- Titles: Kumo desu ga, Nani ka?, So I’m a Spider, So What?
- Genre: Isekai, fantasy, action, comedy, drama
- Episodes: 24
- Studio: Millepensee, exsa
Have you ever had one of those days? Or maybe one of those multiple years? School just kind of sucks. You don,t have friends, kids tease and bully you. Nothing horrible, petty little kids things like spilling a drink on you but it’s still annoying. You’re alone all the time and even though you just want to mind your own business, you can’t seem to catch a break. And then bam, as your just sitting in class, you’re dead. Your whole class is. The heck! You never did anything to deserve that. But it turns out, all those isekai shows are true and you find yourself in a world full of magic and adventure. All your classmates are nowhere to be seen. You think, OMG, I finally got lucky. All those years of putting up with it have paid off and you get your reward. Except… now you’re a spider monster. Great!
I’m not sure if it’s a trend, the reincarnated as something not at all human thing. Like maybe Japan finally oversaturated the isekai market so much that they had to branch out in any way they can. I don’t hate it. I liked Slime a lot and Spider certainly has some things going for it. I would like to see someone get reincarnated as a cat in a fantasy world, then the whole rest of the show is just isekai Garfield. Basically amazing adventures are happening in the background while the main character just lazes around at home and eats a lot or gets annoyed at the people around. I would watch that!
I didn’t really know anything abt either studio involved with So I’m a Spider, So What? And honestly, it’s a very run-of-the-mill production. Nothing’s wrong with it but other than having a main character who is a spider with a few different spider designs, there’s really nothing memorable about the production.
The show uses a lot of CG and it’s not always very smooth. I mean you can see it. Your mileage may vary on this point. I didn’t like it but it didn’t bother me either. I figure viewers that are more sensitive to CG may get irritated with it. Then again, some might not particularly notice it either. I don,t think it’s objectively bad CG but it’s still a bit rougher than a completely traditionally animated series.
On the other hand, there is a lot of action in this show that might have been difficult to realize without some computerized help. What I’m saying is that compromises were made.
Story & Characters
I went on a bit of a roller coaster watching So I’m a Spider, So What?. There are in fact two stories. First, we have Kumiko who was a bullied girl that wakes up alone as a spider monster in a dungeon. She has to adapt to her new reality and body while fighting predators and trying to make it out of the dungeon. There are frequent RPG mechanics mixed in such as levelling up and choosing characters skills, etc.
In parallel, there are the remaining students, most of which have reincarnated as humans. A lot of them are together in fantasy school and taking classes adjusting to their new world.
For the entire series, the two plots only overlap implicitly. One of the kids is a prince and therefore has access to a lot of information about the kingdom and there are rumours about a very powerful spider monster. Eventually, Kumiko seems to meet one of them but something’s off.
In general, though, Kumiko is off on one side and the rest of the kids are on the other side. Eventually, there’s a pretty cool reveal. I actually did like it a lot. You can figure it out fairly early on but it’s still nice to get confirmation and it sort of recontextualizes the whole show in a very interesting way. It also makes perfect sense since it’s so well foreshadowed. It’s a good reveal.
But it doesn’t negate some of the issues I had with the series. First is the fact that I was just way more interested in Kumiko’s storyline. As such, whenever it switched to the kids I got impatient and wanted to go back to the dungeon. I’m not sure this would have been the case otherwise. If it was just the kids at magic school, I probably would have enjoyed it just fine. But the contrast of having a story I liked more mixed in, made me resent having to watch the parts that I liked less. I think overall, it lessened my enjoyment of the series.
Second, So I’m a Spider, So What?, gets really dramatic. Downright tragic. In a way that I couldn’t twist into comedy. And I’m not sure the show had established the characters and setting enough to carry all that emotional baggage properly. I think those more serious tones weigh down the series a lot. There were even painful and unpleasant scenes injected into the lighter episodes for some reason.
Now, from my impression, Kumiko is not exactly a good guy. From the very first episode, she reacts first with violence and doesn’t hesitate to put her needs above other creatures’ lives. There is an attempt to make her seem more merciful in that she doesn’t murder everyone in sight even when she can but I think that’s a red herring. In my view, Kumiko is actually an affable villain. But that’s not really explored. At least not this season. The series does end in a cliffhanger by the way.
Also, although I did like Kumiko’s storyline more, I’m not a huge fan of her character. Not the being evil stuff. I liked the being evil stuff. But as a spider, she’s also a bit too genki for my tastes. She’s so squee… And because she’s alone she narrates everything in an overly enthusiastic cheerleader voice that wore on me at times.
Basically, there are parts of So I’m a Spider, So What? that I liked a lot. Kumiko’s levelling up journey, when I wasn’t sad for the creatures she was slaughtering left and right was pretty fun. Dragon Feirun was also a great character to get to know. And how the whole story çame together was awesome.
On the other hand, Shun’s journey was less interesting to me and got way too tragic way too quickly. I don,t think the drama was properly balanced or earned and the pacing got very dicey when going from one plot to the other.
In the end, I’m not mad I watched the series the cliffhanger did not make me want to go out and find out what happens next which is rare for me.
You might like this anime if:
You are a die-hard isekai fan. You enjoy tragedy in your fantasy series.
My favourite character:
Kanata. The character is underused, there was a lot of potential there.
- Every time there’s CG – take a sip
- Every time Kumiko eats someone/thing – get a snack
- Every time te UI(?) speaks up – gasp!
- Every time Kumiko levels up – clap politely
- Every time we see the old classroom – take a sip
- Every time Kumiko has a close call – take a sip
- Every time Yuika is being pious – take a sip
- Every time Shun talks about his brother – take a sip
- Every time we meet or hear from an admin – pay attention
- Every time anyone says “taboo” – take a sip
- Every time Kumiko almost gives up – take a sip
- Every time Kumiko looses a limb – take a sip
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.