Top 10 anime of all time: Does SPY x FAMILY deserve Top 5 status after only 2 episodes?

A scene from Spy x Family showing Anya shocked at Loid.
Spring 2022 anime Spy x Family has garnered a massive amount of popularity. But is it all passing praise? Pic credit: Wit Studio and Cloverworks

Just two episodes into its release and SPY x FAMILY has been a fan favorite of the Spring 2022 season. The anime is sitting among the top spots of MyAnimeList’s Top Airing Anime. Over on TOHO animation’s YouTube channel, the Spy x Family OP intro video for the series has over 2 million views. And Gen Hoshino’s ED track is taking over the Japanese music charts. The manga just announced it has 16 million copies in circulation. But is the hype for Spy x Family justified?

Everyone’s tastes are different, but those who love comedy, tight-knit character bonds, and bouts of suspense and action have a lot to enjoy in Spy x Family. Following a master spy who needs to pose as a husband and father for his latest job, Loid Forger’s serious nature is quickly softened after adopting Anya — a young girl trapped in an orphanage. 

Like Loid, Anya has secrets of her own. With the ability to read the thoughts of those around her, she quickly learns that her adoptive father is a spy. But even with telepathic powers, Anya is prone to misunderstanding the thoughts of others which leads to hilarious antics for her and her new family. Now that episode two has introduced Yor, the mother of the family and an assassin, the show is really shaking up!

『SPY×FAMILY』オープニング主題歌アニメ映像/“SPY × FAMILY” Opening theme song animation

Given the concept’s wide range of possibilities and the characters’ likable natures, it’s no wonder why Spy x Family has gained so much popularity. But on top of being well-made animation based on Tatsuya Endou’s successful manga, much of the series’ success can be attributed to social media praise.

Why is Spy x Family so popular?

Some fans have shown their excitement by producing fanart for the series. Anyone who gets anime content on their social media feeds has likely seen fans producing art of the series similar to how previous works such as My Hero Academia and Demon Slayer have amassed a die-hard following in the past.

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Others have taken to producing memes. Art and comedy translate well where language stands as a barrier so the fanbase has helped spread the series far. And given that Anya’s expressions make for comedic reaction images, it’s not uncommon to see memes of the show outside of anime circles. 

Panel from the Spy x Family manga featuring Anya Forger with a smug face saying, "Heh."
The smug Anya ‘heh’ meme has been a popular react image — already finding its way onto t-shirts and merchandise of the Spy x Family series. Pic credit: mangaka Tatsuya Endou.

Luckily, Spy x Family is an easily accessible show so anyone interested in watching the series after viewing a meme or two can enjoy it for free with ads on Crunchyroll. And soon enough, those who dislike reading subtitles can watch the series in their native language. 

Crunchyroll has an English, French, and German dub available now and a Spanish and Portuguese dub coming on April 23, 2022. The show is available with subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Italian, German, and Russian.

Another reason for the series’ massive success is likely due to its availability across many regions. Muse Asia picked up the anime and is now simul-streaming it to regions such as India, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, and more! On top of Crunchyroll, fans can watch the series on other streaming services like MeWATCH and CATCHPLAY+. 

Nothing is immune from criticism, however. And while many have loved Spy x Family this season, there’s been a few people vocalizing a far different attitude about the series.

Spy x Family Top Anime
The anime managed to briefly reach the MyAnimeList Top 5 shortly after Spy x Family Episode 1 released. Pic credit: MyAnimeList

Is Spy x Family canceled? 

Over on TikTok, a user criticized the series for the dynamic between Anya and her adoptive father Loid. The critique (which has already received more attention than warranted) was quickly dismissed by fans for being baseless — the show’s content shows Loid as a typical caring father. But people will always have their own interpretations and biases.

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The original poster pointed out the pink “blushies” on Anya’s cheeks whenever she is with her adoptive father. This, unfortunately, may be a case of the user misinterpreting the meaning of blushing in anime. While true that characters will often blush in romantic contexts, blushing can encompass a range of emotions — not too dissimilar from real-life — from embarrassment to happiness.

The backlash over the TikTik comments has gained more uproar than the initial claim itself. There’s no fear that Spy x Family will actually be ‘canceled’ any time soon. If anything, the show is still on a trajectory towards becoming one of the most popular anime of this year.

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