Story: Okina Baba
Art: Asahiro Kakashi
Character Design: Tsukasa Kiryu
Translation/Adaptation: Jenny McKeon
What They Say
A mystery man and a smart phone? Things are about to get interesting!
I’m continuing to level up and kick some monster booty into the next stratum! But there’s more to this world than I thought…and it seems there are some big figures at play behind the scenes. Like this man, for example-he just popped up out of nowhere! And…what’s this? Holy crap, a cell phone?! Maybe I’ll finally be able to communicate with someone down here in this labyrinth, and start getting to the bottom of things!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Kumoko has conquered her biggest foe yet, and she’s pretty damn happy with the results. The little spider that could sorts through her options only to be thrown the largest curveball yet in the series, a meeting with a dark mysterious stranger and a glimpse at something far beyond our understanding.
We had previously seen some hints that someone was pulling the strings, and Kumoko finally hears the voice of the person who has been laughing at her expense. Administrator D sent an absurdly powerful messenger to drop a cellphone next to the protagonist so they could directly converse (telepathically.) It’s such a weird flex, but okay, Kumoko rolls with it. In fact, she gets downright defensive and determined to not be the plaything of a god.
The next big lore drop occurs when Kumoko evolves to her next form. She maxes out the taboo stat and is granted a vision of another place. A meeting of demons, sitting around a table with a spiderweb motif. The figure in black is there, and we eavesdrop on a conversation about world conquest and destruction. The experience leaves Kumoko shook, but she realizes if she wants to survive and live the good life she’ll need to climb her way to the top of the power structure. Which means it’s time to go dragon hunting.
A good deal of this volume still involves eating, stat blocks, and technical processes, but there is so much else going on that for once I can’t complain. Like many video games, the tedious back and forth grind is alleviated with some fast travel. Kumoko even has a run-in with humans in which she is able to finally have a non-confrontational experience. (The first encounter has her gazing down at a knight who she flippantly comments on being ‘hot old guy.’ Kumoko is still ridiculously relatable.) Yet it all comes back down to kill or be killed, and the three earth dragons she encounters might be more than she can chew.
For extras, this volume has another short two-page text reflection by the protagonist, and a short chapter continuing the story of the other two reincarnated students we’ve seen.
This volume of Spider brings the lore drop, and finally, it feels like we’re making some real progress. There’s always a bigger fish, and our protagonist has realized that being the biggest and boldest hunter on the first floor of the labyrinth isn’t all that. In fact, she realizes that the world at large is… well, large, and that if she really wants to be in charge she’s going to have to go all the way. That would mean not only taking down dragons and admins but getting a form that would allow her to speak as well. The bigger question is, what exactly is going on in the world she now lives in? Why are there administrators? Is it just a game, or is it something more sinister?
Content Grade: B +
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: A –
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 6, 2019
MSRP: $13.00 US /$17.00 CAN