SPY×FAMILY : Season 1
Might contain spoilers.
An amusing and enjoyable diversion which paradoxically wields extravagance and self-indulgence with restraint. Anya has some of the biggest eyes I’ve ever seen in anime, and even though a single misstep would have rendered her obnoxious, she’s disproportionately endearing and charming throughout.
Meanwhile, despite my skepticism about just how interesting his story would be after Loid’s
introduction as a nigh-omniscient
superhero spy, the trials of
his mission amply demonstrate his capacity for emotion and his fallibility. The latter is arguably
most important: his shock and relief when Yor believes his lie about their pursuers being his
patients might be a small moment, but the way he temporarily loses heart when Anya ruins her
potential friendship with Damian brings his humanity to the fore.
I also like Yor the ‘stealthy’ assassin who completes her missions with no part of her face or body hidden and sometimes engages in long conversations with her target beforehand. (And kills everyone around them. And sticks around to wash her hands afterwards. And sends the dress to a seamstress to be sewn up. It’s only in keeping with the general oblivious quality of this society that her brother never realized what she was doing.) Her almost visceral fondness for knives and blades makes me chuckle every time. I certainly enjoyed her antics after she drank too much.
The show’s greatest strength is putting these three very different people together in situations tailored to their precise skills with the threat of discovery looming overhead, as with the purse snatcher. I liked seeing them grow closer as a real family despite the foundation of lies. Dividing them defeats the purpose, such as when Anya is sent to school: while the milieu isn’t devoid of interest and Anya is hilarious, it just isn’t as engaging as the everyday life of the Forger family. In addition, the difference between her speech and that of the other students is rather dramatic.
Damian’s apparent growing feelings for Anya are somewhat uncomfortable—I was apprehensive about where they might lead—but fortunately become less relevant after a point. On the other hand, Yuri’s clear infatuation with his own sister, is repulsive and abhorrent. Dwelling on it for roughly the span of two episodes was more than I could stand.
I will say, however, that I appreciate that the show refrains from sexualizing women. Yor might literally fit the mould of a typical anime woman, but neither is her figure emphasized nor does it seem gratuitous, only disappointingly conventional. This is also one of the rare instances of an episode with a swimming pool that serves a purpose rather than provides a pretext for further unwarranted sexualization (something I was particularly dreading since it involved two children).
On a lighter note, I personally prefer to think of the show as ‘Spike’s Family’. It has a nice ring to it.
- Complete with irritatingly vague geography à la Little Witch Academia.↩
- The name alone would make me question the competence of any other spy.↩