REVIEW: ‘So I’m a Spider, So What?’ Episode 4 – “Monkey, Wha–?”

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So I'm a Spider So What? Episode 4

Ever crave an epic anime battle between a small spider and a pack of dungeon monkeys? Then So I’m a Spider So What Episode 4 is for you. The anime from Millepensee is part of the Crunchyroll Originals lineup and is based off of the light novel series by Okina Baba which is published in English by Yen Press. An RPG-based isekai, it follows a protagonist when she and her classmates are reincarnated into a fantasy world. Some are wizards, knights, and princes. She, however, is reincarnated as a baby spider and vows to survive.

After hiding from the cringeworthy CG Earth Dragon in the lower level of the dungeon, the protagonist is demoralized. She had just vowed to fight instead of running away, but now this new dungeon level has creatures that are far worse than the ones she has faced before. There’s a grotesqueness to So I’m a Spider So What Episode 4 as the protagonist resorts to any method to survive. She eats rotting bugs and when she does finally get a decent meal she gorges herself. Her rolling around on her abdomen patting her stomach treads a bizarre line of cute and weird, since the anime is very effective with eating sound effects.

Being shown a crack in the heroine’s generally positive demeanor is what keeps this episode from dragging like last week. Her level ups are expedited. Being presented with the reality of death at any moment in this dungeon raises the stakes. Plus, she and the viewers are reminded just how vulnerable she really is as a spider. It isn’t all serious, however. The show’s off-beat brand of comedy was present this week, comically illustrating the dungeon monsters in relation to a high school caste system. Another moment broke the fourth wall by quickly cutting to an early end credits, joking that the heroine carelessly poisoned herself.

The showcase of So I’m a Spider So What Episode 4 is the fight sequence. It takes up almost half of the episode’s run time, and yet, doesn’t feel drawn out. The anime takes its time and has the heroine (and viewers) experience multiple highs and lows. There were genuine moments where I held my breath because I wasn’t sure if the heroine would make it out in one piece. The pacing and animation is absolutely stellar, with the exception of some awkward CG of the dungeon creatures. The heroine has to rely on her wits, poison, and webs. This isn’t a duel between mages, it is a fight for survival between dungeon creatures. While not overly gory, the show doesn’t pull punches or go easy on the heroine. She loses limbs, has her abdomen ripped apart, and more. It is a race to level up and molt in order to negate some of the damage. The RPG mechanics work well here. Anyone who has stressed watching an SP or MP meter run dangerously low in a video game will recognize the tension here.

So I’m a Spider So What Episode 4 reaches the heights of its premiere and surpasses them. An intense, well-paced battle takes up a majority of the runtime with incredibly satisfying results. Viewers will likely be cheering with every success the heroine has, but also gasping at how brutal this dungeon will actually be to her. It is an anime that truly walks a delicate line between cute and bizarre. It will likely surprise its audience this week.

So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 4 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.

So I'm a Spider So What? Episode 4
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

So I’m a Spider, So What? Episode 4 reaches the heights of its premiere and surpasses them. An intense, well-paced battle takes up a majority of the runtime with incredibly satisfying results. Viewers will likely be cheering with every success the heroine has, but also gasping at how brutal this dungeon will actually be to her. It is an anime that truly walks a delicate line between cute and bizarre. It will likely surprise its audience this week.