Widgets Magazine

Recs for "Overlord"?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Recs for "Overlord"?

    Widgets Magazine
    How is Overlord? Strengths, weaknesses, cool ideas? And is it just another "stuck in a video game" (a la .hack or Sword Art Online), or is there something more?
    "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

    -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

  • #2
    Overlord is only nominally like .hack and sword art online. The main difference is that the main character Momon is a villain - Evil Overlord. This was the character he was playing in the mmorpg when he was transferred to a new world. He arrives as an almost god-tier character, a castle and with a slew of extremely powerful NPC's that are now no longer NPC's that have pledged their loyalty to him. On paper this would be boring but what makes the show work is the fact that Momon is still a normal human being on the inside. So while he plays the role of an Evil Arch Lich partly out of habit and partly to keep the loyalty of his minions he is really just a normal guy largely freaked out by all of this.

    The story is balanced by Momon's extreme cautiousness, loyalty to his minions and his need to find ways to logically explain to his minions why they should treat humans with respect and not just slaughter everyone and rule by fear. His NPC's all have wild personalities and the show is most interesting when it is focused on the core group and the occasional internal conflict erupts because these are the only scenarios in which there is any real tension. The show is weak once it moves outside of Momon's group. There are not a lot of compelling characters outside of Nazerick and they are zero threat to the main team and have a habit of getting curb stomped. It is really hard to get invested in characters who will get swatted like flies once they encounter any member of Momon's group.

    I found it quite entertaining watching MR. Evil Overlord build his kingdom while sorting out internal squabbles and being ridiculously cautious.

    Comment


    • #3
      Lesterf1020 does a great job of covering the details. Other positives are that Momom's human self is a mature man, probably middle-aged and definitely not the typical 15-year-old high schooler. His guild was important to him because of his friendships with the other adults, and he stayed in the MMO while it counted down to shutdown as a last farewell to his online friends. The Nazerick NPCs are important to him because they were all hand-crafted by his departed friends, all of whom apparently stopped playing the MMO before the shutdown. That lends a bit of weight to his caution - he's protecting the memories of his good times.

      Sadly, Overlord season II is nothing like this, it's all side stories about other characters and the NPCs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Finally got around to watching Overlord (on tubi, of all places), and it was pretty good. I'm not sure I like the adventurer arc as much, but I have to admit, they did do a good job of fleshing out the characters.

        Edit: Is there an actual end to the series? Or is Overlord one of those shows that just stops?
        Last edited by One Vorlon; 04-24-2021, 04:50 AM.
        "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

        -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

        Comment


        • #5
          There are currently 3 seasons of Overlord and some specials. The specials are fun but I didn't like the 2nd or 3rd seasons. The story isn't finished so each season just continues from the last. The nature of the story doesn't lend itself to ever having an ending so I expect it will just stop at some point.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm really digging the opening for the second season. Did it do a good job with the lizard men?

            (Such a simple thing - syncing the character animations to the downbeat of the opening music, but hey, it works)
            "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

            -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

            Comment


            • #7
              It depends on what you mean by a good job. If you don't like lizardmen and enjoy slaughtering and enslaving them in video games then the answer to that question is yes. If you are sympathetic to the lizardmen and appreciate their primitive culture and their fight for survival and freedom then not so much. It was he lizard man arc that first started souring me on Overlord.

              Comment


              • #8
                Having watched the first two seasons, I thought I'd add my own thoughts on the series (now).

                Overlord is very much a "bad guy" take on the isekai genre (with trapped in a video game overtones). The protagonist, whose real name is never given, plays a high level lich in the online MMORPG Yggdrasil. Over the years, the game has become his whole social life. Other than his job, he has no IRL (in real life) friends, family, or activities.

                In the game, though, he's a living legend. As Momonga, he's the guildmaster of the most powerful "bad guy" guild, presiding over a custom designed dungeon chock full of unique monsters that he and his fellow guild members personally designed and programmed. So when the game is finally scheduled to be shut down, he decides to throw a farewell party (in the game) . . .but only one other guild member bothers to show up - and only for five minutes. True, many of them had been drifting away for years . . .

                So, on a lark, he summons many of his favorite boss monsters to his side, and takes one last tour of the guildhall/dungeon. Looking at the trophies they'd won, the artifacts they'd made . . .the protagonist decides he's going to stay logged in until the servers go down, and he's forcibly kicked offline.

