Tag Archives: SPY x FAMILY

The Observation Deck: Buddy Daddies

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Happy Easter to anyone who celebrates!

Kids are…great. For people who want them, that is. Little bundles of joy and chaos that take up time but give return a sense of meaning and purpose. Sure, they can be rude and a big handful sometimes, but that is true of every kid. However, they probably should not be a goal for people who work in the murder business.

Buddy Daddies focuses on two 20-somethings named Rei and Kazuki who live and work together. They also just happen to be assassins. One day, while doing a relatively normal job, all things go awry when a young girl hops into the elevator with Kazuki and jeopardizes the mission. The two kind of end up killing the girl’s father on said mission, and as a result take her in while they figure out what to do, that is, if they can figure out what to do.

To be completely honest, this is not a show I went into with high expectations. It has a solid art style and interesting hook, but nothing about it felt like it was going to keep me hooked. Yet, coming out the other side of the metaphorical tunnel, my perspective has changed quite a bit. That being said, let’s talk about Buddy Daddies.

So…It’s Just Spy x Family?

No. Well, mostly no. There is definitely some worthwhile comparison and analysis in the odd three member family structure, as well as the immediateness with which these seemingly unrelated worlds have now collided at the beginning of their respective stories. It might even be worth discussing how both series deconstruct the traditional nuclear family model in their storytelling, but that would be a whole other post.

However, that is about where the fair comparisons come to an end, because the situations and character dynamics are a fair bit different. Whereas Spy x Family explores the dynamics of living under Cold War era government hysteria, Buddy Daddies has a lot more laid back of an atmosphere, even despite Kazuki and Rei both being killers. The two seem to spend most of their time in Rei’s apartment waiting for jobs, at least before Miri.

Miri being their “daughter” creates something of an obstacle for the two. Rather tan safely being able to complete their missions, they are forced to raise and look after a small child who otherwise has absolutely no idea what is going on.

The Assassins Dilemma

If it was not apparent already, Miri creates a bit of a complication in Kazuki and Rei’s ability to do their jobs. Not only does it make Miri less safe since she could theoretically be targeted at any time if their connection was known, but also leaves the two of them compromised and less safe as well. There is also the matter of raising the daughter of a man they killed and having to dodge questions about her family, at least until later episodes.

While this moral conundrum is certainly not lost on our main characters, it also never feels sufficiently addressed either. The show carefully skirt around addressing any fault or conclusion the same way Kazuki and Rei have to dance around the subject with Miri. Rather than taking time to talk about it, Buddy Daddies chooses to bring it up and then immediately change the subject.

The series does seem a lot more focused on its comedic aspects, so at least in that regard it is understandable that they would stray away from getting to heavy. Still, there are far too many of said heavier moments interwoven in the show already for it to simply be ignored. It seems the writers were either afraid of commitment or simply did not have enough time to properly address it in a 12 episode time frame.

Sound and Style of Killing

It feels fair to say that P.A. Works has a decent track record when it comes to making solid looking shows. Not only is the animation good when it needs to be, like during the show’s somewhat frequent action sequences, the character designs also look fantastic. Katsumi Enami utilizes a lot of his previous work on manga such as Baccano in order to create some fantastic looking characters. idk about anyone else, but Kazuki is my new favorite male wife.

As far as its sound, Buddy Daddies also draws on James Bond-esk thrillers for the music, utilizing a lot of jazz-sounding tracks with big horns and even bigger melodic moments. The opening and ending, meanwhile, sound like fairly normal for the times j-rock and j-pop, respectively. Not bad, but nothing I have personally been clambering to hear a lot.

Conclusion

Realistically, this is not a show I would have sought out on my own. However, outside of complaints about the story structure and pacing, there is not a ton worth hating on. The great comedic dynamics between Kazuki, Rei, and Miri, the queer-coded-ness of two guys raising a daughter together, Even Rei’s storyline with his father ends up being pretty interesting. So yeah, give it a watch, its a good enough time.

78/100


How do you all feel about Buddy Daddies? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting us on Patreon

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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My Brief Thoughts on the 2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards

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Whether bringing together people in community or mockery, the Crunchyroll Anime Awards have been a pillar of the community since their inception back in 2016. The now infamous award show often has some…controversial takes in their various categories. These often involve a very obviously popular show winning big swaths of categories without much rhyme or reason.

Of course, this is particular problem is not unique to the anime awards. The same can be said of the Oscars, Grammys, as well as various other awards shows. This is because many of these show thrive off of big ad campaigns and sometimes even direct donations to judges. Thus, the integrity of award shows has always been a bit of a mute point. Still, it is fun to look and see where the majority opinion for X group has landed, So, here are some of my takes on the Crunchyroll Anime Awards.

