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Overlord IV Episode 1 Review – Best In Show

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Overlord IV Episode 1 Review – Quick Summary

In Overlord IV episode 1, “Ains Ooal Gown Nation of Leading Darkness,” Momonga, wishing to be known as Ains Ooal Gown, had a problem. He wasn’t sure how he wanted to rule his kingdom. Albedo had some ideas that sounded great – but that would have left a lot of corpses in their wake. Aura and Mare had other ideas that, while being less dangerous, were no less far from the mark. What will Ains Ooal Gown decide? Who else can he ask? And is he sure he created Pandora’s Actor that way?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Overlord IV Episode 1

She’s really quick on her feet! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I like Ains Ooal Gown as a character. He’s at an awkward mental age, where he can oscillate between great confidence and extreme low self-esteem. In fact, my favorite quote is an example of the latter, while my favorite moment is an example, or an outcome, of the former.

Albedo had just asked for Ains Ooal Gown to go through the morning reports. He tried to read them, but he didn’t expect to get much out of them. As he skimmed their pages, he confirmed his own expectations: “Yup,” he said (03:07), “I don’t understand any of it.”

He wanted Albedo and Demiurge to work on the kingdom’s social laws. In an attempt to seem humble before Albedo, he came out and told her that though he understood many things, social law was not one of them.

Albedo at first acted shocked. Then she came up with an explanation that allowed her to maintain her awe of him. “I see,” she said, brightening (03:58). “I see. An absolute ruler would never be bound by any law, after all.”

I think her statement of confidence only made him feel more self-conscious!

Best in Show Moment for Overlord IV Episode 1

Ains Ooal Gown figured out what he wanted. And it sounds pretty cool! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Overlord and Its Place Within the Isekai Genre

I could talk all day about the depth of character and world from Jobless Reincarnation. I could gush about the raw emotional impact of many scenes from Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-. But those shows aren’t alone in that regard. Overlord is right up there with them. The way this series portrayed Momonga’s entry into the world and the way they portrayed what he and his friends had created were utterly fascinating. But what made it special, what made Overlord Overlord, is how the writer, Kugane Maruyama, showed that world in action.

In other words, I love a well-constructed fictional world. But I adore a well-constructed fictional world that seems to live and breath. And that’s what Overlord gives us.

The character of Momonga/Ains Ooal Gown adds depth and breadth to the world. He’s a creative guy. Sure, Pandora’s Actor is over the top, but he was an early creation. And yes, creating an entire group of homunculus maids might almost gratuitous. But it’s perfect for who Momonga was when he and his friends created them.

In Fith’s defense, Ains Ooal Gown did tell her she could choose how to dress him. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

That level of realism just sets the stage, though. Since almost day one, way back in the first season, Ains Ooal Gown has felt guilty about his last minute, spontaneous change to Albedo’s character description so she would be madly in love with him. For a game, sure, that’d be fun to do. But now that he’s faced with the apparently real incarnation of Albedo, he feels like he deprived her of her free will. Details like that make this series one of my favorite isekai series. 

I mentioned in my favorite quote that Ains Ooal Gown swings from extreme confidence to self-loathing. In my favorite moment of the episode, he showed his confident side.

He’d been thinking of what kind of kingdom he wanted. Albedo, Aura, and Mare shared their ideas with him, but he was looking for something bigger. I think his conversation with the guild master, Ainzach, crystalized his vision.

Delivery: Ains Ooal Gown Continues His Journey

Overlord asks you to be at least a little sympathetic to the main characters, even though in most fantasy-based series, they would be the villains. And to be honest, I had a hard time accepting Neuronist Painkill to be anything but evil. Really, really evil, in fact! On the other hand, I enjoy how the show plays against type with characters like Cocytus and even the goblins. It gives the show an enjoyable depth.

But Ains Ooal Gown’s conversation with Ainzach made him realize treating every one of his subjects, humans and non-humans alike, was something he really wanted to achieve. So as he walked with Fith, he decided how he wanted to rule his kingdom.

He told her that he treasured the creations his companions had left behind – like the homunculus maids. That, of course, delighted Fith. Then he went on to say that he wanted to be merciful to anyone he ruled. They were his subjects, after all. To that, Fith heartily agreed.

Fith seemed onboard with the idea. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

“Then, let us create a utopia,” he said to her (22:46). “A world as sweet as honey. A world where the people wish to forever be under my rule… Not only the humans.”

He might not believe in himself, but this was some high-quality leadership. He properly set the context with Fith; then he carefully watched her reaction. That gave him insight into how the rest of his intimate followers would react.

That was the opening act to the fourth season. I’m more excited than ever to see where it goes!

What did you think of Albedo’s near fist fight with Aura? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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