「〈星〉」 (Sutera)
“Stella”

The inability to harness her powers strikes again when Anya tries to read minds for test answers, only to use the wrong people. That’s why it never pays to cheat. Children learn from what they see and Anya is certainly learning a lot about underhanded techniques from Twilight which she plans to copy in future mind-reading endeavors.

I am curious as to what Twilight’s response would be if he knew of Anya’s powers. Would he be all in for that kind of a back-door method and make her train those powers to effectively cheat her way to the top? Would he be worried about people getting suspicious if she got all the answers right and instead, ask her to not use her powers (not that that would be possible for Anya, anyway)? Seeing his hesitation to use spy connections to forge Anya into the top, I suspect the latter would be his response. Even though wanting Anya to win on her own merits comes from a “least suspicious route” mindset, there is still something genuinely fatherly about wanting your daughter to do her best on her own.

It’s kind of funny that Twilight throws caution to the wind in turning a blind eye to Yor’s and Anya’s atypical behaviors yet is nervous about using backdoor methods that would attain those Stellas faster. Twilight’s concern with underhanded methods is valid-people would definitely get suspicious if Anya’s IQ suddenly jumped astronomically. If he’s worried about that, though, shouldn’t he also be worried about why his wife is strong enough to knock the living daylights out of someone or why his daughter knows someone is drowning in the hospital pool? Those are some pretty suspicious things too. At the hospital, Loid does get to the point where he starts to question why Anya thinks someone is drowning, but then never comes back to it. Perhaps it comes from having to be so concerned with himself and his own performance alone for so many years that other people just don’t register to Twilight, except for where they can be used as tools. At this point, this complaint plays like a broken record.

I feel bad for Anya being judged by Loid’s inexperienced parenting (although, to be honest, no one starts out as an experienced parent). Case in point (one of many)-that whole scene with trying out different hobbies. You usually can’t judge if a (normal) person, especially a young child, is good at something from their first try. I’m pretty sure 6-year-old Picasso didn’t show immediate signs of genius from his first pictures.

The poor girl believes she’s not good at anything partly because she wasn’t given long enough to develop a skill. That’s the story of this whole mission in a nutshell-try and force an average kid to become brilliant in only a few months. It’s not fair to her. It’s a good thing that Yor is holding Loid in check from going crazy on her with studying and Loid is thankfully learning to loosen up a bit-a must for any parent to learn. I’m glad for Anya’s sake that she pulled off her own rescue mission-she can use her power for good and get to bask in the starlight. This obviously exacerbates rivalries with Damian who is half in awe of his pink-haired crush and half mad at being bested.

Anya’s academic aptitude aside, she is the perfect kid for Twilight’s mission because she is so eager to mold herself to whatever he wants. I find it ironic that Anya is so pliable but Twilight doesn’t know how to “use” her because he doesn’t understand a child’s mind. At the same time, it’s heartbreaking that Anya is so desperate for love that she’ll deny herself to achieve that. It is very telling that Anya never asks for an award for herself, only doing so at someone else’s behest. When she does think of a reward, it’s not for typical material things like toys, clothes, or money, but imaginative playtime and a dog. Her values are clearly different from Becky’s.

Speaking of Becky-she appears to have an unusual taste for bombs. For a while now, I’ve thought that her hairpin looked an awful lot like an explosive and that bomb cake-topper pretty much confirmed it. A detail that very stylistically conveys her family’s business dealings (I think Loid mentioned something about the Blackbells working in weaponry or something like that). Another stylistic point I appreciated-That scene where Bondman’s reaction to a plot (“Oh no, that can’t be true!”) played over the TV concurrent with Loid reviewing Anya’s abysmal test scores. The director is very skilled with using Bondman to reflect the goings-on in the Forger family. As ludicrous as the show can get, it’s played for good laughs and in high style to boot.

Preview

11 Comments

  1. “At the same time, it’s heartbreaking that Anya is so desperate for love that she’ll deny herself to achieve that. It is very telling that Anya never asks for an award for herself, only doing so at someone else’s behest. When she does think of a reward, it’s not for typical material things like toys, clothes, or money, but imaginative playtime and a dog. Her values are clearly different from Becky’s.”

    Well said. To be fair though, she has a spy as a father, an assassin as a mother, and a secret police uncle (whom she hasn’t met yet).

    I doubt she could ask for more. Waku Waku!

    tsirrus
  2. Even with a Stella, Anya is in a precarious family tasked to do something an adult would blanch at, in an environment, her school, nearly universally in opposition to her.

    Even at this late date, it’s becoming a chore to watch.

    1. It really is a large burden that Twilight has placed on Anya-it’s a good thing that while she knows she has to save the world, she probably doesn’t understand the full implications of what will happen if she fails.

      Princess Usagi
  3. Anya has to deal with a lot of stuff, even from her fans. We keep thinking of her as a six-year-old, when we know she’s not. She may be as young as four.

    That explains many of the issues she’s having with socializing, coordination, and academics.
    Developmentally, there’s a lot of difference between someone who’s six, and someone who’s four.

    skyhack
    1. I agree-there is a huge developmental difference between a 4 year old and a 6 year old. Not just that, but a 4 year old’s brain is not yet ready to learn about fractions or even read a sentence, which is what Anya has to try to learn. HQ has no clue about childrearing-“Just give her candy to motivate her”-like that’s going to work. This total cluelessness about kids is equal parts hilarious and painful.

      Princess Usagi
  4. And that whole “let me make my only friend bow down and call me Starlight” was nigh-well disgusting. Again, this is a little kid who has probably never been praised – much less publicly – and she immediately goes Full Asshole.

    I try so hard to think 1) the mangaka doesn’t get cultural differences, or 2) this is setting up a huge joke/reveal.

    But after 20 years, I’m getting cynical.

    1. If Anya were an adult, then in my opinion, it would be ridiculous. But she’s a child and from my experience, children often do things like ask people to call them by farfetched names because it is a part of their imagination. In that sense, I thought it accurate for her age for Anya to be asking that.

      Princess Usagi
  5. Anya did not tell Loid that there is a drowning child. She is just thinking about it but know she cannot answer once Loid question her back. Which is why she use the lame reason of training to swim as the excuse to get to the pool asap

    SaberKK
    1. Yes, the transition wasn’t that apparent here, but in the manga it clearly shows Anya just thinking it and realizing that it would blow her cover, hence she made up the pro swimmer excuse.

      Looks like we’ll have to wait for next season to continue with the main story as next week’s episode will be a manga filler episode (looks like the Extra Mission #1 and Short Mission #1 chapters put together, from what I saw from the preview).

      Hikarub
      1. Ah, I didn’t catch that. When I first saw that scene, it looked like she had actually let it slip that she knew someone was drowning. If it was just her imagination running through the scenario, then that makes sense of why Twilight wasn’t more suspicious.

        Princess Usagi

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