Spy x Family Life Lessons

It’s time to move on from action-packed anime like killing titans in Attack On Titan and gang fights in Tokyo Revengers — Spy x Family is here to heal our hearts with its endless fluff and heartwarming scenes. 

For frequent anime-watchers, it’s impossible to not know about this adorable series. Not to mention, every time I open social media, I’m constantly flooded with spoilers about a pink-haired girl named Anya and her unique power to read minds. 

TL;DR: Spy x Family follows the story of an unlikely trio who are forced to play the role of a family while hiding their secret identities. Together with Loid, an undercover spy on a mission, Yor, an assassin, and Anya, a telepath, we can’t help but fall in love with their undeniable charm and unexpected familial bond. Let’s recap the first 12 episodes of Season 1 and uncover some lessons we can apply to real life. 

Warning: Spy x Family spoilers ahead.

1. Letting go and learning from our past trauma is important

Loid having a flashback of his childhood

Loid Forger, who also goes by his agent name Twilight, is undoubtedly the best spy in WISE Organisation. We’re talking about James Bond level here — he’s succeeded in every mission with ease, and vowed to save the world even if his deeds go unrecognised. 

His grand reputation makes it all the more surprising to see him lose his cool when Anya cries during a dangerous mission. Loid is brought back to his traumatic past, remembering how he always felt abandoned as a child.

Spy x Family

Loid himself was surprised to suddenly recall his childhood trauma, thinking that he had “left all that baggage behind”. He soon realised that no matter how dangerous his mission was, he shouldn’t have dragged an innocent child into it. 

Loid realising all Anya wanted was a home

When Loid was ready to let Anya go back to the orphanage and find a new family on her own, he soon realised he was doing to her the exact same thing he feared as a kid — abandonment. 

As audiences, we experienced our first heartwarming scene where Anya told Loid that all she wanted was to go home with him. Seeing Loid learn from his trauma and willingly take Anya in shows us how important it is to move on from our past and be a better person.

2. Sometimes we have to lie to keep our loved ones safe

Spy x FamilyYor explaining to Loid why she has to lie to her brother

We all know that lying is bad. Ironically, the whole concept of Spy x Family is based on keeping secrets from one another. One example is how Yor had to lie about having a boyfriend to her brother Yuri, as Yuri almost held off a job promotion because he was worried about her. 

As an assassin who lives alone, Yor felt guilty for holding him back. Her small lie to him shows us that sometimes, we can’t help but lie to keep our loved ones safe and happy.

Plus, it all worked out in the end, seeing as Loid needed to secure a wife to complete his mission. If you ask me, this unusual couple sounds like a match made in heaven.

Anya lying about punching Damian

On the contrary, we can’t say the same about Anya’s lie. When Damian bullied her, she punched him so badly that fell over. Her brilliant excuse to the headmaster was ridiculously funny — “I just reached out my hand, and somehow, he ran into it”. The blatant lie was clearly not tolerated by the school. 

While it’s okay to lie in order to protect our loved ones, Anya’s lie didn’t help anybody except getting her out of trouble. I guess she deserved her first Tonito, aka demerit point, even if Damian did bully her.

3. Appearance isn’t always everything

Loid thinking of how he can portray his family as the perfect one

Loid’s mission is of extremely high importance — Operation Strix: marry, have a child and infiltrate Eden Academy to prevent a war between two rival nations. This proved to be much harder than he thought, as his family had to pass a certain level of elegance to enter the school. 

Loid brings them to do prestigious activities like watching opera and going to museums, yet Anya becomes bored and restless. Seeing her unhappy makes him stressed, and come up with different interview responses that Anya and Yor could simply memorise instead. 

Spy x FamilyAn old lady commenting on the Forger family

Yor then suggests taking a walk, where the family unexpectedly catches a robber who stole an old lady’s wallet. After saving her, she looks at them and comments, “you make a lovely family”, much to the trio’s surprise.

It goes to show that appearance isn’t always everything. While the Forger family could have memorised the perfect response for the interview, what made everything even more authentic was their shared experiences together.

