The fall anime season is underway and with it comes the second half of SPY x FAMILY. As we all know that means it’s time for a new opening — and what an opening it is. SPY x FAMILY’s new opening is a perfect example of what a good anime opening can do. In just a minute and a half it tells you precisely what SPY x FAMILY is about and why it’s such an enjoyable show.
Whereas the first opening leaned into more stylized artwork and spy comic aesthetics, the new opening emphasizes the Forgers’ day-to-day life as a family. Bright, lavishly animated scenes of the Forgers driving through the city on an outing (or is it ooting?), having breakfast together, going on amusement park rides, and generally being a family take the spotlight. Contrasting with these are clips of the Forgers separate from each other that carry a darker palette and a sense of melancholy.
Right off the bat, this opening highlights how much living together as a family enriches Loid, Yor, and Anya. While we don’t know much about Yor and Anya’s past, we can infer that neither of them had close connections with others (with the exception of Yor’s brother). When Yor and Anya meet up with Loid on a walk their joy and affection are clear. Without a word being spoken, Anya’s body language and actions tell you that, telepath or not, in this she’s just a little girl excited to see her father. On Loid’s end, the grim tension he carries in all his solo scenes completely vanishes when he’s with Yor and Anya. As they drive through the city, he’s obviously at ease, something that we know from the first half of the show is unusual for him.
It’s striking how engrossing moments like these are given how mundane the content is. Going on a drive through the city has an upbeat energy to it similar to a kid going on an adventure. This is doubly interesting since this opening was directed by Tetsuro Araki, who’s best known for directing the likes of Death Note and Attack on Titan. With these two series, his style tended toward intense action, dramatic twists, and emotions dialed up to 11. While SPY x FAMILY might feel like a sharp contrast, you can see his flourishes in the dynamic camera following Anya and Yor on the carnival ride and Anya’s exuberant energy that comes through every time she moves. Araki imbues this opening with an infectious level of energy that just invites you to come along for the ride.
There’s also no way to talk about this opening without getting into the song, “Souvenir,” by Bump of Chicken. Bump of Chicken has done a fair amount of anime work over the years like the theme song for the 25th Detective Conan movie, Detective Conan: The Bride of Halloween, and the Pokemon anniversary music video. They’ve also made headlines doing a series of ramen commercials featuring the cast of One Piece in a real-world high school going about their daily lives. That might not seem related, but the exact same appeal that got fans so abuzz about the commercials is present here. Bump of Chicken’s upbeat tempo and soft vocals evoke a sense of wonder that combines with depictions of ordinary life to bring a feeling of longing for it, mirroring the Forgers’ growing fondness for the life they have together — even with all their secrets.
That’s really what SPY x FAMILY is all about. Loid’s spy antics are fun but the real draw is how those intersect with the family he’s had to put together. Loid, Yor, and Anya make an adorable family and the spy missions are a great way to highlight that. Just look at Loid trying to find a secret message in a penguin while simultaneously taking his wife and daughter on a trip to an aquarium, or Yor swooping in to save Anya (and her new canine friend) from a group of terrorists. Everyone is at their best when they get to bounce off each other, which is exactly what this opening highlights.
The best openings are the ones that combine great music and visuals to tell you something about the show. Just from watching this latest opening, you can see how much fun it is to hang out with the Forgers, how much light they bring into each other’s lives, and overall, what makes SPY x FAMILY such a special show. In other words, it’s exactly what an anime opening should be.
Skyler loves writing and chatting about anime, and is always ready to gush about the latest One Piece chapter. Read more of his work at his blog apieceofanime.com and follow him on Twitter at Videogamep3.