The Father: A spy who needs to use his fraud family to help him get closer to a leader of a rival nation.
The Mother: An assassin who needs to use her fraud family to help her not get arrested by the secret police for being a possible spy because she's approaching 30 and isn't married.
The Daughter: A psychic who can read minds and loves her fraud family more than anything.
This is the set-up for one of the best anime of 2022. The three characters are each very different, trying to hide what they really are from each other while maintaining the facade of a normal family.
Set in a Berlin-inspired city, the center of tensions between the opposing nations of Westalis and Ostania, and heavily inspired by not just Cold War history, but like "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" or any James Bond movie, "Spy x Family" is a cornucopia of ideas and characters that somehow works and maintains originality despite borrowing ideas from so many sources.
Loid is a spy, a cold and calculating master of disguise who puts his life on the line daily because of a childhood spent in a warzone leaving him wanting to ensure no children have to experience what he did. Tasked with getting close to Donovan Desmond, the leader of Ostania's Unity Party, Loid (codename Twilight) adopts a young girl named Anya (a telepath), who he will then have enroll at an elite academy attended by Desmond's son.
Problem: Anya is a wild child prone to fantasy and bouts of ADHD, and an elite school may not be a perfect fit for her. She's six years old and just wants to have fun, not be another brick in the wall.
The anime goes back and forth between following Anya's school exploits, including gaining entrance and then going to classes and getting along with classmates, and Loid and Yor's lives outside the family.
All the while, there's that nucleus of the "fake" family and how all three are growing to love each other and get way too into their roles while lying to themselves that this isn't what they want.
The 12-episode first half of the season (the rest will be released in the Fall season) is fast-paced, only tripping up with the last episode adapting a one-shot chapter of the manga that was used to establish the characters and introduce the series to new readers.
It randomly pumps the brakes on the story, and having characters introduced at the finish line is bizarre. You can skip episode 12 and miss absolutely nothing.
The animation is fantastic, with all the characters being unique in design and memorable because of that. Much money and love went into how "Spy x Family" looks. On top of that, the soundtrack is full of memorable tracks, and the voice cast is at the top of their form.
"Spy x Family" is already one of 2022's best anime, a killer series with great characters, beautiful animation, and an adorable family dynamic. If you haven't given the series a chance, you should definitely check out the first episode — because, if nothing else, Anya's outbursts and wild faces will put a smile on your face.
Spy x Family is available on Crunchyroll.