Spy x Family is the most recently hyped-up anime and the good news is it deserves it. Critics of the show claim that this anime was overhyped and overrated as it does not live up to expectations. On the contrary, I believe this anime deserves all the attention and love it has been receiving and more.
Spy x Family transcends every requirement necessary to become the perfect model of what all anime of the genre should strive to achieve: Superb writing, a unique premise, excellent visuals, exemplary comedy, and most importantly, memorable characters are the elements that push this series to top-tier levels.
The family consists of Loid Forger, top-secret spy and de facto head of his pseudo-family. An intelligent, sophisticated, and athletic man with martial arts abilities and deadly precision with the gun, takes on his most urgent mission yet. Alongside him is Yor Briar later known as Yor Forger, his partner, and a deadly assassin in possession of impossibly acrobatic martial arts abilities rivalling that of Master Yoda himself. Her mastery of the art of assassination comes at a great cost as she is socially inept and unable to perceive social cues and sarcasm. Surprisingly naive and overly trusting, she believes any cover-up story her husband provides no matter how flimsy it is.
Finally, there’s Anya Forger, the designated daughter who’s secretly a telepath with the ability to read people’s thoughts. Fighting to prove her usefulness in order to stay together with her parents, she comes up with brilliant ways to keep her power a secret while helping her parents solve mysteries. In order to further their own ends, this pretend-family moves in with each other and puts on a charade of normal living whilst hiding their true identities from the rest of the world – and each other.
Spy x Family was illustrated and written by manga veteran Tatsuya Endo and his brainchild was serialized in a biweekly format on the famous manga anthology Shonen Jump on March 25th, 2019. Released every other Monday, each chapter has been collected and compiled into tankōbon volumes by Shuesha Inc. This means there is enough content already released to adapt into a potential second season. The first English volume was released by Viz Media back in the Spring of 2020 and has been a great hit with audiences ever since. The adaptation to anime was first announced on November 1, 2021, and was produced by CloverWorks and Wit Studio who also animated famous animes like Darling in The Franx, The Promised Neverland, and Fairy Tale. Fans of the studio’s previous works flocked to the new project as soon as the announcement dropped and so far the show has delivered what audiences wanted in a slice of life, romantic comedy, and action anime.
The premise of the series is simple yet intriguing. Rival nations Westalis and Ostania are on the brink of war, and in order to maintain peace, our protagonist Loid Forger (not his real name) codenamed “Twilight” is given the task of spying on Donovan Desmond, Ostania’s leader in the National Unity Party. However, Desmond is a reclusive man, therefore the only way to get close to Donovan is to enrol a child into the same international private school as Desmond’s two sons and pose as a harmless parent.
In order to accomplish his goals and to establish an image of a normal happy family, he had to acquire a wife and child within a week. Unbeknownst to him, both his wife and child hold dangerous secrets and unwittingly became the perfect sidekicks for him during desperate situations. And to round off this super-powered family, they unknowingly adopt Bond, a dog that possesses precognitive abilities.
Due to his constant state of alert as a highly trained spy, Loid sometimes raises his daughter in a cold manner, oftentimes misunderstanding her methods of communication. Despite Loid’s best intentions, his lack of knowledge in the field of parenting and his need for parenting manuals hold him back from being the perfect father.
As good as the series has been so far (seven episodes in at the time of writing), I cannot say for certain that this show is hall-of-fame-worthy yet – they’ve alluded to Yor and Loid falling in love, so let’s see how they manage that. However, with the pacing, action, comedy, romance, animations, script, character development, and relationship building that I can see so far, it is definitely worth all the hype it’s receiving now.
I would rate Spy x Family a high 9/10 for the first seven episodes. It is an absolute masterpiece; I was glued to my seat the entire time, captivated by its hilarious scenes, beautiful animation, excellent dialogue, and character growth – watching Loid develop from a cold-blooded spy to a loving and caring father and husband. This anime has thawed my heart and it has been an absolute blast to experience this phenomenal adaptation. If I had to nitpick – I feel like they could have utilised more of Yor’s daftness and naivety to a greater extent.
If you have yet to watch Spy X Family, it’s the perfect time to catch it on Netflix as it first aired on April 9th, 2022 and is on a weekly release schedule.