SPY x FAMILY ED music creator Gen Hoshino shares thoughts in interview

Promotional imagery for the Spy x Family anime along with Gen Hoshino's Family Song single.
Songwriter Gen Hoshino explains his thoughts on the Forger family and his connection to the series. Pic credit: Wit Studio and Gen Hoshino

The recent release of the Spy x Family anime has been a massive success. Fans have enjoyed meeting the Forger family: master spy Twilight going by the code name Loid Forger, his adopted telepath daughter Anya Forger, and the soon to be introduced Yor Forger.

Everything from the stellar voice cast to stunning visuals have helped to make this series Best 2022 Anime material, and the Spy x Family ED continues that theme. 

Pop artist Gen Hoshino — known for the current OP of the Doraemon series as well as voicing Buddha in Saint☆Oniisan — lent his voice to Spy x Family’s ED (ending) music track Comedy. A combination of soft vocals, calming instrumentation, and catchy lyrics make it a pleasant listen on its own, but it’s how well the track fits the series that make it truly memorable. 

Comedy — also known as Kigeki — is ranked No. 1 on Japan’s digital single charts. Fans wanting to support Gen Hoshino’s music can do so by purchasing his latest single which is available digitally. Hoshino’s website also features some of his past works including his 2021 single Cube. Check out his official Youtube channel too for music videos, live performances, and behind-the-scenes features. 

What does Gen Hoshino have to say about the Spy x Family ED?

After a recent interview with Modelpress, a Japanese entertainment-based news site, Gen Hoshino shared his thoughts on the Spy x Family series including his initial thoughts upon reading the manga. Before getting the role of songwriter for the series’ ED, he was already a fan of the story and the emotions it’s able to express.

Originally, I liked the manga and read it. And when I just finished reading the latest issue, I got an offer. So, I was very happy and it felt like fate. It’s a very serious setting, but I see it as a bright and fun comedy. And sometimes, I get a glimpse of what the characters feel, and I really like the balance.

Gen Hoshino

In particular, Gen Hoshino was inspired by the concept of ‘family’ and the unique approach Spy x Family takes. Loid, Anya, and Yor — a spy, telepath, and assassin respectively — aren’t the typical family structure. But the bond they form with each other throughout the series is one that is as strong as any other family.

The way I feel relieved about my family was similar to what was depicted in Spy x Family. I think it’s changing little by little, but it’s a little different from the current Japanese socially accepted family image. It was easy for me to be connected with my heart. If I could combine, at the same time, my feelings and the feelings of the work, it would be the song of Spy x Family. I thought it would be a song for everyone.

Gen Hoshino
Photo of musician Gen Hoshino.
Hoshino is no stranger to writing tracks for anime having worked on Doraemon in the past. But it seems that, with Spy x Family, he shares a special connection to the source material. Pic credit: Gen Hoshino

While fans can hear the ED track in Spy x Family now, the ending animation has yet to premiere. The series’ staff have reported that the animation will appear in episode 3 which will air on April 23rd. A week may feel like a long wait for some, but given Hoshino’s praise, it’s well worth it.

I was allowed to watch the ending video from episode 3, and it was really good. I really want everyone to see it as soon as possible. I’m sure you will love it too! As it happens, the director I admire very much is in charge of directing the video, and when I met him a long time ago, he said, “I wish we can work together someday.”

Gen Hoshino

What techniques did Gen Hoshino utilize in the creation of his single Comedy?

One of the many pleasing elements of Hoshino’s new single Comedy is his smooth vocals that are both airy and powerful. He shared with Modelpress his thought process when it came to his vocal performance and what techniques he utilized to create the finished piece.

In the old days, I didn’t have a wide range, so I just sang with falsetto and chest voice, but I felt that it wouldn’t produce a good sound image […]. Now that this is my own color. I set the key to match it while I was writing this song.

Gen Hoshino

The blended voices in the track’s chorus — both a mixture of head and chest voice — provide a full spectrum of Hoshino’s calming tone to the mix. This same careful selection went into Hoshino’s lyrics which use playful word choice with a poetic meter.

“If you write the lyrics in detail, the number of syllables is not enough. That’s why I have to cut it down or express it in extremely short words. […] “It feels better to have consonants here”, “Ha line feels good”, “It’s easier to do when La line comes”, and “Ka line comes here”. After trial and error, I arrived at this word selection.” 

Gen Hoshino
Promotional imagery for Gen Hoshino's single Create.
With each single Hoshino creates, he puts careful thought and consideration into the emotions his music conveys. Pic credit: Gen Hoshino

Despite the title of the track being Comedy, Hoshino explains that part of his lyrics focuses on tragedy as well. Chiaroscuro may be more associated with Rembrandt paintings, but the theme of contrasting light and dark — or in this case happiness with sorrow — is something that can connect many.

I feel that the word “comedy” has the meaning of “tragedy” in advance. In the first place, as a way to make my music, I can’t make it just by “fun and bright”. I think that everyone has a painful feeling and a sad feeling behind the fun. […] Otherwise, I feel that the fun would be diminished. In particular, the characters in Spy x Family have been hurt in the past, but the story naturally tries to protect a warm place where you can feel at ease, so the lyrics naturally came out like this.

Gen Hoshino

Combining pleasant melodies with messages applicable to everything, Gen Hoshino’s track Comedy perfectly captures the themes of Spy x Family. As the series progresses, fans have a perfect ED to end each episode on a bittersweet yet hopeful note. So far, the Forger family is still coming together. How will their family shift and change in the future? Viewers will have to wait and see!

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