by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 1 of
Overlord III ?
The FLCL franchise wouldn't be what it is without musical contributions by The Pillows, and I find that applies almost equally to Overlord and musical themes by Myth & Roid. Their new opener “Voracity” is a slam dunk in every respect, both perfectly fitting for the series and easily the best opener of the season so far. It's a rousing way to kick off the third season.
That's good, because the actual episode to follow isn't anything dramatic. It's pretty much what Nazarick's denizens do when a day off is mandated by Ains, with not a single scene devoted to any character outside of Nazarick. On the favorable side, these scenes do reveal all sorts of interesting little tidbits. For instance, apparently the ideal way to clean a skeletal form is a luxurious slime bath, although Ains is later shown with other minions in a regular bath. Also, a creature called a bicorn exists that's essentially the polar opposite of a unicorn; only impure maidens can ride it. It's an interesting concept, but what's more amusing is that Albedo can't ride it despite being a succubus (her duties keep her cloistered in Nazarick, so she's had limited opportunities to seduce men), and Shalltear might not qualify either, since she's only had sex with other women. I'm sure more could be read into that, but I'm not going to go there.
Among other random details, Hamusuke is attempting to train in martial arts with the lizard men (nice to see them pop up again, even if only in a cameo), and Sebas is going out on a date to purchase clothes with Tuare – surprisingly, he's not actually denying it being a date or acting at all embarrassed about it when Ains teases him. One of the other “supreme beings” apparently left something interesting in the women's bath, and is Ains up to with that “for male eyes only” report? We also get the return of the penguin butler and several new introductions. The maid Cixous seems like she should be just a background character, but she appears significantly in two different scenes, while the eyepatch-sporting maid Cz is featured prominently enough in the opener that I'm presuming she will have a bigger role. There's also the invisibility-gimmick Lupisregina and the weird-looking Pulcinella, who's apparently researching human/non-human mating. Is that being done with Sebas and Tuare specifically in mind or just general curiosity on Ains' behalf?
However, the most important scene is the one where Ains is practicing how to sound and act imperious. It's meant to be a silly moment, but tidbits like this are one of the big reasons why Overlord works as a power fantasy when many others don't. We know that Ains acting like a bigshot is an act he works hard to manage. The show also has its strong supporting cast as a draw, but the rich overtones of the color scheme and great facial expressions also help distinguish it from other isekai series.
In other words, the current champ of isekai is back and fully ready to defend its title. Hopefully next episode will give us some indication of where the plot is headed.
Overlord III is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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