The Spy x Family anime brings the eponymous manga written by Tatsuya Endo to life. Broadcast for a few weeks on the Crunchyroll streaming platform, it features an improvised family between a spy, a contract killer and a telepathic orphan. A mixture of absurdism, black humor, and touching awkwardness.
Quick and effective contextualization
The first episode plunges us directly into the universe of the series, through the eyes of the protagonist, Twilight.
A character, ready to do anything for his work to maintain peace in the world and whose seriousness and coldness sometimes offer a comic aspect. Also known as Loid, we follow him in his everyday life, handling his various identities and interacting with members of his world.
Then he is given a new mission: he has 7 days to start a family in order to pursue a politician who only appears during his child’s school meetings. Twilight is distraught – and rightly so – and his reactions to this news are among the funniest scenes of episode 1. So he goes to an orphanage where he meets Anya, his future daughter, who tricks him into reading in his thoughts.
From there, we are immersed in the daily life of this very young dad, who, like everyone else, is struggling to adapt to this new environment. This is not without counting on Anya, who snoops into her father’s thoughts and makes life difficult for him.
An anime that stands out from the usual series
At first glance, the Spy x Family anime features familiar elements, especially for fans of spy thrillers. The two rival countries of Westalis and Ostania are waging a cold war. Here, battles are fought in the shadows through intelligence gathering, sabotage, and assassination. But the balance of peace is increasingly fragile and to prevent a new war, Westalis sends his best agent to spy on an Ostanian politician. To accomplish this mission, Twilight must acquire a fake family.
One could easily think that Spy x Family is an action-packed thriller full of twists and turns. But while there are surprises and unexpected developments, this is not a spy-centric story. Spy x Family anime is not a classic thriller; it’s a slice-of-life genre action comedy.
And as a bonus, two of the three main characters are adults. Not that there’s anything wrong with the teenage protagonists of shows like Demon Slayer or My Hero Academia, but let’s face it, it’s refreshing to see stories that feature adult protagonists with the concerns of living adults. their adult life.
Funny and endearing characters
Loid Forger comically tries to hide his true identity from little Anya, unaware for a second that she already knows everything about him and is acting on it. Anya is just a little girl, and her clumsiness makes her character touching. Her fear of abandonment forces her to pretend to be a normal girl while adapting her behavior to her father’s internal demands. This creates an interesting dynamic between the two protagonists.
Anya is a well-written character. Despite her power of telepathy, she reacts and behaves like a child. The authenticity of his reactions hardly makes the hearing.
The funniest part of the Spy x Family anime is watching this character, cold and emotionless, weaken in the presence of this little girl. Loid Forger, who didn’t hesitate for a second to coldly break the heart of a woman he had approached to hide, finds it difficult to maintain a similar emotional distance from his adopted daughter.
Loid is a hyper-skilled spy, but none of his spy training has prepared him for fatherhood. Yor would kill several people without breaking a sweat, but petty gossip at work baffles her.
Popular references to the classic James Bond
Who says spy film, says James Bond… We don’t present it to you anymore.
Well, the Spy x Family anime is not the exception that proves the rule. Indeed, the world of Spy x Family is clearly inspired by the origin of the character of James Bond. James Bond first appeared in the 1953 book, Casino Royal, at the start of the Cold War. The end of the Second World War, marked the beginning of an information war which consequently brought about the arrival of the era of secret spy organizations. the reference is evident in the Spy x Family anime, since the entire series takes place in a fictional, pseudo-European world in the midst of the Cold War.
There are several details of the story influenced by James Bond. First, very blatant references like Anya’s favorite cartoon, “Spy Wars,” which highlight James Bond’s influence all over the world.
We also find in Yor the characteristics of the Femme Fatale in James Bond, although the latter is particularly comical.
Spy x Family, where the art of keeping the public spellbound
What makes the charm of the anime is also the fact that we do not know how long the masquerade will last.
The characters all lie to each other and the audience asks thousands of questions. When will the truth come out? What will their reactions be? Why doesn’t anyone notice that strange things are happening…? It’s an effective way to hook and keep the audience until the end.
You would think that sequences featuring cold-blooded murders would contradict the “comedy” aspect of the series, but in fact, the two themes complement each other quite well.
Throughout the adventure, Twilight is seen struggling to continue her mission while working on her clumsiness as a new parent. And so, rather than planning and executing her mission perfectly, Twilight learns and invents things as she goes, like an ordinary father.
The detail of the animation during the action scenes is quite pleasant and the choreographies of the fights are precise and lively. In general, the action of Spy x Family anime is more than attractive.
Our verdict on Spy x Family
Until now, the Spy x Family anime presents a perfect balance between humor, emotion and action, through charismatic and endearing characters. The whole being situated around an original intrigue in the image of a significant period in the history of the world: the cold war. The Spy x Family anime is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and the manga is available from Kurokawa editions.