Story: Okina Baba
Art: Asahiro Kakashi
Character Design: Tsukasa Kiryu
Translation/Adaptation: Jenny McKeon
What They Say
I’ll fight fire with…uh…I’ll get back to you…
After so many setbacks, I’ve finally made my way…to the fiery hellscape that makes up the middle level of the labyrinth. Yay…? The monsters are a bit easier up here, it’s true, but they’ve also got the hometown advantage! Even with all my new skills, this little spider has her work cut out for her! I’m taking damage just existing in this lava level, I don’t even wanna THINK of what’ll happen if I get hurt for real…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This entire volume of Spider takes place in the magma middle layer of the massive underground that our protagonist has found herself born into. The most surprising development of this volume might just be the fact the protagonist finally refers to herself as Kumoko, so at least we have something to call her now. (Although that’s literally just ‘spider’ with a female modifier.)
Kumoko spends her time hunting, eating, and getting stronger. Her level advancement is speeding up at a rapid pace though. She evolves to yet another new form and gains an ability that gives her two separate thought processes. She creates two alter-egos to handle mind and body and then spends the hours talking to herself and trying out new techniques and abilities.
Mixed inside those conversations are plenty of visual gags but the lack of change of scenery and other characters really does make it feel like we’ve been trapped at a one woman play. Especially since even the enemies she is fighting are opinionless monsters. I’ve started to gloss over the panels of stat increases because there are so many of them that it’s overkill. Nothing Kumoko faces in this volume feels like a challenge for her quickly accelerating skill, which is inching her toward what is likely her overpowered isekai protagonist destiny.
To that end, after one of her stats reaches level 10 and nothing happens she quips to herself that she’s less than impressed that she didn’t gain a higher skill from it. With a sudden shock she hears her wish has been granted as the problem is literally escalated up an invisible chain to reach ‘upper administrator D.’ This suggests that her new world is a game she is stuck in, or at least some sort of simulation. Because the stats and other game elements were apparently not enough of a clue to her prior to that moment. Suddenly, our protagonist has an existential crisis and is left scared of her powers and the world she has found herself in. However, she quickly gets over it and continues to push forward.
By the end of this volume she’s facing off against a fire wyrm. It ends on that cliffhanger and we’re treated to another extra chapter about the classmate reborn as a lizard. There’s also a brief text extra which, once again doesn’t add much to the narrative, but is at least a bit amusing.
Kumoko, as our heroine addresses herself, continues to evolve and level up at a rapid rate. Pages upon pages of stat boosts and dead catfish later and she may have gamed the system into turning her into your typical overpowered isekai protagonist. Aside from hints that her gamelike world might actually be even more gamelike than she originally thought this continues on the same path as the previous volumes. Still down in the labyrinth, still battling, still talking to herself. There are no hints that the formula will be changing anytime soon, but I have to wonder what the end game is.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: A –
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: October 30, 2018
MSRP: $13.00 US /$17.00 CAN