by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Community score: 4.6
Not only is SPY x FAMILY an excellent spy spoof, but now it turns out that it's a pretty awesome Hana Yori Dango parody as well. I'm probably dating myself here, but perhaps I'm not the only one who saw a parallel between Tsukushi's infamous first run-in with Doumyoji and Anya's encounter with Damien Desmond? From his looks to his attitude, Damien's basically mini-Doumyoji in this episode, and if he's missing a fourth member of his gang, well, he's young, so there's time for him to find another crony. And he may be similar to the HanDan character in another way as well – it's his first day of school, but his parents are nowhere to be seen, which feels a little odd considering how stressed Loid was about being the picture-perfect family for Eden College's interviews and how, in this episode, all of the other kids are at orientation with their families. But Damien is sitting alone in the auditorium and Loid remarks that his father isn't present at the parental meet-and-greet. Certainly it's within the realm of possibility that Desmond is just too important to punish for such transgressions and too busy to be there, but we could also interpret this in a way that isn't all that good for little Damien: that his dad just couldn't be bothered to show up for his big day.
That's far from a certainty, of course, and more important to this episode is the fact that little miss Anya seems to have punched her way into his attention (if not heart) and that we have the anime debut of her patented Smug Face. What makes the face better is that she thinks she's just smiling nicely at him and being the bigger person in doing so; it's not only very funny to look at but also absolutely something that feels true to Anya's age (sort of like how they told me to “smile with my teeth” in my kindergarten school picture so I bared them like a cornered prey animal). Anya also exhibits more bona fide little kid behavior when she waltzes around the park and the grocery store showing everyone how cute she is in her school uniform (which she doesn't realize everyone will be wearing at Eden). It's also a fun little detail since mere moments earlier she was afraid of being kidnapped because of where she'd be going to school, although in her defense, she doesn't understand how uniforms work.
Speaking of kidnapping, when some thugs do try to abduct Anya, Yor gets to strut her stuff in defense of her daughter. I'm not sure which part is better: how she's insulted that they didn't think that she was Anya's mom or how she smashed a pumpkin to smithereens with her fist. Either way, it's some needed character development for her, since, wonderful though she is, she's been taking a bit of a backseat to Loid and Anya since she came in. That's not really her fault; those two are hard to top, Anya with her Anya-ness and Loid as he swings between “doting, protective dad” and “spy professional watching his plans crumble.” Perhaps more than anything, Yor's excursion with Anya shows how much she wants to be an active part of the family, and even if her teaching Anya to defend herself backfires a bit, it's still a great bit of mother-daughter bonding.
So now Anya is enrolled at school and has already punched the son of her dad's target in the face. At least she's got Henderson looking out for her elegantly, and hey, maybe leaving an imprint of her fist on Damien's face won't turn out so bad. It worked in Hana Yori Dango, after all.
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