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So I'm a Spider, So What?
Episode 5

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 5 of
So I'm a Spider, So What? ?
Community score: 4.4

This episode spends a lot more time than any previous episode dwelling on the game stats aspect of the setting. I can easily see that being annoying, given how prominent this is in the genre; indeed, the anime is actually toning this down, as the game stats are even more prevalent in the source novels. This should not be just skimmed or glossed over, however, as Kumoko's expanded Appraisal ability gives her much more detail on her stats, and that allows some key revelations to come out. In fact, for as little as this episode seems to accomplish, it actually loads up with little tidbits that touch on the big picture and will impact future events, including some events which may even be beyond what the anime adapts.

After taking an episode off, the human side returns. These scenes adapt multiple short excerpts from the middle of the second novel, albeit with the context in which they happen – and even the characters involved – changed significantly. Presenting both the Fei/Shun conversation and Yuri's entreaties about the Word of God in this way makes much more sense for anime form, though it also suggests that one key plot point involving Katia may be getting downplayed or excised altogether; for novel readers, this bears watching. This still puts the human side ahead of the spider side in adaptation (the latter is about a third of the way through novel 2 at the end of the episode), but, again, the timing is clearly chosen so that comments in the human side line up with the monster side, such as Shun's statements about intelligent monsters or Yuri's comments about the dangers of Taboo. That also raises questions about what, exactly, is so forbidden in a game-structured system to warrant such protections (the underlying code, perhaps?) and why any chance of getting access to such knowledge would be worked into the system if it wasn't meant to be known.

The spider side is, as usual, the livelier one. Kumoko certainly seems to be having fun when she is not scrabbling for her life, and all of the little comedy bits that the adaptation is working in are nice bonus touches; even the gusto with which she eats is entertaining. (Has any series in recent memory emphasized this so much?) Probably most appreciable about her situation right now is how the series consistently maintains the threat level. The dangers she faces continue to be convincing ones, whether the danger in question is the new dragon, the heat and lava of the Middle Stratum, or the fireball-spewing and catfish-like critters in the lava. She may not be harried to within an inch of her life this time, but she still has to work for her victories. The CG use this episode seems a little better, though I can still see it bothering some viewers.

What's going on with the stats on the spider side is, as mentioned before, also important. Pride's description – “the ability to exceed the W system and interfere with the MA field” – is curious indeed. The W system would seem to refer to the game-like architecture of the world, but what does “exceeding” it mean? And what is the MA (magic?) field and what could interfering with it entail? Kumoko also notices how the “W system” seems to connect to the mysterious N%I = W skill, which only the reincarnations seem to have. The “Demon Lord” skill also seems significant as more than just a stat-booster. These are the first inklings about the bigger mystery underlying this world, and the way the series will explore this in the future is one of the factors that sets this franchise apart from other isekai titles.

Let's not forget the epilogue, either. That scene – where an explorer of the Great Elroe Labyrinth is leading a team of heroes toward the entrance to the Middle Stratum from the top side – marks both the first formal appearance of Shun's elder brother Julius along with those supporting him and the first instance of a third perspective to date in the anime. (The novels have used many more by this point.) It also, finally, provides an indicator that the anime is not going to entirely skip all those extra perspectives. But what is Julius doing down there, and what might it have to do with Kumoko? We'll have to wait and see.


So I'm a Spider, So What? is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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