There are so many little things in this episode that remind me why I love writing about Super Cub: details like Reiko’s torn gloves, Koguma’s shivers at the coming autumn, a golden ginkgo leaf signaling the latter months of the year; the subtle thrill of hosting the school festival in the second semester, the girls drinking espresso while leaning on their cubs. As always, it’s a beautifully sculpted twenty-four minute experience that almost always brings me to tears at some point during my watch. Thankfully, they’re always happy tears, especially for best bike girl Koguma.
Episode 18 continues to tangle the plot threads in a genuinely enjoyable way. Every episode of So I’m a Spider, So What? so far has been solid, enough that it never feels like a chore to set aside thirty minutes sometime during the weekend to chill with Kumoko and company. Though I’ll admit I’m beginning to feel like I need a notebook to keep everything straight. It’s plot-dense in a good way, but also a bit overwhelming sometimes, especially now that there’s a lot of nitty-gritty details to keep track of.
In my review of episode 4, I mentioned “dreading” the day that Super Cub finally had a bad episode. I can soundly say that I don’t believe that day will ever come for this series. It’s not that Super Cub can’t do anything wrong. Rather, it’s that Super Cub is so openly earnest in its storytelling that every episode feels like a good meal: delightfully satisfying from start to finish. It feels like getting to eat cake, pie, AND ice cream, a positively sweet delight that carefully, thoughtfully, opens itself up to being candid about depression and loneliness without ever coming off as inauthentic.
The bulk of episode 17 is spent flipping between Ariel, Shun, and Kumoko, with the majority being very Shun-centric. By the end of episode 17, we’ve successfully seen Shun and company through to the labyrinth’s end. We also see that in the past, Kumoko has survived thanks to her handy-dandy immortality and her HP Auto-Recovery skill which ultimately letrs her comedically censored head float around the ocean. However, not all is at peace, especially when the Demon Lord realizes that Nameless is alive and very, very well in the post-credits snippet. Worse, she realizes that Kumoko is alive and capable of attacking Ariel’s mind thanks to the use of her parallel minds.
It’s so nice to see the girls just being kids together. While they’re still not good friends, episode 5 demonstrates that Koguma and Reiko are friends now. They’re no longer just two students who happen to really love Super Cub. They’re two girls who love Super Cub and while Koguma and Reiko initially bonded through that, they’re at a point where that’s no longer the sole reason for them chatting with one another. They have a genuine friendship, and it’s really, really wonderful to see. Plus, their friendship is even pushing Koguma to get her motorcycle license, which I bet we’ll see in the back half of this cour. (At least, I really hope so! I wanna see this kid pass her test!)
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?
We’re still very much in Koguma’s head in episode 3, but that’s understandable. Despite exchanging greetings—Koguma’s “Good morning” to Reiko’s “mmm”—Reiko is still more of an acquaintance to Koguma than a friend. And while it’s clear from the OP and the promo art that the friendship between these two kindred spirits is a foregone conclusion, it’s still too early for that adhesion to happen. In fact, I suspect that their friendship will eventually grow into something more. Not romatically, but rather a close bond formed over their love of Cubs, and the freedom these bikes have brought each girl.
We may not be sure where some of these shows are going, but we can’t look away!2021 Spring Three-Episode Check-In — Anime Feminist
Yasuke feels like LeSean Thomas’s love letter to not only the jidaigeki genre and Yasuke himself, but also Blackness and found family and every remixed history movie where the lead gets to be fantastical. And really, the entire show makes me proud to be a Black anime journalist, a Black anime critic, and a Black anime fan. Hopefully, anime Blerds who catch Yasuke on Netflix will feel the same sense of pride I felt. In fact, I hope anime fans of all walks of life will celebrate and uplift Yasuke, if not for the show itself, then for what it represents in the landscape of anime production.
Yasuke is the Black, SFF historical anime we all needed, but didn’t expect to get in such a gorgeously animated package.Yasuke – Episode 1 — Anime Feminist