Some of you may have read my Vanitas reviews. If you did, you might remember how I annoyingly declared each new episode to be my favourite. I’m trying really hard not to do that with Spy x Family but man… This was a great episode!
Oh wow, this is just my first block of screencaps and it’s already taking up this much space. And look at everything that happened in the first act. We better get to it!
So just like that, Spy x Family decided to remind us that it is, in some ways, supposed to be a spy thriller. And what better way to do that than to introduce the shadowy and ruthless government organization opposing our valiant spy heroes! And of course, Yor’s brother would be part of that organization. Naturally! There really was no other way.
And obviously, he was going to have some deep-rooted but unexplained personal vendetta against Twilight. What do you think this is! Amateur hour? There’s a certain order to things, and this is it!
Yes, Yuri’s introduction, his circumstances and really his whole character is a collection of clichés (just like many things about the show, or are they?!?), it happens to be a collection of clichés I really like. The meddlesome well-meaning close friend or family member that happens to be just too meddlesome. Secret enemies actually end up becoming close without ever realizing who the other one is. I eat that stuff up.
And for what It’s worth, I think Yuri had a really great introduction in general. The juxtaposition of his seemingly sweet demeanour, everyone calling him adorable and like a puppy, clashes with how ruthless and determined he is. It’s striking and sets the character apart. You instantly think of him as an actually credible opponent for Twilight, something that has not existed so far in this show… I’m getting to it…
You know what was really cute, in that scene where Anya is watching her spy show. It’s my last screencap in the first block. Loid realizes that she seems to be learning a lot better when the material (in this case math) is presented through her show. That’s sweet enough, but then, in the next scene, Yor comes home flustered to warn them about Yuri’s visit. Loid and Anya are sitting side by side on the couch reading, she’s reading volume 8 I think of Spy Wars and he’s reading volume 1. No one mentions it and they don’t do anything more with it in this episode but I thought it was an adorable moment of both character and relationship building.
You know what is even cuter? This, this exact moment:
Not even a single thought for the mission huh Loid. It’s all, is this man going to harm our family… Oh man, the boss was right in the first scene. You are getting soft! And I love it!
The evening went as you would expect. Anyone that has watched enough comedic thrillers knows how these things go. Someone will get drunk. Surprisingly not Yor although only because Loid intervened much to her chagrin. And it seems a taste for wine is a Briar family trait. There will be ridiculous questions and silly challenges about proving the relationship that will bring the two leads closer. Of course, they are going to have to kiss kiss kiss at some point.
I’m not saying this episode was mould-breaking or anything. But it was the perfect place to showcase some of that wonderful SpyxFamily charm and add in the now signature subversion this show has been doing so well.
Loid is charming, he just is. And regardless of motives, he is a pretty good husband. He’s attentive, caring and kind to his family. He listens to them, which I am realizing now is not a very common trait in anime parents I have seen. It was always going to be hard for Yuri to hate him. But it also reminded us, that we kind of love him as well.
And Yor is charming. I do like Yuri quite a lot but if I had to pick an adorable sibling, my vote would go to Yor. I have to admit, I laughed out loud when Yor was just constantly blood-drenched in that flashback. The first scene was fun enough but then every subsequent scene… it’s a good thing that when it comes to his sister, Yuri’s logic goes out the window! But Yor titters on the line of manic pixie dream girl from time to time. She is almost perfect, her flaws being the endearing type. So seeing her interact with her brother was a great way to flesh out the character. Humanize her and make her feel more like a person than a fantasy.
Anya was in bed, or else it would have been a charming overload. Yuri would not have stood a chance!
I know I talked about Yuri being a worthy opponent. I mentioned Twilight getting soft. But in the end, there is still no true match for Twilight, at least not in the intelligence game. His family might bury him otherwise but when it comes to the spy stuff, he’s still the champs. So SpyxFamily smoothly subverted the unknowing enemies trope and had Loid basically figure out everything within minutes. Maybe an hour. Changing the whole game and making it now about how he can better use Yuri. Carefully of course.
But we also know that Loid is well… Loid. He is not going to do anything to hurt Yor if he can help it. So odds are that he’s going to end up being a kind and caring brother-in-law to a high-strung siscon. This poor guy. I can’t wait to watch more!