Originally published on The Fandom Post
What They Say:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After all those episodes of buildup, Overlord has finally reached the battle it’s been promising. Of course, calling it a battle is a bit of a stretch. As soon as it starts, Ainz casts a Super Tier spell that instantly kills 70,000 of the Re-Estize soldiers, and then summons five giant monstrosities that rampage through the remaining forces, all while Ainz looks on. When Ainz finally decides to take the field directly, he comes across Climb, Brain, and Gazeff. Having finally revealed his true identity as an undead, Ainz comes down to speak with Gazeff and make an offer: if Gazeff agrees to become his subordinate, Ainz will call off the creatures attacking his men. Gazeff initially refuses, but then decides to challenge Ainz to a duel.
Now this is what Overlord does best: straightforward action that mainly exists to show off how overpowered our protagonists are. I know that sounds like a backhanded compliment, but it’s honestly really entertaining. There are a few pauses here and there as the episode sets up the soldiers preparations at the start (also raising some pretty obvious death flags) and later switches to show the king’s reaction to his forces being routed, but the vast majority of it is Ainz demonstrating his magic and the creatures rampaging through the soldiers. Ainz forcing the Imperial soldiers with him to clap even while they’re scared half to death also adds a welcome bit of camp to the slaughter.
What helps even more here is that there’s actually a bit of tension in the battle, thanks in large part to the monsters’ designs. The creatures that appear look like black blobs with legs and mouths all over their bodies, mouths that continuously bleat like goats. The overall effect capitalizes on the already disturbing nature of Ainz’s slaughter to create some surprisingly solid horror. The monsters, which resemble the mouths from the opening, look so fundamentally wrong that their very appearance is disturbing. This is also one occasion where Overlord’s reliance on CG for crowds and monsters is actually a benefit, making them look even creepier and more otherworldly. Unfortunately, the CG models used for the army look as wooden as ever. Still, this is pretty impressive compared to most of Overlord’s CG.
We’re also treated to a brief appearance by Emperor Jircniv as he explains his reason for letting Ainz make the opening attack in the battle. He fully realizes that Ainz vastly outclasses anything he can bring to bear, so he’s using that to demonstrate to the world how much of a threat Ainz is as a way to motivate them to ally against him. Even if Jircniv obviously isn’t going to win here, it’s refreshing to have an opponent who actually seems able to give Ainz a run for his money. Jircniv may not be in the same league as Ainz and his minions in terms of power, but he seems more than capable of matching wits with Ainz. With only one episode left, though, it looks like we’ll have to wait for the eventual fourth season to see where his plans lead.
Overlord’s been a bit dull lately, but this episode is a return to form. Watching Ainz utterly annihilate everything that stands in front of him makes for some good popcorn material, especially when the show doesn’t try to be anything more than popcorn material. The horror elements it mixes in are also a welcome treat, making the battle/massacre even more entertaining. With one episode left in the season, it looks like we’re in for even more action as Ainz fights Gazeff. I’m already getting my popcorn ready.