「地竜（龍）、ヤバい？」 (Chiryuu (Ryuu), Yabai?)
“Earth Wyrm (Dragon), Bad News?”
If you thought the last episode of Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka didn’t have as much focus on the human side, you’re in luck because Episode 03 gives you more background on how they navigate through their lives. It might be the blander side of the story with a generic tale about how a plucky young hero excels in magic school to the chagrin of a jealous classmate. But it does flesh out some of the universe’s lore that we might not have discovered from Kumoko’s perspective.
While it takes opening up a webpage for me to remember who most of these guys’ names are, it’s far easier to digest how this version of the afterlife translates video game logic to its universe through the skills that can be used. Because each human in the academy excels at an entirely different form of magic, having a lesson tailored around water magic can mean some students will have to work harder than others to catch up.
Yuri’s connection to the world’s deity might have been passed off as part of her on-going issues, but I can also see her having a difficult time getting a Skill-Up if either her expertise ends up being white magic or if she starts to internalize the Level Up voiceover that plays in her head as a divine spirit. We get glimpses of the world’s skill features in Kumoko’s section with the kind of skills she racks up, including one that really makes her feel like Spider-Man, but it’s helpful to note how elemental magic plays a role in how certain students excel.
The pre-credits scene is oddly impactful because it gives us a morbid lesson on the familial ties that creatures of the same species share in this universe. In Fei’s case, she grows more horrified about the implication that she ate one of her relatives as she helped her friends murder them after having her Kin Eater label exposed by Shun’s Appraisal skill.
The Kin Eater label might have been shrugged off by Kumoko as merely a means of survival, especially with the normalcy that came from spiders in the caves eating each other. But Fei’s Kin Eater status was gained through happenstance merely from having the misfortune of having to protect her friends from a dragon on the loose. It’s easy to see why she’s be racked with guilt and shame and why Shun would lose his lunch upon realizing what Fei had done during their battle.
Aside from these tidbits though, there’ll have to be more than just lore to make the human side interesting, especially if developing Shun and his friends falls by the wayside to bring more focus to Hugo being horrible to everyone around him. With the info on Filmos skipping class or Katia correcting Shun on how he addresses other students, there’s something there that hasn’t quite been approached just yet. There wasn’t as much of Kumoko in this episode with her main dilemma being having a dragon fight of her own to have to face, but her earlier scenes gave us a funny glimpse of how she’s enjoying the new upgrades she has to her toolbelt.