Story: Okina Baba
Art: Tsukasa Kiryu
Translation: Jenny McKeon
What They Say:
I’ve finally escaped the monster infested Elroe Labyrinth and now making my way towards the land of humans! But what was waiting for me on the surface was something even worse than dragons…it’s MY MOTHER!! We don’t have the greatest relationship for various spidery reasons but am I going to make it out of this family reunion in one piece?!
Content: (please note that the content sections of a review may contain spoilers)
Someday, this series will be released in its entirety and I can go back and read it from the beginning. I wonder if I’ll catch a lot more on the reread, because there are a lot of scenes in this series that the reader lacks the background to appreciate the first time. At best they serve as foreshadowing, but unless you read all the volumes back to back, it’s pretty hard to keep track of what’s being foreshadowed. I don’t even know if this is necessarily a flaw, but some readers might be turned off by a series that they essentially have to read twice to get the full picture.
That said, there’s nothing that terribly deep here, and it’s just as well. We get more madcap fun with our nameless spider girl figuring out cunning new traps for her enemies, and the scenes that deal with the other reincarnations feel better integrated this time. I still feel like these books might be better off without the chapters dealing with Shun and Katia, but at least the extended cast is starting to grow on me.
Despite what the promotional text says, this book really features the fight between our spider and Ariel, the Demon Lord. Ariel has stats that are much, much higher than our protagonist, but spider-gal always finds a way to give the Demon Lord the slip. I’m not sure if this really works logically; the way her stats are explained, the Demon Lord should be so fast that she can catch up with the spider even with the latter using teleport. We have to believe that Ariel is just slow enough that the spider can keep out of her reach indefinitely. I can buy that, but it’s expensive in the currency of belief.
This volume feels very in-between: spider girl doesn’t change form much, Shun and company are gearing up for a battle that hasn’t happened yet, and the Elves can’t be trusted because…they’re Elves. None of this is a problem if you happen to have Volume 5 sitting right next to you and ready to go, but perhaps asking a lot of the average reader. Still, the main character’s banter and funny commentary on her situation goes a long way toward keeping the charm power of this series up, even during downtime.
The main storyline is still compelling, and the B-plot is catching up. It still feels like more should be happening, but I guess it’s kind of hard to ask that of our spider when she’s fighting off her own mother AND the Demon Lord in the same volume.
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: November 27, 2018
MSRP: 14.00 US/$18.50 CAN