So I’m a Spider, So What?

So I’m a Spider, So What?

So I'm a Spider, So What? anime series cover art
So I’m a Spider, So What?

Series Overview

So I’m a Spider, So What? (Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka? / 蜘蛛ですが、なにか?) is a bad isekai anime about a girl who was reincarnated into a fantasy world as a spider. And, yes, regardless of whether or not you like the anime or light novel, this is a bad anime.

While I’m not a huge fan of the story, I think it’s good enough. The story isn’t what makes the anime bad, and so I don’t blame anyone who still likes it. There are other anime I consider bad, but that I still like — so I get it.

As for the story itself, it follows a girl who was reincarnated as a spider and who now finds herself just doing her best to survive each day. The majority of the series’ content featuring Kumoko focuses on her hunting for food and grinding levels so she can gain new skills.

When the anime isn’t following Kumoko, it focuses on her former classmates who were also reincarnated into the fantasy world. However, unlike Kumoko, the majority of her classmates have been reincarnated as humans.

If you’re a fan of TenSura, you’d probably be a fan of this series as well, if you aren’t already. Both are highly influenced by RPGs and have very similar worlds. Also, I think the official Japanese Twitter accounts for both of these series follow each other, so there’s that.

However, I should warn you that TenSura is better than So I’m a Spider, So What? in basically every way. Specifically, So I’m a Spider, So What? struggles in the character, animation, and direction departments. But, considering the average score of this series, I guess a lot of people can look past those things.

Main Characters

Kumoko is the protagonist and easily has the most screen time of any character in the series. That might sound obvious, but I mean that it’s not even close. There are some episodes, especially towards the beginning, in which she’s literally the only character.

Normally, considering Aoi Yuuki voices Kumoko, the fact that she’s so prominent wouldn’t be an issue. But, and this is probably controversial, I don’t think Kumoko is a good character. I find her extremely annoying, and that only gets worse as more of her appear as the series progresses.

At this point, I’d love to be able to point to a different character in the series who I genuinely like more than Kumoko. Unfortunately, I can’t think of anyone. There are other characters whose designs I think are pretty good. But their actual characterization? Not that great.

Kumoko from the anime series So I'm a Spider, So What?
Kumoko

Schlain is effectively the second main character of the series, despite the fact that he’s not even listed in the top 10 most prominent characters on the MyAnimeList page for the series. If you were to ignore Kumoko’s existence, he’s the one you would point to as the protagonist.

As another one of the students who was reincarnated into the fantasy world, Shlain (whose original name I believe was Shuu) got a much better deal than Kumoko. Rather than being reincarnated as a spider in a cave, he was reincarnated as a human prince and the younger brother of the Hero.

The best way I can describe Schlain is to say this: Imagine the most generic fantasy anime protagonist you can think of. That’s it. That’s literally Schlain. So hopefully that illustrates to you why I’m not really all that interested in the characters of this series. They fill the standard fantasy character roles, but that’s it.

Let’s Talk About Directing

One of the biggest issues with So I’m a Spider, So What? is how it looks. For starters, it uses a lot of pretty bad CGI. But, that’s kind of to be expected when you realize this anime is by Millepensee, the same studio that did the 2016 adaptation of Berserk (RIP, Miura).

Now that you know Millepensee is behind this anime, I’d like to bring your attention to the studio’s president, Naoko Shiraishi. She’s married to Shin Itagaki, who just so happens to be the director of this anime. Coincidence? I highly doubt it.

It would be one thing if the direction on this anime was good. Then, I wouldn’t be questioning how Shin happened to get this particular directing job. I mean, he’s directed other things that I liked in the past, such as Ben-To. So it’s not as if he has no experience directing.

Demon Lord Ariel from the anime series So I'm a Spider, So What?
Demon Lord Ariel

However, if you watch this anime, it will become abundantly clear pretty quickly that the direction is absolute garbage. Especially when you get to the episodes that involve the human reincarnations, not Kumoko.

One of my favorite things about this series is that it often focuses shots on the backs of characters’ heads. Most of the frame will be taken up by a blurry head, and then a very small part of the frame might show the character who’s speaking. Usually, their mouth is obscured so they don’t even have to animate lip flaps.

I’ve selected some of the nicer-looking shots to feature in this review. But make no mistake, a very large portion of this anime looks terrible simply because of the framing. I don’t know if this was a conscious, artistic choice. And I don’t know if it would be better or worse if it was.

Is it better to say the director accidentally made something that looks bad out of incompetence or that he chose to make it look bad? Also, I know not everything to do with this was Shin’s choice, but as the director, he’s the one in charge of it all.

Conclusion

So I’m a Spider, So What? is a 3/10. For the first cour or so, I think I had it down at 1. But, the story did get somewhat interesting and Kumoko became a bit less annoying over time. Or maybe I just got used to her.

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