Why Spy X Family Took Over The Anime Community

I first came across Spy X Family when it was first airing in April of 2022. At that time It was being weekly released on Netflix and the description was interesting enough. A few months later, it’s the second part of one of the most anticipated anime of Fall 2022. Outside of manga readers, not many of us were familiar with it. So how exactly did this anime take over the whole community in such a short time?

This is written from the perspective of an anime-only fan, so take it with a pinch of salt.

The Typical Spy Aesthetics But With A Modern Flair

We all love nostalgic aesthetics and the past years have seen their revival. Old movies about spies and assassins would always have a place in my heart. It might not be your thing, but it’s hard to deny that we all feel a certain attachment to the olden visuals. I am sure many of us had our fascination with spies and all the cool things they do. Who could forget the Spy Kids and the absolute chokehold it had on the entertainment for a while?

Despite the old theme, the characters and their thoughts seem pretty modern. They don’t feel untouchable, they have similar struggles as you and me. God knows, I also can’t cook to save my life like Yor. So you always see the characters struggle in a humane way. The way they talk and live is also pretty modern. If there weren’t a few references to older times forget that the show isn’t set in the modern era.

It also might just be me overanalyzing, but the recent rise in Dark Academia aesthetics helped. If you have been to online spaces, it had a huge boost in following in recent years. But then again, that could be completely random.

The Animation Of Spy X Family

I think Spy x Family would have to be one of those few anime that has effortlessly blended in hand-drawn animation and CGI. The average viewer may not even notice how well done it is. I have always been a firm believer of only bad CGI is the one you notice. The action is absolutely top-notch and extremely fluid. Every action flows so well into another. They throw in a lot of extra frames to create realistic movement like it’s absolutely nothing. Every expression on each character is animated to the proper extent, not too dramatic and not too restrained. It allows characters to breathe and be more closer to the viewer.

The lighting and color grading is downright gorgeous. The environment of the anime is unique. It has a dramatic flair in both movements and the way it’s stylized. They sometimes reference other anime but they are done so well.

The Family Feels

The family of three with each hiding their own little secrets is a unique dynamic. I personally think there is a general lack of “found family” tropes. Found family is when people who don’t share blood come to unite and form their own little family. They support each other and find happiness in being together. You might have seen a lot of found family friend groups in anime, like Strawhats from One Piece or Black Bulls from Black Clover. But we haven’t seen many adoption tropes in mainstream anime.

I personally think there was always an appetite for this sort of wholesomeness. We have seen how much people connected over the relationship between Isabella and Emma from The Promised Neverland. The series is especially comforting when you know that despite their secrets, they all care genuinely about each other. Yor, Arya, and Loid truly love each other like a family and that is enough.

Balance Of Light-Hearted Comedy with Depth

The show started with the death of a politician. It’s hilarious in hindsight but the show does a one-eighty and becomes about a tiny family. All their troubles are both light and pretty heavy at the same time. This anime handle every episode with a brightness that contrasts brilliantly with the overarching dark themes.

World war and the hostility amongst people are shown briefly but effectively to create higher stakes. It sets the tone apart from general happy-go-lucky shows. But despite its sometimes dark themes, it remains a light watch because of how lovely the storyline is.

The Voice Acting Fits Perfectly

One of my main concerns while watching a show with little kids is that the voice for them. In Japanese, it can range from okay to amazing. However, in the English dub, it can be borderline painful to watch when the voice doesn’t fit the character.

The voice actors in this case are all-around brilliant. Especially Anya’s actress is a gem! She portrays this four-year child so well that it made me double-take to hear her doing Tome Kurata in Mob Psycho 100. The voices fit the characters well, both in the sub and dub. So it doesn’t matter what you prefer, you can still watch it knowing full well the voices are perfect.

Attachment First, World-Building Later

One of the strong points of Spy X Famuly is that it makes you feel attached to the characters. This is done before any sort of intricate plot development. When we first met Loid, we see a collected spy who just wants to keep war from breaking out. We meet Anya and we see an adorable child who had a rough childhood being passed around different homes and a more painful origin.

To reiterate the point, we get to know all this before getting the names of the two countries that were at war.

Yor is an interesting character from the start. An assassin whose moral dilemma revolves around keeping her brother not worried about her love life. She works for the country and is prepared to do anything for the cause. Her charm is her gullible nature despite being a formidable assassin. The characters are lovable and it feels like the small things precede world development and plot.

It makes sense, because you may forget the small details that make the world rich, but you always remember your favorite characters. This small reason is why fanfictions and fan art exist. People fall in love with characters. A good story can only take you so far without interesting or relatable characters.

I think this effort to make characters likable first before introducing the world conflicts makes for a good story. It is the reason, Spy X Family makes for such an adorable anime.

Ending Thoughts

The way each episode is handled in the end is remarkable. Whenever I finish one episode, I am always so intrigued to know what happens next. There is a question left at the end of each episode and it makes for an exciting wait for the next one. These were basically all the reasons I could think of why Spy X Family took the Anime world by storm. Did I miss some? Feel free to tell me in the comments and have a good day!

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Hello, I tend to ramble and rant about anime. So I decided to share it with the world! I am also a digital artist generally found on Instagram. If you want to contact me then please feel free to reach out, I always read the comments!

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