Striking The Right Note: Overlord

As we all know, the purpose of an OP is to sell the basic concept, characters, and mood of the show. As we also know, not all OP’s manage this, with more than a few failing to hit one or two of the right notes required to get thinking this is a show we might want to spend some time with.

It’s a tricky thing, really, no matter how you look at it. The character intro is pretty much a must, as is the concept. Those things can be worked in, usually, with little problem. It’s the mood where a lot of shows miss the mark.

Most of the time, the music can be used to fix that. I’d go so far as to say that music is the best way to sell the mood, tone, and approach the studio is looking for. Music is powerful, after all, especially at conveying concepts that can be hard to make work with visuals alone.

Case in point, this week’s offering. Overlord is a 13 episode, 2015 series from Madhouse that has a mood and style that can be pretty difficult to get right with just visuals, though it’s Madhouse, so they get pretty damn close. It’s the music that closes the gap, however.

The story revolves around a gamer who is one of the few active players left in an old virtual MMO. The server is shutting down, and since it was where this particular player built some of his most cherished friendships and favorite memories, he wants to stay online until the final moment. Basically, he wants to be there when the world he loves ends.

Except, it doesn’t. Somehow, the player finds himself transported to another world. Not the world of the game, but a completely different world. A world where he has now become his game character, a Lich named Ainz Ooal Gown. From there, most of the show revolves around him trying to figure out what this new world is all about, and maybe trying to take it over and rule it.

The show has a rather large cast of characters, all of whom the OP tries to work in some way or the other, while also featuring what is one of the series most attractive elements, the epic battle scenes. They are pretty epic, too, despite Ainz being so overpowered that little is of actual threat to him. That the story manages to do that, while keeping the epic nature of the fights, is one of the strongest aspects of the series as a whole.

That music, though.

“Clattanoia” by O×T is one of the most perfect songs that could have been chosen for Overlord. The high energy, the hard rock feel, the rapid approach to everything, suits the series better than probably anything else could. It also tells you just what the mood of the show is going to be.

Fast, furious, powerful, and driven. That is exactly what Overlord is like, and how it all feels as you watch it. Everything feels monumental, even fights you know Ainz is going to win. It all feels fast paced, but not to the point it’s confusing or vague. Watching Overlord feels just like listening to the OP song.

That’s pretty much a perfect note to strike with an OP, too.

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