Overlord Review and Personal Thoughts on the anime and light novels

30x45cm(12 x 18 in)-Overlord-Anime Poster

Introduction to Overlord Review

Overlord is generally one of the most highly-rated anime in the Isekai genre, and understandably so. As of this moment, Overlord has a total of 52 episodes released comprising 4 seasons. They have even managed to release 4 movies. A new season is on its way, expected to have 13 additional episodes. 

Overlord is a great anime in terms of animation art quality, and it has a great plot.  Also, even though the scenarios in this anime would be impossible in real life, it manages to really manages to capture the human qualities of the character’s hearts. The people inhabiting the world of Overlord are highly relatable to many modern folk living a sad modern life.

In many ways, the Isekai genre has become extremely over-saturated.  Many otakus feel like vomiting when they hear that another Isekai is coming! In spite of all this, Overlord has managed to carve out its own place and keep its fan base growing across several seasons. 

Now the anime Overlord is closer to its ending and the light novel is on its last leg. Many fans are even more excited than ever for the release of the 2 final chapters of the light novel and the coming new season of the Overlord anime. 

Fans are curious about how new characters are going to be portrayed in the coming season. Everyone is excited to finally have a moving visual representation of what they imagine when reading the light novels. 

My First Impressions of Overlord

Overlord poster Over Lord Home decoration picture Gift from anime fans 16x24inch No Frame

Overlord is one of those anime that I overlooked at first. The trailers for the anime didn’t have a strong impact on me when I first saw them. 

To be fair, it’s hard to like an anime that has a skeleton as the main character at first glance. Only after I felt like I had exhausted my options in anime did I decide to watch Overlord. I thought I’d just give it a shot!

Another reason why I considered watching Overlord is that I had come across several reaction and review videos on Youtube insistently suggesting I watch the Anime. 

When I watched the first episode of Overlord, it talked about how sad it is to have your game friends grow apart. I felt that situation highly relatable since I used to play MMOs. 

The beginning of the anime has a very gloomy theme. I guess it could be a little too boring for some people who can’t relate to the playing of MMOs and that style of gaming. 

In spite of my connection to the theme, I felt like the introduction to the anime was very generic. It really felt like it was ticking all the boxes of the Isekai genre. I had the same impression when I read the first few chapters of the light novel as well, it still felt very generic to me! 

So, initially Overlord didn’t have much impact on me. But I continued watching the anime, until I got to the parts where the main character starts to do crazy things!

So what makes Overlord different from most Isekai anime?

Overlord Posters Anime Wall Art Posters Art Canvas Painting Pictures for Living Room Bedroom Decor8x10inch(20x26cm)

Overlord is actually very different from most Isekai, because of several reasons. 

Here are some of the reasons why Overlord won me over in the end and made me such a fan of the series:

Overlord’s Plot

Overlord is one of the best in the Isekai genre, plot-wise. 

It starts gloomy, with the protagonist losing his friends one by one from an online game as they come wound up with the commitments of real life. The show points out that everyone eventually has to deal with the practicalities of life at one stage or another. Sometimes, we grow up and away from the games we used to play and love. 

Suzuki Satoru refuses to leave the virtual place that he and his friends have built through their glory years of playing the game. Unfortunately for him, the game developer decides to shut down the game server. The game is the oldest one of its age. 

For the last time, Satoru  goes through the halls of their “guild base” and interacts with all the “NPCs” his friends have made for the guild.

Before Satoru realizes it, the entire guild base (The Great Tomb of Nazarick) is transported to a different world. The NPCs start to have their own personalities based on the “flavor texts” of the game.

Satoru hopes that all his friends have been transported as well. But he has no way of knowing since this new world is so vast. Indeed, this new world is full of unknowns.  It is also possible that other players (with their own guilds) may have been transported, which will put all of Nazarick in a difficult situation.

It is also unknown if all other items, skills, and settings in the game can be used in this new world.

Nonetheless, Satoru decides to use his power to find his friends. To do this, he uses the NPCs of his beloved friends. 

He goes through the world and interacts with the locals. His goals remain, but his heart begins to change for several reasons. 

Though Satoru is an undead, he gains plenty of realizations about life and what it means to have people rely on you. In spite of being (probably) the strongest creature in the Isekai, outside of the ancient Dragons, he knows that the reality is uncertain. He needs to get to his goals safely by strategically planning everything while only having the mental capacity of an ordinary person. 

While the story is full of gore and despair, the anime is also full of funny antics and craziness. This makes Overlord a lot more fun to watch. 

Overlord is a fun anime full of action that certainly keeps you on your toes. It has plenty of twists and turns that really make you want to watch, or read, on. 

Polarizing views of Overlord

Overlord Poster Print,Anime Wall Art,Chess Board Wall Decoration,Girl with Horns Watercolor Print, Anime Wall Decor (S - 11'' x 17'')

There are plenty of questionable moral standards in the Overlord series. It makes you wonder if the character of Ains really is a “protagonist” or something more like the true villain of the story. 

Fans are divided as to whether Ains’ genocides are reasonable or not. 

Some even think that there is a lot of death in the series that is pointless and that it is all too much. Fans debate endlessly on these points.

The way various political stances are introduced in the anime can also be polarizing. Many fans don’t realize that the moral standards in our modern times do not apply to the moral standards of the people in the series, where violence and force are a means to get things done. 

This is also where things get murky. Ains (Satoru) is originally a modern human from Japan and has a different view of violence and life. However, the NPCs he is with have different moral values. Their nature is sadistic and they think very little of humans. 

