REVIEW: ‘So I’m a Spider, So What?’ Episode 1 – “Reincarnation, in Another World?”

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So I'm a Spider So What? Episode 1

Isekai is such a populated genre that it can be hard to make something feel fresh. Luckily, the latest Crunchyroll Original So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 1 has just enough heart to do so. Fantastically animated by Millepensee, the show is based on the light novel series by Baba Okina. It also received a manga adaptation with art by Asahiro Kakashi; both are published in English by Yen Press.

So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 1 centers on a currently unnamed protagonist who has woken up in another world as a newly born spider. The series is comically self-aware, foregoing standard introductions. The heroine is clearly well-aware of the isekai genre and pieces together what is happening, even making a quip about light novels. She is instantly likable. Revealed to be an introvert and gamer in her past life, she uses her knowledge to attempt to gain her wits about her in this dungeon, starting with finding something to eat. This works because of how ridiculously optimistic she is. Not in a bizarre, idealist way; she has sarcasm in spades. However, she keeps pressing forward since it is all she can do. The episode is in on the joke of isekai feeling oversaturated and provides a comical speed run through the new world’s RPG game elements.

Since most of the episode is dedicated to establishing the plot, this episode is relatively simple. Our protagonist needs to find food, even if it means taking down a much larger toad-creature in this dungeon. Keeping to the basics works here because it allows viewers to fall in love with our heroine, which is 110% why they will come back for more even when genre elements feel too familiar. To further create intrigue, it is revealed that the protagonist’s classmates were reincarnated in this world: some as princes, some as knights, and others not so lucky (but still better than a baby spider). The classmates are trying to find each other and reunite, but why our protagonist seemed to be reincarnated so separate from them all remains to be seen.

There are interesting elements to the varied reincarnations as well. The class’s teacher is now an elf girl the same age as her students and looking forward to “reliving her youth.” One of the boys has been reincarnated as the duke’s daughter. These may raise red flags later on, but it is too early to tell how they will be handled. There was one rude “joke” from a fellow classmate towards the duke’s daughter. However, the other classmates berated him pretty quickly.

The animation work from Millepensee is fantastic in So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 1. A blend of 2D and CG works well and flows relatively seamlessly, with CG being used primarily in scenes with our protagonist to animate her spider movements and the dungeon creatures. It is not awkward or clashing, like one may expect. The colors are also vibrant; the show clearly has a lot of heart put into it. Finally, extreme praise must go to Aoi Yūki, who voices our heroine and sings the ending theme song in character. Her range in this single episode takes a great script and sells viewers on this heroine’s journey.

So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 1 is a great start. It is self-aware and knows it is another isekai in a saturated genre. It plays to its strengths: a fantastic performance from Aki Yūki and vibrant animation. The rest of the class being reincarnated into different situations also opens up the possibility of intriguing character arcs in the future. Still, it is too early to tell if possible red flags will be handled well.

So I’m a Spider, So What? airs new episodes Fridays on Crunchyroll.

So I'm a Spider, So What? Episode 1
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 1 is a great start. It is self-aware and knows it is another isekai in a saturated genre. It plays to its strengths: a fantastic performance from Aki Yūki and vibrant animation. The rest of the class being reincarnated into different situations also opens up the possibility of intriguing character arcs in the future. Still, it is too early to tell if possible red flags will be handled well.