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‘Spy x Family Code: White’ - not quite as elegant as its source material 

A blonde man holding a gun out with his left arm.

By Owen Glancy

Asst. Arts & Features Editor 

“Spy x Family” is one of the most popular anime of the last five years, and for good reason. The show’s blend of light-hearted comedy, fast-paced action, and thrilling political espionage made it an incredibly easy anime to fall in love with. Naturally, the show’s creators would want to capitalize on its success. 

Released in Japan on Dec. 22, 2023 and in America on April 19 of this year, “Spy x Family Code: White” is a non-canon film entry into the “Spy x Family” franchise. It follows the story of the Forger family, who travel to the nation of Frigis to get ingredients for a special dessert in an effort to help Anya succeed in her home economics assignment. 

The strongest aspect of the film is easily its animation. This is the best the franchise has ever looked and it’s not even close. As a collaboration between two different anime studios, Wit and Cloverworks, it’s no wonder that nearly every part of this film looked so good. From the glistening of the town at night to the intense fights on the blimp, the animators here all gave 110% and it shows. 

But frankly, no matter how good a film looks, it can rarely make up for a poor story. In this regard, “Spy x Family Code: White” has nothing to worry about. Each character has their own reason to be in Frigis and their stories all feel natural for this absurd world.

Loid wants to prove that he can continue with Operation Strix so that the family doesn’t have to be split up, Yor wants to make certain of Loid’s honesty to her as well as prove her place in the family unit, and Anya wants to use this opportunity to have a fun family vacation while also preparing to potentially get a stella star. 

They aren’t super complex character arcs, but most of them are good enough to guide the viewer along. The plot really picks up in the latter half of the film, where most of the action and spy segments are. 

The main antagonist of the movie is great as well. Snidel has a really intimidating presence, yet his goofy subordinates keep the film’s tone light-hearted. Between him and his subordinates, Snidel does a lot to elevate this film. 

However, this film has one really major flaw. It is exactly the same as a long episode of the show. That means that everything about the show that works, works really well here. And everything about the show that doesn’t, really stands out. 

Yor doesn’t get to do much of anything in this movie. The film continues with the show’s issue of Yor getting significantly less attention than her husband or adoptive daughter, and her only real character growth in the film is entirely tied to Loid. This could have been a great opportunity to show a new side of a familiar character and maybe give her some of the spotlight, but instead the film ends up feeling like another instance of the Loid and Anya show. 

The side characters from the show also get pretty much nothing to do in this film. Yuri and Franky are barely in it, and Sylvia and Damian don’t get much more screen time. Nightfall does get some meaningful scenes, and of all the side characters, she is definitely given the most to do here. The overall absence of these characters just left me feeling like something was missing the whole film. 

Tie-in anime films have definitely leveled up in terms of quality in the past five years. “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train,” “Dragon Ball Super: Superhero,” and “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” proved that making a film canon to the show can work, and even non-canon films like “One Piece Film: Red” showed that with a bit of effort they can still be a great time. 

“Spy x Family Code: White” is more of the same “Spy x Family” charm you know and love. With good characters, excellent animation, and a simple but fun plot it definitely is far from bad. But its underutilization of certain characters and its strange reluctance to attempt to do something new did leave me a bit underwhelmed. 

If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll like “Spy x Family Code: White,” but anyone who isn’t won’t get anything out of this, and some of the super hardcore fans might be slightly disappointed. 

Rating: B-

Good, but not ever great



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