For the past two weeks, Spy x Family has been focused on Loid and Yor’s relationship. Do they really like each other for real? When are they going to kiss? Will Yor’s brother manage to uncover Loid’s role as a spy? There are many questions and storylines that can come up from that particular relationship, but there is no doubt that the true fan favorite character is Anya. Because of it, it is always welcomed to see her back in the spotlight; that is precisely what happens here in Episode 10.
Episode 10 of Spy x Family is titled “The Great Dodgeball Plan” and finds Anya trying to get her first Stella, so that she can become an Imperial Scholar, at Eden Academy, and as such help her father in the mission. Of course, things will not be as easy as it seems. And what begins as a simple dodgeball match ends up becoming a truly bloody battlefield, where loyalties are generated and broken and a lot of character development occurs just as balls are hitting people’s bodies with violence.
The episode begins as we see professor Henderson getting ready for a new day of teaching. Henderson is a really fascinating character. His appearance is that of an old man, but as the episode shows us, he is in a better physical condition than many people 50 years younger than he. Henderson is truly the exemplification of discipline, and how dedication to one thing ends up being the road to true mastery. For Henderson, that road led him to teach, and it seems the old man has dedicated his whole life to it.
Henderson sees a lot of potential in his new students now that he has been lowered in rank inside the Eden Academy, and he now needs to teach primary students, something that he hasn’t done in a long time. Henderson is definitely trying to see the bright side of his situation. But of course, his search for all things elegant will not be easy, as he sees that even these young kids are as violent and unrefined as their parents. A true disappointment.
For Anya, it all starts as a rumor. A friend of a friend of a friend tells her friend that if you become an MVP in the dodgeball game, then you will receive a Stella. Anya goes to Loid with this information, and Loid is very doubtful, he doesn’t want to put his energy into a sustained rumor, so he lets it pass. However, Anya is quite fired up about it, and she recruits the help of Yor to help her train for the match. Yor is more than glad to help, although Yor’s skills are better suited for killing than playing. It is funny how Loid still doesn’t catch Yor’s references to killing as a red flag. He just thinks it is weird because Yor is weird.
Meanwhile, the episode turns its attention to Damian for a moment. Damien is the son of Loid’s target in his mission. Thus, Damian has become an integral part of the mission and Anya needs to get closer to him somehow. In the first episode where he was introduced, he does it in the form of a petulant and arrogant child that has only lived in privilege and who sees everyone around him as beneath him. All of these things are true, but episode 10 goes further, revealing some surprising sides to Damian’s character.
You see, while all the things above are true, we have to remember that when the class picture was taken, Damian was alone. None of his parents or any relative was beside him. Damian is a very lonely kid, and because of the type of family he was born in, there are a lot of expectations put on him. When his friends call to attention that Damian’s older brother was an Imperial Scholar and that because of it, it means that Damian will also be one, Damian becomes uncomfortable. It is later revealed that only by becoming an Imperial Scholar will Damian receive the attention of his father. It is very sad.
The episode gives us all these insights into the characters, but never forgets to just be fun and ridiculous. This is exactly what happens during the training, where Yor uses his superhuman strength to teach Anya to shoot the ball with great strength. Yor’s techniques are meant to kill, but it is funny she is teaching them in such a nonchalant way to her daughter. In true real-life fashion, Anya is little but little, being molded by her parents. Could this mean that at some point, Anya can become the ultimate spy assassin? We have to wait and see.
When the dodgeball match finally comes, the episode raises its ridiculous factor to the max level. The result is a wonderfully funny sequence where the match is treated as a life or death situation. There are bodies all over the floor and there are dramatic sad goodbyes between friends when one or the other gets hit. The bulk of the match centers around the introduction of a new character, one that we hope to see more beyond this episode, for sure.
Billy is a kid that doesn’t really look like one. His design is just hilarious as he is way taller than everyone else, he has the body of a bodybuilder and the strength of an Ox. He is also a character with glasses, which means he is extremely intelligent. He is all these things and yet, he is just another young kid. Funny enough, another kid from the elite trying to get parental approval by becoming an Imperial Scholar. It really goes to show just how toxic the whole Eden school system really is.
The episode ends in an explosive anti-climatic fashion, where Studio Wit goes full throttle with their animation only to bring it down to Earth in a matter of a second. It is quite funny and finished what is another solid episode in this fantastic series. Let’s hope that characters like Billy can show up more in the future. If Anya manages to become friends with him, it would make for a very strange group, but an interesting one.