Our look at the light novel series of Overlord continues! It’s been a bit since we dived into this series, but I’ve still be reading. We are now very close to the point where I dropped the anime, and I thankfully am still going strong. Today we have a quite an interesting volume, so let’s get into it after the cut!
The third volume of Overlord deals with the character of Shalltear, the young vampire maiden who, after running roughshod over some silly powerless humans, ends up getting mind-controlled by an unknown force. Now sent on a collusion course against Ainz and the rest of the Nazerick crew, it falls to Ainz to stop Shalltear, someone who is more powerful than him, by any means necessary.
When it comes to Isekai, one of the things that people love, but are kind of upset to admit, is that a lot of the enjoyment can come from watching an overpowered character just own the story. If the characters are fun, the plot is decently structured, then you can have a great time. In Another World with my Smartphone remains a personal favorite mostly because the show is straight up honest with what it is. In terms of Overlord however, I found myself enjoying the anime far more, when it was just about Ainz wrecking absolute shit. In this volume, his fight with Shalltear is very much that, and it was a good page-turner.
Thankfully Ainz doesn’t hog the whole story, and before her mind-control, Shalltear, along with resident maid Solution Epsilon get a whole chapter to flex their muscles (or slime). It’s a fun, brutal and action packed chapter, and I was reminded that when Overlord decides to focus on its secondary cast, it can do it quite properly. That is something I do believe will benefit the story in the long run, and the future light novels hint that many of the characters in Nazerick will get their moments of character development and depth.
Of course, the meat of the story is the battle between Ainz and Shalltear, and it is just as epic and ruthless as was depicted in the anime. Despite being almost all powerful, Ainz knows that the floor guardians have even more power than him, and now that he is against one, he has to throw everything he has and more. The use of world items, super rare objects that Ainz and his former guildmates rarely used help prove the idea that Shalltear is not to be trifled with, and the chapter-spanning battle is written so well that you honestly think it could go either way. When it is all said and done, and Shalltear has been dealt with, the reader gets a clear idea that despite the almost insane power of Ainz and his fellows, this world they’ve been teleported to won’t be something they steamroll over. Well, most of the time at least.
The third volume of Overlord is another solid outing for the series. While I will admit preferring the second volume a bit more, this third installment keeps the focus on the central characters, and allows some drama to up-end what could easily become a stale status quo. If Overlord has a single great strength, it is how it is building it’s world and character, something we see a lot more in the next volume.