The first Overlord series took anime fans on an enjoyable ride back in 2015 as we followed Ainz Ooal Gown on his quest to conquer the world. A few years on, fans were pleasantly surprised to see two seasons follow each other in quick succession as Overlord II and III both came out in 2018. We even got to see the cast of Overlord interact with other franchises in 2019’s comedy-orientated Isekai Quartet.
Overlord II was, in my opinion, a bit of a mixed bag, dedicating multiple episodes to world-building as we followed lizard men, maids and more. The content wasn’t bad per se – it simply didn’t do much for me each week overall. Overlord III, however, felt like a stronger season overall and it was fun to revisit it for this review.
Whereas Overlord II kicked off with some recap, III assumes that you watched the previous season and instead gives viewers a laid-back opener that allocates some screen time to the supporting characters and helps define those that live within the Tomb of Nazarick.
The story this season again follows more than one narrative as we spend time in Carne Village where Battle Maid Lupusregina is tasked by Ainz to spy on the villagers and protect three of them, including Lizzie who appeared previously in the first season. They are concocting a new kind of healing potion that could prove useful to the kingdom and especially Ainz’s plans of conquest. Unlike the episodes spent with the Lizard people in II, this subplot feels a bit more connected to the overarching plot and new characters like Enri Emmot and Nfirea Bareare, alongside the goblins who have made a home in the village, are fairly likeable.
Elsewhere, a group of workers being paid by a rich noble are tasked with exploring the Tomb of Nazarick, seeking out any potential treasures and goods that lie within. Predictably, their greed leads them further into the tombs and it doesn’t end especially well for any of them. One of the explorer groups survives, only to be teleported before the great Ainz Ooal Gown himself and despite their best efforts also do not prove any sort of match to the mighty Overlord and his followers. It’s a brutal end, but lends itself well to the series’ overall nature and appeal.
From hereon the season focuses on a conflict between Ainz’s newly dubbed Sorcerous Kingdom of Nazarick and the Baharuth Empire who feigned an alliance with Ainz, only to attempt a betrayal, as predicted by the ever on-the-ball Demiurge. This leads to Overlord III’s climax, which is rather gruesome. I won’t spoil the details here but it makes for one of the franchise’s best moments, further showcasing how ruthless and cold Ainz is as a character – manipulative and calculating.
Overlord III does have its issues. The CGI throughout, for example, once again looks poor – especially when any large armies are involved, and once again the issue of Ainz and his followers being way overpowered means that there is rarely any sense of tension when their plans are threatened. Instead, the tension comes more from seeing characters you know are going to die and wondering just how and when it will happen.
Once again, musicians Myth & Roid and OxT provide the opening theme and ending theme respectively. The OP, “Voracity”, is easily the best one so far for the series, whilst the ED, “Silent Solitude”, is also a great track. In terms of voice acting, the Japanese cast are on fine form with Satoshi Hino continuing to bring Ainz’s presence to life and a standout performance from Mikako Komatsu, who lends an unsettling tone to her performance as Lupisregina. The Funimation dub is solid enough and it was also poignant to hear Ed Blaylock as Sebas Tian, owing to his passing back in 2017.
Overlord III is brought to us in the UK by Manga Entertainment who also handled the release of Overlord II, having taken over the licence from Anime Limited who released the first season. Unlike the first two seasons, however, this didn’t receive a Limited Edition so sadly the three releases will not match.
Overall, Overlord III is stronger than the previous season in its approach to exploring its world and showcasing the advancements in Ainz’s kingdom-building. Where its flaws lie are in some wonky CGI and a lack of tension in places due to Ainz’s level of control. I still enjoyed the series despite these flaws and whenever Overlord IV comes around, I’ll be tuning in once more!