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Mission: Yozakura Family
Episode 12

by James Beckett,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Mission: Yozakura Family ?
Community score: 3.6


Let's all give Mission: Yozakura Family a little golf-clap round of applause, everyone. This week's episode promised us a "Prison Break Grandpa," and it delivered exactly that. Mutsumi's grandfather, Ban, is a heavy-drinking and hard-partying rapscallion who seems to regularly bust out of the joint to hit up the hostess clubs and paint the town red. Naturally, Kyoichiro cannot let this insult to their family pride (and his skills as a spy) walk free, so he naturally decides to order Taiyo to clean up the mess for him.

If I have any complaints about this first section, it's that the whole routine feels a little too safe for the formula that M:YF has established. I won't say that I "predicted" the little twist to Ban's introduction because I wasn't exactly invested enough to be actively guessing what would happen after Taiyo finished trying to capture/bond with his new grandpa. Still, the episode was putting so much weight on the whole "Grandpa is a rascal because he's running away from the grief of losing his beloved wife" thing that I wasn't surprised at all when Mutsumi shows up at the end with Grandma Keiko, who is very much alive and well. It doesn't ruin the episode or anything. It just makes for a Part A that mostly had my internal monologue going, "Yeah, this is pretty nice, I guess…" while I watched in passive silence.

"Yeah, this is pretty nice, I guess!" is also what I would say about the second segment, where the Yozakura family ditches Grandpa to go on a mall shopping spree. Note that I replaced the ellipses with an exclamation point, which means that Part B of this episode makes for a small (but meaningful) improvement over the first half. Really, it comes down to the fact that, if we're going to spend ten minutes or so just kind of chilling out instead of doing anything especially wacky or creative, I'd rather we chill with the main Yozakura siblings proper. It's cute seeing how the family procures all of their illicit espionage items from this shopping center, and it functions as a nice additional morsel of world-building, too. Plus, the fact that Taiyo's family used to take him here means his parents were rival spies, right?

Anyways, we conclude things with a literal descent into the seedy underworld that lives beneath the mall, and the fact that Taiyo and Mutsumi's innocent quest to return a lost girl to her family ends with the entire mall being leveled is honestly pretty funny. It's a good way to end an episode that gets better as it goes along.


Mission: Yozakura Family is currently streaming on Hulu in the United States and on Disney+ in other regions.

James is a writer with many thoughts and feelings about anime and other pop-culture, which can also be found on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.

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