SpyxFamily First Cour: This Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It.

This show needs no introduction. In what has been a surprisingly light anime year in terms of heavy-hitters, this has been the show viewers have been waiting for. Does it hold up? Is it worth the hype? Or has this just been overblown? Let’s get into the first cour of SpyxFamily right after the cut.

Unlike most who discovered this show this season, I actually was familiar with SpyxFamily before this. I came across the manga series the previous year and decided to give it a look. About two hours of binging later, I came to the conclusion that this was an anime hit just waiting to be made. You may remember me bringing that up in multiple posts and frankly I was surprised it took so long for this anime to get made. Still now we have it and I can safely say that yes, it is that freaking good.

Set in an alternative world that resembles Cold War Germany. We follow Agent Twilight as he is given his latest mission: to infiltrate the ranks of Donovan Desmond, a leader of the pro-war party and find out his intentions. To do this, he must create a fake family and enroll his child into an illustrious academy. The only problem is that the daughter he finds and the wife he recruits have their own secret lives, one is a telepath and the other is a cold-blooded assassin. How can Twilight, now known as Loid Forger manage to pull this off?

The setting of the series feels right out of a spy thriller and reminds me of Full Metal Alchemist.

Right away, Spy sets itself apart with a fantastic and unique premise. While a family with secret lives is not an unfamiliar premise, it is one that feels very new for anime. Coupled with the fresh setting of a cold-war era Germany, the atmosphere and feeling of Spy really helps it stand out. Author Tatsuya Endo clearly had a love for old spy thrillers because he lifts a lot from classic Bond films, or pulp fiction. Whether it is mysterious hand-offs, unique disguises, or silenced pistols, there are moments where Spy feels right out of the 60s and it works damn well. You find yourself eagerly waiting for the next episode, wanting to see how Loid will try to complete his mission, or how Anya will somehow screw it up.

Loid has more than his hands full with trying to get a child into an honors programme.

Yet what really makes the series stand out is the sharp writing and character work. Despite not being a real family, the Forgers have a chemistry that makes you wish they were, and there are genuine moments of tenderness and caring that could melt even the coldest of hearts. Loid Forger is a brilliant spy, but an in-progress father whose dedication to the mission starts to clash with a developing fondness for his family. Yor Forger could slaughter everyone in a room without blinking, but don’t ask her to try to do any housework or cook dinner. And especially don’t get on the bad side of her secret police (and massive sis-con) brother Yuri. Each of these characters have laugh out loud moments and have designs that feel instantly iconic and unique. Yor herself has rocketed to the top of the fan-art community, and will no doubt remain a fan favorite for many years. 

The idea of a ‘found family’ is present with the Forgers, and it leads to some real wholesome moments.

But it is Anya Forger, sweet, lovable, memeable Anya who steals the show. Anime has always had a strange track-record for child characters, either being too serious or too annoying. Anya hits that ever crucial sweet spot and brings Spy to new heights. Despite being a telepath who could literally cheat the story to its conclusion, the anime wisely chooses to have Anya act like the six year old she is, with a six year olds view of the world. This leads to the series’ cutest and funniest moments as Anya remains the only one who knows the truth about her adopted parents, but is still too much of an idiot to do anything about it. This is a character who will no doubt be a landmark for many people of this anime generation and I can already hear the dollars being printed by how much they are going to merchandise her. Very few characters are able to have the impact so quickly that Anya has, and Tatsuya Endo has clearly struck gold.

Anya is the very rare child character that acts like a child and makes it fun to watch.

Readers of this blog know that I don’t do hype. I have always stayed away from anime that capture the public eye. Those shows that have a legion of fans frothing with excitement. Too often those shows are overblown and not as good as they say. For SpyxFamily I can only say this: believe the hype. This is not only the best show this year, but one of the best new series that has touched the anime industry this decade. Stellar animation, a gripping story and more than enough moments to make you laugh, and go ‘aww’ at the same time. This is 2022’s anime to beat, and even if it gets one-upped, there is no question it will be on the top of everyone’s list. Go watch it if you haven’t, and if you have, then go read the manga. This is some good shit.

Enough said.

2 thoughts on “SpyxFamily First Cour: This Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It.

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