In this week’s Spy x Family, second son Damian realizes something most of us have known for a while now, Anya is gosh darn adorable when she wants to be…
But before I get into another great episode, I just want to go on a little tangent. Feel free to skip it to below the first screencap block. I have been paying slightly closer attention to what the larger anime fan community thinks of Spy x Family. I quite like the show and I want to hear what other folks think. In this process, I have come across an unnerving amount of people openly sexualizing Anya. Whether it’s in adult fanworks or just expressing how they would like to “impregnate” the four-year-old character. It’s not like I’m going into ecchi forums or 4 chan here, this is just very easy to find and prevalent.
I know Anya is a fictional character but it still makes me super uncomfortable to the point where I felt a bit awkward calling her adorable. k, that’s it, I just needed to vent this discomfort. For me it was a this is why we can’t have nice things moment.
Back to our regularly scheduled post! I have always believed that family is not about genetic makeup, possibly because I have pretty much no biological family of my own. Rather for me, family is a lot more about how you feel about and treat certain people and how they care for you in return. Of course, Loid, Yor and Anya are already not a classic family unit but they do fit the general image of a family pretty well. But that doesn’t mean that that’s all there is to it.
I was thinking that in many ways, fake dad Loid is one of the better fictional father figures I have seen in anime. He doesn’t dwell on past mistakes, he pays close attention to his daughter’s wants and needs and he tries hard t work with her strengths. These were my thoughts in the opening sequence of the episode. Anya is finally going to have a dad, good for her.
But that’s not all there is to it. Slowly, and for the first time in her young life, Anya may be starting to explore the other types of bonds that can become like family. For instance, she’s made a friend! A blunt and occasionally rude friend but that’s how you know you can trust her. Becky isn’t going to say anything she doesn’t mean just to make you happy that’s for sure. For a little girl that had no family to speak of at the start of this show, she sure has a growing number of people that really care about her. Some of them may not know how to show it yet…
Philosophizing aside though, this was a fun episode, right? I love the school-based episodes. Anya and Becky make a really good odd couple. They play off each other well. Loid’s constant meddling is actually kind of cute as he never misses a chance to be proud of his daughter when she does something impressive. Even if it didn’t quite work out as planned…or did it! and Anya in general brings a nice new perspective to the classroom shoujo formula.
If you just look at it, she is in a pretty classic anime situation. she’s a new girl, an underdog in an elite school and she is misunderstood on her first day. Also, the most popular boy in school seems to have taken some sort of interest in her… after she punched him. You can see the shoujo sparkles a mile away. But Anya is on a mission. She doesn’t actually care about being popular or getting the guy in any way. She doesn’t feel pressure to fit in or have any existential angst about the future. Her considerations are way more practical and I love that juxtaposition.
Moreover, I find Yor and Loid’s coming together to become better parents deeply touching. It’s not saccharine or cheesy in any way which is impressive when you think about it. They really just look like two adults trying to figure out the best way to take care of a child. And the sincerity in Loid’s doubts about his ability as a father and Yor’s calming faith just made for an honestly moving scene. At least to me. I’m not sure how that comes through to a younger audience.
Two very interesting things were set up in this week’s episode. Young Damian’s newfound feelings and his obvious immaturity in that regard are obviously going to create a lot more ruckus in the future. I better get ready for some wacky misunderstandings. I should say that if it wasn’t for the fact that Spy x Family has really earned my trust (and a bit because I have read into the future) this turn of events might leave me rather dubious. I’m not exactly a fan of injecting romance into every story and this particular pairing has the potential to come off as both very forced and downright cloying. But if it doesn’t, it could also be a very interesting character study.
Even more exciting for me though, was the introduction of Yor’s brother in the after-credits tab. I love this type of conflict. The goofy have to put on an act for the family bit. You could call it an overused trope but what can I say, I’m a sucker for it. It’s the type of situation that is sure to generate a slew of wacky shenanigans and Sy x Family has proven that they can do wacky shenanigans very well!