Spy X Family: Code White – Review


I’m under the assumption that most people reading this are familiar with the Spy X Family anime, and if you’re not, it comes highly recommended. It was one of my favourite anime’s of the year, it came out and I got so addicted to it that it was one of the major reasons that I bought the Shonen Jump subscription service and read every new chapter as it comes out.

If you haven’t seen it and you want to catch up before watching this movie, it’s limited run in UK cinemas, and by the time this review goes up you may have already missed it- so now is a good time to catch up on the series in anticipation for its UK Blu-Ray release. Season One is currently on Netflix at time of writing, and both seasons are also available on Crunchyroll.

To sum up where we’re going with this one, this film is not an adaptation of any of the storylines from the manga. It’s essentially what a lot of the Dragonborn movies were- or for a more recent example, the My Hero movies. Sort of a ‘what if?’ scenario, that if it’s popular enough can be weaved into the canon of the anime series which I believe My Hero Academia actually did with the first movie.

It’s basically about Anya trying to get through a cooking class that she’s taking, and Loid and Yor take her to a snowy city where the principal’s favourite dessert comes from, (since he’ll be judging the contest) and through accidentally eating a chocolate that she shouldn’t have on the train ride over, Anya inadvertently has something that the military in that region wants. 

I’ll be honest, I don’t really care for the non-canon movies, particularly when it’s from a series that I like. Because if I like it, then there’s only some chance that it will be put in the canon, and even then, it can feel like a bit of a waste of time, because it can’t affect the storyline that was pre-written by the manga author.

So as a result, I always go through these movies thinking that they feel rather pointless, and I would say that this feels rather similar. I find it bizarre that the intro to the movie actually has an introduction to the entire premise of Spy X Family- the fact that Loid, the father, is an agent, Yor, the mother, is an assassin, Anya is a telepath, and the dog can have premonitions of the future, and they’re all keeping these secrets from each other. The reason I find it bizarre is because anyone who sees this is most likely up to date with Spy X Family.

I found the film okay, but there were a few things that didn’t quite work for me. For example, the whole Loid suspecting Yor of infidelity subplot was a bit of a waste, and I found it weird that it was because of a weird look she got, of Fiona not recognising her- because at this point in the storyline I’m fairly sure those two know each other. And yeah, that would lead to some insecurities, but we already did this plot, one in the series and it had a similar outcome! If anything, this one felt like ‘well, that didn’t amount to anything more than it did in the anime!’.

What’s more, I get a sense that this might have had a production delay down the line. It’s clear that the nation that they are visiting is covered in snow (hence the name Code White), but there’s also a lot of Christmas scenery in this one, in fact a large portion of the second half of the movie takes place at what looks like a Christmas Market. That isn’t too surprising, since Spy X Family takes inspiration from Germanic architecture, and the whole series covers tensions surrounding an Eastern and Western block, but it is one of those weird things you get with anime now, where they seem to have Christmas themed stuff at random points of the year. That’s usually due to how it coincides with manga releases, but in this case, they didn’t have to do that, since everything was in their control.

The Colonel character does some things that I think Spy x Family has kind of failed at, at the point that the anime has stopped- which is trying to actually give a consistent villain that seems like a threat. In fact, he does actually beat Loid at some point, which isn’t something that we have seen previously. The problem is that he doesn’t really have great motivations- he just wants to start a war just because. They don’t go into any detail about why. Does he miss the battlefield? Does he have psychological issues that means he doesn’t do well in peacetimes? If they gave the villain better motivations I would have liked him more, because it’s kind of what Spy x Family needs. Although, I guess this means that the movie is true to the show.

That being said, I’ve spoken about a lot of negatives, but there are a lot of positives, too. It keeps the sense of humour up as usual; the fight scenes are some of the best ever, especially one in the third act, and the characters are still really good. 

But I think if you’re a fan of the show, it feels a bit inconsequential. That being said, I do hope that whatever finale the manga is going to have is similar to one aspect of the ending of this movie. It does seem a bit weird having that ending and still maintaining the status quo of the plot.

Spy x Family Code: White, was a good film for fans, but ultimately, I felt it was a bit of an unnecessary project. It certainly feels like a stop gap to what is hopefully Season 3. As far as anime movies go, you can do a lot worse! I’ve seen some Dragon Ball and One-Piece movies that felt way more inconsequential than this film. 
Calvin – Nerd Consultant

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