Spy x Family: Series Premiere Review

The Spy x Family premiere is now streaming on Crunchyroll.

Some shows take a couple of episodes to really sell their premise, but Spy x Family (the x is silent, like in Hunter x Hunter) comes out the door swinging. At under 30 minutes, it delivers a stunning premiere episode featuring a lived-in world and fleshed-out characters you can’t help but love, all while doing a tricky balancing act of tones and genres that somehow mesh seamlessly. Whether you have been waiting for years for the adaptation of one of the most popular current manga or if you are simply curious to see a collaboration between the studios behind it. Ranking of Kings Y My dear in disguisethis is already the most impressive premiere of the season.

Spy x Family is set in the midst of a cold war between two giant superpowers aptly named Westalis and Ostania, where espionage is the only thing keeping Armageddon from happening. It is here that we meet a Westalis agent codenamed “Twilight” who is the best at what he does. It’s a bit of a cross between James Bond and Ethan Hunt, but with John Wick’s moves and Chris Evans’ fiery gaze. When we first meet him, he’s pulling off a Mission Impossible-style heist in an elaborate face mask that he used to steal incriminating photos of a politician from a would-be blackmailer, just before meeting the criminal’s daughter for dinner and breaking up with him. coldness. as he is about to suggest that they get married one day.

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For her next mission, Twilight has to get close to the leader of an extremist political party. The capture? He is a notorious recluse who only attends public events at his son’s private school. So what’s an agent to do but round up a fake family and infiltrate the school to get close to her target during parent-teacher conferences?

What instantly catches the eye during the Spy x Family premiere is the balancing act at the center of the story. It’s wholesome, fun and exciting at the same time, a true four-quadrant spectacle that Hollywood has been desperately searching for. Twilight, now as Loid Forger, is completely deadpan and deadly serious about her job, a man with Levi’s charisma of attack on titan. And yet he adopts a 6-year-old girl from a very shady orphanage and she is the polar opposite of her: a funny and emotional girl who is also a telepath.

Within minutes, this girl, Anya, becomes the show’s breakout character and a strong contender for Best Character of the Spring 2022 season. She’s innocent, overly enthusiastic about life (and spy anime shows). , quite funny) and very emotional without being too childish. However, Anya is not all sunshine and rainbows, as her beautiful smile hides a lifetime of trauma and abandonment.

And here’s the other ball thrown into the show’s juggling act, because as fantastically wacky and fun as it is to watch Anya instantly see through her new father’s facade and every one of his lies as a more familiar version of The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. ., is also a pretty healthy slice of life. Indeed, watching a cold-blooded killer learn to open up to others, and a lonely boy finally having a family brings as many tear-inducing moments as it does laughter, as we begin to learn about Loid’s past as an orphan of war and how he bonds with Anya.

The fights hit surprisingly hard, with flowing choreography and full of life.

Of course, this is still a spy program, and it works wonderfully as such. Studio WIT and CloverWorks didn’t have to put as much effort into the animation, but I’m really glad they did. Even outside of the action scenes, it boasts an impressive amount of expressive character animation, even in the smallest moments of comedy. The fights, and you better believe there are fights, hit surprisingly hard, with fluid, peppy choreography reminiscent of John Wick’s best kills.

It’s too early to tell if the show will maintain this level of quality over the course of its first season, and it’s also hard to judge a new show based on a single episode. Still, Spy x Family has one of the most impressive and memorable anime debuts in a long time, one that promises a fun, thought-provoking, wholesome, and also action-packed experience.