Overlord is a dark fantasy anime based on the novel counterpart written by Kugane Maruyama. It is produced by the famous anime studio Madhouse and directed by Naoyuki Itou. With the manga and light novels having more than 2 million copies, this anime was a great success since its airing in September 2015. Since then, there have been 3 seasons with 13 episodes each. Unfortunately, because of Covid, Madhouse has yet to announce when the 4th season will be released.
What is Overlord about?
Overlord, another anime of the Isekai genre, follows a man who gets trapped inside an MMO game. That guy is then a complete badass that no one can defeat. I know, never seen this trope before – painful Sword Art Online flashbacks. But, don’t you worry. This anime is far better than it sounds. Its dark thematic and boldness will intrigue even those who aren’t big fans of the Isekai genre.
A regular Japanese citizen suddenly becomes powerful evil Overlord
The name of the MMO is Yggdrasil. From once a strong guild, only 4 members continued playing it. Momonga, our main character, is the guild leader. After intense 12 years of the game, it was announced that the servers will shut down. But, they didn’t. Momonga finds himself unable to use options like exit the game or general chat. Soon, he realizes what has actually happened.
What’s particularly interesting is that the man trapped inside the MMO is playing a traditional villain character. He is then met with certain lifestyle choices like whether he should start a harem. Obviously, that is entirely possible. He is the ultimate evil Overlord after all. But, he doesn’t opt for that. It simply doesn’t fit the character he is portraying which makes him intriguing.
From villagers to demons, bosses, politicians, and criminals. This show has a massive cast of main and supportive characters. Overlord himself is an amazing written character. He actually portrays a socially awkward guy who spends most of his time in an MMO. The comedic essence of the show comes from him keeping up the act while all of his subordinate demons see him as a literal god.
Did Madhouse disappoint with Overlord?
Overlords animation isn’t bad in any sense. However, the studio animating it is Madhouse. For their standards and compared to past work they did, this just simply doesn’t feel like one of their anime. Madhouse animation is known to be very fluid with stylized art, so this one was certainly a disappointment. Certain spells and some light effects at times feel out of place.
Worth the watch
With its interesting cast of characters and some quality waifu bait, this anime certainly stands out within the genre. The targeted audience of the show at some point had dreams of living in their favorite fantasy world. They managed to show the main character truthfully as a socially awkward guy, compared to Kirito from Sword Art Online. Sadly, because of the bad aftertaste the Isekai genre leaves on many anime watchers, Overlord doesn’t get enough recognition.