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Overlord II UK Blu-ray Anime Review

12 min read
Ains begins to toggle between hero to anti-hero to full on villain in this entertain sequel…

© Maruyama Kugane · Published by KADOKAWA / Overload 2 Production Committee
Ains begins to toggle between hero to anti-hero to full-on villain in this entertaining sequel…

What They Say:
The power to rule is in his bones.
Bow before the great and powerful Ains Ooal Gown – the overlord returns!
Continuing his quest to rule this new world, Ains begins to put the pieces in place for his conquest. But between a Lizard Man tribe uprising, and performing missions as adamantite adventurer Lord Momon, Ains has his work cut out for him! Thankfully he has his most loyal and willing subordinates to do his bidding.
Nothing and no one can stop the supreme and mighty overlord in his quest to rule all!

The Review:
The audio has a 5.1 release in English and a 2.0 in Japanese – I watched the first disc in English and the second disc in Japanese to compare(helping that the comedy extras are in Japanese so got a full range of the voices) – and with the Japanese release I did have to raise the volume a little from my default settings, however, there were no other issues regarding sound quality, echoing, synching with subtitles, etc – the quality is high overall. The dub sometimes verges on too loud at times but the combination of music and foley (considering the amount of action and magic scenes it needs to be spot on) works well and is transferred perfectly.

Similar with the audio, the video is set in full screen format via NTSC transfer to PAL format with the show combining animation and colour in a more traditional sense but with a rather unique look with some of the designs (along with the original cast we have the Lizardmen and the subsequent tribes) making the animation stand out (especially considering the contrast of town and palaces with lots of grit and darkness), with no real problems with the subtitles, the sound synching in either language, no pause lag or in general, it is a quality release, combining CGI with animation as well as a lot of effects though at times the CGI can seem a bit too obvious)…

There was no packing for this test release however this will be released in an online exclusive via Zavvi in collector’s packaging, 40-page artbook, 3 art cards, and a fabric poster.

On each of the discs, the menu is the same –clips from the opening with the dark background as the armies are marching in with a sinister tune in the background– like most Blu-Rays it has popup menus during the show (bar extras) – on the main menu, the choices are on the bottom half of Play All, Episodes, Set-Up, and Extras on both discs. Very simple but eye-catching, some good extra little things in pop-up and audio, almost instant like most Blu-Ray releases, it is very well-rounded.

There are a ton of extras in this special edition release – on the first disc, we have two dub commentaries – first for episode 3 we get Kyle Phillips (director of Overlord II), Kris Regger(Zenburu), Amanda Lee (Crusch Lulu) and Josh Bungle(Zaryusu) – it is Josh’ first commentary so they break him in easily in having fun being giant lizard people (tempted to commentate the next episode which has an infamous line uttered by Amanda) how they had to balance the voices for the unique cast, their favourite moments (again, the infamous line), how it was a closed audition whilst Kyle was also directing two different shows having to rely on Alexis Tipton to help out because was so busy (and he got to direct his first sex scene ^^) and the ways of if the RPG world is now a real world considering how long we have spent with these characters.

The second commentary is on episode 6 with Kyle returning with Bill Jenkins (Sebas Tian) and Mallory Rodack (Solution) – they talk about their favourite parts of recording Overlord (with a new tribute to the previous actor of Sebas who unfortunately passed away previously), the thoughts of Ains losing his human mind and getting more into evil with Sebas being the only token good character in the group at least for this arc and to add ‘controversy’ who was better as a director between Kyle and Alexis…of course all in good fun.

Disc 2 has a few extras from Anime Expo 2018: first a message from Minoru Ashina, the director of Play Play Pleiades and how he wanted to try and make more comedy from a show which is very dark or not as focused on emotions outside of worshipping Ains. We also get an interview with Kugane Maruyama(author of the Overlord light novels) and Naoyuki Itou (director of the anime) about how to get from novel to anime without losing focus on the story or cutting too much out – Ashina is there for the scripts, how they were influenced by tabletop RPGs, why having a skeleton as a lead was a good idea and developing visually the personalities of the characters.

