White Is a Slight But Delightfully Sweet Addition to Spy x Family


A breakout anime’s first movie often falls into one of two categories. Either it’s a showcase of the source material that feels like a stretched-out arc of the anime itself, or it attempts to fill in some backstory and set up some dominoes for the season to come. In the case of the former, the question of whether it’s good or not ultimately boils down to: do you like the anime it’s born from? Then you’re sure to like this!

Our newest addition to that category is Spy x Family Code: White, which is finally hitting the states after it premiered in Japan at the end of 2023. Based on Tetsuya Endo’s espionage-comedy manga, the anime took off big in 2022 thanks to its premise of superspy Loid Forger roping four-year-old telepath orphan Anya and assassin Yor Briar into his mission of world peace, neither adult knowing the other’s true profession or their daughter’s ability, while Anya often uses her power to cover for either or both parent. (When she’s not comically reacting to them.) That’s a great premise for a weekly series, and as a film, Code: White knows how to show off the charms of Spy x Family and have some fun with its extended runtime.

Image: Cloverworks/WIT Studio.

Chiefly, the film takes the Forgers on a weekend trip to find the recipe for a meal that’s sure to impress Anya’s school principal. Within moments of getting on the train, things start to get out of hand thanks to Anya’s overeagerness, Yor misreading her and Loid’s relationship, and Loid himself being largely oblivious to their turmoil while trying to stay focused on the task at hand. It takes some time before the stakes are clear, but once they do, it’s when the film is at its funniest. While it’s no surprise things escalate to the family having to thwart someone’s plans to start another world war, the way they get looped into it all is incredibly silly, and leads to one of the film’s best visual gags. Despite its PG-13 rating, it’s pretty family-friendly, and even in moments where Anya’s put in peril or the story shifts to talk about infidelity or childhood trauma from war, it still maintains its upbeat, goofy attitude.

Spy x Family has always been a deeply unserious series, a sensation heightened even further by the theatrical film. The visual and slapstick comedy is consistently funny, and Code: White’s third act is determined to top anything the series has done so far in terms of sheer ridiculousness. Seeing Loid and Yor lie to each other about how they both ended up on an airship to save Anya is hysterical; ditto Anya’s face when she knows she can’t call them on it. By this point, the Forger actors—Alex Organ, Natalie Van Sistine, and Megan Shipman—have settled comfortably into their roles, and even if you’ve missed some episodes, the movie shows how they’ve come to resemble an actual family as they bounce off each other and their odd quirks come to the surface.

Image for article titled Code: White Is a Slight But Delightfully Sweet Addition to Spy x Family

Image: Cloverworks/WIT Studio.

As for the “action” part of the action comedy? Part of the anime’s fun is watching Loid and Yor’s real selves come through, often to everyone else’s utter bewilderment. (The Forgers, who all have their own individual threshold for what’s weird in the world, don’t realize how weird they are.) Code: White gives Loid and Yor plenty room to strut their stuff in its action scenes that are a joy to see and as absurd as the characters. Naturally, the best of these for both characters comes in the third act, with the standout being Loid’s one-on-one that’s visually styled like the show’s original opening.

Whatever flaws Spy x Family has, it’s so damn charming and funny enough to let those issues skate by. Code: White isn’t a massive game changer, and it doesn’t reveal any hidden depths for anyone involved. But it’s adorably goofy— and whatever else you can say about it, it definitely wants you to come away with a big smile on your face.

Spy x Family Code: White opens in theaters today, April 19.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.



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