I found that ep of SxF disturbing on so many levels and none, I suspect, the way it was intended. One thing about this series – when it whiffs with me, it can whiff hard. Sometimes it’s just abject mediocrity but others I truly feel as if Endo Tatsuya’s worldview is genuinely screwed up. Thee first couple of this arc did a nice job setting up some interesting possibilities, but also opened the door for the sort of dumpster fire we got this week. But at least it looked good.
Yeah, a lot of money was spent on that monstrosity, and I assume this was one of the Wit episodes because the fight scenes and the fireworks were lavishly produced to say the least. But that’s about the only positive thing I have. If I try to be really charitable I could say the show was going for some kind of Tarantino vibe with that killing spree set to music and interspersed with inane cuts from the casino. But in truth I don’t believe that – I think it was just incredibly crass and tasteless. And somehow being as pretty as it was made it all even more distasteful.
Endo seems, over and over, to want to have his cake and eat it too. He wants Spy x Family to be the ATM machine that’s impossibly popular with little kids, but also wants to follow in the footsteps of his cooler ex-boss Fujimoto and his other ex-assistants doing edgier work. And he wants to show both sides of secret police and mob executioners, of the totalitarian East and the West. And this desire seems to impel him to bad choices over and over. Like the ones we saw this week.
In fact I predicted this last week, as the signs were there and history does tend to repeat itself. Yor showing some introspection about her job is certainly progress, but I never felt much optimism about where that introspection would take her. The takeaways here are just so misguided, but that’s not a new problem. It’s my own fault I suppose for expecting a maturity level from Yor (and Spy x Family) that just isn’t there. But as it’s with the Briar siblings that the twisted perspective of the series tends to be revealed, it’s better off when it focuses on other characters.
This is a chance missed, certainly. Yor was desperately in need of fleshing out, as she’s been mostly vestigial in the first two seasons – consigned to the extremes of lowbrow comedy or graphic violence. But if this is the sort of development she gets, it makes things worse rather than better. I don’t have a lot of hope for the character at this point because I don’t see a path out of this pit anywhere in Endo’s writing so far, which leaves my best case scenario being as little Yor involvement as possible. And that’s really a shame.