Spy x Family Code: White – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Spy x Family Code: White – A Vacation of Winter Dysfunction: Life of the Forgers

The medium of film provides us with many amazing moments.  From the lush feeling of romance to the adrenaline rush of action, the escape of the journey takes us far and away.  Like everything that revolves around film, the escape becomes prudent to our individual guise.  Like many, I have some favorite genres (Coming-of-Age, Dark Satire), but one that always grabs me is Anime.  No matter what the journey awaits … Anime will always provide you with a unique draw for the escape.  In this review, I look at an anime film adaptation of a popular IP.  Through the whimsical and surreal, Spy x Family Code: White is a wonderful trip of dysfunction with our favorite family … The Forgers.

In this latest adventure, we find the Forgers traveling away for a winter escape.  In a quest for fun, what starts as a wholesome vacation becomes a daring rescue.  With everything on the line, will the Forgers be able to survive total doom.  When it comes to Anime, it is a medium that encompasses concepts, pushing the limits of what is believable (to a degree).  With this tale, we have a foundation of blended realism that stays grounded through its characters.  In the beginning, we have a narrated prologue that explains the fragile peace between two nations (Westalis and Ostania), and how the Westalis’ spy, Loid Forger (voiced: Takuya Eguchi) is sent to Ostania to maintain peace.  The unique twist is that in creating his fake family disguise, neither member knows each other’s secret.  The wife, Yor Forger (voiced: Saori Hayami) is a deadly assassin known as the ‘Thorn Princess’, there adopted daughter, Anya Forger (voiced: Atsumi Tanezaki) is a telepath, and the family pet, Bond, can read into the future.  Once the foundation is set, the filmmakers use familiar tropes (spy, aloof comedy, and surrealism) to build the main throughline: Anya is tasked to bake something in a cooking competition with the hopes of winning the elusive prize, Stella.  After a series of dialogue driven moments, Loid decides the best way to win is for the family to travel to the mountain town of Frigis and learn the dessert recipe: Meremere.  From here, the journey builds through unique situations of unconventional mishaps, creating a path where familial tropes blend with the appeal of this animated world.  For all the melo-drama like moments and goofball comedic sequences, what grounds everything is the theme of family.  Within the ‘secrets’ each keeps from one another, it is this fragility of ‘trying to make it work’ that creates layered characters within Loid, Anya, Yor and even the family dog, Bond.  There is distinct value to what each member (of the family) represents, creating situations where they become layered within their own unique bravado.  This also provides that grip for the audience, especially when the journey takes a twist into the unwholesome treachery that is happening in Frigis.

As the Forgers look to complete their mission (find the recipe for Anya’s baking contest), it comes into conflict with underground military activities happening in the town.  Through convenient circumstances, the family vacation turns into a rescue mission, leading down a path that puts a spotlight on each character’s own unique gifts.  With a new conflict to deter, we head into a finale that elevates the familial tropes through rambunctious moments of over-the-top action, anime surrealism and folly.  This leads to a full circle climax, and an epilogue fitting of the Spy x Family mantra.  Spy x Family Code: White is an anime film that blends wholesome appeal through the fantastical aspect of the genre.  If you are a fan of this property, anime, manga or want a fun escape, this is one for you.  To me, this can be a fun film for those trying to get into anime … worthy of the big screen.

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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