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SPY x FAMILY Episode 10 Review – Best In Show

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SPY x FAMILY Episode 10 Review – Quick Summary

In SPY x FAMILY Episode 10, “THE GREAT DODGEBALL PLAN”, Anya faced her biggest challenge yet – a dodgeball game. It was also her greatest opportunity. Hearing a rumor that whoever earned MVP would also earn a Stella, Anya asked Yor to help her train. And, wow, did Yor rise to the challenge. From basic strength training to a secret technique to throw a killer dodgeball, Yor did everything to help Anya train. Would it be enough? And how will Damien react, given that he is also after the MVP spot?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from SPY x FAMILY Episode 10

SPY x FAMILY Episode 10: Yor had to keep her athleticism a secret.

Yor makes a valid point. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Knowing that Loid very much wanted her to become an Imperial Scholar, Anya felt excited that she saw an opportunity to earn a Stella. Loid thought it sounded strange that someone could earn a Stella in a dodgeball game, but Yor enthusiastically offered to help Anya train anyway.

To show that Loid is both a genius and utterly blind when it comes to his family, he actually asked Yor if she was athletic. After seeing her leap from a tall wall to go after a purse snatcher, after almost punching his lights out, and after seeing her almost punch her brother Yuri through a wall, Loid asked if Yor was athletic.


Anyway, Yor stammered an answer, saying that she had played catch with Yuri when they were kids.

“I can’t tell them I rip people apart and toss them around on a daily basis,” she thought (06:50).

I was caught between thinking “you got that right, sister!” and “daily basis?”

Apparently, Yor’s schedule is more booked than I had thought.

Best in Show Moment for SPY x FAMILY Episode 10

SPY x FAMILY Episode 10: Damian's inner hero expresses itself

Damien didn’t even expect himself to do this! How cool is that? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Art, Elevated by Teamwork

Given the characterization in this episode (in the whole series, in fact), I want to sing Tatsuya Endo’s praises. I have to marvel at the complexity, subtlety, and authenticity of his characters. Maybe someone like Leo Tolstoy was better, and maybe he wasn’t. But the fact I can make the comparison – unironically – says something.

But even better, Tatsuya Endo isn’t the only one working to make these characters real. I don’t know who to give the credit to, but SPX x FAMILY’s Fandom page for episode 10 lists Norihito Takahashi (Storyboard and episode director) and Kyouji Asano (Chief Animation Director) as two people who deserve recognition. Given their credits, it should come as no surprise that their work in this episode was unobtrusively brilliant. They conveyed the emotions of these characters in a way that had me utterly enthralled. Only looking back did I see the craftsmanship that went into making those moments.

SPY x FAMILY Episode 10: Emile had laudable instincts.

Emile’s instincts were laudable. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I mean, seriously – take a look at the Anilist pages I linked two. Those two artists are responsible for a lot of emotionally impactful and visually appealing animation over the years. And I think they brought everything they’ve learned to this episode.

All of that skill, decades of combined experience: to turn a dodgeball game into a spectacle. And to bring to life a character who might have become a caricature in the hands of a less skilled writer or team of animators.

Setup: Cumulative Minor Character Moments

Let’s put aside how Emile Elman gave his life to protect Damian, which made Emile less a henchman and more a misguided little dude trying to figure out his way in life. Sure, he didn’t really give his life. But to a six-year old? Everything’s life and death, at least on the sports field of battle. 

Let’s also put aside how Ewen, Emile, and Damian trained hard in a great example of teamwork. Those characters did not need to be so well fleshed out. But they are, and it makes the show more interesting and memorable.

No, I want to talk about Damian. The little kid who could have just been a stereotypical spoiled brat. Even before this episode, we had hints that his facade is a compensation for how his family treats him. It’s so bad, it has even affected his thoughts. At one point, Damian planned to sacrifice everyone so he could win. Anya happened to catch that thought, and what was her reaction?

SPY x FAMILY Episode 10: Damian's thoughts did not impress Anya.

Anya did not like what she read in Damian’s thoughts. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

“Second son is a real shithead” – that’s what (17:16)!

In that moment, Anya was a stand-in for how an audience would react to such a character. But she’s within the narrative. So is Damian. That’s one of the things that makes my favorite moment so cool. A two-dimensional character would not have done it. Anya did not expect it. Bit it happened anyway!

Delivery: The Inner, Silent Damian Steps Up

Damian did not even expect it.

But when the behemoth of a child (Bill, I think was his name) prepared to hurl the ball at Anya as she lay helpless on the ground, something happened. At first, Damian thought to himself that he was going to let her get hit. But then, out of nowhere, he stepped in front of Anya and tried to catch the ball (19:02).

Little dude might as well have tried to stop a wrecking ball. He dropped the ball, of course. He had to leave the game. But for a moment, when his instincts took over, he did something he did not expect himself to do.

SPY x FAMILY Episode 10: Damian seemed embarrassed that he saved Anya

Damian didn’t even believe what he’d done. Looks like the little dude’s badness is just superficial. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I know that Tatsuya Endo said he has no connection to these characters, because he’s writing to market at the direction of his editor. It’s funny to me that in his own time, lots of critics hated Shakespeare because he indulged in what we’d think of as writing to market. And we see how well that turned out! So I think Tatsuya Endo is under selling himself.

What did you think of Yor’s training regime for Anya? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Please feel free to let me know in the comments!

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