How would you rate episode 11 of
Spy×Family ? Community score: 4.5
Anya’s psychic powers seem to work against her at least as often as they work in her favor. They got her adopted, yes, and they make her the only character who actually knows everything that’s going on, but sometimes when she tries to use them to do things like cheat on her tests, she gets everything all turned around and comes home with a backpack full of zeroes. The poor kid has a lot to manage, and at this point it almost feels like “just make the effort to learn the stuff” might turn out to be easier than “telepathically spy on classmates.” On the other hand, if she can master memorizing which classmates are best at which subjects, she’ll be well on her way to an impressive mental skill and learning how to best use her resources, which actually could turn out to very helpful in the future.
But the big question on Lloyd’s mind is whether any of this (not that he knows about most of it) is going to earn Anya the coveted Stella needed to become an Imperial Scholar. Since he’s starting to get the picture that academics might not be her strong suit, he decides that the best route is to see if she can get her stars through volunteer work. What’s telling is that he also has an ulterior dad motive to this as well, and one he might not even really register: he thinks to himself that it’ll be good for Anya to learn to be helpful and that volunteering can be rewarding. While the whole Stella thing is Lloyd thinking like Twilight, the rest of it is pure father-brain: he’s thinking about how he can best raise his child to be a good person with valuable experiences. We have seen him have moments of this before, but this feels like the clearest because there’s so little overlap between him thinking about what’s best for Anya and what he needs Anya to do for his mission. Not that he doesn’t normally care about Anya’s well-being, but I don’t think he’s ever put it at the forefront of his mind before. It’s a marker of how much he’s becoming Anya’s Dad as part of his identity, and that’s really sweet.
She still drives him crazy, of course, but I think at least part of what he sees as her incompetence can be attributed to her actual age – despite claiming that she was six when she first met Lloyd, she’s probably probably five or so and that can be a big difference at that age. But the moment she rescues the drowning boy and earns the star, Loid realizes that he’s proud of her, with the implication that he’s never felt so proud of another person before. He’s felt proud of his own accomplishments, but the way that he can’t immediately figure out that what he’s feeling is pride in his daughter’s accomplishment seems to indicate that this is a new emotion for him, and that’s heartwarming. So is the way that she’s so proud of her Stella that she wears it to school every day, which is perhaps not elegant in that it smacks of boasting. But come on, she definitely deserves it: she’s the first kid in her year to win a coveted star! Maybe wanting to be addressed as “Starlight Anya” is a bit much, but this is her first real sign that she’s helping her dad with his mission, and for her that’s just as worth being proud of, as we can see from her repeated” Anya Brings World Peace” scenarios.
Apparently world peace is now dependent on her getting a dog, despite Yor’s fears. As a life-long dog person, I could easily see puppies bringing world peace, and in fact I’m typing this with my dog asleep in my lap, which is no mean feat since he’s seventy pounds. But obviously any dog the Forger family acquires will have to be something more than just “cute,” and the end of the episode certainly seems to indicate that there’s just such a special dog in their future – one who may have been made “special” in much the same way Anya was, based on the background commentary. Obviously he needs to be taken out of what is a disgraceful situation for any dog as soon as possible, and Anya’s canine quest just might be his ticket out. Could this be the birth of the season’s Best Boy? We’ve got one more episode to find out.
Spy×Family is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.