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Overlord IV
Episode 7

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 7 of
Overlord IV ?
Community score: 4.1

Frankly, this episode is by far the weakest of the season so far. The plot is simple and direct: Ainz kills two dragons, subjugates the rest, and Shalltear kills 70,000 Quagoa. There is no attempt at tension—neither of them even breaks a sweat. Somehow, this takes 22 minutes.

As I mentioned last week, Overlord often builds its dramatic tension by depicting events through the perspectives of the all-too-mortal creatures facing Ainz. This episode attempts to do the same by introducing Pe Riyuro and Hejinmal. Sadly, unlike other similar characters, these two are woefully underdeveloped for the task.

Pe Riyuro is the great uniter of his people and believes himself to be strong. Hejinmal, on the other hand, appears to be a cowardly failure of a dragon who spends all his time reading—though he is at least smart enough to know when to surrender. And honestly that's all we really get to know about them. Having a single episode to both introduce them and give them any kind of arc is already a difficult task—and expecting us to empathize with them on top of that is nearly impossible.

This episode seems like it was set up for failure from the start. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that this entire arc was highly abridged from the source material—nor would I be surprised if the creators of the anime decided to rush through it just because of how paint-by-numbers and utterly inconsequential it appears to be in the context of the overall story. It's basically a side quest and nothing more.

The only redeeming part of this episode is that it serves as an adequate stopping point to this part of Shalltear's personal arc. Shalltear has been in a rougher place mentally than any of the other floor guardians. While they all worry about how to best please their last remaining god (lest he abandon them), Shalltear is the only one to have truly failed at an assigned task. Worse still, she actively tried to harm Ainz. Of course, Ainz doesn't blame her—she was mind controlled after all. He doesn't even see any reason to continue to punish her. But to herself and the others, she committed the worst crime imaginable. It's no wonder she longs to atone for what happened and is desperately trying to prove herself worthy in her god's eyes.

And over the course of this arc, she has truly grown. She's been trying to do the most difficult thing a person can do: to change the very way in which she thinks. In the greater sense, she's been struggling to become more than she was created to be, so it's both heartbreaking and cathartic to see her break down at the end of this episode, embracing Ainz like a child asking if she has finally managed to make him proud. And in the end, she receives her much-needed affirmation—reinforcing the belief that she is on the right path. While her journey of character growth is far from complete, watching her take a meaningful first step has been worth the watch.

Rating:

Random Thoughts:

• Did they ever mention what Aura's pink mist was supposed to do? If so, I missed it.

• Did Hejinmal really wet himself out of joy? Or was it out of fear at not knowing what Aura was going to do to him?

• It's telling that Shalltear sees herself as nothing more than a pet when compared to Ainz.

• Good on Hejinmal for saving the female dragons besides his mom when he didn't have to.

• Wrapping up the Dwarf arc in only three episodes possibly means that we get 5 (maybe 6) to spend on the season's final arc. I'm looking forward to it.

Overlord IV is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.


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