Spy x Family Code: White Review

Spy x Family Code: White Review
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Spy x Family Code: White takes Loid, Yor, and Anya Forger on a grand adventure as they attempt to remain a part of Operation Strix.

Spy x Family Code: White Review 2

Plot: He’s a spy. She’s an assassin. Together, Loid and Yor keep their double lives to themselves while pretending to be the perfect family. However, their adopted daughter, Anya, a telepath, knows their exciting secrets unbeknownst to them. Under the guise of taking his family on a weekend winter getaway, Loid’s attempt to make progress on his current mission, Operation Strix, proves difficult when Anya mistakenly gets involved and triggers events that threaten world peace! Hilarity and slick spy action ensues.

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Review: Pack your bags because the Forger family is on vacation! Loid (the spy), Yor (the assassin), Anya (the telepath), and Bond (the soothsayer Pyrenean Mountain dog) are off to Frigis. In this snow-covered town, ingredients to create the delectable Meremere-fū Remon Taruto (Melemele-style Lemon Tart) reside. If Anya can bake the perfect treat for the President of Eden Academy, she’ll earn a coveted Stella star, bringing Loid one step closer to completing Operation Strix. It’s the Forger’s most dessert-centric mission yet, and procuring the components will be more complex than they’d assumed.

Spy x Family Code: White is directed by Takashi Katagiri from a screenplay by Ichirō Ōkouchi and produced by Wit Studio and CloverWorks. The feature feels more like a two-hour episode of the hit anime series than a big-budgeted upgrade of the beloved source material. In other words, you won’t find any lighting enhancements as we’ve seen with movies like The Chipmunk Adventure (1987)Ducktales: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990), or The Bob’s Burgers Movie (2022). Yes, I’m old. What of it?

Katagiri and Ōkouchi do a fine job setting up the characters in the film’s opening scenes. Still, it will serve you well if you have a working knowledge of the characters, including the Forger’s family dynamic and unique skill sets. Characters like Anya’s petulant rival, Donovan Desmond, Loid’s gopher, Frankie Franklin, and Yor’s taboo-tinged, sibling-obsessed brother, Yuri, cameo in the film but take a back seat to the Forgers and Westalia Intelligence Services agents Sylvia Sherwood and Nightfall.

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By zeroing in on the Forgers and their culinary-focused mission, the first hour of the film brings the cozy something fierce with a beautiful snow-blanketed town, bone-warming fashion, and food that looks as if the art team got take-out from Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirit Realm. Time spent with the Forgers in Frigis informs new audience members about the family and how their affection for each other is the heart of Spy x Family. The first act reveals Anya’s mysterious side and how she fancies herself as a junior spy alongside her adoptive father, Loid. Still, when she accidentally eats information intended for a sinister group of ne’er do wells led by the ruthless Military Intelligence officer Snijder, Anya becomes the target of a wild goose chase. While there are plenty of spy games, intrigue, and SHOCK expressions from Anya at the front end of the film Spy x Family Code: White eventually explodes into an epic spy thriller with dirigible fortresses aflame, a Killzone-style soldier with a flare for theatrics, and acrobatic anarchy courtesy of Yor Forger.

Set against (K)now Name’s rousing score, Spy x Family Code: White knows what the franchise’s manga and anime series fans want. Anya is undeniably adorable in her curiosity and desire to feel like she’s a part of something larger than herself. Loid is a master of disguise, always cunning and forever charming with his penchant for caving to family pressures. Finally, Yor plays the lethal assassin posing as a doting housewife, but once the veil drops, she’s an unstoppable killing machine leading the film’s best action scenes. The Forgers anchor a heartfelt, brilliantly-paced action comedy that anime enthusiasts will enjoy and Spy x Family fans will scream for. I laughed my ever-loving ass off throughout the film and even teared up a little at the end once the smoke had cleared.

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While I prefer to watch my anime with Japanese-language audio and English subtitles, the English-language dub is also an excellent option for Spy x Family Code: White. Whether you’re listening to the dulcet tones of Takuya Eguchi / Alex Organ (Loid Forger), Saori Hayami / Natalie Van Sistine (Yor Forger), Atsumi Tanezaki / Megan Shipman (Anya Forger), or other cast members, the voice talent behind the film brings their A-game with passion for the material, spot-on comedic timing, and sincerity in the film’s more tender moments.

During the film’s first half, I was concerned that Ôkouchi was doing Yor dirty by presenting her to newcomers as a subservient, fretful mother figure. However, Yor abated my fears after dropping her matriarchal mask during Code: White‘s larger mission. Yor’s action-packed scenes deliver several of the film’s most breathtaking moments as she squares off against a prideful Robocop while flames lick at her somersaults and Naruto-run bum rushes. The dynamic camera movements during this battle had my blood pumping and my eyes glued to the screen.

As I’d said, Spy x Family Code: White is another thrilling adventure featuring some of Japan’s most endearing characters of recent years. The film pays attention to the vibes of the animated series and packs a technical punch that elevates the experience without taking the presentation too far. If you were not a Spy x Family fan at the start of this film, you will be by the time the credits roll.

spy x family code white review
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