If you’ve read my blog, then you know that my time with Overlord has been a love-hate sort of relationship. I tried it, didn’t like it, tried it again, was a bit better, then finally gave it another shot and came around to enjoying it. Part of that was me accepting the series for what it is, not what I thought and wanted it to be. With that said, how does the fourth installment hold up? Well after the cut let’s take a dive into Overlord IV and find out!
When watching Overlord fourth season, and the overall route the story is going down, it becomes quite clear what this series is really about: Ainz trying to take over the world and people reacting to that. That has been the through-line for all of these seasons for good and ill, but with the fourth outing all of that comes to a head. Kingdoms falls, heroes are defeated and the evil that isn’t actually evil is triumphant. By the time the last body is thrown on the pile, Ainz has laid waste to the former Re-Estize Kingdom, with only the castle as a reminder of what once was.
That destruction is due to the fact that Overlord’s mission statement has finally become quite clear: Humanity is pretty much fucked and there is nothing that can be done about it. Like I said above, Ainz is a unknown force, a wave of overpowering destruction and chaos that no one can stand against it. Even when our titular ruler is rather benevolent and willing to extend the hand of friendship, those that get in his way will be defeated and defeated utterly. The entertainment instead comes from watching these victims, both innocent and guilty try in vain to survive, or make deals in order to secure their power. Characters like Brain and the Crown Prince managed to die in honorable ways that bring their characters to a good ending, but others will betray, backstab and sell out anyone to try and survive. And of course, the most important of these being Renner.
In what is probably one of the most stand-out moments in the year. Renner’s the meek and perfect little princess has her plan come to fruition. While her dark-side was always present, it comes out fully in this season and to great effect. Selling out her entire country, her family and all of the innocents in order to spend an eternity having sex with Climb is a dark moment, but the show giving us a Disney-like princess song over it? One of the most chilling things I’ve seen in a long while. For a show that too often feels like it is holding back on a lot of the carnage, it was great to finally see things finally cut loose, and man is it a great moment.
As for everything else, well look, at this point you have either gotten on the bus with Overlord, or you haven’t. While this season does have better episodes overall, with great detours with a nerdy dragon, evil hedgehog-like demons, none of that will matter if you were turned off from the previous season. What I can say is that Overlord’s decision to focus more on the secondary cast instead of solely Ainz is starting to pay off. I’m finding myself more invested in the journeys of Shalltear, Albedo, and the rest of Nazarick as they continue to establish their own identities. And even though most of the die, it was good to see several of the human characters actually had personalities and character arcs.
Overlord IV is more of everything that has made Overlord enjoyable for the people who like it. It really feels as if a page has been turned in the story, and a new arc will be starting up real soon. Whether there will be a fifth installment is beyond me, but I can tell you that I will be watching it if it does show up. This remains a great isekai story that doesn’t re-write the book, but also has enough effort put into it’s world and cast that has started to pay off more and more. Give it a look if you are so inclined and maybe you’ll think the same thing. If not…well just don’t cross these demons.