Story: Okina Baba
Art: Tsukasa Kiryu
Translation: Jenny McKeon
What They Say:
I did it. I did it! I’m finally an Arachne! …Aaand things are already going way differently than I thought they would. I guess I kinda joined up with the Demon Lord? Which means working with, you guessed it, demons. I mean, I’ve just casually become traveling companions with the lord of demons and a vampire princess. I’ll worry about that later, though. It’s about time I properly acquainted myself with the world of humans!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
They say that every story under the sun has been told; maybe that’s even true. However, have you seen what’s going on in So I’m a Spider, So What? This girl has been reborn as a spider in another world, then she segments her mind and sends her pieces of consciousness off into the world, where they commit matricide and then plot the downfall of all humanity. Meanwhile, in the future, a bunch of reincarnations are destined to fight a demon lord, who is also part Spider-girl thanks to the parallel minds– Oh, and she’s also the spider-girl’s grandmother, but that’s unrelated. This may be taking place as part of an elaborate computer simulation, or maybe it’s some kind of organic computer, or maybe a bunch of Gods just got really, really bored. Also, there’s a vampire princess, in lieu of nothing, who’s a telepathic toddler.
I mean sure, if you look at the story in terms of broader themes and whatnot, it’s not that original. It’s just that this whole thing you might call a plot is genuinely bizarre, and trying to explain it has a lot in common with trying to recount a fever dream that you only half-remember.
And yet, it somehow remains compelling. This volume features our heroes (although it’s a stretch to call them that) taking it easy while they travel from one location to another, so everyone has time for heart-t0-heart chats and copious introspection. A lot of series would not have been able to pull off an installment with so much downtime, but the characters in Spider are differentiated and interesting enough that it works. This volume also dumps the sequences that take place in the future, which was a huge relief, since those sequences were my least favorite part of the series. I’m sure they’ll come back with a vengeance next time though, so I have some trepidation about that.
This volume also rectified my other big complaint with the series, which were the pages and pages of stats. Since there’s less battling, we encounter fewer creatures, so a much smaller percentage of the text is taken up with seeing everyone’s stats and abilities. I hope this trend continues for the rest of the series; at this point, everyone who matters is so insanely strong we should just assume they can do anything they want until we hear otherwise.
I enjoyed this volume, yet I’m not sure I’m really looking forward to the rest of the series that much. The characters we care about are effectively invincible, which makes it hard to be too concerned about what happens next. I think we’re supposed to be concerned for the characters in FutureWorld, worrying about what’s going to happen when they inevitably clash with the main party, but I’m not invested enough in the FutureWorld characters for that plan to really work. Maybe Okina Baba will pull out something brilliant towards the end, but for now, I’m beginning to run out of enthusiasm for what was once an addictive read.
In Summary: A good, if slower paced volume. Unfortunately, part of what makes it good is the fact that it sidesteps the yawn-worthy main plot, meaning that we’re probably in for trouble when the story gets back on track.
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 20, 2019
MSRP: US $14.00 CAN $18.50