by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 5 of
Episode 4 brought up the observation that the world that Momonga and the Tomb of Nazarick have been transported to (if that is, indeed, what actually happened) was influenced by Yggdrasil's elements and game mechanics. Episode 5 shows that the influence is more than just a mild one. Many characteristics of the setting, from the nature of spells and magic items to even how the hostess at a local adventurer's guild behaves, seem heavily grounded in fundamental game mechanics, to the point that the setting is almost behaving as if the game Yggdrasil literally came to life. Hence the mystery of what is actually going on deepens further.
Also be ready to take notes during the episode, as it introduces and names a whole slew of characters who appear at least briefly in the opener. Among them are an adventuring party that Ains encounters and gets recruited by when he goes undercover in e-Rantel with Narbarel, the most humanlike of Nazarick's corps of combat maids. Impressed by the mettle he shows in a barroom skirmish and his claims to be much more powerful than just an entry-level adventurer, they invite him and Narbarel to join them in a monster-clearing expedition around e-Rantel. Before they can get started, though, Ains is also recruited by Nphirea Balear, the grandson of a famous local pharmacist who also has individual renown for his special talent to be able to use any magic item. Though this is for a seemingly ordinary protection job, the implication is that a potion Ains passed off to replace one that he accidentally destroyed caught Nphirea's grandmother's attention to such a degree that Ains is being scouted out. Meanwhile, a young woman by the name of Clementine, who has an overtly wicked streak, has her own designs for potentially creating chaos using Nphirea's special talent, which will undoubtedly lead to conflict next episode.
So unlike the more action-intensive content of episodes 3 and 4, this one returns to more mundane matters. It does have some fun, as Albedo and Shelltear's catfight over Ains renews, the way one of the adventurers seems to be actually charmed by Narbarel's harsh rejections of his advances is at least a little amusing, and Albedo sends out all kinds of additional “yandere” warning flags with her insistence that Ains' revelation that he manipulated her settings to compel her to love him doesn't bother her in the slightest. That we do not get to see the illusory face that Ains shows to the other visitors is also an interesting touch. On the downside, none of the newly-introduced characters immediately make that much of an impression, not even the apparently-psychotic Clementine.
Overall, the content here seems much more like a set-up for what is coming over the next couple of episodes than any major developments in its own right. Because of that, this is arguably the weakest episode so far, even with the additional speculation it adds in about the game mechanics aspect. Still, the way the series has progressed so far, this is more likely a temporary lull than a permanent drop-off.
Overlord is currently streaming on Funimation.
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