4. Always be prepared for the unexpected

The Forger family after changing into their new clothes

There’s no such thing as being too prepared, and the Forger family certainly showed us why. On the day of the interview, their first test came when they had to save a kid who fell into the drain, which ruined all their fancy clothes.

The headmaster was ready to turn them down for their unsightly appearance, but the family surprised us by changing into an extra set of clothes to freshen up. 

Just as we thought it was the end of the test, as unbelievable as this sounds, the Forger family had to stop a bull rampage in the school. The chaos resulted in their clothes being ripped and ruined once again. Even so, the family hilariously had another set of clothes on hand — admittedly, not even I was prepared for this reveal. 

Their actions impressed the headmaster greatly, gaining his respect for them even before the interview. As the saying rings true, first impressions really do matter.

5. Know where to draw the line

Yor comforting Anya after Mr Swan made her cry

During the interview, the Forger family faced another hurdle — an arrogant and insensitive interviewer named Mr Swan. As the only son of the last headmaster, he could do anything he wanted without anybody stopping him. 

It broke our hearts to see Anya burst into tears after he questioned her about her real mother. Since we knew that Anya had a traumatic childhood and changed foster homes three times prior, the question was definitely out of line.

Loid putting an end to the questions by swinging at Mr Swan

Loid’s resolve soon broke when Mr Swan started insulting Yor as well. Despite the importance of his mission, he put a stop to the rude questioning by swinging at Mr Swan, giving birth to this iconic scene. 

Luckily, there was a mosquito on the table and he killed it instead, making the excuse that it was his intention all along. Not going to lie, while I heaved a sigh of relief that Loid didn’t go overboard, I also secretly hoped that he had landed that punch.

Spy x Family

Loid drew the line by leaving the interview, declaring that, “if belittling the feelings of children is how this school does things, then I have chosen the wrong school”. A man who knows how to respectfully draw the line? We stan

Thankfully, because of Loid’s words, the headmaster realised that Mr Swan was disgracing the school and landed that punch on his face for us. Spoiler alert: Anya does get into the school, so it’s a win-win situation in the end.

6. Go the extra mile for your loved ones

Since Anya managed to enrol into Eden Academy, it’s only fair that she gets a reward for it. With Franky’s persuasion, she asked Loid to give her a spy-themed party based on her favourite cartoon, Spy Wars. 

Initially, Loid declined and was embarrassed to dress up as the show’s main character, Bondman. It’s a funny yet endearing scene, especially since Anya knew that Loid is actually a spy. 

In order to make her happy, he did what she asked, even calling down WISE headquarters to book a castle and use their manpower. This was one of the rare scenes where we see both Loid and Anya bond with each other as a father and daughter.

Spy x FamilyLoid passing the bill to a colleague at WISE

Of course, even if Loid is the best spy in WISE, he still got told off for the large cost of celebrating Anya’s enrollment. Like the amazing father he is, he simply told the company it was all “necessary expenses”, showing us that it’s worth it to go the extra mile for our loved ones.

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7. Your best is always enough

Spy x Family

Yor is a highly-skilled assassin but a clumsy and forgetful mother. Her absentmindedness reaches its peak when she loses sight of Anya while at the supermarket, causing her to be kidnapped.

Yor regretfully breaks down and apologises to Anya, saying that she’s “such a failure as a mother”.

Spy x Family

However, Anya touches us all by gently patting Yor’s head and comforting her, saying that she thinks Yor is strong and cool for saving her from the kidnappers. 

When we get insecure about ourselves, take a breather. As long as we’re trying our best, it’s always enough for someone who appreciates our efforts. 

This is reiterated when Yor relays her insecurities as a mother to Loid later on. “Of course, it is wonderful to work on being the ideal figure. However, nothing will work out if you lose sight of yourself by binding yourself to these ideals. So, please, be yourself”, Loid assures.

