Overlord Season 4 Synopsis
Depending on your perspective, the good guy is Momonga, aka Ainz, the head of a top guild in an online game named YGGDRASIL. The game servers are about to shut down. But instead of logging off like everyone else in his guild, Momonga stays logged in past the time the game shuts down. The game ends, and a new “game” begins.
Momonga finds he is stuck in his skeletal overlord avatar body – as if it is his own. Since he can’t escape this new world, he decides to seek out any other players who stay in the game. Momonga and, by extension, his guild overpower everyone in this new world. His avatar’s undead nature contributes to his ability to act without moral constraints.
Thus, season four continues Ainz’s world domination campaign.
Paradise is a Product of War
What kind of kingdom do you want to build?
This question frames Season four of Overlord. The answer – a utopia – drives the season. But the road to this noble goal is paved with blood. The end of this season’s first and last scene of the final episode shows this contrast beautifully. Simply put: You must war for peace.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves. There are 13 beautiful episodes until the bloody conclusion. These episodes continue Ainz Ooal Gown’s story of somewhat unintentional world domination.
Now Season 1 was an introduction to the new world, its characters, abilities, and limitations. Ainz demonstrated why he and his team are a formidable force.
Then Season 2 showed Ainz’s efforts to explore the world. Power plays and trickery commence and end spectacularly.
Season 3 starts with confident kingdoms and ends with one of the most dominant large-scale battles in anime. The season 3 ending showcased the fruit of Gown’s and his crew’s military and Machiavellianism. Everyone knew Nazarick’s might.
Season 4 picks up after the devastation – with a world in awe, fear, and shock at the power of Ainz. But despite this situation, Ainz is unsure of his new position as a kingdom’s ruler. He ponders revealing to his adoring subordinates that he wants them all to be equals. He wants to recreate the relationship he had with his former guildmates. Ainz questions whether this world domination is all it is cracked up to be – especially since it is mostly Albedo’s and Demiurge’s idea.
But once the wheels of war start, they are difficult to stop. Due to Ainz subordinates’ efforts and a heaping of serendipity, we see Ainz and his motley crew make huge strides in Season 4.
Season 4 is a kingdom-building arc. At the end of episode 1, once Ainz decides to create a kingdom as sweet as honey with an iron fist, efforts start moving quickly.
There are some critical moments reflective of life in Overlord Season 4. The most crucial being, perhaps, the Empire’s voluntary decision to become a vassal state of Ainz’s Kingdom.
Out of every twist, turn, and lucky break I have seen in anime, the circumstances embody serendipity.
Jircniv attended a coliseum match featuring a challenger to his Empire’s best warrior: The Warrior King. A giant, mighty troll.
Jircniv’s meeting was going well with the Temple officials until the announcer said the same of the challenger: Ainz himself.
Jircniv’s mind breaks, and he submits to Ainz’s exceptional cunning and intelligence. But it was all by chance that Ainz showed up there. He was not even aware of Jircniv’s plans.
I expected other characters to face the Warrior King, like Brain Unglaus. So this moment genuinely surprised me. It certainly surprised Jircniv. This moment was one of the highlights of the season. It is what makes Overlord stand out from other isekai.
The other theme of this season is growth and change. These are values Ainz tries to impart to Pandora’s Actor and Shalltear. He wants his subordinates to think more freely, grow into their personality, and be more independent.
He is largely successful because of his subordinates’ undying – pun not intended – devotion to Ainz. I am curious to see how this change will impact the series and characters in future seasons. Deals to gain access to Dwarf rune technology and runemaking prove successful too.
Then a threat appears in Episode 11. Ainz and Albedo go to the Re-Estize Kingdom to test their opponents’ strength and serve as the bait to draw out any strong opponents. It is an intel-gathering mission. Therefore, when two new enemies appear, one who gives Ainz some trouble, we feel that maybe Ainz is not so dominant after all.
Overlord’s Lesson on Leadership
But Overlord should be given credit for something else: its lessons on leadership and war, especially in Season 4. This example of what it means to fight battles and how to lead are:
- Show confidence
- Demonstrate competence
- Be open to other opinions.
- Be vested in their subordinates’ development.
- Have empathy.
- Focus on the mission.
- Be flexible.
The last episode combines all of these for one of the most brutal, strategic triumphs in anime. The twist at the end would have been surprising if there were no hints along the way, and I did not come across it sooner. Usually, spoilers, well, spoil my appreciation of works. But, in this case, it did not—this fourth season of Overlord ended strong.
If you did not like Overlord seasons 1 -3, nothing in season 4 like change your mind. If you enjoyed Overlord’s past seasons, you would get more of what you love – with more overt character themes.
That is a good thing. Season 4 is not the strongest season out of the four, but it is still terrific. And if your middling season is excellent, that makes it better than at least 80% of anime out there. Binge-watch this season. I did.
Overlord Season 4: A Stage of Corpses
Season 4 is very balanced. But more than that, it is very political, showing the nuances of conquering and leadership. Some fans may not like this subtle shift in tone—others who find the nuances of war fascinating will. The series is ultimately better for it.
The early episodes show examples of these principles several times.
Overlord season 4 grasps viewers’ hands and guides them through the art of leadership, worldbuilding, and waifu management.
The opening of the final scene shows the results of this endeavor. You find watching this season was, as Ainz reflects on this grand conquest, “worth doing.”
You won’t be bored. You might learn something from this anime depiction of a stage of corpses.
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