This episode was great. I’d even argue this was the best funniest episode so far. The comedy felt a lot more snappy this episode and very up my sense of humor. Very entertaining and any episode where Anya is a main focus is guaranteed to be hilarious as heck. Not to mention, episodes like these always feel like they move the plot along despite it being silly since she did end up (maybe?) getting a little closer to Damian, even if he is still a bit of a jerk. What I found interesting is how they blended an extra chapter to this episode so seamlessly and I loved it. The part showing Henderson’s mornings was actually an extra chapter in the sixth volume and they made it fit really well to the contents of this episode.
I may still not particularly care too much for Damion as a character, but I do feel bad about his situation. Not only is he living in the shadow of his very successful and over-achieving brother, but he’s also struggling over getting any attention from his dad. The kid is six, that’s honestly a terrible way to be going about your days. In a way, he and Anya are kind of alike. Both are constantly plagued by needing to prove themselves in order to gain the attention of their parental figures. And while Loid is warming up to her, Anya still feels the pressure of needing to succeed in school so that she doesn’t become a hindrance to the mission and fear of being abandoned if she can’t live up to expectations. But I think the biggest difference is that Loid is actually taking the time and effort to try and connect with Anya better while Damian’s dad just doesn’t interact with him whatsoever. I’m sure this could somehow become a bonding point between the two, but I feel like it would be a difficult subject to even bring up. Especially since both are kids. Though I couldn’t help but cackle at Anya not wanting to be Damian’s friend because he’s mean to her because FAIR.
The rumor mill within the classes claim that the MVP in the upcoming dodgeball tournament could win a Stella and both Damian and Anya are gunning for that position for their respective “missions.” And of course we are treated to a few training montages. Unlike how I felt with the celebration of Anya getting into Eden, I did really like the expansions they did for the chapter they were adapting. Especially since it felt like a cute bonding moment between Anya and Yor as they trained together and it didn’t feel like it was unnecessary or complete filler. I also really like the little development Loid showed by trusting and leaving the preparations up to Yor. Though, that’s probably because he never truly believed that a Stella would be given out for this game. But I’d like to believe lol. I also died at Anya visualizing herself under a waterfall, only to cut back to reality and show her just sitting in the shower. Damian’s brief little training montages were also very cute since I’m sure that’s what actual kids do. Though the Dragon Ball Z reference had me rolling.
Also can I just take a moment to call out Loid. When Loid asked Yor “are you athletic?” I literally had to pause and go “Have you not seen her athletic prowess all this time????? I swear, when it comes to Yor, Loid is comically DENSE. Though I will admit they certainly went above and beyond just showcasing Yor’s absurd strength this episode.
THAT IS NOT A SIX YEAR OLD. THAT IS NOT A KINDERGARTNER. Honestly, I think Bill had to be the funniest part in the episode for me. I legit forgot about him since it’s been a while since I’ve read that part in the manga and of course this had to be in the one volume I don’t have of the series. But man, I was not disappointed with his portrayal in the anime. As soon as he spoke, I absolutely lost it. And then I lost it even harder when his dad has the exact same VA LOLOLOL. This kid might not look like a small child amongst the other small children, but compared to his dad, he definitely looks more like his age. Is his family just a bunch of giants??? Not to mention him saying “daddy” in his deep man voice was just way too hilarious.
And while I still don’t like them, I have to give Damian’s two friends some props for having such a strong sense of loyalty. Not matter the circumstance, they are willing to stick it out with Damian, even if they get pelted in the face with a dodgeball. Though I did have to laugh at just how ridiculously dramatic they were, but kids are naturally dramatic, so it was pretty believable in that sense. And I did have a laugh at how Emile couldn’t even think of anything great about Damian in the moment. Boy, you just unintentionally roasted your friend. That whole thing with the two friends was hilarious, especially when the bullet headed friend got out from being too dramatic over Emile’s sacrifice. These freaking kids lol.
The whole dodgeball game was incredibly hilarious to watch from Damian’s outrageous attacks, Becky immediately getting out to me forgetting that Anya could read minds in that moment and was dodging all of Bill’s attacks. My personal favorite of her not even moving and accidentally letting the other kid get hit. I don’t know what it was, but I had to replay that moment several times because I was cracking up so hard over it. Though the part after Damian steps in to save Anya and she goes full protag mode only to fail in the most saddest way possible was absolute gold. It tickles me because of course that would happen XD. There was just no way she could get EVERYONE in that other class out by herself. While I’m sure she has the strength, the timing and precision it takes to throw things takes a lot of practice. I too would often accidentally just throw things and have them just bounce off the ground because I sucked at throwing as a kid.
Turns out that the rumors about the MVP in the game getting a Stella ended up just being just that, a rumor. Seems like Loid was right to not get too excited over the aspect of Anya possibly getting one Stella over a silly game. Though I have to admit it was really cute how much Bill’s classmates are so supportive of him and even tried to comfort him when he was threatened about receiving a bolt for his unsportsmanlike attitude. Despite him looking and sounding like a man, he still acts his age lol. Though it seems like Anya and Damian COULD have earned a Stella due to them putting aside their differences to work somewhat as a team during the game. Unfortunately, Damian ruined that chance by being a jerk about Anya botching the game with her fantastically failing throw. And here we thought they’d finally start being nicer to each other. So much for that lol.
I also want to give a shoutout to Henderson because he genuinely makes me smile. He is paying attention to the potential all these kids have and genuinely wants all the kids to do their best. And while he doesn’t really hold Anya in high regard, it was really cute of him to give respects to Anya’s ELEGANT dodging abilities. Though I did chuckle at the aspect of the kids to play elegantly. I’m not sure how elegant dodgeball can be, sir.
This episode was so much fun and is probably the first episode where I felt it was better than in the manga. Especially since I think they did a lot better at adapting the visual gags in timing and framing. The extra stuff they added didn’t feel like filler since it did add to the overall plot of the episode and the respective bonds of the characters. We only have two more episodes left and I’m curious as to where they’re planning on ending this cour. I’m hoping they integrate more of the side chapters since some of those are just an absolute joy. Especially the penguin chapter. If you know, you know. And since they integrated an extra chapter into the main plot, I have hopes we’ll see something like that again.