How would you rate episode 12 of
Spy×Family ? Community score: 4.5
While I admit to disappointment that episode twelve took the “adapt a side story” route, I also have to say that it was probably for the best – not only are the side missions from the manga still very funny (as we see here), but it also makes more sense to open the second cour with the dog arc. So I’m sorry to say that anime’s best boy won’t debut until the fall, but still pleased that we got to see Lloyd’s epic penguin game.
I of course mean that in at least two senses. His playing for Anya while voicing her giant stuffed penguin is amazing, not just because it’s born from his quick thinking when Anya has a meltdown after he’s perhaps a little too strident in his disciplining of her, but also because the voice he uses is something else …and then he’s stuck in penguin-mode when Anya takes the game to the streets. There’s a definite adorable factor here, but even beyond that it’s a wonderful way of showing Loid out of his element but gamely soldiering on. If you think about it, Lloyd’s done plenty of weird and probably embarrassing or uncomfortable things in his work as Twilight, but for virtually all of them, he’s been in disguise; even if he’s just put on glasses or changed his hair, he’s been hiding behind a mask of some sort. But now he’s out in public with a giant stuffed penguin using a silly voice, accompanied by a woman holding a toy robot in front of her face, and it’s got to be the most visible he’s ever been. And while the penguin is technically covering his face, it can’t be said to be a mask – he’s dressed like his at-home self with nary a wig or disguise to be seen. For Twilight it must feel like the equivalent of walking around the block naked; for Loid it’s embarrassing but also a necessary part of being a father.
While I’ve loved a lot of aspects of this show, Loid learning to be a dad and watching him slowly come to embrace that role in ways he probably isn’t even fully cognizant of has to be one of the series’ greatest strengths. Sometimes it’s the little details, like when he tells his fellow agent that of course he’s quit smoking because he has a kid now, other times it’s the moments of blind panic, like when Anya starts crying, but all of them are building to him becoming a person who is more than just his job. Even that he nearly refuses the aquarium gig because he’s taking a day off feels like something he wouldn’t have done before – Lloyd’s relearning how to be human even while maintaining his superspy life. That’s rewarding viewing, and while it’s equally charming to see Yor kick the teeth out of a guy’s skull because she believes he’s kidnapping Anya, we also know that such things come easier to her, because she already raised her brother. But Lloyd and Anya are having to learn the “family” part of the title from scratch, and that’s consistently been a theme that’s well-handled, this episode included. (Plus Loid saves a penguin from choking. Can’t argue with that.)
There’s a nice balance of the characters this week, too, with everyone getting to show off their special skills, with Anya proving once again to be her dad’s greatest support agent even if no one is aware of it. That he and Yor have a much harder time standing up to the nosy gossiping neighbors is a fun touch, as is the way Anya gets the final minutes of the episode reminding us that despite everything, she’s really just a little kid who’s just as likely to play pretend as she is to hatch a plan using her telepathy. Overall this is a well-balanced episode, which makes it a good place to end on – it’s a reminder of what makes SPY x FAMILY a solid series while also leaving us with a reminder of what makes these characters fun and special in the first place.
And keep your ears peeled for the ringing of your secret phone shoes, because SPY x FAMILY will be back.
Spy×Family is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.