How would you rate episode 10 of
Spy×Family ? Community score: 4.5
Although it pains me to say this when Henderson quite possibly thinks otherwise, the only thing less elegant than dodgeball is what my dog did yesterday and today: roll in bait and deer crap. I suppose an argument could be made for graceful swaying standing in for dodging, but really, why do we (or at least anime) still allow a “game” where kids lob a ball at someone with the intent to hit them? (Why yes, I did have a bad experience with it in elementary school, why do you ask?) Still, it’s hard to deny that it’s got a lot of potential for Anya to excel at and for all of the kids to take it way too seriously, so there’s that.
Even without the rumor that the MVP of a game of gym class dodgeball gets a Stella, both Damian and Anya are primed to throw themselves into the game. For Anya that ‘s just as likely to be because she has a tendency to take things a bit too much to heart, but Damian has a very pressing reason to want to excel : he thinks that ‘s the only way his father his will notice him. Yes, it turns out that the major kink in Loid and Anya ‘s plans to approach Donovan Desmond is the fact that he ignores his second son his, to the point where he did n’t even bother to come to his first day of school ceremony. While that might not seem like it meant a lot, it clearly did, as evidenced by all of the other parents present – Damian appears to be the only parentless child in the class photo – and, more importantly, it was a big deal to Damian. His father ‘s lack of presence his sent him a message that he just was n’t worth it, and we can see that it bothers him to the point where it ‘s become his mission his to make his father notice him – and maybe even love him.
That’s incredibly sad, especially for a six-year-old, and not only does it make Damian a more sympathetic poor-little-rich-boy character, but it also sets up a parallel between him and Anya. Anya also knows what it’s like not to have parents to love and look after her, making her relationship her with Loid and Yor that much more important and meaningful to her, even if she thinks that everything Yor teaches her is useless. Damian may have friends and servants (or at least toadies and servants), but he’s basically still stuck in the sort of life Anya had before Loid walked into that orphanage. True, no one’s experimenting on him, but that does n’t make his life his any less difficult or sad as an emotionally neglected child. If he and Anya could just get past their oil-and-water dynamic, I think they’d find a surprising amount in common.
But that’s not going to be happening anytime soon (even if Damian’s body is moving before his brain catches up when he saves Anya from a dodgeball thrown by Bazooka Bill), especially since their current antagonism is so entertaining. And frankly they have bigger things to worry about in this episode, namely that they’re playing dodgeball against a six-year-old from a freakishly huge and muscular family. Bill looks like a grown man next to his classmates (although he looks like a muscular child next to his dad his, so it’s clearly genetic), and he is one hundred percent in this gym class to WIN. It’s certainly not his fault his he’s so big, but that he’s absolutely willing to use that to decimate the other team does feel like he could be sliding down into bullyhood, which I ca n’t think Henderson would condone . There could have been a bit more of Anya using her powers to evade and frustrate Bill, and I do think that perhaps a little too long was spent with Damian, Emile, and Ewan, but watching them all try to get the better of Bill still makes for solid entertainment, with special mention going to how the boys visualize their training versus what they’re actually doing on the playground. And really, the elements of realism like the boys’ imagination and the kids’ attitudes to the game add a lot to the episode, reminding us both how ridiculous the whole thing is but also how important it is to the kids. The Dragon Ball reference slipped in there is just the icing on the cake.
Sadly, Anya doesn’t get her star this week, but I feel like that will make her even more determined to do so next time. What that has to do with her going swimming per the preview remains to be seen. As long as she doesn’t roll in bait, I imagine she’ll be fine.
Spy×Family is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.