Back in 2015, Overlord made the jump from being a manga series to anime and has since amassed a number of fans. Since then, it has had three successful series and has gone from strength to strength. Now, it is gearing up towards its 4th season which is just around the corner. Apparently, season four will be released in the fall of 2021, so there’s not much longer to wait now. There’s also more good news for fans of the series, as there’s also a film in the works too which will further expand the lore behind the story.
With this in mind, what better time to look back at the anime and reminisce about Overlord’s monumental rise and the demon lord behind it all, Momonga.
Firstly, what makes Momonga so special is the bizarre setting that Overlord is set in. Unlike many isekai animes series, this one is much more self-aware, as is Momonga. Basically, the story begins with Momonga entering an MMORPG named YGGDRASIL which is where the game is set. Here, the server is set to end at midnight, and he is the only person still playing the game over ten years after its creation. The MMO doesn’t end, and instead, he gets stuck online with the NPC’s becoming self-aware beings.
As Momonga has played the game for many years at this point, he is by far the most important and powerful character in Overlord. However, this is what makes it work. Where other isekai anime can take themselves too seriously and have vastly overpowered characters, Momonga isn’t as serious in that sense and there’s a lot of subtle humor throughout. After all, in the offline world, Momonga isn’t a demon overlord. Instead, he is described as an ‘average salaryman’ which makes his vast powers in the show slightly ironic and humorous.
Perhaps it’s this unusual setting that makes Overlord work and has gained it a cult following over the years. Throughout the series, the goal of Momonga (also known as Ainz Ooal Gown) is to find out other real players in the MMORPG and figure out what is going on. Often set in his home, the Tomb of Nazarick – he is also shown as an intelligent character who is also at times socially awkward. It’s touches like this that set Overlord apart from other fantasy anime’s. In short, he’s much more than just a god-like deity. Instead, like in real life, he has his flaws and has many layers to his personality.
Moving away from Momonga for a moment, the other characters are also likable and have clearly benefited from clever writing. Here, writer Kugane Maruyama has made sure they all have their own unique personalities and roles. As you would expect in an MMO, there are knights, politicians, and villagers. For instance, Demiurge is one of the standout characters who is a guardian in the Nazarick tomb. He also plays the evil role perfectly and has become iconic amongst the show’s fans. Of course, Momonga is still the main protagonist.
Another standout with Overlord is the simply beautiful animation. These days, most anime series have great animation and in this sense, Overlord is no exception. The best feature of the show is the use of dark colors…this is based on a dungeon-based, demon lord after all. Due to this, you can expect a number of deep, dark colors used throughout. Growing up watching Yu-Gi-Oh too, you couldn’t help but wonder if Ainz Ooal Gown is based on the Summoned Skull card too as the similarities are there to see. Obviously, good animation isn’t everything in anime but it certainly compliments a good storyline.
Overall, the success of Overlord is no surprise. The series is quirky and intelligent and this shows throughout. With the fourth series around the corner, this is a rallying cry to fans of the series to possibly re-watch the past three seasons to reacquaint themselves. Similarly, if you’re completely new to the show then give it a chance. Like many, you may just get sucked into the world of Overlord and Momonga which is gripping and rich in content throughout.