Originally published on The Fandom Post
What They Say:
“Player vs Player”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Overlord’s third season comes to a close as Ainz kills Gazeff and is given control of E-Rantel shortly after. As Brain and Climb mourn Gazeff’s death, Ainz marches his forces into the city to take control. While there, he engineers a situation (likely using Pandora’s Actor) to allow “Momon” to become a reluctant servant of Ainz to protect the city, effectively setting up Momon as an icon for any rebellions that might take place so Ainz will always know what’s going on. Meanwhile, Jircniv receives news of Ainz’s power and is left completely dumbfounded.
As a climax for the season, this episode is a bit of a disappointment. We all knew that Ainz’s duel against Gazeff was only going to end one way, but it’s honestly kind of anticlimactic. As soon as the duel starts, Ainz uses magic to stop time and then casts a spell that causes Gazeff to fall over dead as soon as time restarts. Even though I didn’t expect much of a fight out of this, Ainz ending it in such a way is still disappointing. The reason Overlord’s one-sided fights usually work is because we’re given a show; Narbarel vs. Khajiit, Sebas vs. the Six Arms, and Demiurge vs. the Blue Roses were all high points for the series because they indulged in a lot of showboating along the way. Ainz’s duel here didn’t have anything exciting happen because it ends so fast. There’s not even any time for people to be shocked by his power, let alone for him to demonstrate much of anything. It leaves the fight feeling kind of hollow, which might be the point, but is still disappointing.
The aftermath of the fight fares somewhat better, as both Climb and Brain struggle with losing such a close friend. While it’s still hard to get invested in them with Ainz in the picture, Brain’s initial struggle with deciding what to do with his life now that the person he wanted to surpass most is dead is surprisingly compelling, as is his newfound resolve to celebrate Gazeff’s life and use his death as motivation to keep going. Overlord’s character writing can be quite good at times, even though the overall structure of the story and its protagonists undercuts most of the sincere character moments. Still, it’s a bright spot on an otherwise slow moving episode.
Most of the rest of the episode is Ainz getting established in E-Rantel and setting up Momon as a symbol for the people. His plan there has interesting implications in the long term, but like Jircniv’s reaction to Ainz’s victory, we’ll have to wait for a fourth season to see what actually comes of any of their various schemes.
Looking back, this is looking like Overlord’s weakest season. It’s still reasonably entertaining, but it feels like too little content stretched over too many episodes. For example, Ainz’s duel with Gazeff took up nearly half the episode even though very little happened overall. The story’s moved slowly enough that we haven’t gotten as many big climactic moments compared to previous seasons, although I have to admit Ainz destroying an army by himself is impressive. Even so, this season would’ve fared far better if it had moved faster and didn’t waste so much time on secondary details. That said, I’m still hoping for another season so Overlord has a chance to get back on track and finish the story. It’s far from perfect, but Overlord still has enough to offer that I’d recommend it to people looking for some good old-fashioned showboating.