Whereas the premiere for season 2 acted as “a reminder of season 1 events while also setting up plot threads for later”, season 3's premiere was more akin to “how’re things going in HQ?” This was a pretty low-key, slice of life episode that shone the spotlight on the denizens of the Tomb of Nazarick, and it was awesome.
Let’s get this out of the way; the premiere of Overlord season 3 assumes you’re already familiar with the cast of characters and the events of the previous seasons. It makes no effort to introduce new viewers to the world, nor does it provide any sort of recap or dialogue that reminds viewers what had happened in seasons 1 and 2. It is the third season after all, airing very shortly after season 2 ended in the winter 2018 season.
On that note, wow was this premiere fun. Whereas the premiere for season 2 acted as “a reminder of season 1 events while also setting up plot threads for later”, season 3's premiere was more akin to “how’re things going in HQ?” This was a pretty low-key, slice of life episode that shone the spotlight on the denizens of the Tomb of Nazarick, and it was awesome.
Over the 24 minute run time, a lot of events take place in the episode but none of it feel like they will have major consequences for the rest of the season. However, that doesn’t matter too much when all of these events were so charming! Sequences that introduce the Tomb of Nazarick’s maids (regular ones and the Pleiadies) add a bit of humanity and liveliness to an environment that we’ve seen a few times but always in solitude; with the addition of these extra characters, it lends credence that the Tomb of Nazarick is big, expansive and full of life (or unlife).
The Floor Guardians get some screen time as well, splint into “girls day off” and “boys day off.” The girls (Albedo, Shalltear and Aura) find themselves discussing about Albedo’s inability to ride a Bicorn (despite being a succubus, she is a virgin, which Bicorns do not allow to mount).
The boys on the other hand enjoy some time together in a public bath (no mixed bathing) at the end of the episode. Notably, a couple of the lizardmen make a cameo appearance alongside Hamsuke, who’s diligently training hard alongside a Death Knight as Mare watches on. After their arc was over in season 2, I wondered if we would ever see them again but here they are, in the Tomb of Nazarick as subordinates!
Ainz gets some of the best scenes this episode, whether it’s him having a slime bath (which gets into the nooks and crannies of his bony body) or him practicing his commands and movements in front of a mirror, all to ensure that “he looks cool.” Overlord is, undoubtedly, a power fantasy isekai and while the protagonist doesn’t have to be shown practicing his commanding voice, it definitely adds a lot to the idea that he’s still working on improving himself as a leader, despite already having the absolute loyalty of his subjects. While much of the viewership enjoys watching Ainz and his subordinates beat the pulp out of nasty villains, it’s scenes such as these that give the cast, especially Ainz, their humanity (despite almost all of them not being human).
All of the Madhouse staff that worked on the previous Overlord productions returned for season 3 and it shows. The animation and aesthetic are still the same as ever, but as its the premiere episode the animation is consistently strong throughout the whole episode. As always, some of the cast’s facial gestures are delightfully creepy, notably Solution’s at the start of the episode when she asks for live, innocent human beings as a reward for her services in the last arc (Ainz grants her humans, but no innocents). The backgrounds in Nazarick have a filter that makes things look slightly muddy and distorted, but it provides a nice aesthetic touch that emphasizes the shadows and shading. It also provide a strong contrast to the characters, which are animated with sharp outlines.
While none of the music used in the episode was a true stand out, they all accentuated their respective scenes quite nicely. Notably, the piano track toward the end helped make the scene between Ainz and Mare even more sentimental. Special note has to go to the new opening and ending themes. Strangely enough, while both MYTH&ROID and OxT have returned to provide new songs, they’ve switched duties, with MYTH&ROID handling opening and OxT doing the ending. Both of them put out great tracks. The opening, VORACITY, is signature MYTH&ROID with strong vocals and an ever-changing musical flow. Silent Solitude by OxT sounds quite different from their previous offerings, being less pop and leaning more on the rock. As someone who wasn’t enamored with Clattonoia or Go Cry Go, Silent Solitude is definitely more up my alley.
However, as much as I liked this episode, it doesn’t have enough narrative push for me to give it anything above a B+. My understanding is that it adapts the latter half of volume 8, which I’ve read been called “canon filler.” While I loved seeing the interior workings of Nazarick, I’m even more excited for what’s ahead this season.
EDIT July 14, 2018 - added “weekly” tag to the title to indicate Overlord season 3 will be reviewed each week on AniTAY (and shared to TAY). Shared to TAY proper as it wasn’t when it was originally posted.