‘Spy x Family’ Spotlights Anya in “Carry Out the Griffin Plan”
Following last week’s Yor-centric episode, Spy x Family returns with an episode highlighting Anya’s exploits at Eden Academy. With all of the craziness that’s happened in the second cour of the series, it’s easy to forget the integral role Anya plays in Operation Strix. While this episode features three separate “missions,” Anya’s “Carry out the Griffin Plan” takes up most of this episode’s runtime. After completing her mission to get a dog, Anya’s attempts to get Damian’s attention with her new family photo featuring Bond backfired spectacularly, ending in her friend Becky instead falling in love with Loid.
Spy x Family sorely needed the break from the self-serious espionage of the past few episodes. While those were enjoyable in their own ways, the anime needed to go back to the crucial mission at hand: Anya’s friendship with Damian Desmond. What is supposed to be a simple arts & crafts project for Anya’s class turns into a crucial mission to save the world.
The different perspectives and how they’re animated are what make Spy x Family unique. Anya’s twisted and fantastical point of view essentially carries the comedy of this episode. Damian is also given more of a spotlight, developing past the snotty-rich-kid archetype. As Anya attempts to help Damian craft a model of a griffin to impress his father, it all goes south because of her antics. Despite all the scheming and aspirations of Anya and Damian, they’re just children.
The utter disaster that the Griffin turns into becomes one of the funniest bits in Spy x Family. The unintentional ugliness of the arts & crafts project is seen as a commentary on the state of the country to the judges, who are moved to tears by Anya’s contribution to the project. In the end, it sort of works out for Anya, and Damian develops a begrudging respect for her selflessness.
Spy x Family never loses the heart in the action or the comedy, which is especially telling in the last scene of this segment. Damian attempts to use the events of the episode to connect with his father but decides against it out of fear of disappointing him. The relationship between Damian and his father (Loid’s target in Operation Strix) will play an essential role in the series’ future. Until then, this comedic segment of the episode ends on a somber note.
The next segment, “The Fullmetal Lady,” is short and focuses on Loid’s handler, Sylvia. Taking a closer look at one of the side characters of the anime, it’s an intense look at the life of a spy. Sylvia proved a compelling character in the last arc, and her efforts to meet Twilight without being tailed are impressive.
Twilight’s hesitancy to tell Sylvia the one flaw in her disguise shows the spy does have a heart. However, when taking into account what could happen if Sylvia is ever found out, perhaps his emotions shouldn’t get the better of him. Twilight’s emotional investment in this mission seems to be a crucial point in the anime, and it will be interesting to see if it ever drastically affects his mission.
The last segment of the episode, “Omelet Rice,” goes right back to the comedy. Yuri, Yor’s younger brother who is in the secret police, is revealed to have become toughened mentally and physically because of Yor’s cooking. The depiction of Yor’s meals (being pixelated and censored) paired with sounds of screaming end the episode on a hilarious note. The comedy of Spy x Family continues to be the anime’s greatest strength, and that trend will no doubt continue next week when Yuri becomes Anya’s tutor. – Ernesto Valenzuela
Spy x Family Episodes Simulcast on Crunchyroll and Hulu Saturdays at 8:30 PT
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