But as funny as Spy x Family is, what elevates the series is just how achingly and satisfyingly heartwarming it is. While Loid initially forms his family solely as a façade for his mission, and Yor accepts the role to become less conspicuous, they and Anya forge a bond that turns the ruse real. Anya’s love for her new mother and father is very real, which in turn inspires very real affection from Loid and Yor. The affection that grows between the found family is genuine, moving, and immensely satisfying to watch.

If you’ve noticed I haven’t mentioned the “spy” portion of Spy x Family yet, rest assured it’s there, it’s just mostly used to bolster the show’s comedy (such is when Loid sneaks into the Academy to try to secretly convince Anya to apologize to the politician’s son for hitting him). The operative word there, however, is “mostly.” Sometimes Loid has to go on other missions, where he’s frequently shot at; meanwhile, Yor not only murders people but she’s so good at it that she’s been nicknamed the “Thorn Princess” for her giant, needle-like knives. When the serious spy stuff kicks into gear, there’s no shortage of mortal danger or blood.


But these bouts of danger and violence serve to add stakes and heft to the show’s comedy and drama, which only enhances the narrative. The scenes of Yor connecting with Anya and Loid hit harder when you know she could die while fighting off a dozen of the world’s most elite killers (she won’t, obviously, but you get it). Seeing Loid’s tragic childhood growing up parentless during a previous Westalis-Ostania war makes his growing desire to protect and care for Anya even more powerful. It all just works perfectly together, culminating in a series, regardless of whether it’s the original manga or the anime, that should—and by all accounts, does—appeal to just about anybody. There’s simply nothing not to like.

So your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go watch Spy x Family. The first 12 episodes are currently on the Hulu and Crunchyroll streaming services, while the next batch is currently scheduled to start airing in October. Given its success, and the fact that there’s plenty of manga left to adapt (and it’s still ongoing!) I feel quite optimistic about the show getting a second season, too. In fact, I’d be shocked if it didn’t, which is also an expression Anya makes supremely well:

Image for article titled Why Spy x Family Has Taken Over the Anime World
Screenshot: Tatsuya Endo/Shueisha, Spy x Family Project

Oh, did I forget to mention the family dog, who can see the future…? You’ll get there, soon enough.

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