Anime Review: Overlord III

By Drew Hurley 27.08.2019

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Overlord III (UK Rating: 15)

The series isn't particularly long-running, with the source material only being from 2012, and the subsequent anime adaptation landing in 2015, but it arrived at just the right time. Predating the inundation of Isekai anime, it managed to stand out before "Some kid finds their way into another world" became the premise of 80% of the season. In this case, the kid was playing a fantasy RPG as a monstrous Overlord, and now, having woken up inhabiting the body of his character, he's letting his own monstrous side run loose as he's working toward world domination. Coming courtesy of Manga Entertainment, this latest collection is available from September 23rd.
After things reached a heated conclusion at the tail end of the final season, the opening of this third one serves as a palette cleanser. An episode where the characters get some downtime, quite literally, since Lord Ainz grants his staff a well earned day off. Albedo and Shalltear have a girly day out with the young Aura, the three attempting to learn to ride a Bicorn and talking about their past conquests. This first episode returned to something not seen since the very start of the first season, Lord Ainz, or rather the player behind him, Momonga. His internal monologue has long been absent, with his persona becoming the actual character for most of the last season. Now the truth to the character is revealed. Lord Ainz practicing being cool in the first episode, and the second explains the reasoning for the entirety of this season.
The great Lord Ainz's grand plan is… empty. He has no clue what to do, yet he's able to bluff that he actually has it all in hand. Acting like he's testing his generals by asking them to quiz out what the plan is, and luckily, he has a nefarious genius in his chief strategist Demiurge. Demiurge recalls back to a conversation where Lord Ainz briefly mentioned world domination, thus, suddenly, Ainz has to play along, all from one chat, where he mentioned this idea once. Once... Regardless. Now the entire strength of Nazarick is being turned towards that goal to the surprise of everyone. Lord Ainz included.
As proof of this grand plan of supremacy, an example is given of Ainz' past, and the little village of Carne in the first season. Lord Ainz's work there is given as an example of a trial run of such conquest. In this quiet little hamlet, Ainz fought off the Slane Theocracy. He settled a potion maker named Nfirea with a young lady named Enri. He gave them a simple little item to help protect the place by granting them a small magical item to summon Goblins that would keep a lookout for the village.

Now the story returns to this little community, and a community it is becoming. The Goblins that were meant to be simple guardians, have been getting along wonderfully with Enri, while she has been growing into a natural leader - but serendipity sees Ainz history and present plotting come on a collision course, as the Village is at risk from dark forces in the forest. As Enri begins to take on chief duties, she hears of the Giant of the East and Demon Snake of the West uniting their forces, and turning their eye on her home.
This village is becoming important to lord Ainz. A perfect example of how Humans and other races could live together, yet, much like his experiments with the Lizardmen, he can't help but manipulate things. He plays both sides against each other, manipulating his favoured and enemies into a test to see how the village will respond.
The second arc sees a return to the neighbouring Baharuth Empire glimpsed in the conclusion of the second season is testing. Ainz, in his disguise of Momon, visits the town and finds the denizens are planning a trip to his home too. Emperor Jircniv has commissioned teams of veteran mercenary adventurers known as Workers to raid an ancient tomb. The tomb is the Tomb of Nazarick; the grand home Ainz Ooal Gown. These idiotic adventurers invading are at least keeping things interesting for the floor guardians. This little arc gives a chance to once again showcase the absurd difference in power between the denizens of Nazarik and the humans of this world. The invaders may be made up of the most powerful mercenary 'Workers,' but they're facing off against beings with the power of gods. After the invasion is all wrapped up, the slight against the great Tomb cannot be ignored and soon the whole world will find out the power of Nazarick and its grand Sorcerer King.
The final arc shows many of the plot threads of the last three seasons finally begin to come together. The little Village of Carne becomes the centre of a battleground and Chief Erin gets to test her abilities in her first real battle. Then the armies of Nazarick join their new allies in facing off against some familiar faces and old friends. Gazef, Brain, and Climb, find themselves across the battlefield from Ainz himself.
The presentation of the series is so drastically different. There are plenty of moments where the season looks wonderful, and then there are just as many horribly flawed scenes. In particular, are the horrendously janky CGI creatures. This terrible, dodgy, low-quality animation ruins every scene it is part of: armies of Goblins, of Undead, of Death Knights, all hobbling along in an absolute mess.
On the bonus feature front, the first disk contains one single bonus feature, a single episode commentary from the English cast. The second disk contains a second episode commentary, combined with a video commentary. Then there are the standard trailers, text-less opening/closings, and a few promotional videos. Finally, the Piece De Resistance, Play Play Pleiades. The latest collection of chibi-fied, 4 Koma-inspired comedy skits. 20 minutes of genuinely funny shorts.
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10
It's good to be bad. The story is hitting major developments here. Ainz is turning his focus on the whole world, and it seems obvious that there's nothing in the world that can stop him. Hell, there's nothing that can even put up a fight against his minions. There may be a million Isekai out there, but none where the OP character embraces the darkness quite like this. It's a shame that it may be some time before the next season, as the anime is beginning to catch up to the source material, with this collection concluding The Great War arc that makes up the ninth book in the series, there are only four books currently remaining.

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