Spy x Family, a new anime series from Wit Studio and CloverWorks, has been a worldwide phenomenon since its spring 2017 premiere. Since its premiere, Spy x Family has risen to become one of the highest-rated shows on the anime database and social media site MyAnimeList, surpassing even the long-running pirate anime One Piece and other mega-popular shows.
And that was after only the first season! To find out why the Japanese version of Spy x Family is so popular, I had to sneak my way into an interview with one of the show’s voice actors at Anime Expo.
In order to prevent a war between two neighboring countries, Spy x Family follows a famous super spy named Loid as he infiltrates the school of a politician’s son. For this purpose, Loid fabricates a family with hidden agendas: His dog Bond can predict the future, his adopted daughter Anya is a telepath, and his wife Yor is the world’s deadliest assassin in her spare time.
At Anime Expo, I had the chance to speak with Takuya Eguchi, the Japanese voice actor for Loid, and ask him about his experience portraying one of the best dads in anime now that the first season of Spy x Family has concluded and the second season and an original movie, Spy x Family: Code White, are coming later this year.
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The Manga Lacked Eguchi’s Favorite Sequence From Spy X Family
Spy x Family’s ability to switch gears from a comedic story about an unconventional family and a dramatic one about the looming threat of war is one of the reasons why it is such a welcome anime. While the show’s tonal shifts sometimes make for a tricky line read for Eguchi, his background in dubbing action scenes has prepared him to switch from a gentle father to a stern spy at the drop of a hat.
Speaking of exciting moments, Eguchi let out that one of his favorite fights from the Spy x Family anime did not appear in the manga.
“My favorite scene is, I think it’s [in] episode five, the episode where Anya runs a castle and Bondman, or Loid, has to go save Princess Anya,” Eguchi said. “It’s in the original manga as well, but the anime added a lot more scenes for the fans to enjoy.”
This scenario takes place in two manga panels, but in the anime, it takes up around half of a 24-minute episode of Spy x Family. The anime includes a confrontation between Loid and a tipsy Yor. According to Eguchi, this is his favorite scene because it effectively contrasts Yor, a “cool” assassin, with Loid, an “extra cool” spy.
The Highs and Lows of Being Loid Forger’s Voice Actor
Eguchi informed me that the most challenging aspect of playing Loid is absorbing his talkative super spy character, despite the fact that he relates to Loid being a family man, albeit while undercover.
“The most difficult part is his inner monologue,” Eguchi said via a translator. “He talks a lot.”
Eguchi said he only has so much time to explain what’s going through Loid’s head, in contrast to the manga, which uses dialogue and thought bubbles to give readers a feel of the plans Loid designs to solve both domestic and global issues. Fans of the sitcom will recall that despite Loid’s intelligence, his tendency to overthink creates comic mishaps for his would-be nuclear family.
When Yor was in a terrible mood, Loid assumed it was because of his failure as a husband, but in truth, she was just attempting to cover up the fact that she’d been shot in the butt during one of her assassination missions. To be fair, it was an honest mistake on the part of the Forger family.
Future Episodes of Spy X Family Will Feature Even More Brand-new Material
Eguchi hinted at the end of our conversation that, like the first season of Spy x Family, season 2 will feature fresh scenes enhancing the source material, much like how the anime took “a lot of care” into elaborating upon Anya’s castle expedition from the manga.
“I actually haven’t started recording my lines yet, so I’m also looking forward to what I’m going to see too,” Eguchi said.
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