「マイホーム, 炎上?」 (My Home, Enjou?)
“My House, on Fire?”
Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka’s second episode helps to shed light on some of the mechanics involved in the afterlife that Kumoko and her class have been wrapped up in. But as Kumoko begins her uphill battle to adapt to her new abilities, the human side was actually a little more bearable this time around by giving us a more thorough understanding of the anime’s lore.
The beginning and end of the episodes show us the story from the popular kids’ perspectives, but because of their privilege, it gives us a better feel for what kind of student one had to be in their past life to make it there.
It is interesting to see how retrospective Fei is with how she theorizes that the bullying she was known for doing in her past life was what doomed her to being a cutesy dragon. But it’s not too consistent because Kengo has a consistently rotten personality, especially around Shun, but he still retained his human form. My current theory is that whoever created this afterlife must have been a fan of teen drama shows if they wanted all the cool kids to be localized in the human world.
If reincarnation happens to be based on karma and comeuppance, it also has poor implications for wanting to make Kumoko’s afterlife even more miserable than it was while she was alive by transforming the socially inept loner in class into a spider. You’re really made to feel terrible for her in this episode with how every action she takes to improve her living situation goes awry. She gives another “Cribs” segment about the bathroom, bedroom, and living room she constructed with her spider webs, but that goes up in flames when humans come upon it. She keeps getting upgrades that only incrementally improve her quality of living.
When she reflects back on her life before dying, she could only muster up the negative experiences she had as a loner who was treated as nothing at school and had such a broken home life that she leaned on gaming as her one escape from her current situation. Her average goofy personality combined with the negativity she experienced in her past life makes for good motivating factors in getting the audience on her side as she seeks out any kind of way she can advance forward beyond her spider trappings.
Luckily for her, Kumoko has a huge victory at the end of the episode against a giant snake. There are some funny musings about the nature of the verbiage for upgrades given how vague the difference between “lesser” and “small” is within the context of how the game defines lower leveled skills. It should be neat to see if Kumoko is able to get exactly what she wants out of her new skill upgrades as a Level 10 spider, but knowing how she’s been treated up to this point, I can see it being an uphill battle for Kumoko to get the necessary upgrades to get past the cave and the limitations of being a spider.