I like Spy X Family, but I feel less invested than others.
Spy X Family seems to be the anime to watch this season. I am seeing tons of fan art and lots of conversations about it. But this is one of those times I feel a bit out of touch with the scene. While I do like Spy X Family I still find some elements of the story compelling. But let’s first talk about Spy X Family and its strong points.
Firstly Spy X Family is a show that immediately locks you in with an emotional tie in. Namely Anya. She is an abandoned child who has an amazing ability. No one gives her a chance to integrate, and she is alone in the fact that she is a telepath, aka mind reader. While it seems upside down that people would not be over the moon for her, I feel that the response from the world is accurate. Someone who could read others’ minds would probably be a turn off for most people. Could you imagine a small child telling you your thoughts exactly? It would freak out the average individual. In fact the show makes it a point to tell you she has been adopted and returned 5 times.
You can feel her powerlessness in her situation, she is so desperate she is willing to throw in her lot with Loid Forger, who is no doubt putting her in a dangerous position.
Yor is also immediately like-able. She also has her own problems and is in desperate need of a boyfriend or husband. The society she lives in seems to have the power to put people away who live life differently than others.
Loid is also a character that has appeal as a spy. It’s awesome that he is a top spy from his country who is very talented and smart. There isn’t much to not like about him.
So where is the disconnect for me?
My disconnect when it comes to Spy X Family is that it breaks my immersion in the story while I watch it. I am unable to suspend disbelief enough to enjoy it as much as others. The upside is that I can see what makes it so appealing in terms of a show. I am also glad others are enjoying the anime.
One problem with Spy X Family is that it does too much too soon. It feels hurried in some parts like it wants to move onto the next thing. Getting Anya and Loid Forger together quickly makes sense. The problem is the Yor puzzle piece. It’s hard to believe that a top tier assassin would have no questions about a sudden marriage, with forged documents and not ask questions. An assassin would be an agent of the government, or so it seems implied by the show. Yor should never be worried that others could put her away. Yor also shouldn’t be working at a government office as just a regular worker, as if she were the same as others.
I feel that the writer could have found a more convincing reason that she needs to work with Loid for some reason, or at the very least make her character more intricate. For example she could want to defect from her current country, and Loid makes a deal with her to get out if she helps in his mission. But she is just a regular person, who is an assassin on the side. Maybe we get more intricate later on with Yor. She just exists as is.
The other thing that makes it difficult is knowing that this family could not exist past its current mission. Perhaps that is the point to get you to believe and root for the family that shouldn’t exist. It will be interesting to see how Spy X Family tackles problems along the way.
I am not totally sold yet, but I will keep watching this one.