by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 13 of
Oh, so that's what those popsicle-like sticks that Ains tucked in his belt were for.
I figured in some way that they would be one of the keys to Ains' defeat of Shalltear, but was curious about how they had not been used by the end of last episode. Turns out those simple little sticks allow Ains to call forth the ultimate weapons of his guild mates, which he uses after invoking Perfect Warrior (and thus the armor of another guild mate) to turn the battle into a melee affair long enough to set Shalltear up for a final “super tier” magical attack. But that only happens after Ains reveals that everything which happened in the previous battle – including him seeming to be affected by certain attacks – was just a set-up to maneuver Shalltear into a state where she could be felled by such an attack. In other words, this time around Ains triumphs as much with brains and careful planning as he does with powerful magic. Meanwhile, his minions watch and comment/explain as needed for the audience.
Despite the potent musical effort, the battle's resolution does not seem quite as glorious as it could have been. Nonetheless, it isn't shabby, either, and does fulfill Ains' claim the Ains Ooal Gown (in this case referring to the guild as well as the person) would take her down. That leaves the second half of the episode for resurrecting Shalltear (now free of the mind control), establishing various protocols and concerns about dealing with whoever could have controlled Shalltear, and for Momon to report back to the Adventurer's Guild on a complete job. Meanwhile Nphirea and his grandmother get escorted out to the now-fully-walled village.
This second half is way more than just clean-up, though, as it also throws out a bevy of hooks for further adventures. We get to see the organization that was behind the mind control and find out that things happened pretty much as many figured: the one who threw out the attack in the battle was so badly injured that she had to be carried off. The guy from that battle back in episode 10, whom Shalltear labeled as “strong,” is part of this, too. Gazef shows up again, talking to someone in an alley named Brain. (You had to figure that we were going to see him pop up again eventually.) Mention is made about attacking a lizard man village for new “recruits” for the undead army Ains wants to make, while Sebas is still propped out as bait. And something comes up which requires the mustering of all of the Guardians.
Will we ever get to see further adventures? That is unclear at the end of the episode, although the door is certainly wide-open for more. If this is all we end up getting then the whole series has essentially been a grand exercise in power gaming, one which is either taking place in a game come alive or else in a setting heavily-influenced by game mechanics. (I am still betting on the former.) It attempts to find depth by gradually starting to shape the NPCs as stand-ins for their creators – Momonga's former guild mates – in his mind, and it is somewhat effective in that regard, but really, the predominate element is the power-tripping. Now, this is not necessarily a negative, as watching the protagonist be the biggest, baddest dude around can be fun, and the technical merits are definitely there. It has one of the great closers of the year, too. However, I cannot shake the nagging feeling that both this series and this episode could have been much more.
Overlord is currently streaming on Funimation.
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