The fun extra is the return of Play Play Pleiades – this is basically the chibi comedy sequence that was in the 1st set, however rather than an episode by episode thing in sequence with the story, here they basically go into a dream sequence of ‘if Overlord was, in fact, a company’. Becoming the Nazarack Corporation with Ains as the managing director, it gets as ridiculous as you would expect – the maids beings secretaries, and the guardians are head of their own floor with Shalltear and Albeido still being as kinky as ever, but some fun ones like Coctyus resigning to dying due to a mistake putting the company in the red, Aura and Mere in charge of recruitment, Demiurge being a company slave, Victim being in charge of the complaints department, Gargantina being in a room and asleep with no-one to wake them up implying this could be a sex den, Sebas being lead secretary, Éclair wanting to take over the presidency and eating at the company cafeteria as Ains reflecting on him being human and working at his old job….

We get some special previews which are more comedy versions of the actual previews in the show (including one for episode 1) and the traditional clean opening/ending, commercials and promotional videos.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Overlord was a pleasant surprise when it came out – whilst humans in an RPG world has been done several times, doing it in a more anti-villain way was definitely a bit more unique and it leads to wondering what Ains/Momonga will do in the future. After the battle with Shalltear, the focus now is expanding his name across the world, and this season is where the focus is at – indeed, Ains himself isn’t a primary focus throughout the arc, and leaves a lot to his guardians which gives us some alternate character development.

Ainz has been learning of the world, he begins to expand – there are moments with the other cast (Albeido is still as lust heavy as ever and Shalltear is incredibly upset at herself for betraying Ainz) but we start the series with the Lizardmen arc. Ains sends Cocytus to start a war with them for the purpose of taking them over (again, the show bends between Ains being a hero, villain and anti-villain/hero) and the Lizardmen themselves get themselves some good character development as we see the Green Claw tribe brothers Shasryu and Zaryusu being warned by Ains of the invasion so they try to form an alliance with other tribes despite problems in the past. Zaryusu heads off and in a fun moment, meets with Crusch Lulu of the Red Eye tribe…and pretty much falls in love with her. It is comic but it actually develops alliance wise, and then when they visit the Dragon Tusk village, Zaryusu defeats the chief Zanburu with his magical item as Zaryusu is definitely a brains over brawn kind of guy.

They come together as Cocytus unleashes some liches and despite the power difference Zaryusu manages to win which means Cocytus now has to kill them himself. Cocytus surprisingly has some depth here and asks them to maybe be spared, seeing them have opinions without fear of Ains, something Ains wishes himself that his guardians can develop for themselves. Ains sends Cocytus to fight them anyway leading to some fun scenes (the line referred to in the commentaries is here which is quite amusing) but becomes all business, and this is where my one potential issue with Overlord comes into play is that Ains and the guardians are simply way too powerful with the conclusion being obvious – Cocytus wins easily against the Lizardmen but Ains makes a deal with Crusch for her to spy on the crew in case anyone betrays him and he will resurrect Zaryusu – she agrees and Ains now rules the Lizardmen with potential for other characters being resurrected for Ains use.

The second arc is even more interesting though as the focus is mostly on Sebas – a character which didn’t have much impact in Season 1 but gets all the development here to the point of being my favourite character in the show due to him being pretty much the only full on good guy of the guardians without any shades of grey. A dapper older man with immense power, he saves a young woman from being raped and kill whilst shopping for magic (which reminds us of the guardians having the original players who created them like Momounga did with Ains) – the girl is named Tuare and Sebas definitely have a care for her, even forcing the more monstrous Solution to not tell Ains. We also get the return of Brain, who in Season 1 had been destroyed by Shalltear, but from that he gets a lot of humility and becomes a lot more .likeable, and introduces us to Evileye, a female assassin who is after a group called Eight Fingers…who were also involved with the attack of Tuare, seemingly her being important to them. You can tell all these characters will be intertwined…

Some fun as well moments occur as reality ensues like Ains needing money for his goals, and we get the introduction of Gazef, a superb human warrior, and an apprentice named Climb who had been saved by Ains previously. Climb is not the strongest but has great potential and is a chosen bodyguard for the princess Renner who becomes a definitely more interesting character later….meanwhile Eight Fingers try to intimidate Sebas so Solution informs Ains of his feelings. Sebas walks out and deals with some thugs attacking a boy for no reason, and is seen by both Climb and Brain, who Sebas accepts into learning from him and also aiding him with his problems. Sebas kicks absolute rear here when some assassins are after him and manages to find out where the Eight Fingers crew and the three team up – this is why I like Sebas as he clearly wouldn’t need their help, however appreciates their skill and honesty and develops a respect for them and allows them to help out. Sebas kills one of the guys who tried to threaten him whilst Brain and Climb have to deal with one of the actual member in Succulent, but manage to defeat him and capture Coco Doll and here we see Renner’s true face…I think she may have something in link with Ains but it isn’t confirmed throughout as she is a bit obsessed with Climb…definitely something for the future as a talk with the other royals shows she is also scary intelligent…

