Episode 16, “Am I Getting Ahead of Myself?” starts off with Kumoko's evolution into a Zana Horowa, which, among other upgrades, also gives her IMMORTALITY. It's certainly a most welcome skill for a spider like Kumoko – who's constantly in danger – to have. However, in the midst of Kumoko's usual fantasizing celebration, an unexpected call from the lovely Administrator D smacks her back to reality. Kumoko's wary of picking up the suddenly-materialized phone, but D cheekily mentions a spider-destruct button. With Kumoko's attention firmly secured, D congratulates Kumoko for her newfound immortality and proceeds to provide a lot of fascinating details concerning Kumoko and her fellow classmates' reincarnation.
So let's talk about why Kumoko reincarnated.
Kumoko's reincarnation was triggered by a battle between the Hero and the Demon Lord, which essentially broke the code of the world, so to speak, and ended up causing an explosion all the way in Japan that prematurely ended her and her classmates' lives there. This was in part because the attack was actually an attempt on D's life by the previous Hero and Demon Lord. D does assume a fair amount of responsibility for the incident, and as a result, everyone in Kumoko's class was brought to this world with their own special skills. Also, almost all of them are able to reincarnate as human or humanoids, with Kumoko being the only spider. She doesn't even get to become a dragon, which would be pretty cool.
It's here that we also get the tasty tidbit that D, herself, has not reincarnated. Her identity remains a secret, though I'm thirsty to get more details on that! Still, our fair Admin doesn't linger too long and leaves both Kumoko and viewers with a heck of a lot more questions than answers.
The episode shifts focus to Shun and his party, who just arrived at the labyrinth's entrance. They're here to recruit a guide to lead them safely through the labyrinth to the Kasanagaran continent, and Basgath steps up to the task. Oh yeah, and Fei gains a sweet human form thanks to the “Humanification” skill. If only our precious Kumoko could get that Arachne form, huh?
Then, ah… we get a bit of a beach episode? I'll call it an unexpected beach episode, because really, it's still got a lot of action and ultimately drives the plot..directly into a Water Dragon, as it happens. Fei, a dragon herself, was able to fend off the threat despite being unable to swim, and everyone manages to reach the labyrinth safely.
In a neat parallel to the scene above, Kumoko also gets her own partial Spider Beach Episode, indulging in some seaside fantasizing in a two-piece as she drifts around the clear, blue sea. She similarly encounters a Water Dragon while enjoying some introspective fishing, but makes short work of it in a relatively truncated fight that ends with the water dyed red from the dragon's corpse. This scene doesn't only serve as a parallel, though; it nicely segues into Kumoko drowning the Puppet Taratect that gave her so much trouble before using a combination of seawater and her newfound buoyancy.
Too bad Kumoko gets turned into Itsy Bitsy Spider Bits by the Demon Lord later. Poor spider can't even catch a break.
Episode 16 has a lot of setup and plot development, all of which remain thoroughly engaging. I swear, each episode of So I'm a Spider, So What? Only gets better and better. While some might find this episode a bit slower-paced due to the large amount of exposition, it establishes building blocks and plot threads that I really hope we get pay off for during this cour. At this point, I have a feeling that we will, though nothing is ever set in stone, is it?
For now, I'm thoroughly enjoying this second season, especially episode 16. I love Kumoko so much as the protagonist of this series, and as our point of view into this world. She's funny, entertaining, and almost always provides really great action sequences filled with witty, one-spider banter.
So I'm a Spider, So What? is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Mercedez is a JP-EN localization editor & QA, pop culture critic, and a writer who also writes & reviews at Anime Feminist and But Why Tho?. There, she gushes about idols anytime someone lets her, which is… not often enough. This anime season, she's all about Super Cub, which is great because she's also reviewing it here on ANN. When she's not writing, you can find her on her Twitter, where she's always up to something.