[WARNING: Brisk language]
OK, there are a lot of animes that I couldn’t fucking WAIT for the next episode to show up (or two episodes, in my case, as that is how I like it). They include “Attack on Titan” (until it got stupid), “Black Clover” (until IT got stupid), “Erased” (until the last two episodes, when it got stupid), and “Spice and Wolf” (until they decided NOT to have a third season, the fuckers; please excuse the salty language, as I have had to endure a lot of fucking stupidity from the fucking parent companies).
We can also argue as to whether “Spy X Family” is either having a ‘Second Season’ or ‘Season One, Part Two’ (but I JUST found out it is the latter). You know, marketing and whether or not you have the gumption to wait for a combined disk and not piecemeal it, right? It’s all corporate greed. Who the fuck cares on that part of it? I mean, this is one goddam fabulous show.
Now, the end of the first part of the season hinted at them getting a dog. However, I already knew this, as I went to a shitty manga sale at Barnes & Noble. (It was ‘shitty’ as they had, on the floor, Books 1 and 6 for this series, on a fabulous sale, but if you wanted anything else in the run, then you had to pay full prices, as it wasn’t on the floor. Again, corporate greed. I mean, fucking corporate greed!) and when I looked at Book 6 (as I wanted to see where I was in the show in relation to the manga) Bond, the dog, was already part of the family. And to resolve any issues, Bond (named for the character in the cartoon series that Anya watches, not the other guy) is a Great Pyrenees, so we learn of his story as we start the second half.
So, the plan, Operation Strix, hinges on Anya somehow getting in contact with Donovan Desmond. He is the president of the National Unity Party and is the former prime minister of Ostania, which is having a ‘conflict’ of sorts with the country of Westalis. He rarely makes public appearances, except at the important and somewhat festive gathering at Eden College, where his second son attends. And so does Twilight’s fake daughter, Anya. (For the series, he is known as Loyd Forger and how many parentheses have I used so far? There are more to come. Collect the entire set).
In order to get into the academy, he has a fake family. And is this family ever fake! So, Loyd is a spy, Yor, the wife, is an assassin known as the ‘Thorn Princess’, Anya is a mind reader and Bond, also known as ‘Subject 8’, was a test animal for experiments, so he has the ability to glimpse the future. Since Anya is a mind reader, she can ‘see’ this future through him, but since this is like the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, that ‘future’ can be changed. If nothing happens to cause a change, this is the future. If something affects the flow of time (remember, time is a river and not that cool time machine that Rod Taylor invented in the movie of the same name), the future can be altered.
Whew! That is a lot to try and digest, so let’s stop here for a restbit. Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. The second part of the first season contends itself with the arrival of Bond and the forging ahead with the operation. This also means having to deal with pressures from all directions: the school, the organization behind Twilight, numerous other sub-chores, potential in-office rivals and the feeling that Anya believes she is doing this all on her own. And it is an uphill climb.
Yor’s abilities are off the charts. I mean, she can leap from a pedestrian bridge, land on the roadbed with nary a concern and totally mess with some guy whom she thinks is making untoward advances on Lady Anya. Now, we never see Yor doing the deed of her assassinations; just the results (a blood stain here or there). And since Loyd is more than eager to cover up his own double life, no one is the wiser….except Anya, who knows the entire nine yards on everyone. Hell, she knows the entire fucking football field on everyone!
There is one little quirk that was not expected and kind of puts a damper on things, and it is in regard to Anya’s abilities. No, I’m not spilling the beans on this one; you find out for yourself, but it seems like an unnecessary distraction, but I guess it is meant to keep her humble. We also see a growth arc in Twilight, as he is being asked to demonstrably change his way of thinking about things. It’s no longer that cut-and-dried of situations and circumstances, regardless as to what he thinks.
OK, if you have NOT seen this series yet (and if you only watch one anime a year, you are not watching ENOUGH anime), I would boldly tell you to go where no man has gone before…I mean, chain this show! From stem to stern! Get your ass in that seat, make sure you have enough to eat and drink and start the marathon! This is one of those shows that come out once a year that is head and shoulders above everything else out there in that given year. It’s hard to be a ‘seven’ when you compete with a ‘ten’.
The charm of the show resides in the notion that we do not need to showcase the rather unpleasant aspects of being a spy (you know, you do have to kill people every so often). Things are played rather light and easy. The arc where they obtain Bond is both exciting and ridiculous. A real second season? Confirmed. (NOTE: Along with the ‘real second season’, there is also the announcement of a movie on tap and that appears to be a real movie and not a recap film.)
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Servicable artwork, but we want the story)
Plot 8 (It is the intricacies that keep us tethered to it)
Pacing 8 (Especially the action parts)
Effectiveness 8 (It builds and builds and builds)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a coupler point, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Bingeability 10 (I said it before: Get. Your. Ass. In. That. Seat!)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I ruined breakfast. Again.