Overlord (Summer 2015) – The Darkest Hour

RPG, MMORPG, fantasy, Isekai, overpowered characters, escapism, video games, what else? I mean, we have much more than everything without those things. So, was the world of fiction more appropriate than reality? The answer is no because you only look coward because you don’t accept a fact. But, we love a liar from reality because it’s always bitter while lies aren’t. Like a magic trick, we love to see a trick directly, in front of us, not wanting to know how or why. But, there is an underwhelming yet overboard tone about “Overlord”. It takes from a different perspective.

It’s a based-on-a-light-novel series, from a Japanese web novel. Madhouse seems to consist the whole into just a single cour, usually seats a red alarm, but here we go. In the very last minute, a young man was stuck in a place in the online world of Yggdrasil. His alter ego is Momonga, stuck in-game but realizing all the NPCs have their own personalities, characters, and expressions like humans in general. Momonga now realized he had been stuck in the game. So, the first thing he wants to know is the world inside him, his surroundings, his consciousness, and his existence.

Momonga just needed information, the lack of any information made him unable to survive. But, his character is so overpowered, under the name of Ainz Ooal Gown with an appendage. If he wants to rule the world, he tries to protect his character. The show focuses on Momonga in handling or at least trying to understand how the world in the game works. Is it the same as the real world or not? With his terrifying design of undead, he is actually a good person. However, he died inside and outside. He now feels nothing now, even though his deepest feelings always say that he misses all his friends.

He is innovative but not only strong in fighting but also able to show intellectual in his mind. Although he is a villain-alike and undead, he still shows his trait as a human being but in a funny way. He always wants to keep his character, making himself like a funny skull guy in many ways. He isn’t really arrogant and cunning even though the show might show his characteristic as a bad guy like he doesn’t care about his surroundings. Besides lack of any feeling, he is loyal, honest, respectful, and takes care and loves all of his servants.

The show takes a different approach when we talk about Isekai. From the perspective of Momonga, he is still not really overpowered because of such of his character. But, the show is like a slice of life rather than action or fantasy. There is a relationship between characters but this just returns to the main character. Albedo, his right hand, could have expressed or deeply fallen in love with him. She is the most loyal of all, of all the guardians in his guild. The show doesn’t have an antagonist in any mean except at the end of the story. Seems like this is just another fantasy anime but it’s more like the main character in dealing with a lack in himself.

There are other characters such as Sebas, Cocytus, Demiurge, Mare and Aura, Shalltear, Pandora’s Actor, Narberal, and others. All of these characters back to Momonga, show their respect and love from one to another but seems like a backlash or foreshadowing in the next series. But, one thing Momonga was curious about is there a human who is trapped just like himself? It makes us wonder if this series spawns a lot of pop culture and season. Yet, “Overlord”, I could say, isn’t an anime about video games but it’s more fantasy. The show didn’t really show anything about the game mechanic nor the gameplay. It’s just a fantasy show.

The story pushed the main character and definitely takes more material than just one season. But, I also like how the characters in this anime show their lack of experience and view on humans. For example, Albedo’s disgusting view on humans and also Narberal’s as well. In a fantasy anime, it’s more complex if we look at them from another perspective than just villains. Yet, “Overlord” seems like it’s stuck on its own way, fairly predictable, but it has great action.

The design is quite unique for a fantasy show, especially they choose the darkest colors. Madhouse created its design and background become more diverse, distinctively makes it all unique to each other. One of them is Momonga, the most noticeable of all. In addition, the world takes place in a normal RPG game, the human characters, the monster, no other than a decent show. And of course, blood everywhere. There is no censorship with all of them, the gore-like sequence, and the fanservice too.

It makes this show look like an eye-candy but is terrifying rather than called this as an anime video game. Music is just another key in here. The opening theme song is kind of memorable with such an intense tone and the ending theme song as well. Both of them have a fantasy feel in terms of nuance, pace, and note. All the voice actors are noticeable from Satoshi Hino’s human-like tone, Yumi Hara’s seductive tone, and others.

“Overlord” is a refreshing fantasy show without knowing how this show ends or how it shows. It has everything in terms of fantasy, video games, or even Isekai but more takes its perspective from a villain. For a show like this, this anime is just another accomplishes for me. Thanks to this as well because its spawn so many pop culture in the community and they really favor this as well. And this is just an enjoyable spectacle I see.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

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