Written by: Gabriel Castillo | Published on: January 10, 2021
From being in literature class to becoming a low-class spider, what else is there to do but to live as one? Nai wa~
Literally hatching from the egg suggests that the series could have a slow start. However, expect things to ramp up as the series approaches its latter half (much like the light novel/manga adaptation). Moreover, the the secrets of this new world will unravel adding new dimensions to the story. There will be more monsters, fights, and leveling up as the protagonist ventures on.
Series Synopsis via ANN
After a Japanese classroom was destroyed by a mysterious explosion all the students reincarnated as humans on a fantasy world except for a female student who had the lowest reputation on the classroom, she was reincarnated as a spider monster. Being the weakest monster on the dungeon she need to survive using all her human intellect and courage.
Everything was normal for these students until there was a bright explosion. The protagonist finds herself breaking out of a egg reborn as a spider in a vast and dark place. What kind of world is she reincarnated in? What monsters await? What food awaits? What happened to the other students from the school?
The unnamed protagonist is known (unofficially) online as Kumoko and shall be referred to as such hereunder and in succeeding reviews. Kumoko’s personality shines (despite being a spider – maybe it’s ‘spidernality’ then) thanks to the wonderful performance of Aoi Yuuki. She is bright, talkative, perceptive, determined, intelligent, humorous, spunky and engaging! Kumoko describes her human self as one that was more interested in playing video games and staying at home. Now, she is thrust into an unknown, video-game-like world. Kumoko displays her resolve to live as a spider and does what is necessary – even if it meant eating disgusting monsters.
"Oh Jesus!" - Kumoko
The most interesting aspect is Kumoko’s power level; she is not overpowered! Why is that so great? First, it opens the character to many possibilities of growth and loss. Second, viewers can be more invested in Kumoko’s growth. Lastly, this invites viewers to cheer on Kumoko during her struggles.
The supporting cast is briefly shown in the first episode and are listed below:
Schlain Zagan Analeit – reincarnated as the prince of the country, a genius with a calm demeanor.
Suelecia Zagan Analeit – (not a reincarnate) sister of Schlain, very attached to her brother.
Karnatia Seri Anabald – previously a boy, reincarnated as the daughter of a duke, a genius cutie.
Filmos Harrifenas – previously the school teacher, reincarnated as an elf with a youthful energy and matching appearance.
Feirune – reincarnated as a monster and pet of Schlain with a confident attitude.
Yurin Ellen – reincarnated as a well-mannered saint candidate in the Holy Kingdom of Alleius.
Hugo Baint Renxandt – reincarnated as the crown prince of Renxandt kingdom with a forward and boisterous personality, probably also a genius.
The reincarnates, except Feirune, are born as people of high standing and ability. Interestingly, these reincarnates, along with other unnamed ones, are together in contrast to Kumoko who is alone in the dark. It will be interesting to see how these characters develop and how their stories intertwine with Kumoko’s.
Production (Animation, Sound, and Design)
Millepensee uses CGI-heavy animation for sequences involving Kumoko while other scenes are hand-drawn. For the most part, the CGI feels decent… at least so far. There are some differences between the textures of the background and of the characters but it does not necessarily ruin everything. The color scheme is surprisingly vibrant (especially Kumoko’s pink accents) when it needs to be. Beware: there is a fair amount of blood when dealing with monsters in this anime!
With the help of proper background music and sound effects, this episode appropriately captures the initial mix of emotions someone might feel after being reincarnated as a spider (e.g. afraid, curious, energetic, sad, etc). Hopefully, this carries on throughout the series.
The world design is interesting but there are still many questions left. This episode shows a brief glimpse of two very distinct aspects of the world: a dark dungeon filled with monsters and a bright banquet for humans. Everything else in between remains to be seen. Additionally, the world is distinctly video game-like (with levels, skills, and more) which is common in the Isekai genre.
Music (OP & ED)
Opening: Keep weaving your spider way by Riko Azuna has a pop-rocky energetic feel to it. The interplay between the fast-paced beat, guitar riffs, and catchy vocals create a powerful song.
Ending: Ganbare! Kumoko-san’s Theme by Watashi/Kumoko (Aoi Yuuko) is distinctly different from the opening; its intense pace is matched by equally intense vocals. This would definitely be a challenging song in a Japanese rhythm game.
Author's Rating: 6.8/10
Not much happened in the episode but it served as a decent introduction into the new world. Kumoko was the best part of this episode! She was fun and her engaging personality – spidernality -- was enjoyable. But a likable character can only take the series so far. The supporting cast and the rest of the story will have to keep up! The CGI-heavy animation will take some getting used to (with a dash of wishful thinking).
What exactly brought the students to this world? What awaits Kumoko in the darkness? What kind of new things will come as she levels up? What other gunky things will be eaten? What kind of a life will this spider live? For the other reincarnates – what awaits in their new school? How will their lives intersect with Kumoko’s?
Official Anime Website: So I'm a Spider, So What?
Official Anime Twitter: @kumoko_anime
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