Spy X Family Season 1 Review

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Episode Guide

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5
Episode 6 -| Rating – 3.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Rating – 4/5
Episode 8 -| Rating – 4.5/5
Episode 9 -| Review Rating – 4/5
Episode 10 -| Review Rating – 5/5
Episode 11 -| Rating – 3.5/5
Episode 12 -| Rating – 3.5/5

Spy x Family was a surprise hit when it was released and has garnered a large audience ever since. This series is animated by Wit Studio and Cloverworks, the former of which is best known for animating Attack On Titan, while the latter animated The Promised Neverland.

Like those series, Spy x Family offers enough charm, hilarity and action to keep your eyes glued to your screens. Considering this series has gained enough buzz for a second season, it goes to show just how much of a starting impact the anime has had on fans so far.

The story takes place in the midst of a conflict between the two countries: Ostania and Westalis. To keep the peace between the two nations, Westalis hires a renowned spy with the alias “Twilight” to complete several missions.

Her “primary mission” involves Twilight gathering information on a prominent politician named Donovan Desmond. The problem is that Donovan likes to be alone and rarely appears in public. However, Twilight learns that Donovan has close ties to a prestigious university called Eden Academy. This helps Twilight forge a new plan.

Now called “Operation Strix,” Twilight dons a new alias called Loid Forger. He adopts a child named Anya and marries a mysterious room clerk named Yor. Therefore, Loid must help Anya excel at Eden Academy, as it will help her get closer to Donovan. Unfortunately, like Loid, Anya and Yor also have individual secrets they keep from him.

For example, Anya has Esper powers and Yor is a part-time assassin. Although this family reeks of deception, the Forger family will recognize that their love for each other is anything but fictional.

Spy x Family’s spy-focused storyline blends beautifully with the issues faced by the main characters. The characters struggle to become an ideal family despite having tremendous feats at their disposal. For example, Loid’s spy intelligence helps him escape death-defying circumstances. On the other hand, he will find himself in more difficult scenarios that will make him feel as terrible as the criminals he arrests.

There’s never a dull moment in Spy x Family, and each episode is beautifully paced. There are episodes where the comedy is overwhelming, however. This issue occurs with the introduction of Yor’s brother, Yuri, later in the season.

At the same time, the show tends to favor Anya more than its other main characters at first. Because of this, Anya gets more screen time than Loid and Yor, making it feel more like “The Anya Show”. The show’s focus on Anya left her with many missed opportunities regarding the characters of Loid and Yor.

Although it is an action comedy, this anime offers enough twists and turns to keep fans wondering what will happen next. At the same time, the series puts a lot of stakes on Loid’s shoulders due to its focus on crime. If Loid makes a vital mistake, he can lose his family, his career, and his life. On that note, the characters are one of the best parts of Spy x Family.

Anya was one of anime’s beloved characters and got the most screen time. Besides capturing the essence of a realistic and imaginative child, she adds something unique to the plot. Specifically, Anya’s psychic abilities to read minds.

To circumvent separate challenges, Anya often uses these powers to peer into the minds of Loid, Yor, and others. It’s nice to see Anya using her powers to get closer to Loid and Yor and help Loid with his spy duties. However, she relies too much on them and leaves situations with too many victories on her shoulders. As a result, it might have been better for Anya to work towards her next reward without relying on her mind-reading powers.

Yor is another character I had mixed feelings for in the anime. She acts like a wonderful mother and has a colorful personality. Yor struggles to become Anya’s ideal mother and often despises herself for not achieving better things.

However, we see her developing a better attitude and approach towards this goal. My problem with his character is that we don’t explore much of his assassin lifestyle. The only details we get about Yor’s assassin experiences are brief mentions or flashbacks. On second thought, it would have been nice to see how she would handle situations where she has to act as Anya’s mother and overworked assassin.

This brings me to Loid, who I think had it all in terms of development, personality and weight. The anime inserts many scenes depicting Loid’s struggles to become the ideal father figure to his would-be family. He feels disturbed by completing many side missions besides Operation Strix.

While I found his spy gadgets a bit overwhelming in some episodes, it shows how far from normal Loid feels throughout the anime. While Anya or Yor might be everyone’s favorite, Loid gave me a grander experience.

Some secondary characters bring a lot to the table – even if some of them have bossy attitudes. However, these characters have room to grow into well-rounded individuals in future seasons.

The ones that caught my eye were Donovan’s son, Damian, and Yor’s brother, Yuri. These two had intriguing stories and wits about them. Their activities in future seasons allow the anime to introduce clever twists or emotional situations. Overall, the characters are the best feature of the anime.

Considering past anime works from Wit Studio and Cloverworks, Spy x Family does not fail to provide excellent visuals. Each character model is fresh and fluid. They used CGI for the anime’s characters, vehicles, and background architecture. However, their use of CGI in these instances never breaks the immersion with any of the anime’s scenes. Both studios went above and beyond the “call of duty” with camera panning, angles, and other techniques.

Fans of Attack On Titan and The Promised Neverland understand how much Wit Studio and Cloverworks love to use camera and other effects to invoke raw tension or emotion. There were many scenes in Spy x Family where the camera helped heighten the characters’ reactions to specific moments. Yuri’s reaction to Yor and Loid attempting to kiss and Anya executing her “kill shot” in the dodgeball game are some notable highlights. The anime’s action scenes also have plenty of flair and charm to keep your eyes glued to the screen.

As with the animation, the music is also what you would expect from a series dealing with spies and family. The series’ soundtrack is both enthusiastic and jazzy. Some tracks also sound like heroic tunes you’d hear in superhero movies, with one in particular reminding me of Brad Bird’s iconic theme, The Incredibles.

The opening theme also captures that heroic, jazzy tone and comes with cute, action-packed visuals. Although the anime’s ending theme doesn’t hit the same energetic wavelength as its opening, it serves its purpose well.

Despite some mixed feelings about some of the show’s characters, Spy x Family Season 1 is off to a great start. With more seasons to come, there is hope that this series will end on a high note!


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