ainz have Albedo and Demiurge to think about complicated stuff about governing. Each Ainz’s subordinate have their own responsibilities in hope that they can grow and further improve themselves.

    1. I doubt it. Ainz seemed pretty respectful of the duel and Gazef, even letting the humans keep a World Item that can theoretically kill him. Ainz is no good guy, but rules of PvP seem sacred to him.

    2. Well Gazef’s corpse is back in his land.. He need to get his hand on the corpse and lets see what is left from Mother Nature doing with an dead body and perhaps already buried

  10. https://randomc.net/image/Overlord%20III/Overlord%20III%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2014.jpg
    I am actually curious if these “goats” are a permanent existence or if they are only temporary. In this episode Ainz did say that these “goats” can destroy the kingdom when certain days have passed, so I stumped by what he said about the previous episode “it seems a waste to send them away.” Anyone know where are the the “goats” now?

    Based on someone’s report, some knights were either injured or killed because of panic.

    1. Just wanted to add, if any of the Empire’s knights did die, possibly from being scared to death, I would find it tragically funny that their death is considered KIA. If Valhalla existed, in the Overlord world, then the Empire’s knights would probably be taken there out of pity.

      1. Well based around on the LN vol .10 The the knights that died due to getting trampled to death by their own allies due to the panicked running were around 100+, around 3000+ though were resigning their posts + a couple dozen who developed mental disorders after being exposed to the dark young.

        Kingdom’s casualties though were 160,000+ casualties among the conscripts, several prominent heads of noble houses of both factions and their immediate heirs were also killed. Majority of the conscripts survivors also got PTSD from the battle. Marquis Revant survived but withdrew from Politics and stayed in his fief.

        Am also curious if the Dark young are permanent existences, hope the Author answers that question one day XD

  11. Ah! the Time Stop. Baldurs Gate fans will instantly recognize this awesome spell… there was nothing like casting improved alacricity followed by time stop and (with small help from amulet of power and robe of vecna) going thru every spell in your spellbook to watch even mightiest enemies fall down when time resumed… or as mage-fighter just unleashing melee power on the hapless opponent.
    I think that with Empire de-facto vassalized and Re-estize Kingdom weakened by defeat, loss of E-rantel and loss of the crown prince, next logical step in conquest would be to turn his attentions to the Theocracy which already managed to unwittingly mess with Ainz in the first season. I wonder how will religious fanatics react to having their pitiful magics totally outclassed by someone who by all means is akin to living god?
    Dragons are wildcard that yet has to be played, supposedly being the strongest critters of the world, but I presume even they will be hardly challenge for the Sorcerer King.
    If there would be one being that could challenge Ainz as equal it would have to be another player… and it would be have someone of as equal power, which is not guaranteed…
    Of course one of his guildmates who created one of the floor guardians would be perfect for that role cause this would immediately create a loyalty crisis in the Nazarick forces… apart from Albedo whose loyalty was “overwritten”.

  12. I can’t help but wonder/hope that this’ll be one of those shows that gets so many scenes so polished that the BD release is unrecognizable from the broadcast version.

    Some of the CGI work–esp. the shading–is laughably bad, and can really only be explained by crunch time.

    1. I’d gladly take it, but I don’t think it will, if the producers were unwilling to shell out at the start for good animation it’s unlikely they’d do so after the fact once audience impressions had been formed.

    1. I really liked the video. I have always felt he treated this world like a game, it explains many of his actions. He may seem omnipotent and op right now, but this whole series has been slowly taking its time to develop the world, so I am not sure he will stay that way forever.

  13. Overlord has similar problems to Superman stories; the main character is so powerful that few things can really threaten him. If they introduce a weakness of some sort, then the weakness will be done to death just so that the main character can be physically threatened.

    Minor thematic spoilers ahead, nothing specific:

    Subsequent Overlord chapters tend to give the focus to other characters and Ainz’s interactions with them. Unsurprisingly now that he is an actual monarch, Ainz must learn actual rulership to some degree since he cannot lean on Albedo and Demiurge all the time. Volume 10 and Volume 11 in particular have Ainz thinking more like a salesman than a conqueror with a much stronger comedic tone than Volume 9 (granted that is not saying much).

    Volumes 12 and 13 have Ainz trying to follow someone else’s script much like the scenario in the later parts of Volume 6. Another individual is the point of view character for much of the arc, again not unlike the Men in the Kingdom arc of Volumes 5 and 6.

    The strongest parts of Overlord I think are the arcs where we explore the world reacting the Ainz or Ainz acting more like a pseudo-parent to the denizens of Nazarick. Basically when Overlord is more of a character focused show as opposed to Peasant: the Splattening. And that is exactly what the subsequent novels are so here’s to hoping that Overlord keeps going strong for a Season 4.

  14. Guys!!!!

    I know you are not doing it on purpose and just want to help. But because this is the Season 3 ending episode the Anime only viewers here do not need the spoiling from the Manga.

    So pretty please (and an anchor of Randomc over the years) use spoiler tags if you want to help out

    Thank you!

    an RandomC veteran and friend

  15. Hmmmm….
    Main character that always wins…
    Many female characters that surround him and adore him…
    A fantasy video game world….
    Kirito is that an evil version of you??

    DarkRios III
    1. it is not a game-world that turns into a reality like SAO, but a genuine parallel world. One that has Yggdrasil(game)’s influence but also has some original technique that cant be copied by nazarickians(Ancient Magic. Fluder briefly mentions this during ep 9). Remember Ainz’s remark about gazef’s sword? thats because that sword doesnt conform to game’s mechanic
      And those 3 point of yours is too overused by now in isekai/VRMMO genre, and the first 2 point isnt even worth mentioned(fucking harem tho!)

      1. A later volume of the LN reveals a character, that Ainz calls, “The Administrator”. He’s able to affect the game world’s reality like changing the properties of items, removing or adding character levels, changing the topography, etc. He’s also shown to be completely invulnerable. The implication is that he is the game’s administrator from his dialogue with Ainz about how he checks in from time to time to see Ainz’s progress.


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