Today we’ll have a simple story-telling session ^^

Student (Mark): “Ooh! What story is it?”

It is a 1918 short story by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, called ‘The Spider’s Thread‘.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
tonari 26 tonari 25


One morning, the Buddha Shakyamuni is meandering around Paradise, when he stops at a lotus-filled pond. Between the lilies, he can see, through the crystal-clear waters, the depths of Hell. His eyes come to rest on one sinner in particular, by the name of Kandata. Kandata was a cold-hearted criminal, but had one good deed to his name: while walking through the forest one day, he decided not to kill a spider he was about to crush with his foot.

Student (Natalie): “EWW SPIDERS ARE SCARYY, why didn’t he kill it!” ><

Me: “SHHHH I’m in the middle of the story, don’t interrupt.” 😡

Moved by this single act of compassion, the Buddha takes the silvery thread of a spider in Paradise and lowers it down into Hell. Kandata sees the spider’s thread descending towards him and grabs hold with all his might. However, the climb from Hell to Paradise is not a short one, and Kandata quickly tires. Dangling from the middle of the rope, he glances downward, and sees how far he has come. Realizing that he may actually escape from Hell, he is overcome by joy and laughs giddily. But his elation is short-lived, as he realizes that others have started climbing the thread behind him, stretching down into the murky depths below. Fearing that the thread will break from the weight of the others, he shouts that the spider’s thread is his and his alone. It is at this moment that the thread breaks, and he and all the other sinners are cast back down into the Pool of Blood.


Student (Ophelia): “So there is no change at all from beginning to the end?”

Me: “Yup, just like the anime Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. There was almost no progress in the main characters’ relationship even till the end.”

tonari 24

Anyways, if you refer closely to both stories, you would be able to find quite a number of similarities between Kandata and Haru Yoshida.

  • Both seem to be bad and evil, but in fact, possess good qualities.
    – Kandata may have been a criminal but he did a good deed as well.
    – Haru’s violent actions make himself seem like a total delinquent, but he is actually very kind and nice.
  • Both experience a change in the process.
    – Kandata tries to ameliorate his living conditions by climbing up from Hell to Paradise.
    – Haru improves his attitude towards his classmates, after meeting Shizuku.
  • Both meet with obstacles and mishaps along the way.
    – Other criminals start to climb onto the Kandata’s thread.
    – Yamaguchi falls in love with Shizuku.
  • Both feel jealous about their possessions.
    – Kandata shouts that the spider’s thread is for him alone.
    – Haru consistently pesters Shizuku, pleading her not to go to the winter camp, because Yamaguchi will be there.
  • Both the thread and Shizuku snap at the end, leaving Kandata and Haru helpless.

tonari 27

All in all, better pay attention in classes, lest I snap and unleash my wrath on all of you MUAHAHAHA >:D


Thanks for reading! ^^


One thought on “{AHS Lesson 6} The Spider’s Thread

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