FEATURE: The SPY x FAMILY Jealousy Episode Highlights How Borfingly Heartwarming the Series Is
All you need is wuv
Note: The following article contains spoilers up to Season 1 Episode 21 of the SPY x FAMILY anime.
SPY x FAMILY continues to be one of my biggest comfort anime of the year. The comedic antics of the Forgers combined with their found family vibe is something I look forward to every week. As important as it is for Loid/Twilight to keep the peace between Westalis and Ostania, the show’s biggest draw is his relationship with his “fake” family and the fact that he’s obviously catching feelings for Yor and Anya.
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The show, on occasion, will offer up worthwhile lessons that, frankly, make me love the characters more than I already do. One recent example is when Yor finally gets a meal right because she thinks back to the food that comforted her and her brother, Yuri. I already knew Yor cared deeply for her family (both Yuri and the Forgers) and this moment reveals that she’s always been the type of person to do her best to take care of others... even if it means coming home a little bloody (it’s best not to ask questions).
We get a similar moment in Episode 21 where Loid has to deal with jealousy from multiple angles. Dealing with a frustrated agent is one thing, but an angry pupper? Like a lot of things in SPY x FAMILY, Loid isn’t exactly ready for that hurdle, which makes his response even more endearing.
The Frosty Tension
Meet Fiona Frost, codename: Nightfall. She works as an undercover agent with Loid and is also posing as his coworker at Berlint General Hospital. When I first saw her I thought, “Oh dang, she’s cool,” then she belittled my girl, Yor, and I thought, “OK, we are no longer friends.”
OK, I still think Fiona’s cool.
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Much to my (and Anya’s) surprise, Fiona wuvs Twilight — heart emoji, exclamation point. She wants to replace Yor as his wife as she thinks she’d do a better job at executing Twilight’s mission.
To be fair, she’s probably right.
Fiona would definitely be more focused on Operation Strix and not as concerned with running along the rooftops to make sure Anya has her gym clothes. To her, the mission would be over a lot faster if she were Mrs. Forger. What makes her way of thinking truly interesting is the fact that she literally learned it from Twilight. He trained her, so really, she’s just following his lead with her bury your feelings mentality.
Here’s the thing, though. That’s not what Twilight needs.
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Of course, Twilight would never admit that — at least not yet. He still has moments where he tells himself that this family dynamic isn’t gonna matter because once the mission is over they’ll all go their separate ways. Fiona upholds this way of thinking, going so far as to accuse Twilight of losing his edge due to “playing house” for so long.
But this is SPY x FAMILY, a series that delights in reminding us that the “family” in the title is key.
A Penguin’s Honorable Injuries
The second part of the episode takes place after the credits and is a lot more lighthearted, yet it tackles one of the same themes that was addressed with Fiona: jealousy. Instead of it being as serious as two spies trying to suppress their feelings until the fighting ends, it’s Anya, Agent Penguinman (first introduced in Episode 12), and Bond.
After a rather heartwrenching moment in the cartoon she’s watching — at least in the eyes of a child — Anya wants to sleep with the giant penguin Loid got her at the aquarium. Bond, upset that he’s had his spot claimed by a stuffed animal, rips the plush to shreds! Unlike Fiona, Bond doesn’t have “hold back your emotions” training so he took matters into his own paws.
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This devastates Anya who declares her hatred for Bond, breaking the poor floof’s heart.
Loid’s solution, at first, is to buy a new penguin. It’s the most logical answer. This isn’t good enough because Anya wants THIS penguin. Why? Because her papa got it for her. Also, like, you can’t just buy a replacement for a cuddly friend, Loid! Not after all the fun times you've shared!
Loid patches up the bird (after Yor tries and, you know, Yors it up) and suddenly has to come up with an explanation for how injured the penguin looks. “S-scars are medals of valor for soldiers,” he says, and Anya is immediately in awe.
Loid explains that scars are nothing to be ashamed of and acts as a sort of peacekeeper between an apologetic Bond and Anya. Bond’s brought the girl peanuts, and though she was hurt by his actions, she calls a truce and apologizes for saying she hates him. As Loid watches Bond and the injured pengie shake on it, he smiles, thinking how he wishes things could be this easy for the East and West.
That moment, and that smile, highlight how much Loid needs the Forger family.
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Earlier in the episode, Fiona said that Loid’s smiles were fake around Yor and Anya, but moments like this show just how wrong that assessment is. When Loid has moments like this it feels like he’s speaking from personal experience, like he’s putting himself in the situation to let out his actual feelings. It reminds me of how highly he spoke of Yor’s profession in the second episode when her coworker hinted at her doing what she saw as unsavory work, or how he wanted to keep Anya as his daughter after finding out how many times she’d been brought back to the orphanage.
There are better options he could turn to for the sake of the mission, in fact, one is standing right in front of him with Fiona Frost. What he doesn’t realize is that he’s unconsciously chosen the options that he feels a connection with — Anya and Yor. While he realizes the importance of keeping the peace, he doesn’t realize that he’s surrounded himself with his own peace by bringing these two into his life.
Protecting everyone is important, but there’s nothing wrong with creating your own space while you work toward a better life for everyone. It might not be that easy with the East and West, as Loid says, but it really is that simple in his own home.
Briana Lawrence is the Senior EN Features Editor here at Crunchyroll. When she’s not writing she’s taking care of her three butthead cats and playing Hades for the 100th time. You can check out her writings and her book series over at her website and give her a shout-over on Twitter.