The Triforce of Anime Awards

I mentioned above that Crunchyroll Awards tend to get dominated by a few shows, and this year was no exception. Attack on Titan, Spy x Family, and Demon Slayer‘s second season dominated the categories and brought home the vast majority of awards. Jujutsu Kaisen, along with a few other scattered series, took the remaining spots.

Normally this would be the part where I talk about how undeserved most of these wins are, except…well, here’s the thing. First, I do not have the technical knowledge to say for sure whether or not the big winners actually deserved their wins or not. Second, I actually do think they deserve a good amount of representation. Attack on Titan and Spy x Family were genuinely good, and season two of Demon Slayer was fairly well received.

Cyberpunk Edgerunners Deserves Anime of the Year

2022 was an insane year for anime, and will likely go down among the best in term of high quality. Unfortunately, some of the bigger contenders from fall, primarily Chainsaw Man and Bocchi the Rock, were left out of the running due to the award’s strange rule change. Still, even out of the remaining series, there are a lot of greatness. However, despite that fact, Cyberpunk Edgerunners still feels like an appropriate choice

Not only is the series incredibly produced, from the animation and direction to the wonderful sounding soundtrack, it is a show that feels incredibly relevant in its story and messaging. David Martinez is ultimately forced down a bath of no return because his environment left him with no other choice, detailing a capitalist hellscape that seems less fantasy and more reality with each passing day. So yeah, for my money, it feels like a good pick.

Kaguya-sama Where?

As a totally unbiased and reasonable commentator-

No, but seriously, aside from my own personal enjoyment of the series, Kaguya always seemed like the type of show that other critics and judges would eat up. After all, despite being a rom-com, it has the more cerebral elements that make people feel smart when they get the joke, and manages to balance that with some genuinely down to earth and relatable characters. Yet, it only won in the romance category.

Part of this, I think, comes from the noticeable absence of previous categories like Best Boy/Girl, which felt more biased towards those cuter, more relatable characters which rom-coms, and Kaguya-sama especially, do really well. Looking at the categories for this year, I could see it having won the Japanese voice performances had it been nominated, but realistically, outside of that, not much else. Well, that and Best Comedy, but honestly Spy X Family does legit deserve that one as well, so I cannot really be mad.


How did you all feel about the Crunchyroll Anime Awards? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, special thanks to Jenn for the support on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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The Observation Deck: Spy x Family

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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“huh, I never thought I’d get this far” -Plankton

Well, it has been less than a month, and I have already covered or started covering most of the stuff I wanted to since coming back. On top of that, being four-plus weeks late on seasonal stuff means now is as good a time as any to go through some of the stuff I wasn’t able to talk about in 2022. With that being said, Spy x Family

Yor Forger

The show’s first cour was a lot of fun, and there really was not a ton to complain about outside of Yor feeling a bit less developed as a character than Loid or Anya. On that front…well, actually, Idk. Yor definitely did get some moments in the season’s second half, but it felt like a lot of those moments were connected to Loid or Anya as opposed to the fact that she is an assassin, a fact that feels continually lost outside of some recurring bits or an occasional laugh.

My expectation, maybe wrongfully placed, was that her assassin job would start to come into conflict with the family dynamic, even if only as a minor plot point in an episode or two. However, that simply is not the case, and it makes Yor feel a bit more like a supporting character than one of the main ones. This is not to her screen time is unenjoyable, only that she feels a bit forgotten about.

The Goodest of Boys

Granted, a lot of the reason for Yor’s lack of focus probably has to do with the introduction of Bondman, Anya’s adopted pet whose introduction takes up three episodes. Again, not complaining, since he feels right at home (literally and metaphorically) with the rest of the family.

His ability to predict the future due to the numerous scientific experiments performed on him by the government gives the series an interesting new dynamic, one that even saves Yor’s life due to Anya’s having read his mind. Bondman is also just goofy and funny in a way that adds a lot to the show’s comedic bits.

Romantic Rivalry

One more important introduction during this season is Fiona, another spy from Loid’s agency who also just happens to be madly in love with him. This is so much the case that she attempts to take Yor’s place in the mission to contact Desmond, which fails miserably and hilariously multiple times.

The two also go on a mission towards the end of the season to recover an important piece of art and the whole time she is just fawning over him, barely paying attention to the mission. It was the biggest example of the “does he know” meme but in an anime, which, again, contributed to the comedic elements of the series.

