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Mission: Yozakura Family
Episode 8

by James Beckett,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Mission: Yozakura Family ?
Community score: 3.7

mission-yozakura-family-ep-8-review.png

This is going to sound like a backhanded compliment, but I mean it when I say that “The Kuroyuri Party” would do well to set the bar for Mission: Yozakura Family's “worst” episodes. That is because this isn't a bad episode, at all; rather, I think (or hope) that it represents this show at its least ambitious and creative. While we technically continue the trend of introducing new characters and their associated spy missions this week—it turns out that the Hinagiku are led by a buxom, one-eyed spy vixen who just adores Mutsumi—the main focus of the episode is on Taiyo's investigation of the titular politician, Yoshimasa Kuroyumi, and his shady political party. It is, by just about every metric, a totally fine episode of M:YK. The jokes are fine. The animation is fine. The espionage plot is fine. It's all fine. I laughed a couple of times. I jotted down some notes here and there—especially when it comes to the big “reveal” at the end of the story. The time flew by and I wasn't any less happy when the credits rolled than when the episode began.

…crap, I have to come up with more to say, don't I?

Well, okay, I guess I could offer some nitpicks about this week's villain, Mr. Kuroyumi himself. For a (probably) disposable villain-of-the-week, the show could do a lot worse—but it could do a lot better, too. (Are you catching on to the running theme of this review, yet?) I don't mind the fact that he's a completely ridiculous weirdo who is not-so-secretly just as duplicitous and two-faced as most politicians are but he isn't what I would call an especially threatening or interesting antagonist for Taiyo to tangle with. Also, if I may be so bold as to point out something that I think M:YK did genuinely poorly for the first time: Kuroyumi's henchman sucks. They're just three identical background characters with numbered face masks. I assume the joke has something to do with how silly it is for such nondescript mooks to work for a freak like Kuroyumi but it's just…not funny. It's not anything.

The one moment of true interest this week gets saved for the very final moments of the episode when a captured Kuroyumi taunts Taiyo with tantalizing information about the treacherous conspiracy that left Taiyo an orphan. I'm of two minds about this, at least for now. On the one hand, I'm always down for our main character to have a cool, genre-appropriate tragic backstory that manages to be significant to the main plot. On the other hand, it's a little goofy for the show to be playing up the drama of this reveal when I had honestly forgotten that Taiyo was an orphan whose family died in a horrible car accident. It just hasn't been super relevant to the story thus far, you know? It's odd timing in any case.

Still, If “odd timing” and “some mediocre villains” are the worst problems that we get from M:YK, then I won't have too much to complain about in the coming weeks. This is still an entertaining show and I'll be glad to stick with it even if we get a couple of middling missions now and then.

Rating:

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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