What Is Spy x Family and Why Is Everyone So Excited for the Anime Version?
Yesterday, an anime adaptation was announced for Tatsuya Endo’s manga series Spy x Family. Scheduled to begin airing in 2022, the series will be a co-production by CloverWorks Studio (The Promised Neverland, Horimiya, Wonder Egg Priority) and WIT Studio (Attack on Titan, Great Pretender, Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song).
What is Spy x Family?
Spy x Family is a manga series that I’ve been meaning to look into, and with all of anitwitter (anime Twitter) celebrating the anime announcement, I thought I’d finally sit down and give it a shot.
After one volume, I’m already hoping to see a rise in family cosplay photos of the Forger family (the alias the characters use).
Not one to depend on others, Twilight has his work cut out for him procuring both a wife and a child for his mission to infiltrate an elite private school. What he doesn’t know is that the wife he’s chosen is an assassin and the child he’s adopted is a telepath!
There’s Something About the Forger Family
It’s easy to draw comparisons to the likes of Mr. and Mrs. Smith as Twilight (going by Loid Forger) and Thorn Princess (going by Yor Forger) are unaware of what their “significant other” actually does for a living. Loid is one of the most infamous spies there is, and on the flip side, Yor is a deadly assassin who can kill you in an instant. However, it’s not like these two are working for rival agencies, nor are they secretly trying to kill each other.
Instead, they’re using each other for their own personal reasons, unaware that they have a lot more in common than they think.
Loid needs to infiltrate a prestigious academy for the sake of his mission, but it’s one of those academies with outdated views of what a family is supposed to look like (meaning he needs to have the perfect wife and the perfect child). Meanwhile, Yor is dealing with assumptions of not being “normal” because she is, gasp, a single woman at the “old” age of 27. The marriage works out for the both of them, and it especially works out for Anya, the little girl that Loid adopts.
Anya, unbeknownst to Loid and Yor, is a telepath. As an orphan who is constantly returned to the orphanage, all she wants is a family who won’t abandon her. This leads to her reading Loid’s mind to find out what he actually needs a child for and attempting to make herself useful for his mission. Loid assumes that she’s a high-level genius, perfect for his mission, when, in reality, she’s a mind reader who is a fan of eating peanuts and watching spy shows on TV.
What’s So Great About Spy x Family?
It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the quirky family dynamic between the main characters. After all, fake dating/marriage/family is one of my absolute favorite fanfic tropes.
If you’re a fan of found family stories, then this will satisfy your heart pretty quickly. Despite being a cool, cold spy, Loid isn’t heartless. He is quick to stand up for his “fake” family, and Yor is the same way (especially if Anya is involved). It’s not just in moments of high action sequences where Loid thinks his family needs protection (trust me, Loid, Yor can handle it); it’s also moments where someone is causing Anya distress.
That’s not to say that Loid doesn’t have times where he tries to deny that he cares about Yor and Anya, but it’s nice to see that he does draw a line at people purposely upsetting them. The mission is important, but if some sourpuss of a teacher makes Anya cry with insensitive questions, or assumes that Yor isn’t a good wife because she doesn’t have dinner on the table by 6PM, Loid won’t stand for it.
The dynamic between the three is as endearing as it is hilarious. They each think that they have to hide the truth when, in reality, they all just found the exact people who would be on board with who they are. The manga is full of the characters tripping over flimsy explanations as to why one of them is being chased down by a van full of gunmen, or how one of them can high kick their assailant into oblivion.
It’s just yoga, you know?
You get the impression that Loid, Yor, and Anya could just SAY that they’re a spy, an assassin, and a telepath, but they have no way of knowing that, so they just go on pretending. Pretty badly, in some cases, but neither Loid nor Yor call each other out because, well, they’ve got secrets of their own to keep.
Anya’s probably having the hardest time since she knows Loid and Yor are a spy and an assassin, but she thinks she can’t let them know that she knows, leading to her mentally pointing out how much her new parents lie about everything (especially Loid).
I haven’t even gotten to the part where Loid and Yor have to figure out how to even BE parents, let alone “prestigious” ones.
The rest of the series is full of memorable characters, some more ridiculous than others. The work the family puts into attempting to get Anya into the school of dreams is utterly ridiculous, but it lets you know, pretty early, that this series is a mix of “cool guys don’t look at explosions” action and comedic hijinks that go beyond the “I’m a spy who fake married an assassin” premise. Sure, Loid and Yor are skilled enough to take out their targets unseen, but can they handle the professors who scoff at the idea of dirt hitting the collar of your shirt?
After reading the first volume of the manga and seeing the trailer, I can already tell that this is gonna be one of the most fun anime series we get in 2022.
(featured image: CloverWorks Studio, WIT Studio/Tatsuya Endo)
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