Updated: Aug 29, 2022
Loid leaves Yor and Anya alone for the first time, as he goes off on a mission briefing with his superior. His superior informs him that Anya must make her way into the upper echelons of the academy’s elite students. Meanwhile, kidnappers snatch Anya when Yor takes her eyes off the girl momentarily. This event has a rippling effect that later causes Anya to get a demerit during her orientation. Anya’s brief foray into the academy is off to a rousing start.
A lot happens in this episode as the writers add world-building to their list of accomplishments for the series. They open up the world of the academy and the country of Ostania. They establish hierarchies within the school while introducing the children of some powerful players in the country. Yet they find a way to push the plot and speak to character.
The mama bear comes out in Yor this episode. And she responds to an attack on her family as only mama bears can: claws and fangs. What is most telling is how forcefully Yor proclaims that she’s Anya’s mother. Prior to this point, she never openly admits it. In fact, Anya regularly refers to Yor as “Mama." But Yor uses language that seems distant. She refers to her as, "Ms. Anya." Ordinarily, Yor behaves more like a guest or visitor. But in this episode, Yor goes all in.
Anya isn’t afraid after her brief kidnapping. It's possible that she has seen so much in her life that it takes a lot to shake her. Or it could just mean that she is so impressed with Yor’s martial arts skills that she doesn't have time to be afraid. Perhaps, it’s both. At any rate, Anya thinks her mom is cool.
It's doubtful that Loid or Anya could ever do any wrong in Anya’s eyes. She worships the ground they walk on. In fact, given that Anya knows what they think most of the time, she tries to please them. Sometimes she will go to extreme lengths, which causes complications.
As usual, the animators and artists do a great job. The expressiveness and level of detail for the characters add another layer of storytelling. Loid literally looks blue around the gills when he discovers that Anya has a demerit and what causes her to get it.
Yor dons a look of the horrified mother, who teaches her daughter self-defense, only to find that what she teaches her has the cost of a demerit.
This viewer is always amazed by Yor and how easy-going—even shy she can be around Loid and Anya. She always smiles and looks very pleasant. But easily, she flips a switch and becomes the angel of death. In those moments, the shy and demure face becomes truly menacing. When she confronts Anya's kidnappers her rage surfaces. Once she deals with them, she shows Anya her kind face. It leaves this viewer wondering, which is the mask and which is the real Yor?
The animators and artists for this show are wizards. But for Yor, in this episode, they don't just use their magic for her facial expressions. It’s also her movements. As an assassin, she has trained every part of her body to be a weapon. When Yor attacks the ruffians that snatch Anya, the animators don’t show the entirety of any of Yor's strikes. Instead, they only show the follow-throughs. The trick makes it seem like her movements are difficult for the naked eye to capture. And in one instance, they even blur her hand and ripple one assailant’s skin to give an impression of Yor's speed and power.
Anya is adorable again as usual. And the smirk she dons to fend off bullies is beyond hilarious.
The writers introduce a lot in this episode, as they open up the world. But that's okay. They ground the new information in sound storytelling supported by great character development and excellent animation.