With the problems regarding Shalltear dealt with, although the how is still somewhat in the dark, Momonga is now free to continue expanding the reach of Nazarick as well as earning some money on the side as Momon the adventurer.
Of course, there's the dealings with the lizard clans and how to get them under Nazarik's Wing, and beyond that, Momonga is trying to get his underlings to act more independently, and one of them might've gotten a head start on that when he gets involved with Eight Fingers, one of the largest and most dangerous criminal networks in the world.
Throughout the absurdity that was the first season of Overlord, I had come to realize that even the worst core concepts can be made into something quite entertaining if you put your mind to it. By and large, it's OK to take something -- no matter how silly on the surface it might be -- seriously as a plot element as long as you do it with a twinkle in your eye and, as is the case with this show, lots of gleefully psychotic expressions.
And Overlord is a power fantasy in just about every conceivable way. The first season made a huge showing of pointing out just how unbeatable Momonga is, and in a weird way, just going with that made the anticlimactic nature of the fights easier to deal with. I'm sure the fact that most of the people the Nazarick residents fight are almost all irrideemably evil played some part in the satisfaction in seeing them eat humble pie as their last supper played no small part in that. A particularly egregrious example was the ever charming psycho Clementine, who met her end in an ironic fashion: killed by a hug. A ribcage-shattering hug, granted, but I'm pretty sure she never imagined leaving the mortal coil with someone else's arms around her.
One thing to keep in mind with this season is to consider how much Momonga himself means to all of you watching, because he has considerably less to do in this season. In fact, in quite a few episodes, he doesn't show up at all. If this doesn't sound like much fun to you, then please consider this an opportunity to know some of the Nazarick residents a bit better, in addition to some of the other part players in this large world. Like the man who was completely outclassed by Shalltear despite his reputation for being the best swordsman in the world, or some of the rulers of nearby nations, all of which might become a potential threat to Nazarick.
Heh heh. It's hard to restrain the "yeah, right" after I said that, but.... yeah, right. But... you know.. on paper and all that.
Anyway, I'm just saying that if Momonga steps aside for a little bit, this will give you an opportunity to get to know the others a little bit better. The end of the first season mentioned a race of lizard people as potential target for zombiefication, but the second season changes its tune a bit on that as it goes into a five-episode -- well... four, technically -- story arc centered around said lizard people. In his bid for testing their worthiness for being a part of Nazarick, we are quickly and succinctly introduced to several villages that make up the many different tribes of lizard people. The primary pairing is the wanderer Zaryusu, the outcast brother of one of the tribe leaders, and Crush, a lizard woman who's also an albino, yet functions as her tribe's shaman without much trouble. In Zayusu's quest to reunite the lizardmen against a common threat, the two meet up and he falls startingly in love with her, and it's adorable. It might be a bit on the stereotypical side that he's the warrior and she's the sorceress, but her lack of physical abilities are offset more due to her albinism, which is played surprisingly straight in a show where most everything else is all fantastical. Be warned, though; you will see them have sex. There is no penis on display, and lizard women don't have boobs in the same way most of the human (or humanoid) characters do, but the act is unmistakably the same. And yes, I'm serious.
Once that situation is dealt with, we move on to Sebas (last name Tian, and yes, I'm serious, although I suspect his creator wasn't entirely so. As is presumably the show and the novel it is based on.) While on business in a nearby town, he comes across a man throwing a woman out in the street, presumably to die. Tyule is her name, and while the show doesn't outright state what she's been through, I have to give Overlord props for not sugarcoating human inhuman behavior. When Sebas encounters her, she looks terrible. She's most definitely been beaten to within an inch of her life, and it says something about who's in charge in the town she's in that nobody seems to care, or don't dare get involved. Nevertheless, Sebas saves her, which puts him on the target list of Eight Fingers, and the resulting clashes that'll inevitably follow also includes a band of adventurers who are (sort of) in the employ of Princess Renner, who use them almost exclusively to raid Eight Fingers operations, from their drug trade, to their slavery auctions and brothels. Although don't grow too comfortable thinking of her as a good guy -- in a sense, she is, but her motivation for doing this is still up in the air, as underneath that sweet demeanor hides a frightening personality devoid of anything even resembling compassion, and even the one person she cares about can find himself in a world of terror from her ministrations alone.
