SPY x FAMILY 1×16 Review: “Yor’s Kitchen / The Informant’s Great Romance Plan”
After a three-episode arc dealing with the “spy” part of SPY x FAMILY, “Yor’s Kitchen / The Informant’s Great Romance Plan” deals a little more with the “family” part. These two minisodes are slice-of-life brilliance, both managing to tie into the previous arc.
“Yor’s Kitchen” hilariously builds off of “A New Family Member” by having Yor turn to one of her coworkers for cooking lessons, believing that the breakfast she made Loid had him in the bathroom for an entire day. This story uses some of the best recurring tropes of the show – Yor’s duality of skills (chopping anything versus peeling potatoes, for example) and Yuri’s… everything.
Yuri’s obsession with his sister can get very cloying, but in small doses it’s pretty funny. The fact that he’s proclaiming her food to be delicious while simultaneously being violently ill is one of the funny moments. He grew up eating her cooking, so for him, it’s nostalgia. (I’m pretty sure that Yuri is immortal now, if he spent so long eating Yor’s cooking and survived.)
But it’s also heartbreaking that he and Yor can only remember one meal their mother made – one meal that was tasty (and edible). I do hope that we get more of Yor’s backstory as we go on. We know that she and Yuri were orphaned rather young, but the fact that they can’t even recall their mother’s cooking makes me wonder just how young they were.
I talked last week about how Yor is a contradiction in everything she does. She knows her way around a knife (a skill showcased spectacularly in the ED), but still can’t really chop anything properly. The opening line of the manga actually talks about how everyone has a secret side that they don’t show to everyone. “Yor’s Kitchen” emphasizes that by showing us that even Camilla has a dual persona, kind of. She seemed like such a mean girl when we first met her, but she was actually really kind and patient with Yor.
“The Informant’s Great Romance Plan”, while definitely the weaker of the two stories, makes Franky probably the most relatable character on the show. Not everyone can be a super spy, a deadly assassin, a telepath, or a psychic. Some of us are just the broke, average, best friend of the main character. This story was a bonus chapter in the manga, and I don’t really think it does well in the anime. Although it is nice to see Loid being such a good friend to Franky after his heartbreak.
Something that I really liked was showcasing that while Loid and Yor both acknowledge that the marriage is fake, they both still can’t help caring what the other thinks. Loid worries when Yor comes home late, sad and with cuts all over her hands. Yor is moved to tears that Loid and Anya actually liked her cooking. In these moments where the Forgers act like a real family, it makes you almost forget that this whole thing is fake.
Contrast that with Loid in the second half of the episode, drinking with Franky and lamenting that jobs like theirs are not meant for long-term commitments. This builds off of last week’s episode, where Loid couldn’t help but think that he won’t need Yor and Anya when the mission is done. I’m pretty sure the entire purpose of this series will be proving Loid wrong, but for the moment he genuinely thinks he’ll be able to walk away. After all, when we first met Twilight at the beginning of the series, he’d been pretending to be someone’s fiancé, and he was able to leave that relationship with no issues.
The duality of the series in general is fantastic. Not only do all of the characters have separate personas, but the show itself also masquerades as multiple genres. I love the plot-centric arcs where Loid is off spying or Yor is off being an assassin (although granted she hasn’t done that much lately). But I also love the character-building moments in the slice-of-life episodes.
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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