So I’m a Spider, So What? – The Rare Female Isekai Protagonist!

After browsing r/manga and seeing this particular series had been given an anime adaptation.

I was very interested in the title, though of course in Japan, it is called Kumo Desu Ga, Nani Ka?. Upon seeing the English title, my first thought was “So I’m a what now?!”, and after reading the first few chapters, I could not put it down once I reached the hypest fight in all of manga history!

“Leave Jiren to us”

Before we continue, I should probably tell you what this manga is about first:

After a self-professed unpopular high school girl mysteriously “dies” during a lecture, she wakes up in a dark cave, only to discover that she has been reincarnated as a baby spider in a huge labyrinth. With only her wits and RPG game knowledge, she must eat, kill, and level up her starting area self into a force to be reckoned with in this action-packed story!

That’s about the gist of it without spoiling too much.

There is plenty to love about this manga, and while it’s not the best Isekai I’ve read (that title goes to Overlord), there are actually quite a LOT of similarities besides the typical isekai staples between this and Overlord that makes me love this a lot.

The MC, Survival and Power Escalation

By far, the best reason you should be reading this manga is the adorably clever MC Kumoko. Kumoko isn’t actually her “real” name, it’s just a short-hand word that roughly translates to “spider me”, which is what she refers to herself in the story.

The previous life of our MC, as with every Isekai, is unimportant here. As a spider, she is expressive, deadly, and cute all at the same time.

It ALMOST overrides the fact that she’s a giant spider

The only thing from her previous life that matters is that she used to be a gamer who always played solo in MMOs, which explains why she is incredibly good at managing her stats and picking the skills that she can make use of.

An interesting thing about this manga is that for a good chunk of it, the only character in the story that talks is Kumoko. Most of the manga is her thinking up ways of shelter, escape or defeating the opponent in front of her. With every battle, she gets stronger and gains a lot more tools in her arsenal of spider-related attacks.

If Kumoko was a typical generic Isekai MC, this would be a horrible idea that results in some self-insert OP wanker power-wanking on a bunch of creeps for 29+ chapters.

Fortunately for us, Kumoko is a compelling and relatable character, and if you actually play RPGs, you can join her in her struggles to pick which skills and stats to level up, based on her situation. It helps that she’s actually pretty snarky in a “why me?” kind of way, as everytime she thinks she’s won, a bigger monster is always there to ruin her joy and forces her to once again think up strategies and tactics to defeat them.

See that? Strategy. Tactics.

How often is that seen in an Isekai? Almost all the time, unless it’s a job isekai, the MC is some dork with low base stats and one REALLY overpowered skill that oneshots everything they come across, right from the getgo. They pretend to have tactics, but really, it’ll just end with “I’ll somehow get in a blindspot and INSTANT KILL HIM!

While Kumoko does get much stronger than a lot of early enemies and gets some stupid powerful skills (which she acknowledges), every fight she is in actually feels dangerous because of the fact that she IS still just a relatively puny spider with lower than average health compared to other creatures. A lot of the downtime in the manga is spent eating whatever it is she just killed so she can survive, in rather graphic detail.

She has to use her poison and threads in lots of creatively deadly ways to get around her weaknesses, as well as being able to evade attacks instead of taking them head-on. Her goal isn’t to be the strongest, he goal is to just survive until the next fight, so yes, there are a LOT of tactical retreats in this series.

The power escalation here makes sense because it is a world built on RPG rules. The MC becomes strong ALONGSIDE the world, not strong right from the beginning, which is a breath of fresh air.

Hangups

Now, this manga isn’t perfect, so I thought to point out some flaws I think might bother people.

  • The MC being a spider might ick you out or basically stop you from reading at all if you have arachnophobia.
  • Most of the adapted manga focuses solely on Kumoko and fighting monsters that don’t talk, which might get repetitive if you don’t like Kumoko as a character.
  • Might be explained in the Web Novel it’s based on, but Kumoko seemingly gets some strong skills out of nowhere, and there’s really no explanation for it so far (but the latest translated chapter as of the publishing of this post seems to be leading up to that explanation)
  • Some monster designs are a bit on the generic side, mostly just normal animals blown up to be human height, slightly more rabid and added with a few extra eyes or horns. Most unique designs are dragons, which I’ve honestly seen a million times before.
  • A lot of RPG talk, so stuff like stats, skilltrees, health, stamina and magic bars are present. If you like your Isekais a bit more grounded in reality, this probably isn’t for you.

Despite these hangups, I think Kumoko being a very compelling protagonist and the creativity of the fights, as well as the rather interesting albeit usual RPG mechanics, firmly lands this a spot in the list of ongoing manga I currently follow.

I highly recommend this to you if you’re looking for a breath of fresh air in the Isekai genre, and if you have any other manga titles similar to this, comment it down below so I can read it to while I wait for this one to get updated 😀

Until then, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you guys in the next post.

– TLM

20 thoughts on “So I’m a Spider, So What? – The Rare Female Isekai Protagonist!

      1. The fights were interesting and seeing how she got out of them was entertaining but there wasn’t enough weight to it because I know she wasn’t going to die, because she is the MC and there was no one to take her place if she did die, if she dies the story dies. The mystery with the egg was interesting but after a while I just didn’t care.
        To sum up it’s good but there wan’t enough to keep me going.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Flaws that will keep me from reading: the MC is a spider. Yep, I’m one of those people. Looks like it could be interesting, but spiders….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read the first two light novels and quite liked this (though found the gaming stats a little excessive at times). Still, she’s an interesting character and I have very much enjoyed following her through the dungeon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I ain’t afraid of no spiders. My anime backlog is pretty full so I’m more likely to checkout the manga. It’s strange enough for me to get a kick out of it. What a strange, strange manga. Can’t believe this is getting anime soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. About the skill acquisition the novel explain that how long it takes to level up and how much it cost (skill points) to obtain a skill is determined by your compatibility with that skill.
    On the novel there’re side stories about the other reicarnators (all the classroom died not just Kumo), on 1 of those side stories two classmates bought Appraisal which had different cost for each of them:
    Student 1: 1,000 Skill Points
    Student 2: 500 Skill Points
    Kumo: 100 Skill Points

    Other weird skills are the Seven Deadly Sin and Seven Holy Virtues skill sets (Pride in this case) can only be bought if the user have this Sin or Virtue as amajor flaw of its personality for almost nothing.
    Kumo bought Pride for 100 skill points.
    These skills actually backfire the user amplifying that same trait (a prideful person becomes even more prideful).

    A little spoiler
    Between all the Sin and Virtue skills Pride is the most dangerous for the user.

    Liked by 1 person

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