As the only human in this fantasy world (at least for most of season 1), Anne is our closest connection to this world. We experience it through her eyes. The story is literally about her and her experiences with this world. That’s why it’s so odd to see her zombified, while someone else saves the day. In most zombie episodes, one of 2 things happen: either the MC is the last survivor and saves the day, or their the only one’s brainwashed, and everyone else has to stop them. Amphibia did neither of these, and instead treated the MC like a supporting character.
Now to be clear, I’m not saying protagonists should be Mary Sues who never suffer. Rather the opposite. As the main character, they should be the ones who suffers the most. They’re the one’s who’s character should grow the most, and struggle builds character. That’s where CotS fails. I have no problem with Hop Pop getting his own episode and even saving the day, but the spore epidemic was simply to cataclysmic for Anne to be left out of. She should have played a bigger role. Instead, we get to watch our protagonist, who we’ve been watching for 46 episodes, become another lifeless minion for the villain, and escape through no merit of her own. Watching Spored Anne just really hurts.
In addition, unrelated to any sporing, it seems Anne was brattier than usual in the beginning, probably so you don’t feel as bad when she’s a zombie.
Honestly, the more I think about it, I don’t just hate Children of the Spore due to personal preference, but I genuinely think it’s a poorly written episode