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8. Apologising for your mistake doesn’t make you the weaker person

Becky convincing Anya not to apologise to Damian

Unfortunately, constantly reading Loid’s mind has a toll on Anya too. Anya faces the pressure to become friends with Damian for world peace, as he’s the second son of Donovan Desmond, the leader of the National Unity Party. 

This means that Anya has to apologise to Damian for punching him, much to Becky’s dismay, who doesn’t think she was in the wrong. She even convinced Anya that there’s no need to apologise because it’s “stupid”.

Damian getting embarrassed after Anya’s apology

Eventually, Anya managed to find time away from Becky to apologise to Damian, even crying her eyes out when she read his nasty thoughts about her. Embarrassed and humiliated, Damian turns red and is at a loss for words, rejecting her apology.

It doesn’t matter whether he accepts it or not — Anya showed us that there’s nothing wrong with being the bigger person by apologising first. Seeing Damian become embarrassed was just another win.

9. What you want might not be what others want

Spy x FamilyYor questioning Loid if Anya wants to become an Imperial Scholar

In order for Loid’s mission to succeed, Anya has to become an Imperial Scholar, which FYI, means she has to do well in studies. However, as playful and mischievous Anya is, she dozes off in class and refuses to study, even throwing a tantrum when Loid gets upset at her.

Yor intervened by questioning Loid if being an Imperial Scholar is just what he wants, rather than what Anya wants. After reflecting on Yor’s words, he realises that he was unfairly pushing her for the sake of his mission.

Spy x FamilyLoid overhearing Anya sleep talking

Feeling sorry, Loid enters Anya’s room with the intent to let her rest. He discovers something that made him more guilty for his harsh words — Anya was studying all by herself, even mumbling in her sleep that she wants to do her best for him.

At times, we often think that what we want is the same as what others want. News flash: it’s not always the case. It’s good practice to take a step back and look at the bigger picture to see if we’re hurting others in the process of chasing our own goals.

10. Our duties and desires are interlinked

Overworked, tired and just want to sleep? Sounds like something many of us can relate to as well. For Loid, this feeling is enhanced tenfold, since WISE is short of staff and constantly piles him with more missions alongside Operation Strix. 

Exhausted and frustrated, Loid declares that he wants to complain to the company and take a long vacation. 

Yet when he turns to look at Yor and Anya laughing together, he remembers his life goal to “maintain a world where children don’t cry and war doesn’t occur”. 

“I don’t have time to stand still”, Loid thinks to himself, realising he values his job even if it’s tiring. Being a spy means that it’s his duty to keep society safe — a duty he wants to fulfil. 

It can be hard to pick our duty over our desire to rest and give up. At the end of the day, if your duty is something that you’re passionate about, it will always be worthwhile.

11. It’s okay to be an unconventional family

Spy x Family

Throughout the anime, we’re constantly reminded that this family isn’t a conventional family. The Forger family consists of a spy, a psychic and an assassin who do not know of each others’ identities, but have to keep up the lie so everyone can achieve their personal goals.

Spy x Family

“Everyone has a side that they can’t show to others. We hide our real feelings behind fake smiles and false bravado. In this way, the world maintains its illusion of peace,” as told by the narrator.

Despite being fake, it’s obvious that the Forger family functions well together and share a common love and care for each other. Even though it has only been 12 episodes so far, we’re rooting for them to eventually become a real family some day.  

It’s okay to choose our own family, even if it may be unconventional. Every family is different and we don’t have to conform to what society expects as long as we’re happy.

Spy x Family Is Filled With Unexpected Family Bonds & Touching Scenes

Spy x Family

As the first half of Season 1 comes to an end, we’re left with a delightful scene of the Forger family playing together with Anya’s new stuffed penguin. From just 12 episodes alone, many life lessons were shared from the characters that we’ve already grown so fond of. Hopefully, we’ll start seeing the trio’s bond grow, more adorable moments with Anya, and inevitably, more lies to maintain world peace. 

All images courtesy of Netflix.
This article was first published on 29 June 2022 and last updated on 21 October 2023. 

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