Even then, she's hardly the worst person in this show. I mention slavery, drugs and prostitution, and the show does not pull any punches in portraying what the absolutely worst in humanity is capable of if it sinks deep enough into the darkness. When Tyule was saved, the first step in the Eight Fingers' plans were sending two guys trying to intimidate Sebas into giving her back. The last we see of one of them is him beating the woman he's raping to death as he's raping her (while his dialogue while doing so hinting that she's just the latest unfortunate victim in a loooong string of victims), and it's really hard not to feel at least a little bit satisfied when, right after Sebas interrupts his "fun", he gets his just desserts served to him. Yet, the show has the common courtesy not to show any of that in detail; this is not torture porn.
It also serves as a reminder that none of the Nazarick residents are really human anymore, and in fact, very few, if any, really like human beings that much. Of course, the players who played all the characters in the old gamer guild "Ainz Ooal Gown" did so as a large variety of inhuman characters, and the servants and other NPCs they created follows suit. Sebas is among the ones who looks human to an almost perfect degree, as does some of the battle maids, and from there, we slowly descend -- from the "elf children" Aura Bella and Mare Bello, to the devilish Demiurge and outlandishly gorgeous Albedo. It's the giant insect man Cocytus and the dog-head maid lady we see a couple of times that makes the cast so distinct, though, and I wish the show allowed itself to lean more on that, although not without some reservations; if you've ever wondered what Entoma -- the cute little maid girl who looked like she was wearing a mask at all times -- really look like, then hoo boy, will you ever learn in this episode. And also what her favorite meal is, which... well... good luck digesting that tidbit of information if you didn't know already.
Just don't expect any excitement, because the Nazarick residents overpower themselves through everything just as they did the first season. Really, one thing that hasn't changed at all is seeing all the absurd posturing the villains do in this show before they are absolutely obliterated by Cocytus, Sebas or whoever else they might be fighting. The show plays up the humor on it too, as one of the villains introduces himself as some kind of an overlord of the undead. Given who Sebas's boss is, Sebas himself took a very clear offense to his bold statement and then made his point very clear in a swift and very lethal single attack. Granted, at this point, we are also introduced to some of the people who MIGHT be able to put up a decent fight against some of Nazarik's lower-tier beings. But even Adamantite ranks like Evileye immediately realize they're outclassed when going up against beings like Demiurge.
Madhouse still brings the goods to the table when it comes to the show's animation. This isn't their best show, granted, but even at their average, the production house can still turn some heads when they put their minds to it. Since we don't see Albedo or Shalltear as much in this season as we did the last, we don't get to gleefully take part in their hilariously unrestrained expressions as often as you did in the first season, so relish in the chances you get. Princess Renner does her best, bless her yandere little heart, but she remains a passive character throughout the show, at least actionwise. Although judging by her dialogue, she's certainly not above getting her hands dirty if she is given the opportunity to. That said, Madhouse does a stellar job when it comes to the lizard people, and our scaly lovebirds in particular. I don't specifically remember the in-series OST, but the opening and ending songs fit the show to a tee. As usual.
With the third season on the planning stages already, I think it's safe to say the show has earned its accolades. Of course, the novel series it's based on is still in the works, so I doubt we'd ever see a proper conclusion to this series, including the answer to how Momonga ended up trapped in the game to begin with, but the seasons themselves has always been good about wrapping up its seasonal arcs in a way where it won't hurt too much if it ends prematurely. The lack of the main character is a bit of a disappointment, but if he returns to form in the third season, I'm going to count that as an acceptable aside from him to give his underlings a chance to shine too. Overlord season 2 is still fun, as serious as it needs to be, and as frank with its thematics as well. And the fact that most of the main cast are a large group of nonhumans helps this a lot too. Be mindful of the things that might be a dealbreaker for any of you, but outside of that, jump into this with the faith that it will most likely not let you down.
If you liked the first season but wondered a bit about the others, then this season is for you. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Overlord season 1 was never appropriate for children, and season 2 becomes even less so with its candid portrayal of criminal organisations that deal with slavery, drugs, human trafficking and prostitution and the downright offputting levels of corruption needed for that sort of thing to thrive. It's a small blessing that the show only lets you see just enough to get the point across, but does at least not revel in it.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital stream on Crunchyroll, Japanese with English subs.
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Overlord II © 2018 Madhouse.
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