The Climax

Spy x Family ends the season with Loid’s first interaction with Desmond, brought about by Damian’s desire to see him after being stuck in school for the whole year. Of course, the risk of being found out as a spy by a member of the Ostanian government makes the who situation feel as tense as it probably should.

The series spends a lot of time building up Desmond as this monster who cannot be stopped. Thus, when Loid interacts with him in person, there is a sense of who he really is, a stuffy, rich government official who feels as suffocating as the evil he represents.

Conclusion

Most of my feelings about part one carry over here: The show is well-animated with beautiful action scenes, the music still slaps (including the new opening and ending), and the show has a great balance between comedy and serious moments that don’t feel the need to constantly overtake one another. Thus, my comments here are fairly limited. For those who have yet to watch one of the most hyped-up shows of the last few years, give it a chance, because it does live up.

85/100


How do you all feel about Spy x Family? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, special thanks to Jenn for the support on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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What I’m (Probably) Watching for Fall 2022

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I know, I know, it is a bit early to be talking about fall, but honestly, I had nothing planned for this week other than maybe talking about Revolutionary Girl Utena, but might as well save that until a bit more progress is made.

While I am still mostly excited for this season, part of me is also not. Most of this is to do with the fact that I am graduating this semester which has brought with it another set of problems, but also because I was hoping to find something a bit more under the radar this season, but that does not seem to be the case. With that being said, though, here is what I am probably watching for fall 2022.

Chainsaw Man

I think it would be a mistake for anyone, including myself to miss out on what could potentially be one of the better adaptations in recentl history. It is clear based on the names attached to the series and the absolutely gorgeous trailers that Chainsaw Man has the potential. The question now is whether those working on the series can follow through.

Mappa has often been a source of inconsistency when it comes to the quality of shows they put out, but their recent offerings, including Jujutsu Kaisen and the latest season of Attack on Titan have inspired a lot of confidence. If Chainsaw Man is even a fraction as good as those series, than their will definitely be something worth looking forward to.

Spy x Family Part 2

Me, watching the other most popular show of the season, whaaaaaat? Listen, can you really blame me for wanting to finish one of the most consistently entertaining series to come out in the last few years? Spy x Family not only has a killler premise and great characters, but consistently executed on them for all of its first part. There is not really much else to say other than that I look forward to another amazing bit of this show.

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Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War

Bleach will always have a special place in my heart as one of the first anime I watched that I truly recognized as anime. It, and Fullmetal Alchemist, were also the first anime series recommended to me by a close friend. However, as the years have gone on my interest in seeing Bleach continued slowly decreased, not because my opinion of it changed significantly, but rather because some many other blips have popped up on my metaphorically radar that I could kind of live without it. Still, I am happy to see the series get the resolution it rightfully deserves. Also, I know this is a pretty big arc, so chances are if I do not watch it now it will be gone from my mind forever.

My Hero Academia Season 6

I know people like to project the incredibly strange fandom onto the actually quality of this show a lot, but it honestly remains a pretty enjoyable series. Certainly not the best thing since sliced bread, but good enough that I would be disappointed if it did not conclude, especially after season five. The stakes in My Hero have always been relatively high, but scale of the fights has larger and more interesting, and even the league of villains has turned out to be much more than stereotypically evil people doing evil things.

Now would be the part where I talk about Golden Kamuy season four and how most of what I am watching this season is just sequels, except that the chances of me actually finishing the series in time to watch season four are pretty low. It sucks, too, because Golden Kamuy is one of those shows that feels like it does not get enough attention for how good it is, but unfortunately I just do not have the time to do all of that while also covering the other stuff I want to.


So yeah, that is what I am (probably) watching for the upcoming season. There is always the chance I pick up one thing or drop something on this list, but we will just have to see.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, special thanks to Jenn for supporting us on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Spy x Family’s First Half is Done, and I Have Some Thoughts

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The spring 2022 anime season is, by the time this gets released, likely finished with most of its major shows. However, Spy x Family, the break-out star of the season, is only done with its first half. Presumably, this is to give the staff a bit of a break before they continue this coming October. Still, since it is the end of the season, I figure now would be as good a time as ever to organize my thoughts as well as list my hopes for the second half.

For those who missed the spring season darling, Spy x Family is about Twilight, a spy for the Westalia government who has recently been given an important mission: to take down a prominent political figure of the neighboring Ostania. In order to do this, he must infiltrate one of the country’s most influential schools by disguising himself as normal family man Loid Forger, living together with his “wife” Yor Forger, and his adopted daughter Anya Forger, both of whom do not know about his Spy occupation.

