A trip to the Labyrinth!
Episode 17 gives focus on Shun’s party’s journey through the Great Elroe Labyrinth. And true to Basgath’s words, our heroes faced strong monsters and great difficulties. However, it’s not the adventure itself that is emphasized, but the effect it has on everyone, particularly on Shun.
For one, he is beginning to have strange dreams from both his past life and present situation. And there are some obscure hints that directly alludes to the Reincarnations’ current state. Moreover, the trip to the Labyrinth brings out much of Shun’s character and perspective in life, especially his leadership skills and principles.
What’s surprising about this journey, though, is Basgath himself. Unlike most supporting characters, Basgath is an interesting one in his own way. He is smart, has a wealth of experiences, and even a capable fighter. But what sets him apart is his own personality that makes him something akin to a reliable father-figure of sorts, which contrasts with his relationship to his real son. This becomes evident when he gives Shun some deep advice about his choices in life.
The appearance of a swarm of Nightmare Vestiges is no surprise, but it does gives us some foreshadowing that would obviously affect the story in the future. It makes you wonder, though: are they Kumoko’s children, and if so, where is she right now? There might be some hints hidden at the start of the episode, where the demon lord Ariel prepares a great host to invade the elf village.
Meanwhile, going back fifteen years ago, our favorite spider finds her head floating, literally. Ariel’s attack has left her practically immobile, though she can still access her magic. And though she is immortal, it seems that even that would not be able to stop the ultimate Abyss magic, which can bypass every kind of defenses and obliterate the soul.
Even so, Kumoko begins to form another plan even as Ariel vows to find Kumoko’s real body.
Overall, episode 17 features some excellent characterization and a nice fight scene, but it is the many foreshadowing and hints that makes it really interesting.
Episode score: 8.5/10.