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“Spy x Family” is the best anime series of 2022.

Stop me if you heard this one before: A spy, an assassin, and a telepath…

Yes. I finally watched what is possibly the hottest new anime. And I’m happy to say that I absolutely loved it.

Spy x Family takes the best anime tropes and mixes them up into an absolutely hilarious and delightful story. This show truly has something for just about everyone without relying on fanservice or overly predictable plot points. It’s the most fun I’ve had watching a show in a good while.

PLOT

Westalian agent “Twilight” is assigned to spy on the leader of the Ostanian National Unity Party. However, the only way to get close to the recluse is through his children’s school. Under the name Loid Forger, “Twilight”, adopts the orphan Anya and marries a woman name Yor in order to maintain his cover.

Unbeknownst to him, Anya is a telepath and Yor is an assassin known as the Thorn Princess. All three try to keep their identities under wraps from each other while maintaining the veneer of a happy, normal family.

Something none of them really knows how to do. Each member of the family has their own reasons to keep up the charade – but only Anya knows the entire truth. 

What kind of wacky adventures can they get into while Loid attempts to create world peace?

The Good

Let me just say that the concept for this series is absolutely perfect. What’s not to love? You get the fake marriage trope, the gruff man adopting cute child trope, a kickass assassin trope, the shenanigans of a fish out of water at a rich school…and so much more. 

There’s something for literally everyone to enjoy.

Though it isn’t really a romance…yet, it’s already clear that Yor is developing feelings for Loid. And it’s clear they both care a lot about Anya. Which is really all I can ask for. Because my favorite part of this show is the characters…

The Forger Family

Each Forger brings something to the table. Though they’re very different in terms of personality, they have two things in common: 1) Being part of a ‘normal loving’ family will help them achieve their goals and 2) None of them really know how to be a part of a ‘normal loving family.’

It’s clear the characters while acting on their own desires, care about each other to an extent.  Loid doesn’t like seeing children cry. Yor is willing to murder a man to get a child she met a week ago into a competitive school.

 Anya clearly just wants to be part of a family – but she genuinely enjoys being around her ‘parents’ and wants them to fall in love so she won’t have to go back to the orphanage. 

Loid is very much a professional. He has the most to lose if things go wrong. But – he still kind to Anya; encouraging her to do well in school, giving her gifts, and finding ways for her to succeed (even if it’s more for him than Anya.)

It’s really interesting to see them trying to manage the whole normal family thing – when they’re all well aware this is a family of convenience.

At least for now.

The Possibilities

While normally, I’m not a huge fan of “Will They or Won’t They” shows – that’s not really the focus in Spy x Family and as of right now, it feels like more of a slow-burn story. I do think Loid and Yor are endgame.

I’m focusing on the anime because I haven’t finished the manga – and I’m focusing on the show anyway. But eventually – sometime before the finale, they’re gonna find out Anya’s secret. Supposedly, Anya escaped from a lab – so it would make sense for them to come after her or for Loid or Yor to stumble on the lab during one of their respective missions.

That will be a very interesting plot, but what I’m looking forward to more is when Loid and Yor find out each other’s identities – most likely Yor needing to find out who ‘Twilight’ is disguising himself as.

For both of these – it’s really just a matter of time. I’m pretty certain both will happen. I’m interested in finding out how they happen. I’m also interested in what the consequences will be.

And since Anya has a whole ‘mission’ at Eden College, to become an Imperial Scholar, there are a lot of different plots and stories to explore while she’s at school like with her ‘frenemy’ Damian and her best friend Becky.

I’m really excited to see how these relationships grow and develop over the course of the series.

The Bad

Was the incest really necessary? Like did we need a whole subplot about Yor’s little brother, who she raised, being in love with her? Really this is my biggest complaint. It just comes out of left field. It just seems so goddamn unnecessary.

Does anyone, anywhere at any point in history actually ask for this kind of almost oedepelian older sister love? It doesn’t completely ruin the anime for me because it’s only been in one episode so far – but I don’t like it.

Not one bit.

Concerns

The fact that the story is set in an alternate version of the 1940s is concerning. Ostania seems to be the equivalent of 1940s Germany. But then what is Westphalia supposed to be?

Clearly, this show is gonna go into the crimes of each nation, and I predict it will say that neither side is truly good or bad – which is kind of overdone and cliche. Or it will go into the idea that Westphalia is actually the bad guy in the situation and Ostania’s over-the-top policing is a result of Westphalia.

Either way, I’m not looking forward to either reveal. I wouldn’t have an issue if Spy x Family was set in another time. But you can’t code one country’s secret police on Nazis and later on make them the good guys (if that does end up happening.)

The Scoop

What more can I say? I love Spy x Family and I can’t wait for the next batch of episodes to come out this fall. Like all shows it has areas that can be improved. But it is well-written, well-paced, humorous, emotional, and most importantly fun. Like genuinely fun. It knows it’s a cheesy show and it revels in the fact, without feeling the need to do meta-commentary or self-referential humor.

It allows its characters to act in a normal way for their situations – even though many of their actions could not be accomplished in real life. And most importantly, it’s nice to have a show where the characters genuinely like each other.

And that’s the scoop

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Grade: A –

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Release Year: 2022

Length: 12 episodes

Director/Writer: Kazuhiro Furuhashi

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