                Only the deadline comes and goes . . .and he's not kicked off. In fact, he finds that he can't access any of his system commands, nor physically remove his VR gear. Idly, he wonders how he can get a message to the game masters - only for the guild's succubus queen (an NPC) to ask who they are.

                Ygdrassil NPCs are not programmed to talk, let alone without prompting!

                The series develops from there. Somehow, the entire guildhall, and everyone in it, have been transported to an IRL fantasy world. A world totally different from Yggdrasil, but governed by very similar rules. So the protagonist begins sending out teams of NPCs (and occasionally going himself) to learn more about this new world, to figure out what happened - and maybe conquer it, too (remember, the protagonist did just spend the last decade of his life playing Supreme Overlord of Evil)

                Two other interesting sub themes emerge as the show progresses. First, the NPCs' personalities begin to flesh out, beyond the general parameters the players laid out. So they become increasingly interesting, picking up hobbies, vices . . and religion. Yep, that's right - religion. Seems the NPCs were aware of what the the protagonist and his friends were doing - and they've basically deified them, with the protagonist being the supreme god of the pantheon, the one who stayed behind to lead them. So seemingly random comments and jokes made by the players have become holy writ.

                The other major subtheme is the protagonist slowly losing himself in his character. For all practical purposes, he's now undead, and Overlord is sort of the lich equivalent of Interview with the Vampire. He can no longer eat food or sleep. He can't feel any strong emotion. When a beautiful woman propositions him, he realizes he has no sex drive. He kills a man, for little reason than to satisfy his own curiosity - and only in the aftermath does he realize that he'd never even thought of the guy as being human. And he has to come to terms with that.

                Season two is a continuation - although it's a somewhat awkward one. It's like the animators chose an arbitrary point in the story to split season one and two, with some scenes ending up at the end of season one, and the others at the very beginning of season two . . .with possibly some scenes cut entirely. Season two kicks off with several new characters, and they act like we should've been introduced to them already. And the core cast is almost completely sidelined for the first arc (although the Lizard Men make for a great standalone story)

                Two other concerns I have moving forward are the power levels, and the "mature" rating the show has. The protagonist has near god-like powers, and a full arsenal of incredibly powerful artifacts. Even though he's a wizard, his stats are high enough that he can impersonate a powerful warrior, for example. Going forward, I can see problems finding suitable opponents for him.

                As for the mature rating - it kind of feels tacked on. Cut a couple lines of dialogue here, end a scene just a bit earlier there . . .and Overlord would be suitable for a much broader audience. It's almost like the animators deliberately made the choice to make it kid-unfriendly, sticking in just enough adult material to get the mature rating.

                All in all, though, I'm really liking the show. Hope I can get my hands on season three soon.
                "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

                -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oh, one other comment. Make sure you try both audio tracks, if you can. The Japanese voice actor has a better voice for the player's inner monologue, but the English voice actor really shines at the "evil overlord" speeches.
                  "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

                  -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Glad you liked it. If you liked the second season then you absolutely have to see the third season, not to mention the upcoming movie and 4th season.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lesterf1020 View Post
                      Glad you liked it. If you liked the second season then you absolutely have to see the third season, not to mention the upcoming movie and 4th season.
                      I did - but I see what you meant about the lizardmen. That arc is almost a standalone story, and its kind of like watching a Shakespearean tragedy. We know how it has to end (due to the difference in power levels), but you can't help rooting for the lizardmen, anyway.

                      (The "plant monster" bit was particularly cute)

                      Regardless, I think it missed its mark, though, as part of Overlord. Given the show's vibe, I want to see the protagonist auditioning different horrible monsters to serve as his messenger to the lizard men, debating what color cloak to wear for his grand entrance. . . Even though its basically Cocytus's big debut, he's largely sidelined for most of the story. Sebas Tien and Demiurge got far more screen time in their arc, by comparison.

                      (Maybe someone will see the lizardman arc, and we'll get a proper series about them some day.)
                      "The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity too great for the eye of man."

                      -William Blake, "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell"

                      Comment

                      Widgets Magazine
                      Widgets Magazine

                      Channels

                      Collapse

                      Widgets Magazine
                      Widgets Magazine
                      Working...
                      X