So I’m a Spider, So What?, Vol. 4

By Okina Baba and Tsukasa Kiryu. Released in Japan as “Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka?” by Fujimi Shobo. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jenny McKeon.

I’m still not quite sure about where out spider girl stands in terms of the current timeline (my current guess is that she’s the “white” girl rather than the demon lord, despite personality differences), but the two timelines are definitely starting to converge a bit. Or at least the spider is out of her dungeon… mostly… and starting to see the world. More to the point, much as I like seeing the spider’s adventures fighting things, I’ve become far more interested in the rest of the reincarnated kids, who are (mostly) all reunited at the Elf Village this volume. It’s a shame that the Demon Lord is about to annihilate all the elves. And also that the kids at the elf village feel rather strongly that they’re being used by their teacher. Which… may be true? Certainly Ms. Oka is not the pillar of goodness and light that, say, the teacher from Arifureta is.

On the spider side of things, she gets to the top of the dungeon, but the battle between both her mother and a higher spider that her mother calls in to help means that most of the time she’s shuffling back and forth between the dungeon and outside, fighting a mostly losing battle against various enemies. With a character as overpowered as our spider girl, there has to be a balance to show that she has it tough as well, and we certainly see it here – she’s decapitated twice, and is constantly at death’s door… and this is AFTER gaining the power of immortality, which she rightly assumes is not quite as great as it sounds. We also see one of her rare overconfident decisions, as she goes to fight the final battle against her mother with just better stats, not realizing that her mother is even craftier at traps.

Still, spider battles are not as interesting to me as the adventures of Shun, Katia and company, still trying to deal with the fact that Hugo has mind controlled the kingdom into making them public enemies. They go to the elf village to regroup, but that requires going through the dungeon to get there, which means running into some of our spider girl’s leftover selves. It’s not really clear how she pulls this off, but given it’s about 18 years later it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s just that powerful. In any case, there’s no battle with the heroes, but her mere presence – and announcement that she’s a reincarnation – is enough to stun everyone. Things don’t get better when Ms. Oka explains the mechanics behind this world and what the elves are doing to ensure that the gods/administrators don’t win. Honestly, their plans just sound mean. You can see why the other kids are sort of angry about being told to farm and never get strong. I don’t blame them.

We end with a bit of a cliffhanger, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I won’t have to worry about remembering most of these kids for much longer. Meanwhile, our spider has finally met another reincarnation… and she’s a vampire! Will the two plots finally converge? Well, now that we’re out of the dungeon, we can hope things move a bit faster. And hey, not NEARLY as many stats in this book! Excellent news!

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