Ains also proves Sebas’ loyalty with a scary scene when he asks him to kill Tuare. He hesitates but does strike…fortunately it was a test as his blow is blocked by Cocytus and after hearing who Tuare is, he allows her to be protected under his name which becomes important as she is later kidnapped and despite Albeido’s saying is a human worth it, because he did it under his name, he is enraged this happened and the guardians are set to take out Eight Fingers. They use it as another way to spread Ains name whilst Sebas, Climb and Brain infiltrate and do a lot of damage. The other big thing is that some of the guardians face off against Evileye, but when Demiurge kills two of the members, Evileye is about to attack him but Momon, Ains’ warrior form, appears as a way to spread his name as he ‘fights’ Demiurge. Sebas rescues Tuare, Brain has another confrontation with Shaltear, and the plot to boost Ains/Momon’s fame works with Eight Fingers now all controlled by Ains making them in control of around half the country with people not knowing Ains and Momon are the same person…

Overlord II has the established characters now and whilst Ains original goal is seeing if can find the original members of his guild, that is pretty much forgotten as the main plot but still focused as he spreads his influence across so that more people know him – making it quite clever in its storytelling. It allows a lot of his other members to shine, specifically Sebas, Demiurge and Cocytus who all get their moments – Sebas is quite a focus with his kinder nature and Ains still showing his sympathy whilst Demiurge showcases his intelligence and this he is the true chess master of the group whilst still being a servant of Ains, whilst Cocytus shows he has honor and respect for those who are brave during the Lizardmen arc. And indeed, in both arcs quite a few of the cast get their moments as well, the Lizardmen brothers, Princess Reiner and Evileye in particular (though Evileye potentially being a harem member doesn’t go well with Ains ^^) – I really liked how Brain also was much more likable and you feel that he and Climb will be back as thorns/helpers in Ains side especially as Sebas said he would repay them for their help so I suspect they will return.

The story is gradual but also focused with Tuare being an actual love interest for Sebas (must be the suit ^^) but at the same time he is still loyal to Ains which rewards him with her being one of the new maids – the plotting when Momon ‘fights’ Demiurge is really smart and well done and no-one knows any better – the only issue I really have with the series is the fact the conclusion is pretty much set in stone – even when one of the maids is nearly killed by Evileye it was still never in doubt because Ains troupe are simply way too strong. There hasn’t been anyone who can keep up with them (a little hint at the end of the set suggests there might be a magic user on his level but we don’t know that yet) making the battles predictable. Fortunately the lead up and plotting to the battles combined with focus on the character not totally overpowered like Climb (with a nice call-back to Shalltear as well) is good – I wish there had been more on Shalltear trying to make it up for her betrayal but the only thing that kind of happens is a gag when Ains sits on her, which shows how perverted she (and Albeido) are…

Despite that, the show is thoroughly enjoyable, the animation and battles are superb, the corruption of Ains into what role he is continues to be good, and thanks to some subtle development with many of the Guardians and human characters, it manages to condense it well. And with Season 3 already being dubbed, it is definitely on the way and can’t wait.

In Summary:
Overlord II has the established characters of one and expands on ones not named Ains giving it a fuller story as the focus is spreading his name across the land. Whilst the conclusions are predictable, the way it gets there is well told with Sebas, in particular, getting a lot of air time and proving his worth both to Ains and the audience, the human characters with some mystery with Princess Reiner definitely adds to something in the future and whilst some other plotlines were very thin, it doesn’t hamper the enjoyment of the story that is told. Great animation, music, dub/sub voice work, it is one to grab – it only available in a limited quantity though so grab it if you can.

Japanese Language, English Language, English Subtitles, Episode 3 Commentary, Episode 6 Commentary, Overlord II At Anime Expo 2018: A Message from Minoru Ashina, Overlord II At Anime Expo 2018: Interview with Kugane Maruyama + Naoyuki Itou, Play Play Pleiades 2, Special Preview Collection, Chapter I Preview, Promotional Videos, Commercials, Clean Opening, Clean Ending

Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: A-

Released By: Manga Entertainment UK
Release Date: February 25th, 2019 (Exclusive to Zavvi)
MSRP: £49.99
Running Time: 325 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1:78:1 widescreen

Review Equipment:
Playstation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.

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