Original Run: January 9, 2018 - April 3, 2018 Number of Episodes: 13 Genre: Action, Fantasy, Isekai Based on the Series Created By: Kugane Maruyama and so-bin
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Overlord II. Reader discretion is advised.***
The Supreme Leader of the Great Tomb of Nazarick, Ainz Ooal Gown (voiced by Satoshi Hino), continues his quest to spread his name and discover other potential players from Yggdrasil. Having set the necessary groundwork, Lord Ainz and Nazarick look to their next move – open war.
Lord Ainz knows that his immense power can submit any potential resistance, but that is not how he wishes to rule. Through carefully crafted schemes, the forces of Nazarick seek to solidify their hold on the world.
Anyone who comes in the path of this massive machine faces two options: bend the knee or suffer a horrifying death.
Right off the bat, I can tell you Overlord II got an increase in its animation budget. This season was so much more visually appealing. And while this was nice to see, let’s remember that season one wasn’t as fun as it was because of its art style. No, Overlord I was great because it poured all its effort into giving us characters worth following, an exciting story, and kick-ass action scenes.
Therefore, the question becomes, how did Overlord II compare? That answer is a tad complicated. Overlord I was better than Overlord II at the most superficial level, and only in a technical sense. While the critic in me says last season was the superior, the anime-fan in me very much appreciated the significantly more holy-s@#$-that-was-freaking-awesome moments in this installment. We will explore this in more detail in a bit, but the short of it is, this season tried to cram a lot into itself.
Nevertheless, Overlord II reaffirmed much of what made its predecessor so amazing and in no area more so than its characters. And while the crew of The Great Tomb of Nazarick had their time to shine (AND BOY DID THEY), I was immensely impressed by how much care and attention was given to the side characters.
The first half of Overlord II was, essentially, a completely different anime. We focused on the tribes of the Lizardmen as they banned together to face off against Nazarick. Unlike other conflicts in this series, the Lizardmen were not the aggressors. Instead, they just happened to be the group Lord Ainz chose when planning Nazarick’s first war.
To give Lord Ainz some credit, though he did wish to rule the Lizardmen, he forbade his servants to do so through fear. He wanted to test his governing ability and didn’t want to base his authority solely on physical strength. And as for the whole wagging war aspect, I mean, what else would you expect a dark overlord to do?
The Lizardmen themselves were unlike any of the opponents Nazarick had or would face (as of the end of season two). Unlike later in the season when Lord Ainz was against an evil shadow organization who thought themselves untouchable, the Lizardmen realized they probably weren’t going to win their fight. They knew how far their abilities could reasonably take them, thus making them proud warriors, not egotistical shmucks.
Hell, there was even a point where I found myself hoping the Lizardmen would pull off a miracle. Naturally, there was no way for them to claim outright victory, but their last stand could not have been more epic.
Still, the entire Lizardman saga did serve a much larger purpose. This storyline demonstrated what kind of world-changing force Nazarick could be. Lord Ainz accomplished what he set out to do, and though he was a conquerer in this instance, it remained easy to cheer him on later. He was the antagonist; he may have committed a villainous act, but he never became a villain worth hating.
Besides, Overlord II had those types of villains. When Nazarick when up against them, that was when this show got f@#$ing amazing.
Not to give too much away, but this season was packed with many cool and exciting moments. However, three instances stuck out, and these instances helped define the Overlord series. They also helped this franchise separate itself from others in the isekai genre.
The first came when Lord Ainz announced himself to the Lizardmen. It was so masterfully over-the-top that it was a little frightening – which, I assume, was the point. Lord Ainz’s entrance was beyond grand; I don’t even know if there is a word that can adequately describe how intense it was. To perform even the most menial of tasks, Lord Ainz turned everything into a larger-than-life spectacle.
To the Lizardmen who saw this happen, they might as well have been witnessing the arrival of a god. Facing someone like Lord Ainz was akin to lighting a fire underwater; it could not be done.
For the series overall, this scene demonstrated this season knew how to go big. Any show can say their main character is the most powerful. And while a laughably one-sided fight can illustrate this, everyone does that. Overlord, on the other hand, was much more creative and – frankly – more definitive with its assertion.
As for the other two stand-out moments, they confirmed what I said in the Overlord I review. Lord Ainz was not the only character who could thrive in the spotlight. Every member of Nazarick had the unbeatable-ness often associated with an overpowered isekai protagonist. Lord Ainz might always be the star, but Sebas Tian (voiced by Shigure Chiba) stole Overlord II.
In a single episode, Sebas made two of the most awe-inspiring powerplay moves I have ever seen in anime. Overlord spent a decent amount of time building up the people Sebas was to take on. In any other series, this would have led to a flashy, heavy-hitting fight. The final result may end up being no real contest, but it will fill up the runtime. Even in Overlord I, Lord Ainz deliberately dragged out his fights to learn information. Sebas did not do that.
You put more effort into picking up a pencil than Sebas did while taking out what was described to be the most dangerous mercenary group in the land.
So I can’t even pretend I didn’t enjoy this season.
And that is proving to be Overlord’s calling card. No matter what else, this series ensures that it will, at the very least, be thoroughly entertaining.
And here is the awkward section of the review begins. Having just praised this series for its overwhelming entertainment value, it would not surprise me if what gets said next comes off as a touch prudish.
Be that as it may, the transition between seasons one and two felt nonexistent. To understand where I am coming from, I saw Overlord I and II back to back – incidentally, Overlord III is actively being watched as I am writing this review. Unlike fans who enjoyed this series as it aired, I did not have to wait the three years between installments. Nevertheless, it was quite apparent that three years had passed.
Overlord II didn’t really start where its predecessor left off. I can’t say for sure, but there appeared to be many details missing. Granted, there wasn’t a significant shift in anything, so it was easy to get back into the swing of things. However, when you consider the unmistakable change in focus, it was hard not to be slightly taken aback.
In season one, Lord Ainz was at center stage. In season two, his subordinates and other side plots took precedent. This is not a criticism of Overlord II since the story never lost an ounce of excitement. Still, this season had a lot going on.
While something positive could be said about a show whose side characters can carry the story, I don’t think you can praise a series with an unnecessary protagonist. Of course, “unnecessary” is harsh. If we were to remove Lord Ainz from Overlord, the entire atmosphere would change. Lord Ainz makes Overlord, Overlord.
And yet you could remove Lord Ainz from season two, and you would be left with a pretty great show.
This is why I made the distinction earlier. From a critical standpoint, Overlord I was better. And yet, I can’t deny I had a lot more fun with Overlord II. I guess we will see what direction Overlord III goes in.
I feel this review was a long, round-about way for me to say this show was a blast.
With the same unforgettable characters, interesting story, and exciting action, this season was every bit its predecessor’s rival. Although the technical side was a tad wonky, you can’t deny the results were satisfying.
If you enjoyed the first, I don’t doubt you will enjoy the second.
Overlord II has earned a recommendation.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Overlord II? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.
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