Overlord’s new arc made the world feel far bigger than before. New kingdom, new characters, and death flags, death flags everywhere!
There’s something fascinating about seeing a Death Knight chained up to a column, only to be used as a test subject to see if a mage can make it submit and turn it into an ally. As the start of a new arc, episode 6 jumps between a few different characters before it finally settles on the Worker group, XXXXX. We finally get proper introductions to Emperor El Nix, his mage Fluder, and the four Black Generals of the Baharuth Empire. As fun as the titles for the Black Generals are, I’m almost certain that they’ll turn into a Bloody Pulp if Nazarick brings the fight to the Empire - we saw a similar showing last season with some of the gang members of the Six Fingers.
What’s more interesting are Ainz’s comments about the Bloody Emperor (El Nix), who received his title due to the bloodshed that occurred after he ascended the throne. El Nix effectively created a Meritocracy, removing Nobles that were inadequate and promoting those that had skill and talent. Ainz’s praise for the change in the Empire’s machinations seems to indicate that the Emperor is almost a kindred spirit to Ainz, in that they both want what’s best for their respective places. It’ll be interesting to see if the two ever meet, as last season’s ending had the Emperor asking Fluder to look into Ainz Ooal Gown and the Adventurer Momon.
At times, I’m not entirely sure how the show decides who to make sympathetic. Sure, we have the innocents such as Enri, Nfri, and Climb, as well as the stoic, knight-type guys like Brain and Gazef, but they’re the tried and true “good” people. This episode looked like it was trying to make El Nix, the “Bloody Emperor”, seem like an alright guy when it decided to show how the Re-Estize Kingdom, of which Gazef is apart of and was the setting of last season’s big conflict, is very much a nation of Noble jerks, criticizing Gazef for speaking because he’s a commoner (the king barely defends him as well).
There’s another scene later that shows how the disgraced Nobles of the Baharuth Empire still trying to cling to their past status, despite not having the affluence they enjoyed before. Maybe the Emperor isn’t that bad a guy, despite the mischievous smile and grandeur. Plus, what’s the meaning behind the “annual war” between the Baharuth Empire and the Re-Estize Kingdom?
Despite a lot of talking and explaining, the new information presented in the show helped to make the world feel much bigger than before. It makes sense that not all skilled fighters would sign up as an adventurer with the guild due to the many rules and restrictions, some will choose a line of worth with less rules. Introducing the “Workers” was a great move that helped to further flesh out the world and presents a seedier alternative to the Adventurer’s Guild.
The latter half of the episode was taken over by the Foresight group, which definitely helped to ground the rest of the episode after jumping between so many different people. While they certainly seem like decent people, the statement that the latest job will probably be the last one for Foresight just screamed of death flags for the whole group. It doesn’t help that the Cleric was talking about retiring to a small village to help out, or that the Thief (I think she’s a thief?) is the sole provider for her disgraced family. Plus, all the talk about investigating a new tomb seemed to imply that the tomb in question is Nazarick (though it might be the fake one that Ainz asked to be made...). Nevertheless, invading Nazarick? Judging by Ainz’s statement at the end of the episode, best to start digging a few graves.
By far the best quality of episode 6 was how it interweaved the impact Ainz has had in the world with people’s daily lives. There was talk about Re-Estize still rebuilding after last season’s battle, Brain is training with Gazef, Fluder is investigating the adventuring group Darkness, and Foresight getting ready to raid Nazarick with a bunch of other workers. However, with teh exception of Fluder’s investigation, Ainz/Nazarick is never the topic of discussion. Instead, it’s about the aftermath that his machinations have caused. Plus, once the talk is over, the characters continue with their own lives; Re-Estize talk about the war with the Empire, Gazef wonders about his retirement, and Foresight talk about the group’s future. It’s great because despite being the title character, the world doesn’t revolve around Ainz, everyone else have lives to attend to.
Despite some of the limited animation in this episode, such as walk cycles being used gratuitously or only a character’s mouth moving but no other facial/bodily movement, this episode was extremely fun and had some great moments that showcased some of the show’s strengths in world building. This was Overlord at some of its finest.
Overlord is currently airing on Crunchyroll.
Missed last week’s review?