FEATURE: What You Need to Know Before SPY x FAMILY Returns
The first cour of SPY x FAMILY was a sheer banger when it debuted last spring season. Produced by WIT Studio and CloverWorks, It was one of the most anticipated anime adaptations of the year. Just about everybody fell in love with the Forgers but there were other aspects, like the well-balanced storyline, that made the series such a hit. While we wait for the second cour, how about a little refresher about what has happened so far?
Did You Hear About the Forgers?
SPY x FAMILY is about a super spy — codename Twilight — who works for the Westalis intelligence agency (WISE). He’s tasked with going undercover to prevent war from erupting between the two nations of Westalis and Ostania. In order to achieve this, he needs to investigate Donovan Desmond, the Leader of the National Unity Party, who’s considered to be a threat to the truce between the East and the West.
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To get close to his target, Twilight needs to create a front family within a week. He assumes the identity of a psychiatrist named Loid Forger and adopts a six-year-old child named Anya to enroll her into Eden Academy, the elite school that Donovan’s son attends. However, Anya has a secret of her own — she’s a telepath who can read people’s minds.
The true origins of Anya are unclear, but what was revealed so far is that she is the result of a research experiment by an unknown organization. She was formerly known as Test Subject 007 and was treated with cruelty and strictness. After her escape, she continued to search for a place to call home, but she was adopted four times and returned back to the orphanages until Loid Forger showed up.
Anya reads his mind and learns the truth about Loid’s mission. This means she’s able to act accordingly and avoid being returned to the orphanage. Loid proceeds to get her into Eden Academy to move on with Operation Strix, but without both parents, it’s not possible to pass the mandatory family interview. Loid now has to secure a wife to complete this mission. Enter Yor Briar.
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From the outside Yor appears to be a sweet, ordinary clerk at Berlint City Hall. Unbeknownst to everyone, she leads a double life as a ruthless assassin known as Thorn Princess. To conceal her identity, she agrees to start a pretend family with Loid. No one in the Forger family is aware of their true identities… well, except for Anya.
Friends or Foes?
Every protagonist needs a trusted associate and the Forgers are no exception. For Loid, there’s Franky Franklin, his partner in crime who’s always there to back him up with whatever is needed — especially if there’s cash involved. From gathering intel to taking care of Anya, Franky will show up and show out!
Then there’s Yuri Briar, Yor’s younger brother who reveals the deeper story behind Yor becoming an assassin. Yor had to take care of and provide for Yuri after their parents died. Because of this, Yuri grew up to be extremely protective of his older sister, swearing to do anything to keep her safe. This includes trying to protect her from Loid, who he suspects to be untrustworthy. Yuri is a member of the secret police and keeps his job a secret from Yor, pretending to be a civil worker at the foreign ministry.
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Anya ends up finding her greatest ally while attending Eden Academy and trying to help Loid with his mission. In order for the mission to succeed, Loid needs to get close to Desmond. The easiest way to do that is by letting Anya strike a friendship with his second son, Damian. This is easier said than done, as all of Anya’s attempts end in vain. However, this does lead to Anya becoming friends with a wealthy young girl named Becky Blackbell. Becky often helps Anya, especially when she’s being teased by Damian’s group.
Catch a Stella Star
Eden College offers elite education in varied fields. The students who perform better than the rest are considered Imperial Scholars. Here is where we enter into the second phase of Operation Strix. Loid needs to attend a social gathering which is only open to Imperial Scholars and their parents. This means Anya must rise to the occasion and become an honor student.
Let’s get one thing straight, Anya’s disdain for studying is a real struggle that puts Operation Strix at risk. Constantly. To be an Imperial Scholar, a student must earn eight Stella Stars, which are awarded for high grades and good deeds to society. And what did Anya do? She got a Tonitrus Bolt on her first day by punching, wait for it… Damian — yes, the boy she needs to become friends with. By the way, Tonitrus Bolts are given to students with poor grades and who exhibit bad behavior.
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This puts Twilight in crisis mode as he now has to find a way to put the mission back on track. He puts Anya under immense pressure to get a Stella Star. She tries her hardest until one fateful day when her telepathic power guides her to a drowning boy in a pool. Not only does she save the boy’s life, she saves Operation Strix by gaining her first Stella Star on her long road to becoming an honor student.
The Next Mission
Getting a Stella Star gives Anya a chance to ask her parents for whatever she wants as a reward. She’s torn between an unlimited supply of peanuts or something much grander, like a doggie. Her wish may be granted in the next cour. We get a glimpse of a big white dog in what looks to be a corrupted animal shelter. The good boy conjures up a vision of the Forgers, who are all smiles, and hints at gaining a new addition to the family.
What’s interesting is that we hear the two workers in the shelter talk about “revolutionaries” who seem to have sinister plans to use the animals as bomb dogs. Here comes the Forgers’ next mission, which is to stop the terrorist bombing attack as teased in the trailer video. What will the Forgers do as world peace is threatened and lives are at risk? We’ll find out when cour 2 begins this October here on Crunchyroll.
Nada Ali is the Arabic Editor at Crunchyroll.