So I'm a Spider, So What?
by Mercedez Clewis,
How would you rate episode 18 of
So I'm a Spider, So What? ?
Episode 18, “You Guys Are Kind of Awful, Huh?”, fully returns to focusing primarily on best spider girl, Kumoko, and opens on her devouring a giant crocodile-shark beast. Now that her spiderific body is seemingly healed and no longer relegated to censored head territory, she fancies the thought of heading to a nearby town with all the delicious food that entails. Well, she would be doing that, if she wasn't, you know, a giant spider.
While using her Clairvoyance to gaze into the fut-, er, distance, she spies a carriage – the same one carrying Sophia in episode 14. Turns out that after rescuing them, Kumoko has left a strong impression on both of Sophia's parents. Sophia's mother seems to consider Kumoko a divine beast, a term so high and mighty that if Kumoko heard it, she'd be liable to lose her head again. Meanwhile, her father, the lord of the town, is aware of Kumoko's reputation as the Nightmare and thus a lot more wary of Kumoko's puzzling intentions.
The episode also puts us into Sophia's perspective for a moment. Born Negishi Shouko in Japan, and given second life as Sophia in another world, she found the early days of her reincarnation confusing and unsettling. However, with two loving parents and a kind butler looking over her, Shouko quickly got used to and even started to enjoy her new, and apparently better, life – that is, until the roadside carriage assault on that fateful day. While Kumoko saved her family from utter destruction, for Shouko, the mere fact that such a terrifying creature exists out there is a nightmare that makes her afraid of leaving home (which, even discounting the fact that she is effectively trapped in the body of a baby, is understandable given the little that we saw of her original life in Japan in episode 8).
But enough of Sophia, and even Kumoko, for now. Let's briefly talk about Shun.
Shun's part for this episode focuses on his time post-labyrinth. The party has successfully – and safely – exited the Great Elroe Labyrinth, and are now in the Kingdom of Sariella. Their discussion atop a flying Fei, combined with the conversation between Sophia's father and butler in the earlier scene, gives us a deeper insight into the religions and politics of this world. You see, the primary religion of Sariella is the Goddess Religion, whose followers believe that those who give up their skills to the goddess will be offered salvation. This, of course, is considered heretical by the Word of God church, which encourages its followers to level up to become closer to God and is also the religion that oversees the actions of the Hero. It is this conflict between the two religions that fuels the tension between Sariella and the Ohts Kingdom during Kumoko's time, and informs the reason why Shun must keep a low profile during his time in Sariella. To further complicate matters, Shun finds out that Hugo is probably brainwashing the Pontiff of the church, Dustin. He becomes determined to defeat him, come what may. While nothing comes of all this information, it's decent enough setup for what could and presumably, will come in the next epsiode.
Back in the past, Kumoko's taken out a bunch of elves, all of whom were in hot pursuit of “baby bloodsucker” Sophia. Thankfully that human EXP is juicy (that's a direct quote) so Kumoko doesn't mind one-shotting elves like she's a sniper in an FPS, making a web hammock, and catching her zzz's around human settlements. Unfortunately, Kumoko's elven slaughter doesn't go unnoticed, and Potimas, mistakenly assuming this to be the work of the brood of Demon Lord Ariel, decides to take matters into his own hands.
As the day breaks, our favorite spider promises to take out so many elves that they'll become a protected species which like… is a lot to digest, Kumoko. And she makes good on that, in large part because the elves don't have the power of God and anime on their side. And once that's done, Kumoko finds that she's quickly becoming a bit of a legend around these here parts, which leads a mother to bring her ailing son to Kumoko for healing. Kumoko agrees because she's bored, but this is bound to bring all sorts of ramifications for her, especially now that the rumors of her divinity are basically confirmed, even if they're not true … yet. Who knows? I'm absolutely holding out for the potential for Kumoko to become a spider goddess.
Episode 18 continues to tangle the plot threads in a genuinely enjoyable way. Every episode of So I'm a Spider, So What? so far has been solid, enough that it never feels like a chore to set aside thirty minutes sometime during the weekend to chill with Kumoko and company. Though I'll admit I'm beginning to feel like I need a notebook to keep everything straight. It's plot-dense in a good way, but also a bit overwhelming sometimes, especially now that there's a lot of nitty-gritty details to keep track of.
Yet that's not a deterrent: if anything, it's made me engage with the show a lot more closely. That's overall heightened my experience, though like with every series, I know that'll be enough to make some viewers drop the show like it's a real spider that's crawled into their lap. But whether you're here for the world-building, the genuinely enjoyable cast of characters, Kumoko's antics, or even Yuki Aoi's dynamically engaging voice acting, it's all enjoyable. There really is something for everyone here, and as So I'm a Spider, So What? gets more and more plotty, I find it easy to recommend that everyone get in on this second cour.
So I'm a Spider, So What? is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Mercedez is a JP-EN localization editor & QA, pop culture critic, and a writer who also writes & reviews at Anime Feminist and But Why Tho?. She's also a frequent guest on the AniFem Podcast, Chatty AF. This anime season, she's all about Super Cub, which is great because she's also reviewing it here on ANN. When she's not writing, you can find her on her Twitter or on her Instagram where she's always up to something.
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