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So I’m a Spider, So What? Vol. #05 Manga Review

3 min read
Kill, eat, repeat.
So I’m a Spider, So What? Vol. #05

Kill, eat, repeat.

Creative Staff
Story: Okina Baba
Art: Asahiro Kakashi
Character Design: Tsukasa Kiryu
Translation/Adaptation: Jenny McKeon

What They Say
You think you can beat me?! You and what army!? Oh…that army…
I thought I was getting the hang of things! Famous last words, right? This middle stratum is filled with fiery magma (with monsters to match!), but I’ve been holding my own. I may be a weak, little spider, but I’ve got brains on my side–three of them, in fact! I’ve got Information Brain to call the shots, Body Brain to do the moves, and my new Magic Brain to figure out…whatever the heck is up with magic in this world, sheesh. Think you can take on me, myself, and I, Mr. Big Giant Scary Dragon?!!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Fire wyrms, stat boxes, and bigger fire wyrms are the best way to describe this volume of the manga adaptation of So I’m a Spider. It’s more of the same, with the heroine gradually increasing her power with every monster killed. The pace is both gruelingly slow and maddeningly fast at the same time. She is already far overpowered with strange abilities with dark sounding names, yet there’s always a bigger fish.

That bigger fish happens to be a fire wyrm, and the battle from the previous volume concludes in this one. She barely has time to argue and congratulate herself after that confrontation before the next challenger approaches. Or, more appropriately, she approaches it.

This volume is almost entirely action, but that action consists of a large number of speed lines and not much else. The tactics play a more important role than the moves themselves, but then the story commits the greatest crime of manga, ass-pulls. With no foreshadowing or hinting, Kumoko triumphantly performs two feats that we didn’t know she was capable of. There’s really no reason the reader wasn’t given a heads up, and it’s done to create artificial tension. It would have been more effective to have shown the thought process by which she planned the maneuvers. Kumoko remains overpowered for a spider, and her finishing move doesn’t come out of nowhere, but the whole battle feels inorganic.

A few more levels later and her destruction of a dragon catches the attention of the divine powers of the world. Finally, the story appears to be heading in a new direction. I can’t wait to be done with the underground.

Extras for this volume include opening color pages, and a few author/artist gag comics and comments, one of which explains how the artist landed on the spider design.

In Summary
Our spider heroine meets her greatest foe yet in the form of a fire dragon. However, to get past that foe and closer to the surface she’ll need a little help from… mom? Grinding in games is rarely fun, and watching a spider do so lost its novelty fast. There are finally hints at the end of this volume that the story is going to be taking a major turn soon. The change is long overdue, as there are only so many cave monsters you can watch get demolished.

Content Grade: B –
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: A –

Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: March 19, 2019
MSRP: $13.00 US /$17.00 CAN