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!