Rating: 3.5 (of 5)
Of the episodes of this wonderful show which have aired so far, this is, by far, my least favorite one, and the one that comes closest to completely stumbling. Yes, the series gets some leeway because what transpired was still fully in character for the participants, but that doesn’t make it feel any less ugly.
The part I’m specifically referring to is the stunt that Twilight and his compatriot pull on Yor to test whether she can be trusted or not, given that Twilight is certain that her younger brother is Secret Police. (And he’s not wrong on that.) Being the consummate spy, Twilight cannot fully trust anyone, and the Secret Police connection understandably raises suspicions, even if neither Yor nor Yuri are acting one bit like Yor knows anything about it. Still, cornering her as fake but fully convincing Secret Police officers and threatening her with detainment over a trumped-up espionage charge seems a little much. The scene plays out much too seriously, lacking even a hint of the more light-hearted spirit which has characterized the series (and, indeed, even the first part of this episode) so far. Even the supreme irony that Yor really is guilty of a lot of crimes – just not espionage! – doesn’t detract from that. I do have to give Yor credit for standing her ground even in the face of Secret Police intimidation, and hopefully this will lessen the trust issues for now, because I’d rather not see this level of darkness in the series again.
The rest of the episode does better. Yuri’s siscon nature amusingly leads him to misinterpreting what’s going on in the opening scene, and that slo-mo slap and Yuri’s ensuing tumble were a nicely-animated sequence. Anya also gets a couple of neat moments, especially as she tries to process what “Secret Police” as applies to her “unkie” means and bluntly points out how not-so-tasty Yor’s cooking looked. The irony with Anya in this episode is that Loid is right about how kids can be surprisingly perceptive at times, even without telepathy. On the more serious side, both Yuri and Yor get practical advice a from a coworker and Loid, respectively, and both those scenes work well because they also drip with irony. Seeing the Forger family more settled at the end was a rewarding finish.
Next episode looks like the focus will shift back to Anya, and it’s about time; she’s had too little of a role in these last two episodes.
A Few Thoughts About Other Series
Date a Live IV episode 9 – This is a series that I have mostly been following for completion’s sake, but the movement to a new arc featuring fan-favorite character Kurumi makes the series a more enticing view than it’s been at any point this season. I’m actually looking forward to seeing how this plays out.
Love After World Domination episode 9 – This series, OTOH, continues to chug along merrily without the faintest hint of a slip. I may have to give this one a full review at season’s end, as even Spy x Family does not top its delightfully fun spirit or how utterly adorable Desumi and Fudo are as a couple. (Really, if someone makes a Desumi figma, it’ll sell. I’d absolutely order it.)
I’m Quitting Heroing episode 9 – This series didn’t seem like it was going to amount to much at first, but a surprising focus on character development and some unexpected twists have turned into a mild sleeper series. Might be worth checking out if it can finish out properly.
Demon Girl Next Door episode 8 – This series impresses more than any other when it comes to slyly working in world-building elements, and it does this while building solid relationships and an all-around fun story. It hasn’t lost any of what made the first series so great.