We go to do an exclusive interview with producers from Spy x Family’s animation studio, WIT Studio!
Spy x Family is one of the most exciting new animes out right now. The number of cosplayers cosplaying as Anya dwarfed the number of Nezukos at this year’s Anime Expo. Produced by WIT Studio, the anime is an adaptation of the hit manga, of the same title, created by Tatsuya Endo. It is an action-comedy spy series that is equal parts action, comedy, and wholesome family relationships. The Forger Family consists of Loid, a spy, Yor, an assassin, and Anya, a telepath, all keeping secrets from each other, but all still doing everything they can to support and care for each other. Even if it’s against their initial career instincts.
At this year’s Anime Expo, our friends at Crunchyroll set up an exclusive interview with a couple of animation producers from WIT Studio, Kazue Hayashi and Kazuki Yamanaka. Kazue Hayashi’s work can be seen in series like Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu, Ore Monogatari!, and Vinland Saga. And Kazuki Yamanaka’s work includes Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song and both of them worked on the web series Bubble. These incredible artists/producers shared their reactions to the global fandom of Spy x Family and their favorite parts about working on and being associated with the series.
Spy x Family Exclusive Interview With WIT Studio Producers
How does it feel that Spy x Family is so globally beloved?
I had not realized the global love for the series until I was at the AX panel. The reaction of the Japanese voice cast from the overseas fans and their reaction to their favorite scenes were so positive and excited – plus all of the cosplayers – now I am starting to see the global reach.Kazue Hayahi Animation Producer, WIT Studios
Relieved. The original manga has huge sales and a ton of fans. So I felt pressure to adapt the original work into an animation. But after seeing the reaction of the fans globally, I relaxed.Kazuki Yamanaka Animation Producer, WIT Studios
What kind of difficulties do you face when adapting the manga into animation?
Many! (everyone laughs) The original manga has a “cool” energy, there are also Loid’s action spy actions, and KAWAII – Anya’s kawaii moments. Animation should materialize those aspects. There are a lot of animations [anime] that focused on each type. In Spy x Family we have all of them. That’s the hardest part of production.Kazuki Yamanaka Animation Producer, WIT Studios
Speaking of the different styles, do you have a personal preference to animate/produce?
As an audience member, I like the kawaii moments. But as an animator, I like the cool action scenes. So it depends on my position.
I like the kawaii, especially Anya’s Kawaii moments. Anya is a funny cutey.Kazue Hayahi Animation Producer, WIT Studios
Spy x Family’s story is very grounded and relatable. What is it about the animation medium that heightens its appeal and wouldn’t get with live-action?
[Spy x Family] exists between the real world and fantasy. The action can’t really happen in real life. It is realistic, but there are fantasy elements. There, animation has the advantage. When it comes to the drama and kawaii, live-action is difficult to capture the over-reactions to capture the comedy, cool, [dramatic] elements of the series.Kazue Hayahi Animation Producer, WIT Studios
What do you think it is about the Forgers that made the world fall in love with them?
The characters are awesome, of course. But the relationship among the characters is a major factor for the fans’ excitement. Each of them lives dual lives, but the audiences can feel that each character feels for the other family members despite having their own goals. Audiences can feel what loid thinks of Anya and Yor. It’s a complex relationship that’s a great factor of [the series’] attractiveness.Kazue Hayahi Animation Producer, WIT Studios
What is your favorite part about working on and being associated with Spy x Family?
I am so proud to work on this show. Almost all of Japan knows [Spy x Family]. Whenever I say I work on it, people know what I do right away!Kazue Hayahi Animation Producer, WIT Studios
I am especially proud to be part of this title because so many people watch it that don’t usually watch anime. We have a lot of casual anime fans watching our show!Kazuki Yamanaka Animation Producer, WIT Studios
Spy x Family Season 1 Part 1 is now fully available subbed and dubbed in multiple languages on Crunchyroll. Part 2 is set to release in October 2022 with a high-stakes terrorist mission. Thankfully Crunchyroll Simulcasts the series. Part 1 simulcast on Saturdays 8:30am PDT so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to believe they would do the same for Part 2.
ABOUT SPY X FAMILY
Creator: Tatsuya Endo
Original Story: Tatsuya Endo
Studios: WIT STUDIO, Cloverworks
Direction: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
Character Design: Kazuaki Shimada
Distributor: Crunchyroll (North America)
Cast: Alex Organ, Megan Shipman, Natalie Van Sistine, Anthony Bowling, Barry Yandell, