TI mentioned before that I didn’t want to see Koguma and Reiko have any kind of romance: I wanted to see them be two kindred souls who found a deep friendship. I still feel this, even as a devout fan of Yuri and a queer writer. There’s something beautiful about a series where female friendship is simply allowed to exist: it’s truly special that Koguma and Reiko just get to be friends without any heavily gendered tropes. Instead of having an episode where they fight, the girls simply talk things out, and communicate. Instead of jealousy, the girls uplift one another. And by episode 10, those elements have evolved to a tangible love between the girls, a connection that makes their friendship feels so intimately genuine. That deep platonic love is so evident in this episode, especially when Koguma laughs and becomes incredibly playful. After seeing Koguma as a genuinely lonely young woman, it feels utterly joyful to see her so intensely happy.
A lot happens in episode 21: the barrier falls, the invasion finally commences, and the plot grows ever more complex. At this point, I have very few worries for Kumoko, but so many for Shun and the elves. For an episode without Kumoko, it remains solidly entertaining, delivering plenty of food for thought to chew on here, especially with regards to the Administrators (but can we trust Oka’s information?). While I do miss Kumoko’s antics, it was nice to see the show shift gears and become a bit more action-oriented in a different direction. Though that’s not why I’ve stuck around; It’s the complexities of the plot, and all those juicy nuggets of worldbuilding, that keep me interested.
The trio isn’t quite a genuine girl gang yet. There’s still a good deal of cohesion that hasn’t happened. Shii is their friend, true, but she’s not as close as Koguma and Reiko are. Yet Shii slots into their dynamic so well that it feels like it won’t be long before she’s on a cub of her own. I’d really like to see Shii become just as close as Koguma and Reiko. She’s the perfect balance to their dynamic, and fits like a glove… almost. But almost is a word heavy with potential, and there’s so much potential in every single episode of Super Cub. I get the feeling that next week’s episode -episode 10- will be another Shii-centric episode, and maybe… she’ll upgrade her bike to a cub.
Episode 20 was really, really good. It was complex and raises the stakes ahead of the finale. Last week, I pondered why I still adore this series and feel excited to engage with it, and I think the answer is how the series mixes and remixes familiar elements and tropes, how it keeps the plot fresh despite being another entry in the oversaturated isekai genre . Now that it’s getting really twisty and even more fascinating, I find myself increasingly drawn to the series. It’s all I can do to not pick up the novels, since I’m already busy enough. Still, episode 20 served as incredibly tempting bait, and I have to tell you: I’m here for these final four episodes ahead of us. Reel me in, So I’m a Spider, So What? because you’ve got me hooked! I genuinely can’t wait until Spider Friday rolls around again.
Episode 8 makes it clear that this ain’t your momma’s Reaper Game. The dramatic stakes here are higher than even the previous episode, which was one of the most exciting episodes of the series. Even with Beat’s comedic outbursts, episode 8 feels like End Game content, the final stretch in TWEWY the Animation‘s story. Neku and Beat have quite the challenge ahead of them if they’re going to survive both the games and Miss Konishi’s machinations. Thank goodness Neku’s a different person from who he was at the beginning of this series or else he’d be in trouble. Even knowing how things end, I truly hope that Neku is strong enough to see this final week through and bring all those loose plot threads together.
Episode 8 is soundly the food episode, in my book, even if food isn’t the sum total of the episode. It’s even better than episode 4’s okonomiyaki, which lives rent free in my mind. Food fills this episode like buns in a basket, warming up the soft, quiet moments shared between Koguma, Reiko, and even Shii as the series brings in a new character to fill out the main cast. Speaking of Shii, she gets amazingly dynamic character growth in this episode. She’s no longer just the kind, serious member of the student council. She’s a fully fleshed out character with her own life, her own mannerisms, and ultimately, a life outside of school, just like Koguma and Reiko. I really hope that Shii will one day get her own cub: I want this gang of two to grow to three, especially since Shii is the happy medium between quiet Koguma and the more brash Reiko.
Episode 19 gives a lot of good plotty tidbits that continue to shape the world of So I’m a Spider, So What? into one of the most creative isekai I’ve enjoyed to date. Kumoko even does double duty this episode, delivering on both comedy and action. And gosh does the plot thicken this episode, with lots of little threads flung out that will hopefully get connected and woven into the overarching story. It’ll be truly fascinating to see how the next episode goes, especially since there’s a scant five episodes left. There are definitely lots of loose threads I’d like to see get wrapped up, enough to hopefully set up a third cour. I’m not sure I’m ready to leave Kumoko and her world behind quite yet.
Episode 7 is perhaps the best episode of the series to date. The pacing feels good, the action is solid, and there’s enough to keep you excited for the final five episodes of this series. In many ways, this is what I initially wanted from the show: an action-adventure series that took from the source material, remixed things to make them fit, and ultimately, created just as emotional an experience as the game. Episode 7 proves that this can be done, and if wary viewers stuck it out until now, I think they’ll see what I mean.
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.
If episode 5 is TWEWY the Animation regaining its footing, then episode 6 is a solid transitional episode that effectively builds up to the climax of this arc. It confidently blends quieter, character-building scenes with plot developments and interstitial moments that build up the ongoing mystery of the Shibuya Underground and what’s potentially happening behind the scenes with Minamimoto and even Joshua. It feels night and day compared to episodes 2 and 3, which felt frenetic, messy, and generally all over the place.