Bow and kneel to the Divine Beast!
Episode 19 is a nice balance of action and mystery. Once again, the focus is on two perspectives, Shun and Kumoko’s, both of which contain several interesting developments.
First, Shun’s party has finally reached the elf village. But contrary to what they expected, the welcome is far from being warm. The elves are obviously hostile against outsiders, something that even Oka could not change even if she is the chief’s daughter. One of the most intriguing part about this is the appearance of Potimas, long thought to be killed by Sophia.
The rest of the scene is one big class reunion for the reincarnations. But something is terribly amiss: the former students doesn’t trust the elves, especially Oka who is hiding so many secrets, and it stems from the fact that most of them have been kidnapped, which also ties back to the incidents during Kumoko’s time.
Speaking of our favorite spider, we learn more about the events that happened fifteen years ago. Kumoko is being worshipped as a Divine Beast, and in a funny and hilarious montage, we see how the townspeople adores the ferocious but cute spider. Everyone flocks to her for advice, giving food and building a temple—even selling merchandises based on her.
Of course, Sophia gets her own spotlight as well, even if only for a brief scene involving her first encounter with Potimas. Setting aside the blatant reference to a popular bland of detergent, it is obvious that Potimas has taken an interest in her among the other reincarnations to warrant a personal visit, and it is obvious that Sophia dislikes him at first sight. Moreover, it seems that the elf chief presumes that Kumoko is staying in the village to protect Sophia, which is not really far from the truth.
Naturally, a Kumoko flashback is not complete without a fight scene. And this time, the daughter settles the score with her mother. Thanks to the efforts of her Parallel Minds, Kumoko receives the stats of Mother, boosting her already immense power. Still, the Queen Taratect is still powerful enough to give Kumoko a hard time, though her resistance proves futile in the end.
Unfortunately, the fight is somewhat bittersweet. Though our dear spider has emerged victorious once more, one of her Parallel Mind, Body Brain, is lost forever after attacking the Demon Lord Ariel, and now Kumoko must continue without one of her most valuable alternate personality. But perhaps Body Brain is not entirely lost, and we might have already seen traces of her in some other form.
Overall, episode 19 is a nice balance of wackiness and mystery. There are still a lot of questions that remain, and perhaps not all of them will be answered as the first season draws to a close.
Episode score: 8.5/10.