Why Spy x Family’s Plot, Premise & Characters Make the Series So Good

The Spring 2022 season is coming, and one of the highly anticipated shows is Tatsuya Endo’s action-comedy manga series, Spy x Family. It is under Shonen Jump, but the series steers away from elements usually found in many of the titles under this magazine. Spy x Family offers a refreshing new take on stories targeted for shonen. Numerous factors make the show appealing, but the premise will hook potential fans in immediately.

Spy x Family revolves around the Forgers -- a pretend family with their own secret identities, which they are unaware of. A spy who goes by the name Twilight assumes the fatherly role of Loid Forger, a psychiatrist. Anya, the child, is a telepath. Meanwhile, the mother, Yor, is an assassin known as the Thorn Princess. Even though secrecy is a significant theme within the family (and the story), these members seem to be a perfect match for each other.

Yor, Anya and Loid Forger in the anime adaptation of Spy X Family

The story begins with Twilight, a master of disguise. He’s a top agent of the Westalis’ Intelligence Services’ Eastern-Focused Division (WISE), an organization whose goal is to keep the peace between the countries Westalis and Ostania. Twilight's latest mission, Operation Strix, requires him to get married and have a family within a week. While it may seem like an impossible feat to obtain a wife and a child within mere days, he pulls through. He adopts Anya from an orphanage, and shortly after, he and Yor impulsively decide to get married while being chased by enemies.

If that alone is not enticing enough, it gets better. Each member has their respective agenda and motivations for wanting to maintain the fake family. Twilight needs this to get close to his target. Yor needs the sham marriage to keep her assassin gig and conform better to societal standards. Meanwhile, Anya thought it would be exciting to have a spy and an assassin as parents. Funnily enough, Anya is the only one who generally knows what's truly going on -- but of course, her understanding of it is limited since she's a young child. With that, there are instances where Anya acts accordingly for the sake of the mission. However, it almost always never goes smoothly. This usually results in some of the many hilarious moments in the story.

Aside from the Forgers, Spy x Family has an equally interesting ensemble of supporting characters. Yor’s younger brother, Yuri, works for the State Security Service (which is basically WISE’s enemy). To keep with the theme of “secrets” in the story, Yor is unaware of Yuri’s actual occupation and thinks he’s a civil servant. He disapproves of Yor and Loid since he's incredibly attached to his sister. Henry Henderson, a teacher at Eden Academy, has a striking first impression. He embodies the word "exaggeration" in his character introduction, which is ironically funny considering how people at the prestigious Eden Academy are expected to be prim and proper.

Considering some of the subject matter, certain aspects of Spy x Family might give off a serious tone -- but overall, the story is light and entertaining. A dysfunctional family involving a spy, an assassin, and a telepath is pretty much a killer recipe for a chaotic dynamic. This may be fairly troublesome, especially knowing that world peace more or less lies within the hands of the Forgers. Their struggles as a group and how their secret identities affect the mission show us (in various ways) that maintaining and raising a family is indeed one of the world's most challenging tasks.

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