Spy x Family might be the most anticipated new anime of the season. It certainly was the anime I had been looking forward to the most since… well for a really long time now. I figure a new season of Natsume might beat it out in excitement but that’s about it.

As some of you may know, I have been reading the manga and I love it. I can’t believe it was so long ago that I cracked open that first volume! Ok, guys, we are in for a ride and I hope you will all be joining me!

Obviously, there are downsides to watching an anime based on a manga you really liked. Spy x Family is a manga a lot of people really like. In fact, I have lent my own copies out to a few people and almost all of them ended up buying the series for themselves. And those that didn’t still went on to read everything they can digitally. I’m sure there are people out there that don’t like Spy x Family much. And if the anime becomes popular, I’m sure we’ll get a lot more. But in my experience, it’s a pretty universally liked story. So expectations for this first episode must have been through the roof.

First, let me be clear that you definitely do not need to have read the manga to enjoy the anime. The first episode stuck pretty closely to the source material and I don’t think you’re missing out if you are only watching the anime. But there are two things that struck me that I probably would not have noticed if I hadn’t read the manga.

First, is the voice acting. More specifically, the voice acting of the minor extras. Like all those important government and organization folks we saw for a few minutes in the opening. They were all so deep and important-sounding. I don’t know how to explain it but it added a lot of gravitas and an immediate sense of stakes that I was impressed by. I don’t mean to sound like I’m not impressed by the main cast mind you. Loid is Takuya Eguchi, who I am already a big fan of, and Anya is Atsumi Tanezaki. We just heard her as Inui in My Dress-Up Darling and looking over her roles, she has had a very interesting career! I’m saying the voice casting in Spy x Family is particularly good. I’m looking forward to hearing Yor.

The second thing I noticed is the soundtrack. Yeah, it’s both audio. But you know, because there wasn’t any in the mange, I appreciate how much sound has added to the story. The music used in this episode was often a sort of updated take on classic James Bond type music. Lots of brass and bold sweeping melodies but a little bouncier. Modernized and softened just a bit to fit in with this more modern and nuanced spy. A lot of thought has been put into this music.

And that’s about it. I genuinely tried to imagine what my experience would be if I had been watching Spy x Family with no prior knowledge and I think it would have been largely the same. The first episode was a fantastic mix of intriguing, exciting and just utterly charming. None of those things either benefitted or were hurt by the fact that the events were familiar to me.

I’m not sure if there’s any point in going over the story. I’m going to assume you’ve all watched the first episode. And if you haven’t, what are you doing here, go watch it. It was so much fun!

Loid and Anya are a marvellous odd couple. At first glance, you could think Anya runs the risk of being one of those too precocious child characters or just cloyingly cute. But thankfully, she is given a lot of depth and personality. Anya is neither a genius nor a prodigy and more importantly, she is allowed to act her age. And although her actual age is never revealed, it’s implied that she is either 4 or 5 years old. And that’s what she acts like. This is the perfect foil to Twilight’s hardened but kind persona that values efficiency above all else. We really got to see what the unglamorous side of parenthood des to someone in this episode.

I’m really insisting on the father-daughter thing. I like those relationships. And at its core, Spy x Family is a found family story with a spy thriller twist. All the gadgets, missions and thrilling action are great, but the important part isn’t the Spy, it’s the Family. That doesn’t mean we should ignore the action altogether. The daring rescue scene at the climax was really well animated and I think it added a lot to the episode. If we can expect this level of production mastery throughout the season, it’s going t be great to watch just on a technical level.

We are still missing a key element to this story. Mama does not exist, but she will. And I can’t wait! The first episode of Spy x Family blew my already high expectations away and now I’m just plain happy. I get another season where my weekends will be filled with fun anime! Oh, and I saw that a season 2 has already been announced so I put it on my to-watch list!

I wanted to give the below screencap its own spot because I think it’s the cuuutest!

26 thoughts

  1. I never read the manga due to time constraints, but I’m glad to hear that it stuck close to the material as possible. Anya is so cute and I can’t wait to see the father-daughter relationship between the two. It was already really so cute to see their dynamics! As someone who hasn’t read the manga and from watching the first episode, I think that this is definitely an anime that people should watch. I know I can’t wait for the next episode.

  2. Question. Are you going to write a piece on the upcoming Hanguk Aeni (Korean Animation) movie White Snake? Releases in theaters in South Korea in November 2022. Localization done by Warner Brothers. Looks good from its teaser trailer. My question is… Are you in? I’m in.

      1. Well… Eh. I guess as I research it in the months ahead I’ll let you know. But given howit won’t release until November? Lots of time to… I don’t know… Remember I said it’s trailer teaser is on YouTube. Watch it. I hope to hear your thoughts on it in the future when you decide your thoughts on it. I think it looks good… Definitely better than Satellite Girl And Milk Cow 2014. But I’ll leave it up to you.

        1. I didn’t write the milk girl post. I haven’t seen that one either…. I guess I’m a little behind

  3. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the manga, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I decided to give the anime a shot, and so far, I am not disappointed. 🙂

    1. I’m so glad to hear it. I was so happy with the first episode but you never know when the public will decide something doesn’t work

  4. Even though we know her (almost certain) 4-5 years of life haven’t been easy, I love how Anya is shown as a child who happens to be a telepath, not a telepath who happens to be a child. Nice to see a true kid character and not a mini-adult.

  5. I just watched this last night and I’m so glad they stuck with brass band/ jazz elements for the soundtrack. It might be a bit troupey but the brass band elements were some of my favorite parts aside from Anya’s reactions!

    I was actually a bit surprised by Anya’s voice in the series. I knew she was little, but her voice felt a bit too babyish at times? That’s more a me thing then anything and I’m sure I’ll get use to it soon enough.

    1. I don’t think we know her age but I think she’s supposed to be immature for her already young age. So if she’s 4 she’s supposed to sound 3 or something like that. Although it’s all the same to me, I have no idea what kids that young sound like. I’m impressed she can talk at all

      1. Yeah, the details of how old she really is do seem really ambigious at best. I work with kids a little older then Anya so I think it might just be very obvious to me that this is clearly an adult, voicing a child lol. Throw in the fact she’s a mind reader and well, more shenangians to ensue!

  6. Definitely glad to hear it’s been a good adaption that even enhances the material! I’m still getting caught up on the manga so I’ll probably wait a little while to check this out and then just binge it but I’m hoping this keeps up the momentum and becomes a big hit. It really is high quality so far

  7. Anya’s age? She says she’s six; you even have a screenshot of the scene. Do we believe her? On the face of it, I’d say no, but this is anime.

    Loved the premiere. Anya being a fan of spy shows, waku waku, is a fun element, especially since she’s already messed up by playing with the equipment. Lots of potential there. Also, relying on mind reading to pass a test only to find the kids around you are stumped. I kind of wonder Loid’s ever going to figure out she’s a mind-reader. Would certainly be helpful… and a risk. Develop the relationship a little more and then find out? Hmm…

    It’s a fun show; I’m looking forward to next week already. Assassin Mum looks fun.

    (You probably knew I’m anime only. I’m pretty much always anime only.)

    1. Well, the only official character sheet I’ve seen on Anya says she’s 6 only on her forged papers. I guess she could actually be older! I quite like assassin mom. I look forward to her introduction!

  8. So it has finally arrived. After killing it with good manga sales, SpyxFamily the Anime is here. Didn’t jump at the manga so AI might not jump at the Anime. I’ll add it to my wishlist for review all the same. Maybe I’ll get it digitally fron Amazon for review. Than you for taking your time and review budget to review this for us. Looking forward to more reviews from you.

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