But because Ains considers the NPCs as his friends’ children, he has to learn to balance his moral standards and the NPCs’. On top of this, he also has to deal with the moral and political values of the native peoples of the world they are in. 

It can really twist your way of thinking and make you realize the complexity of having to deal with people who have different values and views than you. 

In this way, Overlord helps us question the world we are in, and our own moral compasses.

What I don’t like about Overlord

Anime OverLord Albedo Wall Poster Scroll Fabric Painting Large Size

Not everything is great about Overlord. Many fans have expressed their sentiments about certain things that happen in the Overlord series. Here are just a few of the things that the fans take issue with.

Good characters dying

Overlord Albedo Poster Metal Wall Art Japan Manga Anime Poster Metal Decoration Tin Sign - 12 x 8 inch (30x20cm)

Like many good animes, there are so many characters in Overlord that get killed, in spite of their potential and their importance to the audience. Many of them have at best unsatisfying or at worst gruelling deaths. 

An example of this is the death of the character of Gazef Stronoff at the hands of Ains. Gazef’s death becomes the reason that Ains stops the advance of his “baby goats”. This allows Gazef’s king to live another day. But having to lose a loved character left a bad taste in some fan’s mouths. 

In the recent season (Season 4), another needless death caused dismay from fans. While everyone who had read the light novel knew it was going to happen, it still didn’t sit well with fans of the anime. The death of Prince Zanac was a disappointment to many fans, especially how he was killed. 

But perhaps the two most disappointing deaths in the Overlord anime are the deaths of Ninya and her party (Season 1), and the death of the Foresight Party (Season 3). 

It seems like every season, there’s a death in the Overlord anime that saddens many fans. The coming season (Season 5- the holy kingdom arc) is going to have another heart-wrenching death which many will soon find out about.

Untold stories and unanswered questions in Overlord

There are plenty of untold stories and unanswered questions in the Overlord series that fans have been wanting to be answered. Some of these include:

How and what led to the transfers of players from the Yggdrasil game to the new world?

While it is known to the light novel readers that the old dragons are behind the players being transferred from the game to this new world, there is no information as to what led to such a drastic move of the dragons in the first place. 

The author also never tries to explain in either the light novel or the anime the “rules” of transference. How are players transferred? And why from the Yggdrasil game in particular? 

Some fans theorize that the main reason why the dragon’s magic used Yggdrasil is because of the similarity of the game to the new world, where the Dragons are at the top of the food chain.

In Yggdrasil, the most powerful creatures are the dragon race, and the humans are the weakest. Furthermore, all types of creatures found in Yggdrasil are also found in the new world. In this way, the transfer makes more sense, since there is no contradiction of reality. 

Of course, this is just a theory.

What happened to the other players that were transferred from Yggdrasil?

There are some explanations of what has happened for some of the known players who have been transferred from Yggdrasil, based on the history of the nations of these players. One of these is the example of the founders of the Slane Theocracy, particularly Surshana. While the death of Surshana is foretold in the light novel, what happened to the other players that came along with Surshana is unknown. 

The best that fans could come up with is that, since only Surshana was transferred as a creature with immortality as one of the Heteromorphic races, Surshana’s compadres may have died of old age. 

Most of the information of the other known players is based on the written history of kingdoms, which is very questionable. Some are simply suppositions and theories of Ains, based on the information he has gathered.

The author never tries to delve too much into other players’ pasts.  There is only very little information about them in the light novel, with only slightly more in the anime. 

Because it is such an unknown topic, like me, many fans  have been wanting to know the stories of the known players that were transferred from Yggdrasil. 

Should I watch the movie version of Overlord?

Overlord - Japan Anime Poster 12"x8" Cartoon Poster Manga Poster Movie Poster Metal Tin sign Home Wall Art Decor Art Prints Metal Wall Decoration

In my opinion, if you have watched, or are planning on watching the overlord Anime, I would say no.

When you learn there is a movie version of the anime you love, you could expect to have a story that may or may not be part of the whole series. You may be expecting something new: a dream story perhaps, backstories that were never told, or even a continuation that will not come out in the series. 

But for some bizarre reason, Overlord seems to think they can make more money with the anime by making movies that are a summary of an entire season of the anime! 

Yes, you heard it right, the movies are just summaries of the anime seasons, with plenty of important details cut out to fit into a two-hour movie. 

And these movies come out at the end of each season.

What’s even more baffling is that many fans still watch the summary. They spend money just to get to watch these cut-down versions of the Overlord anime seasons they have already watched!

As someone who has watched both the movies and the anime, it feels like the producers are just milking the franchise. But that’s just my thoughts, and others may take a different view.

Final Verdict: Should you watch Overlord?!

Talking about the anime version of Overlord, my answer to that is 100% YES!

The anime, even the light novel, is worth spending time on. Overlord is a breath of fresh air in the Isekai genre. The story takes you on a roller coaster ride. 

Even though it’s an anime with an overpowering main character, the Overlord anime finds a way to make things interesting. 

The story makes you see the grey side of different moral standards, political standings, and the search for happiness. It is not your typical Isekai anime where a hero with overly righteous views fights evil to save the girl he falls in love with. Overlord is the struggle of a leader trying to bring happiness to his subordinates and learn what it means to be a leader. In this way, Overlord offers lessons into the essence of life.

Check her if you are looking for anime that are similar to Overlord to watch.


Article by John Salinas.

Japanoscope uses affiliate links, which means that commissions may be received when you click on links to products from partner retailers.

Japanoscope uses affiliate links, which means that commissions may be received when you click on links to products from partner retailers.