by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 4 of
Note: For sake of future clarity, I am henceforth going to use “Momonga” to refer to the player of the skeletal overlord and Ains to refer to the persona he has undertaken.
Feeding directly off of last episode, this one begins with Head Warrior Gezen concluding that the forces surrounding them are from the Slane Theocracy due to the high number mages among them, and that they are probably attacking to take him out. With that in mind, Ains agrees to protect the village while Gezen and his warriors confront the enemy. When things look at their worst for Gezen, Ains pulls a classic switcheroo that Gezen had unwittingly helped him set up beforehand, and then Ains goes all bad-ass on the attackers, including throwing their leader's gloating comments back in his face as Ains demonstrates that, even with the ability to summon a mighty angel, they are painfully outclassed. What concerns Momonga are two things: whether or not he is properly acting as the leader of the Tomb of Nazarick in helping out Gezen and the villagers and why his foes this time seemed to be using magic and summoned creatures lifted directly from Yggdrasil. On the former point, at least, he apparently has nothing to be concerned about, as Albedo is practically ecstatically satisfied with his behavior and his minions are all interpreting his previous offhand comments the way they thing best suits Ains' image.
Really, the way the series portrays how Ains' minions react to and interpret his actions is one of the most fun aspects of the series. Once again Albedo gets such a classic expression that it is worth an extra picture:
This is absolutely, unequivocally, aggrandizement of the highest order towards Mr. Awesome Sauce Protagonist, but this series gets away with it better than most because of how uncomfortable Momonga continues to be with it. At some point this will undoubtedly lead to his minions taking actions to please him that he would rather they didn't, and some indication of moving in that direction may have been shown at the end of the episode. For now, though, watching Momonga continue to try to maintain a balancing act between seeming to be an evil mastermind while actually acting altruistically – and how much he might be buying into his own crap – is where a lot of the entertainment value in the series lies. To be sure, he does get to toss out some pretty awesome magic too (A Black Hole spell???) and seeing him match the antagonist retort for retort is also amusing; I can't help but be reminded of how Vegeta was probably cheered for the way he interacted with Frieza's minions in Dragon Ball Z even though he was still a total bastard.
The other issue brought up by this episode – that elements from Yggdrasil besides just Momonga are in play in this world – is also intriguing. The speculation so far has been that the Tomb of Nazarick was transplanted into an actual fantasy world, but is this instead a case of some variation on Yggdrasil actually coming to life? The attacks Gezen used seem awfully reminiscent of the Sword Skills in Sword Art Online, after all. Whatever the truth may be there, the series has certainly left itself with plenty of content to build on.
Overlord is currently streaming on Funimation.
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