The anime series that’s attracting the most buzz this season has been Spy x Family, a clever series about a spy who needs a “fake” family to carry out his mission, so he adopts a daughter (who’s an esper) and marries a fake wife (who’s an assassin). The result is the cutest anime family ever, and one of the best-executed manga-to-anime adaptions in years.
The Story of Spy x Family
A professional spy known as Lloyd Forger (codename Twilight) needs to acquire a fake family in order to complete his mission, so he adopts a girl named Anya from an orphanage…though he doesn’t know that she’s an esper, able to read minds. He also needs a wife, and happens across a girl named Yor — secretly an assassin, codename Thorn Princess — who’s in the market for a fake boyfriend to stop her brother from worrying about her. The arrangement suits everyone, and Lloyd and Yor decide to get married on the spot!
The combination of each person having their own agenda in the relationship, with the mind-reader child Anya being the only one who knows everyone’s secrets, makes for a really fun ride.
Spy x Family is an Outstanding Story by a “Professional” Writer
For the past decade and a half, most anime series have been Narou-kei, based on light novels that originated as ideas developed by amateur writers on the Shosetsu ni Narou (“Let’s Become a Novelist”) web novel site. This is a site that lets new writers test out ideas and perfect their writing skills and, if their concepts develop a following on the site, they can get a proper publishing deal with Kadokawa or ASCII Media Works and go pro.
While the Narou-kei anime development model has led to some of the most creative series in recent years, from Konosuba to Mushoku Tensei to Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, it’s also true that any mediocre anime you’ve watched that had a long-as-hell title, a total lack of story structure and a meandering plot that went nowhere before the work faded into utter obscurity will also have started out as a Narou-kei story. Some examples of these are Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average in the Next Life?!, Drugstore in Another World and Isekai Cheat Magician.
(Of course, I don’t mean to cast shade on stories that started out as amateur web fiction. After all, without fiction websites, we’d never have gotten the literary gem that was 50 Shades of Grey, which famously started out as Twilight fanfic. /s )
Happily, Spy x Family is a proper and “professional” story, being based on the popular manga by manga artist Tatsuya Endo, who worked as an assistant on works like Blue Exorcist and published several shorter works on Shonen Jump’s various platforms. So we don’t need to worry about a meandering story that goes nowhere.
What are the best anime love stories? Here’s a blog post for you!
More Reasons Why the Show is Worth Your Time!
Clever writing and concept. When the setup for a story can be compressed into such a tightly constructed premise, you know things will be interesting going forward.
Great execution by Wit Studio and Cloverworks, who are joining forces on the anime.
Anya is just too adorable. Despite having a dozen other amazing series compete with, she wins Best Girl of the Season by default.
Thanks for reading this post about the fun Spy x Family anime. What do you think is the reason why this anime is so great? Post below, or reply to us on Twitter!
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