So I'm a Spider, So What?
by Mercedez Clewis,
How would you rate episode 21 of
So I'm a Spider, So What? ?
Episode 21, “So, I'm not in this one, am I?” is a bold episode, not only because the title automatically gives away who isn't in this very Shun-centric episode, but also because of the decision to have a Shun-centric episode this late into the series, where there's a scant four episodes left.
Post-OP, we're dropped directly into the present with Shun and company, who are accompanied by Kunihiko and Asaka. Together, they arrive at the barrier around the Elf Village to assess it. After the barrier repels a powerful attack from Kunihiko, he and Fei seemed convinced of its durability, but Katia points out the simple fact that the barrier can be bypassed via the same teleportation circle they entered the village with, not to mention how it is susceptible to sabotage. Even so, the elves have complete faith in the barrier, and their pride prevents them from acknowledging the possibility of having a traitor in their ranks or being mentally influenced by the enemy.
With the elves refusing to cooperate, Shun's party head back to continue planning and preparing for the war. On the way, they encounter Oka-sensei, who explains to everyone – including Hyrince and Anna – what the viewers already know: that the reincarnations are from a world without skills, levels, and fantastical monsters, and that they are currently being targeted by entities called Administrators. Oka-sensei also reveals that the administrators have been manipulating Hugo, as evidenced by his partnership with Sophia Keren, a reincarnation who has willingly sided with the Administrators. Mulling over all this new information, Shun and co realize that their predicament is more dire than they thought. Not only do they have to worry about enemy infiltration from the teleportation circle, Sophia Keren's involvement means that a) the barrier can be disabled from the outside as well, and b) there may be other reincarnations working for the Administrators. Still, these are all worst-case scenarios that wouldn't necessarily happen...right?
As it turns out, almost all of their worst fears have come true. The teleportation circle is infiltrated by none other than another reincarnation: Kusama, who's known as Sajin in this world. While there's no confirmation that he's siding with the Administrators, he's definitely not on the side of reincarnations held in the Elf Village, making him technically an enemy. And of course, the barrier is easily nullified (not by Sophia, surprisingly, but White, the Demon General who made an appearance in episode 11), allowing the invading army to penetrate deep into the heart of the Elf Village. The other surprise here is Kusama's target: instead of disabling the barrier, he's here to destroy the teleportation circle itself, presumably to prevent the reincarnations – or Potimas – from escaping.
A lot happens in episode 21: the barrier falls, the invasion finally commences, and the plot grows ever more complex. At this point, I have very few worries for Kumoko, but so many for Shun and the elves. For an episode without Kumoko, it remains solidly entertaining, delivering plenty of food for thought to chew on here, especially with regards to the Administrators (but can we trust Oka's information?). While I do miss Kumoko's antics, it was nice to see the show shift gears and become a bit more action-oriented in a different direction. Though that's not why I've stuck around; It's the complexities of the plot, and all those juicy nuggets of worldbuilding, that keep me interested.
Still, I'm anxious about whether all those nuggets are going to come together in a satisfying finale for anime-only viewers who don't know where the light novels are going. So I'm a Spider, So What?'s plot has, dare I say it, almost gotten a bit too big for its britches with only four episodes remaining. Yet, even with all that, I still remain rather optimistic about the ending. I think we're in for a real treat if this adaptation can pull it off. Then again, I, myself, am an anime-only viewer: who knows where all my private predictions will go! For now, I'm going to sit back and let Kumoko and the reincarnations take the wheel.
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 journalist 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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