Sup Memes, Cam here.
I haven’t written a review in a few years but just ignore that. Nor did I ever review the first season of Overlord, but don’t worry about that either. I didn’t know what to expect of anime in 2018, but it definitely wasn’t the sudden release of Overlord Season 2 on the first day of the new year. I was quite fond of the first season and so was very excited for the second, and was I let down? Well, it’s hard to explain. First I’ll give a brief overview of what it’s about, seeing as I never reviewed the first season.
Some dude that played a game a lot gets put into the game as his character, who is so overpowered it’s ridiculous. He takes on the persona of the villain through his character and with his cast of dungeon guardians he aims at taking over the world he’s in. Shortest and most accurate summary ever.
Overlord Season gave me high hopes when it was suddenly released and caught everyone’s attention, but I went into S2 expecting the pacing and style that made the first season so good, and that’s not what I got. Instead, I was hit instantly with a set of new characters that felt shallow and rushed, with every piece of dialogue feeling like it held no merit. I actually had to check that it was a real Overlord episode because I thought it was a spin-off. The first 4-5 episodes of the Season were focusing on a clan of lizard people which we had never seen before. I am aware that Overlord sticks true to its manga, and therefore needs to include other story arcs, but watching this arc really felt like a drag and flattened the hype they developed with the season’s surprise release. This issue then continued through another story arc which had the contrasting problem, in the fact that it felt really rushed. Too many characters and too much happening in too short a time. In this sense, the writing was all over the place.
But I do have to say, when I made it through those episodes I was really glad I stuck with it. All the things I loved from the first season started emerging and I was reminded why I was watching it. A variety of stylish characters that don’t ever feel excessive, watching the main character villain, engaging combat and the pacing that made S1 special. The fact that the plot is continuously moving, pitching fights between stylish characters, new problems arising and wondering how the main character is going to take over with his evil cast of guardians feels truly epic and makes Overlord what it is. I think this is where the show shines most, that sense of epicness, while learning the levels of power never really feels boring. The very fact that we are made to like and root for characters who are the bad guys is different and enjoyable.
Just like with the first season, the soundtrack for the second was really strong. Yet again the intro and outro fit the mood and theme pretty well, and the combat soundtrack made the fights feel yet more epic. The instrumentals to the soundtrack were just great, probably the strongest part of the whole season. The outro playing at the end of each episode with a cliffhanger was just a perfect hype mechanic to keep viewers from leaving during the boooring side arcs.
The animation for this show, combat-wise, is nothing spectacular but is good enough to where the fights are intriguing. Nothing here was a major improvement on what we had already seen. Overall, I think the colouring of the characters is done pretty well as they all have their own distinctiveness in some way, and not many look anything alike. Background animation is gritty to match the dark theme of the show, but I never felt like this was lazy or rushed.
Overall, I felt that as a 12 episode season, Overlord S2 was really brought down by the first half and when it finished I had that nagging feeling that it should have been a 24 episode season. If a majority of the season was combat and the pacing/characters we were used too, it would have been much better. However, funnily enough, a couple hours after the episode was released, a teaser for season 3 was released. Due to come out in July this year, which is crazy. So my suspicions were right, this season should have been 24 episodes long, with over half of it being interesting. I assume the next season will be 12 episodes that are actually enjoyable. Looking at it from this perspective, you can see why Overlord S2 wasn’t very entertaining because it was the boring half of what should have been a 24 episode season. I assume if they didn’t release S2 on New Years as a marketing technique then Seasons 2-3 would have been released as one. If that had been the case, then the score would be higher.
But looking at it as a single season, OL 2 felt like a drag at points and the few good episodes that there were, only really set up the next season. So on its own its slightly better than average, but is really nothing impressive.
It’s half a season, so I can forgive it, kinda.
OTHER ANIME COMING OUT THIS YEAR:
Steins Gate 0,
My Hero Academia Season 3,
One Punch Man Season 2,
Dan Machi Season 2.