「猿、ホアー？」 (Saru, Hoa?)
Kumo Desu ga, Nani ka has mercy on us this week by having Episode 04 focus entirely on Kumoko. It’s probably one of the best episodes we’ve had so far in terms of action because of how harrowing and intense it was to see how Kumoko would be able to pull through her fight against the ape army.
Of all of the risky situations that Kumoko places herself in, her battles in this episode were some of the worst she’s faced yet. Right from the get-go, her first interaction with the Lower Stratum that greets her is getting poisoned and killed immediately. It was pretty hilarious to see all of this play out when she dies instantly and hits the anime’s ending screen, prematurely finishing the show’s run five minutes into the fourth episode.
But while this plays out as a joke, she would later be brutally maimed and dismembered several times throughout her fight with waves of monkey creatures. While most of her fights usually involved how she could catch a single creature off-guard to kill and eat, she hasn’t faced a full-on brawl where she had to survive as she slowly picked off swarms of enemies. There was actually some well-done tension with regards to how Kumoko could survive this situation when she has to barricade herself on one small ledge and surrounds herself with protective webs.
This tension amps up to its highest heights as she is regularly forced to change her strategy multiple times to accommodate losing a limb or being bitten in half while trying to dodge and poison any of the creatures that break through her defense. Some of the tension is taken when she is given level up skills that help her shed any of her damage or master her poison abilities. At the same time, it’s a more than welcome change of pace to see Kumoko having to constantly rethink her strategy and think situations through as the stakes skyrocket higher than she would’ve hoped.
One detail about Kumoko that I don’t want to overlook is how we get a little bit more development about who exactly Kumoko was as a person and what she brings into her next life. As she gets accustomed to an environment that is more accommodating towards her poison abilities, she reflects on the positives that come from being able to explore new, open spaces. We only have glimpses of the escapism she dabbled in during her human life, but one new detail was learning about her fascination with nature. Her desire to travel and venture out into unknown and untouched territory lends itself to both her interest in trucking on as a spider and what motivating factors she has for surviving to explore another day. She might not be happy with the new lava territory she’s discovered, but it should offer different obstacles that should be a refreshing change of pace from all the fighting she’s been forced to do.