James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > Post

You and Me

Giant Spider & Me: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale, volume 1

By Kikori Morino 

6 Mar, 2024



Support me with a Patreon monthly subscription!

Giant Spider & Me: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale, Volume 1 is the first volume of Kikori Morino’s slice-of-life post-apocalyptic manga. Giant Spider was first serialized in web magazine Alterna pixiv beginning in September 2016. The English translation came out in 2020.

In another era, Nagi’s father would have been deemed criminally negligent. But thanks to an apocalypse about which readers will learn nothing, there are no authorities to compel attention to child welfare. Nagi’s father is free to leave twelve-year-old Nagi alone at home for extended periods while her dad explores what is left of the world.

Perhaps he died out on the road. Nagi does not know. What she does know is that she is alone and have been alone for some time.

Nagi’s isolation is about to change.

Twelve-year-olds need to eat. Since there are no longer bodegas and supermarkets, Nagi must needs forage in the woods. This is not without risk, as fauna such as wolves have rebounded since the fall of civilization. On one such expedition, Nagi finds herself face-to-face with an imposing arachnoid of unknown species.

On the face of it, the unfamiliar animal is terrifying. Roughly the size of a bear, it has teeth the length of a human hand, not to mention a tentacle with considerable reach. It makes no attempt to eat Nagi. Instead, it chooses to follow her home.

Suspecting that the animal is hungry, Nagi offers it a variety of foods. The spider” eventually deigns to eat pumpkin dumplings. The girl realizes that the animal (whatever it is) is not dangerous. Nagi names her new friend Asa. Asa becomes Nagi’s companion.

What further wonders await the pair? Hungry wolves? Mysterious, filthy strangers? The pair will find out together.


I am not kidding when I say that the apocalypse remains unexplained. Whatever it was happened before Nagi was born. One long-term effect is flooding. There’s no radioactive fallout nor are there any wandering zombies. That crosses two possibilities off the list. Other than flooded lands and rebounding flora and fauna, there don’t seem to be any major dangers threatening Nagi and Asa.

Nagi calls Asa a spider even thought she realizes that Asa is not at all like a standard spider. Spiders don’t have teeth or a tongue, they don’t have a tentacle/trunk, they don’t have a detectable heartbeat. Whatever Asa is isn’t documented in the pre-apocalypse texts left to Nagi by her negligent father.

This anomalous being is also not explained.

If there isn’t an umbrella term for manga that exist to justify periodic cooking scenes, complete with recipes, there should be. Giant Spider & Me is one such. Part of the bond between Nagi and Asa is food. The manga presents detailed food preparation scenes. Best not to read this on an empty stomach.

Although there are moments of tension, confrontations with hungry predators and men of uncertain intent, Nagi and Asa are clearly never really in danger. Strangers turn out to be kind-hearted, if momentarily hygiene-challenged, and few animals will risk getting too close to Asa and Asa’s very large teeth. Although the volume ends on a cliffhanger, I am sure it all works out in the end.

This is an extremely amiable post-apocalyptic tale [1] about an adorable tween and her terrifying whatever-the-hell Asa is, and the little adventures they have living almost alone in the woods. If you’re looking for a food-oriented read in which nothing bad happens, this is the manga for which you are looking.

Giant Spider & Me, Volume 1 is available here (Amazon US), here (Amazon Canada), here (Amazon UK), here (Apple Books), here (Barnes & Noble), here (Chapters-Indigo), here (Words Worth Books)

1: On par with Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō.