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‘Spy X Family’s’ Anya Trying to Smile Through the Bullshit Is the Most Relatable Thing I’ve Seen in Anime

I've smiled this smile so many times.

Spy x Family Anya

Spoilers for Spy x Family episode 6

Spy x Family has become the kind of anime series where I absolutely LOVE the episode I watched, only to love the next episode I watch even more. Last week, the Forgers celebrated Anya’s entry into Eden Academy with an explosive, spy-themed princess party. In the newest episode, we get to see that Anya probably deserved a much bigger celebration than the one she got. Eden Academy is gonna have her dealing with a LOT, especially when it comes to Damian Desmond—the main target in Loid’s mission.

Anya gets some motherly advice

Anya’s excited to start school until the tailor tells her some unsavory things, like how there’s a bit of judgment amongst the student body depending on your status and how wealthy kids have gone missing. As if on cue, a group of thugs attempts to kidnap Anya, but they pick the wrong kid to try and snatch because Yor is ready to take them out. Yor is upset with herself for losing control and ruining the things she bought for dinner since she’s trying her best to be a good mom for Anya, but Anya reassures her that she’s cool and perfect because, well, she is. After that, Anya asks Yor to teach her how to defend herself, and Loid embraces his old friend, anxiety.

Knowing how Anya takes everything her parents say seriously, I was just waiting for her to throw a punch, but we find out that fighting isn’t the only thing Yor taught her. Yor encouraged her to not let her emotions control her fist and to laugh things off, but as we all know, that only goes so far.


When Anya ends up meeting Damian it doesn’t take long to see that he’s the definition of a smug little brat (who is probably going to grow on you as the series progresses). Loid, of course, wants Anya to get closer to him for the sake of his mission, and Anya knows this because she can read minds. However, this means she can also read Damian’s mind and hear his disparaging thoughts about her – at least the ones he doesn’t say out loud. So for the sake of Loid’s mission, Anya just … smiles. She smiles to be the bigger person. The way she smiles, however, captures an absolute mood of “I really just wanna punch you in the face.”

It’s that grin and bear it mentality, beautifully animated on a 5-year-old girl in the trolliest, most memeable way imaginable. We’ve all been in Anya’s position where you have to try and play nice with someone who’s being nasty toward you because you know if you try and do something about it, you’ll get in trouble. I love the fact that her smile isn’t cute or pleasant, it’s clearly forced and hilariously unsettling because the LAST thing she wants to do is smile at this boy. It impresses Becky, another classmate who had some petty thoughts about Anya earlier, and it also does the trick of greatly disturbing Damian.

That being said, smiling at your bully doesn’t always work out, as proven by Damian when he decides that he’s gonna keep bullying Anya until she cracks. Eventually, he does succeed in getting her to drop the smile, but at what cost?

That is such a satisfying scene to watch, even if, as to be expected at a rigid school like Eden Academy, Anya’s the one who gets the trouble. Fortunately, her headmaster is one who is full of elegance, so he goes light on her punishment. Loid, of course, quietly panics about Anya, you know, punching the target for his mission, but Loid, listen to me when I say that the “Tonitrus Bolt” is worth it this time.

Next time someone tells me I’d be prettier if I smiled, I’m responding with Anya energy.

(Image: Tatsuya Endo/Shueisha, SPY x FAMILY Project)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)