I will start by saying that Mangaka Tatsuya Endou is a genius. While I am not familiar at all with their other works, the idea behind Spy x Family is honestly the perfect example of simple but effective storytelling. The series draws on some prominent historical parallels in the era of McCarthyism and the Cold War. However, alongside its narrative about taking down radical governments and what it means to be a family, the series manages to sprinkle in a lot of humor.

The focus of that humor, though, tends to be Anya, who has, more or less, become the show’s unofficial mascot. Anya is also hiding a secret of her own: she has the ability to read other people’s minds. This power gives her the dynamic of knowing both the secret of Loid and Yor while also having the two of them not know about her, which tends to be the focus of the more comedic moments.

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Speaking of Yor, her secret is a little more…violent. When she is not taking care of Anya or at her day job, Yor works as an Assassin, killing basically whoever she is told to. Apart from having the aesthetic appeal, Yor’s character works because of her budding relationship with Anya, which often leaves her conflicted about her work as a killer.

The same can be said of Twilight, who admits near the beginning of the show that his adoption of Anya has made him less sharp than he would be normally. His occupation necessarily keeps him in and out of various identities, to the point that he has never had the ability to start a family of his own. This is a really compelling point, and it makes it to where there is a continual reason to keep watching even outside of the show’s episodic antics.

Outside of the show’s fantastic characters and narrative, it also just looks incredible. It is clear that there is a lot of attention to detail, from the bustling city backgrounds to the quick moments of action and combat which appear in most episodes. Spy x Family has more love and care put into its most stable moments than some series do at their most animated. *cough cough Seven Deadly Sins cough cough*

The soundtrack also manages to nail the fusion between classic sounds of the 50s and spy movie thrillers. While I would probably have a hard time picking out a favorite track, I can say at least that I do enjoy all of the music that has appeared in the series so far. The opening in particular does a great job at combining these sounds while also giving it a cute, poppier aesthetic that just kinda works.

The anime feels almost flawlessly executed at this point. Every plot point is falling in line and everyone has a role to play. My one wish going forward actually concerns Yor. For as often as she is on one screen, I do not know that the series has properly gotten at the heart of her character. What’s more, her relationship with her brother Yuri, who works for the Ostanian military doing torture, is one that could seriously threaten Loid’s work. Thus, my one hope is that this does not get hand brushed away as a minor inconvenience and that Yor’s character is more thoroughly explored by the end of the next half.

The same could honestly be said for Anya as well, but her appearances on screen do not feel as empty in that regard. Her interior life is much more present, in part because she is often the main focus of the later episodes, but also because her thought process is more laid out when she is reading someone’s mind.

Overall, though, there is fairly little to complain about. Spy x Family is a fun and enjoyable series that seems to be moving in a solid narrative direction. Once the series finishes its second half, I will do a full review, but for now, these are my thoughts.


Have you been watching Spy x Family? How do you feel about the series? Let me know down in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, shout out to Jenn for supporting the blog on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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SPY x FAMILY Episode 1 Reaction

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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The spring season is officially upon us, and with it a plethora of exciting new offerings. However, the series I am focusing on today has received the bulk of the hype from manga readers and new comers alike. Yes, my dear readers, I am talking about SPY x FAMILY.

The series takes place in a slightly alternate universe from our own, one in which the war of information between the west and the east is well on its way. The most trusted by spy on the side of west, Twilight, has been tasked taking out an influential party leader. His mission is one which could potentially alter the course of history, but in order to accomplish it he’ll need… a family?

In my recent binge of romance anime, I think it fair to say that what I was really looking for was some emotional levity. I went looking for solace in stories which were primarily focused on romantic relationships, and while I got some, there is also plenty of that to be found in anime like SPY x FAMILY.

If the series were taking itself super seriously, there might be a problem. Names like Westali and Ostania feel a bit on the nose, especially considering the period they are trying to invoke (At that point you might as well call them Americaville and Russialand). On top of that, Twilight as a character takes himself way to seriously to be enjoyable on his own.

However, the moments in the first episodes which are most enjoyable come from when the veil is lifted, and we seen the humanity in both Twilight and Anya. As much as the life of spy is one of deceit, retaining a sense of humanity is important too. It also helps that those moments also happen to be pretty hilarious.

There honestly is not much else to say beyond that. Both characters seem to have a solid foundation, and for as much as the show does not take itself super seriously, the action sequences still look fantastic. It feels like an adaptation worthy of its source material. The big question is whether or not the rest of the series will stick the landing, and given that SPY x FAMILY has been confirmed for 25 episodes, it is a big landing to stick.


How do you all feel about SPY x FAMILY so far? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

As always, special shoutout to Jenn for supporting us on Patreon.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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