The first episode of an anime series is very important, even when there is a significant fan community waiting for its release. Interestingly, thousands of newcomers will drop by Spy x Family and discover their new favorite series from the first episode alone.
Spy x Family comes from the mind of Tatsuya Endo, who was previously famous for Gekka Bijin, and the manga has become a huge success. The anime is directed by Kazuhiro Furuhasi, who previously worked on the 1999 Hunter x Hunter series and the much-underrated Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. The characters have undergone an anime redesign, courtesy of Kazuaki Shimada, of The Promised Neverland fame.
Spy x Family is the story of a super talented spy codenamed Twilight. The series is set in a world where a pair of fictional nations are in a consistent state of cold war, leading to a 60s-style information war between rival nations. Twilight is assigned to investigate the behavior of a secretive diplomat and is given a strategy for doing so. The stoic and usually quiet spy must put together a convincing fake family, get his new kid into high school, and get into social gatherings, all within one week. To do this, he took the name Loid Forger and quickly adopted the smartest child at a local orphanage. Little does he know, his precocious new daughter, Anya, is a strong mind reader. The spy and the psychic were a fantastic duo from their very first moment, and the show has established a beautiful status quo.
Spy x Family comfortably sneaks into several genres with excellent results. This is a spy thriller first, a strange couple family comedy the second, and a heart-wrenching drama third. The story started work on building the theme right away, that’s very good. The first episode had great efficiency. The savvy spy antics make Twilight a master within seconds, without ever making him feel immortal.
There’s a slightly frustrating trend in modern anime to turn every protagonist into a god, but Loid is deeply asleep in peak human realm. Anya is absolutely adorable, always a moment or two up front where everyone thinks she is, but still very clearly a child. His strength ensures that he is always looked down upon, but his passionate nature keeps him grounded. Both characters are set against tragic backdrops, but neither feels playful. Nothing goes to waste, it’s an almost perfect pilot for the already shot show.
The show does have straight-action elements, and although it took a while to arrive, it delivered with the fast-paced impact of a John Wick scene. The brief encounters are ballet, featuring some of the best fights in modern anime. Twilight moves with Spike Spiegel’s more serious grace, fighting isn’t his first choice, but he does it with style. Fans who just listened to the fight scenes will be delighted, but they’ll also be missing out on some of the media’s most heartwarming character interactions.
Spy x Family has built its start around the seemingly simple interaction of two characters. Both Twilight and Anya are destined to become beloved fan favorites in the upcoming anime season, and manga fans know that some heavy hitters are on their way. The voice cast so far has been great. Takuya Eguchi, perhaps best known as Soei in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, portrays Loid with cold earnestness. When the time came for him to raise his voice or react louder, Eguchi sold it well, and his more threatening tone grew cold. Anya is played by Atsumi Tanezaki, who previously played Vivy in Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song and Chise in The Ancient Magus’ Bride, and she is a star. He’s been in the industry for about a decade, and he continues to put on great performances.
Spy x Family is one of the smartest animes to premiere today, and it only took one episode to see through all the hype. It’s funny, smart, heart-wrenching, action-packed, and very well animated. The show looks beautiful, but there’s a lot more going on than good looks. This is destined to be one of the high points of the season. Anime needs brilliantly executed new ideas to keep things fresh, and these really stand out.
The Spy x Family manga has 61 missions at this point, so once fans are hooked after episode one, there’s a lot of great stuff on the way. For starters, Spy x Family has established itself as one of the best spy stories for kidsbest imes and family comedies in just under twenty five minutes.