Title: Overlord II
(Second season of Overlord)
This second season covers novels 4-6 and has two distinct arcs.
The first arc covers the lizardmen villages, which Ainz has decided to wipe out (he needs resources for Nazarick). Cocytus is in charge of this. The lizardmen, only aware a new enemy is threatening their very existence, struggle to band together in the face of this overwhelming foe.
The second arc covers Sebas and Solution on their reconnaissance mission in the capital of the Kingdom. When Sebas intervenes to save a dying girl, he earns the enmity of the Eight Fingers, the criminal underworld. Solution can’t see the point of saving humans, but what Ainz thinks is the real question . . .
I like Overlord because it diverges pretty widely from standard “transported to another world/a game world” tropes. One sign of this is that nearly this entire season doesn’t feature Ainz himself, the supposed main character, and instead dives deep into exploring this new world and some of the lesser-known characters of Nazarick like Sebas. (But don’t worry, Ainz shows up at the very end and has some good scenes.)
The season stumbles a bit at the start, as the first episode made the choice to adapt all of the various intermission chapters which have little immediate relevance to the plot but hint at several things in the wider world. There’s so many characters and ties to the first season it’s a pretty bad starting point. After that, though, the series dives into the thick of things.
I liked the lizardman arc in the books a lot, and the anime captured most of it well. Zaryusu is an outcast among his own people because he travels to the world beyond, but it’s that very experience that makes him recognize the danger they’re in when undead minions show up to harass his people. Desperate to unite the lizardmen tribes to give them a fighting chance, he travels from tribe to tribe, hoping to convince everyone to set aside old wrongs and face this new foe.
The lizardmen are a lot of fun to follow. They have their own body language, a strong tribal culture, and a history of violence against each other. As viewers knowing they’re going up against Nazarick, though, there’s a backdrop of tragedy for the whole thing, as there’s no way the strongest lizardman could even dent one of the guardians, much less Ainz. But Ainz isn’t coming himself, and he’s refused to let Cocytus use any of his good forces, so as odd as it seems, the lizardmen have a chance.
Sebas, on the other hand, operates under different constraints. He’s the sole member of Nazarick with a strong inclination towards good, which rubs up against the callous evil of most of his fellow NPCs. So when he saves Tsuare, he doesn’t want to report it because he’s hoping the whole thing can just stay under the radar. But while Tsuare herself isn’t that important, the brothel she was imprisoned within was illegal, so the Eight Fingers have a vested interest in removing the evidence. And since Sebas defied them, they’d like to take him down too.
I do regret the anime trimmed out a few fights I would’ve liked to see—Sebas’s role in the brothel raid, and the end of the fight with Entoma—but overall this was a lot of fun. Sebas, because he has a conscience, can be caught in ways none of the other denizens of Nazarick can. He recognizes he’s different, too, and can’t help but wonder if this is a curse. But Mr. Perfect Butler is just as overpowered as the rest of Nazarick, and when he finally goes to town on the security division of the Eight Fingers, the results are as hysterical as you might expect. The ten second fight he promises actually does clock in at under 10 seconds. (“It seems I was a tiny bit stronger,” indeed.)
It’s also interesting to see how characters like Brain Unglaus have continued to stick around and grow. He began as a cocky bandit lord that barely escaped from Shalltear with his life (well, that’s more than can be said of the rest of them). In this season we can see how badly that encounter broke him. I love how his old rival Gazef Stronoff (who was the better man in a lot of ways) tries to get him back on his feet. Even the try-hard Climb, who lacks enough talent to be better than “average”, spurs on Brain to move forward. And the last episode throws out a surprise that gives a nod to all the progress he’s managed to make.
Overall this was a solid dose of fun every week, and it’s great they announced a third season is happening so soon. Overlord has its flaws but I really like the different ways it branches out, from having nonhuman characters that are more than just regular people with ears and tails to being willing to shelve its protagonist to go focus on building up equally compelling secondary characters. I rate this show Recommended.