Anya Under Pressure! Spy x Family Season 1 Episode 7 [Review]

Shouldering the responsibility of world peace, Anya makes her attempt to apologize to Damian. This episode covers manga chapters 9 & 10 of Spy x Family.

For this episode review, we are going to throw the chronological recap out the door! I’m going to break this review down into 2 parts, the criticisms and the character moments that continually make this show good.

Harsh Criticisms?!

If you grew up in the 90s to early 2000s and watched old sitcoms like Full House(RIP Bob Saget), Family Matters, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Boy Meets World, and many others; this episode had all the hallmarks of a classic episode of one of those shows. You have the “father just trying to be a good father by putting too much pressure on child” cliche.

You have the “mother reminding the father how much of a good father he is” cliche.

Also, you have the “child putting too much pressure on herself” cliche.

This episode starts off with a very “family-centric home feeling” kind of vibe that you’d get from those sitcoms—with the setting being literally at the breakfast table. Coming off a very significant event from the previous episode this one starts off very “not so melodramatic.” Loid stays calm, cool and collective, saying very encouraging things to Anya. and Yor. A few minutes into the episode, including the intro, I was left wondering what is the “hook” of the episode going to be? What’s the main plot of this episode going to be? What are the potentially satisfying and compelling elements that you are teasing me with?

It wasn’t until about 3:50 minutes into the episode that we got to understand what at least the first half of the episode was going to be about. Loid casually mentions to Anya to “remember to apologize to Damian.” This part is my biggest criticism of the whole episode because it left me confused about the significance of this apology. In the anime, it just seemed a lot more passive. I think this is where the music to set up the mood left me confused to this point. Everything had this ambient-blues-chill kind of music and then all of the sudden the episode plays the transition to anticipatory music. It wasn’t until Anya leaves on the bus and Yor mentioning that “they should go to work too,” that this music was played to show that shift. What is my biggest criticism of this episode? Confusing vibes..

Harping back on the sitcom analogy. The back half of this was essentially that. Switch out any of these characters from various shows and you end up with the person. To be fair, it’s not like there are many other creative ways to portray this dynamic without coming across as cliche. These last scenes between Loid & Yor really solidified their roles as real parents, even if they are just playing the part. Using Anya’s struggles with school was a good way to weave in another new character into the fold, as Yor explains her little brother’s similarities to Anya.

Characters Being the Best Version of Themselves

Let’s be real. The best part of the episode was from about 3:47 to 14:10. As long as the story focuses on Anya, you are going to get this “family-friendly and endearing” vibe that you’re probably not going to receive from any other animes. Thus far, exploring that family dynamic with Anya is what is most entertaining and unique about the show.

Loid Forger Gags

What makes characters interesting is not when you are composed and do everything right, as Loid was shown at the beginning. Once Anya sets off to school, Loid couldn’t help himself from going undercover to make sure Anya accomplishes the apology mission. It’s through these acts that makes for a more entertaining viewing, while simultaneously conveying to the viewer Loid’ character development process—as he puts his own make-believe fatherhood into question later on. Some of the best gags and “meme-able” moments of this episode was from his meddling. This might have been the most fun thing for the writer to come up with, as the funny situations you can put Loid in is endless. Anya’s reactions to these moments are priceless.

Becky Blackbell

Having Becky come in to play this role of “best friend” gives this show a really nice “sitcom-like” wrinkle. For better or worse for Anya’s sake, she’s going to be able to bring out certain aspects of what Anya really thinks. Anya now has someone that seems likeable to the audience and reliable to the central most entertaining and lovable character in the entire show. This whole succession of scenes with Anya and Becky is really hilarious because these “best friends” are sometimes seen as “c**k-blockers.” In this sense, Becky is unknowingly blocking Loid’s schemes and Anya’s intentions to apologize to Damian.

Prince “Tsundere” Damian

Our little bruised faced boy looks like he can’t accept the same pounding in his heart that his face took from Anya’s right hook. From a character perspective, I think we can all see what’s going to happen here. Enemies become lovers. Froma main plot & Loid’s point-of-view, this makes it much easier for Loid to get into Donovan Desmond’s social circle. A lot of these characters are very predictable. But, just because they are predictable doesn’t mean scenes like the one below won’t slap you across the face as being another entertainingly pivotal and memorable moment.

Last Thoughts

I usually gain really strong opinions after watching something for the first time. As I form opinions, I go back and watch certain scenes to check to see if those opinions remain true. Most of the time, it does actually change, at least a little bit. But, what’s more true to review? That first watch where a majority of people experience for the first and only time or the “multiple times watch,” where your perspective morphs with each viewing? I lean a lot heavier on that first initial view. You come in with the mindset of excitement and on edge for what’s to come. It’s literally the show’s job to entertain, excite you and make you feel the moments. If it doesn’t, then you have to pinpoint the reasons why.

I think what happened here with this episode is the fact that I read the manga ahead of time. What I imagined this episode would be like was a bit more dramatic than what I saw. Which is a weird take because the episode was not bad at all. This episode literally covered chapters 9 & 10 to the full extent. The conclusion I’ve come to for this episode is the way they handled everything up to the point of the panel below. The music they chose was just a “normal-casual” use kind of music(apologies for poor musical knowledge) that didn’t really fit how I imagined it to be. If anything, they shouldn’t have used the music at all. I would have went for more dreary or dramatic music than the one they ultimately chose. If I had to sum up my take for this episode, I would say “the calibration was off.”

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