The Great Dodgeball Plan
Episode 10 of Spy X Family begins with Grandmaster Henderson jogging around Eden Academy and having some tea with another colleague. They discuss Henderson’s return to teaching and his views toward giving Anya a Tonitrus Bolt on her first day–a first for the Academy. He promises he’ll deal punishment and praise to students to keep their school’s traditions and principles flourishing.
We shift to Damian–and his friend’s looking at previous Eden Academy Awards. Damian looks at his school’s group photo, where he’s the only one present instead of his father, Donovan. Damian’s friend’s come over to show him a book concerning his brother and his achievements. While his friends are impressed by Damian’s brother’s stellar awards, Damian doesn’t show the same enthusiasm back. Damian’s sour attitude changes when his friends claim he’ll achieve things faster and better than his brother.
Damian’s friend Emile pinpoints that he can earn their first Stella Star during next week’s Dodgeball competition in P.E. class. However, Damian would need to become the game’s MVP to achieve a star, based on a rumor one of his friends’ heard. Later in the day, we witness Damian and his friends arguing with Anya and Becky. Meanwhile, Grandmaster Henderson grows concerned for his students’ behavior and wonders if they’ll uphold the school’s elegant title.
We shift to Anya telling Loid about a rumor spread from Class 7 about a student being able to earn a Stella Star if they become the MVP in the upcoming Dodgeball game. Loid doesn’t trust the rumor, and Yor butts in on their conversation. Yor agrees to help Anya learn a “killer move” to help Anya and her team prevail. Anya trains with Yor in preparation for the dodgeball game through multiple exercises and training sequences.
At night, Yor shows Anya how to throw and handle the ball. During her demonstration, Anya also witnessed a tree being damaged because of Yor’s tremendous strength. Their training continues, and though Loid does want to step in, he feels that Yor should be able to handle everything. We receive more montages of her training and transition to the event, where Anya’s in her sports outfit, determined to help Loid fulfill his mission by earning herself a Stella Star.
Anya and Becky bicker with Damian and his friends for a while before the game starts. Anya peers into Damian’s mind as he’s dead set to become this game’s MVP to prove that he can achieve similar glory as his brother. This is all in hopes that his father will notice him. Grandmaster Henderson alerts both teams about needing to play elegantly and that the game is between Class 3 and 4.
While Damian gets hold of the ball, we get a flashback of Damian and his friend scanning a notebook that features the opposing team roster. We transition back to the present, where Damian believes he must defeat the command major’s son, Bill Watkins. Brawny and intellectual, he excels at dodgeball and has earned many rewards for himself. While analyzing his enemies, Bill recalls that hitting a player above the shoulders doesn’t count in this dodgeball game. He swiftly takes out four members of Anya’s team with only one throw, leaving Anya and her friends’ shocked and nervous.
We receive some background information regarding Bill’s training and a short heartwarming scenario with him and his father. His father tells him that he hopes that Bill will one day be Eden’s hero and the next commander of the army. Like Bill, his father’s quite tall and muscular.
In the present, Becky throws a fit and tries to eliminate Bill. Bill’s might was too strong for her, as he eliminates her. Damian responds to Bill’s passionate speech by telling him he can’t defeat them all alone. We then get some slight glimpses of Damian and his friend’s training for the game. One includes a stellar Namek Saga reference from Dragon Ball Z regarding Damian trying to push back one of Frieza’s Death Ball attacks.
Damian and his friends perform some intriguing team-based maneuvers to eliminate Bill. However, Bill’s unfazed and uses their attempts against them by eliminating more of their teammates. Bill becomes irritated and demonstrates a special attack of his own, resulting in Damian’s friend Emile taking a blow for Damian. Although another friend tries to comfort Emile for his good deed, Bill eliminates him.
Damian’s frustrations grow as Bill sets his sights on Anya. Anya overhears Bill’s thoughts about aiming for her feet. She dodges his attempt. Realizing that her mind-reading powers are coming in handy, Anya uses those to dodge every ball aiming for her. Although Bill’s best move hits one of Anya’s teammates, he’s outraged that Anya evades it. However, when Becky warns her to be wary of out-of-bounds players, Anya trips.
Bill seizes this opportunity and throws another ball at her while she’s down. Meanwhile, Damian contemplates whether he should protect Anya or not. Damian attempts to catch Bill’s throw due to peer pressure, but drops it, resulting in him getting eliminated. Anya acknowledges Damian’s heroic gesture and receives a motivational boost.
She recalls her training with Yor regarding Anya’s signature killer shot attack. While preparing for her attempt, everyone around her recalls the tremendous strength she demonstrated during Anya’s first physical quarrel with Damian. They believe she’ll eliminate Bill and his other teammates by herself. Anya performs her “Star Catch Arrow” killer shot attack, but it doesn’t go as planned. The blunder allows Bill to retrieve the ball and eliminate her, giving his team victory.
Although Bill had won the game for his team, Grandmaster Henderson dismisses the rumor about earning a Stellar Star for becoming the MVP of this dodgeball game. He also warns Bill that he should receive a Tonitrus Bolt for using the word “die” during the game. While Bill’s team tries to cheer him up, Henderson glares at Anya and Becky.
He admires how Anya and Damian put aside their differences for the sake of their team. Although he wants to award them a Stella Star for their elegant actions, Damian and Becky’s outburst causes him to change his mind. Anya tells herself that “everything my mother teaches me is useless,” as this episode ends.
The Episode Review
Who doesn’t love a hardcore game of dodgeball? This episode brought out Spy x Family’s shōnen side with its intense action, drawn-out suspense, and neat references. Seeing Damian trying to deflect a Death Ball attack from Frieza was heartwarming. It brought me back to the great days of my youth when I’d mimic signature scenes from DBZ with friends.
Speaking of Damian, we got to peer into his mind a bit more. Besides his hidden love for Anya, we learn he has issues with his brother and father. This gives Damian more depth to his character and allows some audience members to relate to his situation. Seeing him protect Anya from Bill’s throw was adorable and heartwarming. Likewise, this shows he’s not a rude and conniving boy at heart.
It was also nice to see Anya and Yor have more mother-daughter time together. Although Loid’s words from episode 9 quenched some of Yor’s worries about her parenting skills, she aims to give Anya her one-hundred percent best. Anya continues to win over my and other fans’ hearts with her actions. Even when she fails, you can’t help but cheer her on.
Regarding the characters, animation, and surprises, this episode was a worthwhile treat. Let’s hope the final two episodes leave me feeling the same.
Episode Rating -