After many trials and tribulations, Ainz faces his greatest challenge yet: trying to get his subjects in Nazarick to take a day off. And even that is just the tip of the iceberg when Demiurge lays out Nazarick's plans of world domination that he obviously thought Ainz was already well underways in starting, and the foundation? Make the world recognize Nazarick as a kingdom in its own right.
Overlord has already been pretty amusing about its candid observations about what it takes to be a... well, an overlord.. when you're far from it from a real-world standpoint. Then again, the real world has never been of any importance in Overlord, and its clues mainly consist of Momonga's commentary regarding his position and how much he has to pretend to fulfill his role as the overlord of Nazarick.
Although for all the pretending he does, Overlord has never been candid about its own grimness at times. The first season had its share of villages being raided, and even had its own psychotic villain in Clementine; a woman who liked gouging her victim's eyes out, and whose death was a crushing experience in a literal way as well as a figurative one. And that's not even starting on season 2 and most of the story centered around the black hand and some of their operations, which included, amongst other things, drugs and sexual slavery. All the jokes you could make of the blatant wish-fulfillment of your average "caught in your favorite MMO" shows pale in the face of a show where you have to put up with some pretty horrific things being done to people.
This is still a pretty sweet-looking show... for the most part. Madhouse has never been slouches in the animation department, and although Overlord has been better than this -- there are some instances of derpface from time to time -- I've also seen worse -- much, much worse so many, many times. The show can get a little CG happy at times too, which doesn't always look the best. In some events, this is understandable -- really large-scale battles do work better when you use CG for the thousands of soldiers that you see -- but I wonder why the show felt it was necessary to render trolls in CG as well, as they look kind of ridiculously shiny for their kind. The design isn't bad per se, it's just how they look when they move around most of the time. They play a relatively minor role in the show itself, though, so it's not a huge deal.
Especially in light of the fact that the main draw of Overlord has always been the numerous oddballs that make up Nazarick's populus, and the lovely variety of designs among the many beings within. The last season finally let me see what kind of being Entoma was, which was a far cry from her somewhat cute if unsettling masked look. And this season finally let us in on what kind of being Albedo is; unsurprisingly, she counts among the succubus race. I guess those feathery wings of hers threw me off there, but she certainly has the looks one would expect a succubus to have. Though more surprisingly, she's also a virgin, as we learn when she fails to ride a bicorn. The show sort of treats it as a joke because she's a succubus, but weirdly enough, said joke also leads into the fact that Shalltear has had sexual intercourse.... but only with women, to everyone's present's big shock. I'm not saying Overlord are doing "lesbian sex is so wrong" jokes, but it's a bit understandable if people might think so. But the bottom line is: I've always liked how Nazarick is a home for so many nonhuman races, even if most of them rest all over the big scale of misantrophy. Then again, so does all the human characters in the show, so it's all fair, I guess.
A particular nice touch is the village of Carne, which now also count a roster of goblins among its residents, all of which have grown quite fond of their chief, the village girl Enri. They are mainly charged with the defense of said village, but aren't above stepping in to help the villagers with whatever chores that needs to be done, and you'll even learn the names of quite a few of them. Slight cultural differences notwithstanding, I was happy to see them talk normally; in many ways, they act more or less like the dwarves in the Hobbit movies; lively and rowdy, but not stupid or otherwise mentally challenged because of their race.
That said, this is also the first time that Overlord has made me deeply uncomfortable. I mentioned the violence earlier, which is sort of a framework that sets it a bit apart from its more... indulding competitors, and maybe that's on me for taking the inhabitants of Nazarick and their disinterest to outright dislike for the human race at face value. But season three marks the first point where Ainz actively lures adventurers into his home -- albeit on the urging of Demiurge -- and the lucky ones are the ones who are allowed to die. The story arc, running a few episodes, introduces us to a fairly likable band of adventurers, one of which has to look after her little sisters and protect them from their formerly-noble parents. As with any power fantasy, Overlord crushes their hopes swiftly and efficiently for the benefit of Ainz. Arguably, they are invading his home and all, but the punishment of Nazarick is still a bit severe. Just a little bit. (Though one of them -- and thankfully a right ol' bastard at that -- met his end in a rather hilarious fashion, courtesy of a certain hamster of the comedic relief persuasion. I am not entirely without a sense of vindication, it would seem.) By and large, though, the whole story arc managed to instill some amount of trepidation for me going forward, particularly after I learned what would befall the two little girls whom one of the tomb raiders worked to free from their terrible parents by going on this last job. (A death flag, I know, and in fairness, Ainz was at least not aware of this -- he mostly thought they were just looters who came to his home to earn a quick and easy buck.) The ensuing war that rounded off this season was considerably less so -- although calling it a "war" might be a bit on the generous side, as that would imply at least some amount of evenly matched confrontations. I didn't really expect Ainz to be some kind of grand hero, but neither did I expect the show to make good on his descent into villainy, so to speak.
Should you refrain from watching the show because of this? It's something you are going to decide for yourself -- well, that goes without saying when you decide to watch anything -- but it's going to depend on what you expected going in, particularly after two seasons where Ainz was more a hero than a villain. What kind of person did you expect Ainz to become? What line would you allow someone to cross before you decide it's too far? Of course, that doesn't change the fact that this is still a good show. Indulgences and ego-bolstering aside, Overlord has a pretty good way of laying out a story that takes both its world and its numerous characters into account, and I'm also glad to see them do such a good job at portraying nonhuman characters both positive and complex. As depressing as some of the arcs can get, especially in this season, the show is still never boring, even when it's taking a day off. If a fourth season is ever made, I will watch it. Not without some amount of apprehension, granted, but I'll still give it a go.
Despite being somewhat dark and depressing during a certain arc, Overlord has still not grown stale, even in the face of this level of indulgence. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: The show still isn't excessively violent, but it will also not leave you in doubt of what either happened to any now dead characters in the show, or what will happen to those who are... less fortunate than that. On the fanservice side, Albedo is... uh, still showing off her cleavage through her spiderweb gem top. Yeah, this show doesn't really have a lot of fanservice, so cleavages are usually what you get.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital stream on Crunchyroll, Japanese with English subs.
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Overlord III © 2018 Madhouse.
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