There’s plenty to celebrate about Spy x Family, the anime adaptation of Tatsuya Endo’s manga series. The animation from Wit Studio and CloverWorks is consistently strong, especially in action-packed episodes such as this week’s “The Hand That Connects to the Future.” And, at its very best, it is one of the funniest, laugh-out-loud shows currently airing. With solid character work and a heartfelt center that never undermines the humor, the show’s popularity demonstrates its skill and overwhelming appeal. But Spy x Family Season 2 Episode 9 drives home one of the most significant elements about why we care so deeply about Loid (Takuya Eguchi), Anya (Atsumi Tanezaki, and Yor (Saori Hayami). We want them to be a family and to acknowledge it. Three people hurt and broken from a war-torn country coming together as a family of choice as opposed to blood and being all the better for it.
While Spy x Family Season 2 Episode 9 doesn’t have us arriving at that point quite yet, it does indicate a slight shift of that dial. The Forger’s have a busy night on the cruise as Yor’s mission to protect Olka and her son continues in a final crescendo that brings Anya and Loid into the fray. However, the latter has no idea they’re connected. Loid has realized that a mysterious body has placed bombs on the ship, likely to create more significant political unease, and Anya works to help her parents in their plights. All three have their own individual roles to play but are stronger together, even when working towards the same goal separately.
Due to her telepathic abilities, Anya has the greatest knowledge about how it connects. Her most significant contribution to the ongoing battle is to toss one of Yor’s daggers that had fallen to the below deck back up to where Yor is fighting, managing to subdue two other assailants in the meantime accidentally. Though they’re never exactly refined, it’s been hilarious and telling to see how often Anya has sought adventure and moments of heroism this season as she slowly learns and develops based on her parent’s influence, although they have no clue. This moment is also an example of the fun the animators continue to have in animating Anya’s facial expression and her reaction to two men being severely injured due to her, perfectly capturing her mix of smug concern.
Loid, too, is busy disarming the bombs on the ship while disguised, initially wanting to stay out of it before succumbing to his instincts. These lack the same action or comedic effect as Yor and Anya’s moments. Still, it remains valid for the character whose inability to relax or rely on anyone else’s expertise has been a significant plot point of this mini-cruise arc. As he mentions, he’s less stressed about disarming a bomb than being around the state officials, which says enough about his character.
Of course, Yor is given the standout moment due in part to the exemplary animation that brings her fight sequence to the next level. One of the best parts of this arc has been the many ways the art directors have depicted her sheer strength and speed. Here, the animation calls on series such as My Hero Academia or Jujutsu Kaisen when she races in the blink of an eye towards the man trying to kill her, swiftly killing him with graceful power. And it does so with the same level, if not more, of finesse as the mentioned series.
While it’s enjoyable, it is a wrap-up episode as we move onto the next chapter, with Olka and her son bidding Yor a farewell. Olka’s final words, telling Yor that she hopes “you and your family find peace,” is a beautiful note for the character to end on. She has been able to see more into what makes Yor tick than many others in her life for whom she must perform. As a woman who has had to construct a new face and identity to protect her son, she knows better than most what the toll of Yor’s facade must take.
Her final message also leads into the contemplative ending that imbues a necessary warmth into the episode after all the bloodshed. Loid, too, has had his moment of introspection when, after the bombs, he chides himself for “casting” his family aside again. Internally, he stumbles, reminding himself that his family is only another mission. For a character who is meant to be calm and collected and usually only truly ruffled by Anya’s hijinks, it’s a moment that is an excellent indicator that he is a changed man, no matter how small the shift. It’s a great echo of Yor’s recent internal battles, too, having spent most of the last episodes wondering why she fights and realizing her family and their simple, happy lives need her. The ending, dialogue-less with a sweeping, hopeful score, as the three make their way out into daylight on the ship, speaks to the core of what makes Spy x Family so addictive. Even in its slower episodes, every small step towards greater familial ties lands with tremendous emotional impact.
Spy x Family Season 2 Episode 9 is a strong finish to Yor’s fight to protect Olka and her son. With Loid and Anya both playing their part in the fight, “The Hand That Connects To The Future” is a hopeful tonal shift as the Forger family embark on their next quaint adventure in comparison. With fluid fight scenes and reminders of why we love this would-be family, the episode strikes the right balance between comedy and action, with a beating heart backing it all up.
Spy x Family Season 2 Episode 9
Spy x Family Season 2 Episode 9 is a strong finish to Yor’s fight to protect Olka and her son. With Loid and Anya both playing their part in the fight, “The Hand That Connects To The Future” is a hopeful tonal shift as the Forger family embark on their next quaint adventure in comparison.