If we didn’t get any of Foresight’s story, this episode would have been far more palatable. However, it would have also lost out on much of its impact, even if said impact was heavily manipulated by the directorial choices this episode.
So...this episode was something.
Foresight’s death was already set in stone, especially with the death flags a couple of episodes back. Heck, there was another flag when Hekkeran tried to bluff their way to safety. However, that still doesn’t quite salve the feeling of misery at the ending.
Ains has always been a “villain” protagonist, in that he isn’t actively trying to make a positive change in the world. Notably, he hasn’t been trying to take over it either, though Demiurge’s misinterpretation back in season 1 definitely continues to ripple onward. Instead, we’ve seen Ains trying to suss out if there are any other Yggdrassil players in the world, as well as work to build up Nazarick through subjugation of others. Notably, he has shown some mercy, such as the case with the Lizardmen, as well as Hamusuke.
However, this plan to have Workers try to raid Nazarick was, very evidently, not something Ains liked. In a rare instance, Ains was very visibly angry before his emotion-dampener kicked in. Sure, it was a bit overdramatic, but it also gave a very clear idea of what Nazarick- and by extension the denizens, including the Guardians- means to Ains.
To him, nothing else is more important. Nazarick is his home that he built with his guildmates and the Floor Guardians are the closest thing he has to family. His selfishness to both means that any harm to either brings about rage, just like when he almost lost his cool last season when Evileye was talking about taking down Entoma. However, his selfishness is understandable in the sense that, well, they’re all that’s left from his time with his guild.
Does it excuse his actions? No, but it provides context for them, and whether they were acceptable or not will vary from one person to the next. Notably, even as a villain, he has his code of honor, instructing that Arche’s body be completely used, leaving as little waste as possible.
It’s interesting to note how powerful the final scenes, given that “tragic,” emotional upheaval doesn’t often happen in Overlord. As we, the audience, knew about her sisters, there was a sense of misery and despair as Arche died to Shalltear’s hands. The final shot of Arche’s face and the switch to the sisters, all while a new, mournful track plays helped to further twist the audience’s emotions.
Was Foresight probably going to die since that’s the schtick Overlord deals with? Absolutely. Was it entirely manipulative to show Arche’s home situation, including her two sisters, and then have maudlin music play over the final sequence? Yes, it was, but it still worked. It’s gross, sad, twisted, and pushes Ains moreso as a irredeemable character than ever before...but it still worked. It was a well crafted, very manipulative, but very well executed sequence.
In fact, this episode was probably one of the strongest in terms of animation and direction. It helps that Ains doesn’t have animation when he speaks, so quite a few scenes were of his skull looking somewhere as he spoke. However, this just meant that more time and resources could be put toward the fighting, which was magnificently done and really showcased how desperate Foresight was. Special note has to go to Hekkeran’s final stand against Ains, as the camera zoomed (not cut) in closer to his face. There were a few shots of Albedo looking very flat and unimpressive, but those are honestly minor quibbles to this episode’s fantastic fight.
The after credits scene with the Emperor seemingly tells that this arc has come to an end and next week will be the start of the final arc of season 3. This was a very emotionally charged, very strong episode of Overlord that has definitely left quite an impression moving forward.
Now if you’ll excuse me.
Overlord season 3 is currently airing on Crunchyroll.
Missed last week’s review?