「ナカヨシ作戦」 (Nakayoshi Sakusen)
“The Friendship Scheme”
For someone for whom this was just a marriage of convenience, Yor has come to care a lot for Anya and her own role in the family. Getting to see some of the insecurities she has being Anya’s adopted mother makes her a more well-rounded, relatable character. Loid deep down is learning to care a bit for Anya, but doesn’t seem to care how she sees him. For now, this is still just a front, although keeping the Forgers as just a front is going to get harder for him if he continues down the road he’s on now. Heck, he even thought of a Plan B so as not to force Anya under the pressure of studying for top grades (while guaranteeing his mission’s success).
Meanwhile Yor is concerned about what kind of a mother she should be, comparing herself to society’s expectations that a mother should be a domestic goddess. She gets the message that good wives should both clean and cook from women on the streets, teachers, and others, setting up the unfair definition that to be X, someone needs to do Y and Z, even if Y and Z don’t fit that person. Combine that with the self-doubts of whether she can measure up to Anya’s previous mothers, Yor has a lot of insecurities about motherhood, which resonates with unfair expectations traditionally placed on mothers in real life to be domestic paragons. That was a powerful bonding moment, when Anya helps Yor to realize that she doesn’t have to become a killer cook, she is a fine mama just the way she is with her killer punches. Plus, if you ask me, a killer punch is way cooler. Not to mention that teaching your daughter self-defense in my book is probably as important as, if not more important than, teaching her how to cook.
I can sense some tension between Anya and Damian (Fujiwara Natsumi), reminiscent of the rivalry between Anne and Gilbert in Anne of Green Gables (cue the classic slate head-bashing scene). Anya at least has Damian’s attention (even if he won’t admit it) because besides being cute, she doesn’t kowtow to him, unlike the others. For Anya, it’s going to take all of her strength to tolerate his arrogance and befriend him for papa’s mission. For the record, that creepy smug face she gives him is an absolute hoot!
I feel bad for Anya. It’s hard to make friends in the first place. Especially for someone awkward like Anya. But to be able to read their raw thoughts and subsequently their first impressions-that makes the whole process much more difficult. Ignorance can truly be bliss. At least she’s cute and spunky enough to win over Becky Blackbell’s friendship. Which will be much to Twilight’s satisfaction, based on his reaction to intel rich kids.
Witnessing Twilight watch his infiltration plans go down the drain was highly entertaining. Not only is Anya not a straight A student (or an A student at all) making stella stars pretty much impossible, she punched out Desmond’s kid the first day, shattering any hope of “the Friendship Plan”. Interestingly, Twilight’s intel even has it’s limits, having no clue that Henderson wasn’t fired. It’s a tough nut for Twilight to crack, facing a job where so many elements are out of his control. I think being in this position that makes him more vulnerable helps him to become a family man where vulnerability and co-dependency are vital. There’s something heartwarming in watching this out of place family do their best, creating and getting out of the whackiest situations for the sake of their missions.
Anya, dwerpy as she can be, is a little reliable in her own way, trying (though failing) to remember Yor’s teaching about strength in spirit, then the surprisingly quick thinking to soften Henderson’s punishment. Would I trust Anya with my life? No. But, I think in her own way, by the skin of her teeth, she will somehow get those stellas or befriend Damian if it means helping papa’s mission.