So I'm a Spider, So What?
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 6 of
So I'm a Spider, So What? ?
Between its four different scenes, episode 6 has a lot going on, and some of it will undoubtedly leave anime-only viewers scratching their heads. Don't worry; you are not missing anything, as the confusion is both intentional and a direct adaptation from the novel. Novel readers did not have any better understanding of the full picture at this point in the story. However, some things can reasonably be parsed from what the anime has shown so far.
Kumoko has the most straightforward entry this episode. Once again, she is confronted by a daunting new foe (this time a fire-breathing, snake-like monster from a magma pool) and must use every established trick plus a new ability or two to just barely survive and win. Pulling off that feat allows her to level up, gain new skills, and in this case, evolve again – and this time around that means a substantial change in her appearance, with her now having scythelike blades for forearms. As routine as this is becoming (even down to the now-expected joke scenes about how she envisions herself and the gusto with which she chows down on monsters), the bigger development here is the appearance of the first Parallel Mind. (Given what is shown in the opener and closer for the series, more can be presumed to be coming.) She now has one mind to control her body and another to think things through, effectively allowing her to do true multi-tasking. Should be interesting to see what the consequences of this will be.
On the human side, Hugo's frustration with not being the star of his story is building, making it clearer than ever that rash action from him directed at Schlain is coming. Otherwise, the human side is mostly used to segue into the first full sequence featuring Julius, with a nice bit of connection between Schlain's near-worship of his elder brother and the comment one of Julius's companions (Hyrince, for the record) makes about Julius feeling the need to stay ahead of his siblings' expectations. We get to see him and his party of companions in a good action scene against the monstrously-sized Greater Taratects (which, notably, are still vastly smaller than the spider Kumoko referred to as “mother” back in episode 1), but what's more interesting is where they are and why. They are headed towards the entrance to the Middle Layer of the Great Elroe Labyrinth in search of an unusually tough spider monster.
Every implication at first is that Julius's target is Kumoko, but they are actually after a monster called Nightmare's Vestige: an all-white spider monster that is comparatively small but terrifyingly fast and strong. That and an appearance suspiciously similar to Kumoko's new Zoa Elle evolution suggest a connection to Kumoko, but the abilities it uses – telepathy (in a deep, male-sounding voice) and magic use – are well beyond what Kumoko currently has in her segment, as is Julius's estimation of its stats. And this is just a “vestige” of something called a Nightmare, too! This again suggests that the human and spider sides are not operating in the same time frame, which makes it possible that this is a foreshadowing of something that Kumoko will do down the road. Given that this scene is shown right after the first Parallel Mind is introduced, could there be a connection?
The other important scene here is the formal introduction of the scantily-clad girl shown in the opener. An announcement just before the episode aired revealed that she is the Demon Lord, and the cape that she is wearing has a suspiciously multi-limbed construction. Sumire Uesaka (Shalltear from Overlord and Isekai Quartet) hits just the right note for her voice in the few lines she has here, as she is described in the novels as giving little outward impression of being as powerful as she is, but just as interesting is the suggestion that she was the one who cowed the Nightmare's Vestige long enough for Julius and his party to defeat it, and that she had reason to not go after the Hero just yet. That development bears watching, too. The subordinate she is talking to is introduced in this press release as Balto, but he looks decidedly un-demon-like. As for the other young, all-white woman with her eyes closed, who is standing behind and to the Demon Lord's right in two very brief shots? That's not the Sophia introduced in the press release. A very minor hint about who she might be has been tossed out so far, but spotting the relevant detail, interpreting it correctly, and connecting the dots will be challenging for anime-only viewers. Even if you do figure it out, it will leave you scratching your head over what that means.
In adaptation terms, this episode is jumping around liberally within the second novel, with the epilogue scene and Next Episode title suggesting that the series may go back and adapt in different chronological order one scene that it has skipped over so far. The adaptation continues to dump a lot of stats-related analysis, but that was always the most expendable part of the novels. Showing the Demon Lord scene is the most interesting choice, as this short interlude chapter was done as a largely anonymous dialogue in the novel (something which the novel series does frequently), but it is the way the scene needed to be done in visual form. Overall, I am still quite pleased with how the anime is handling the content.
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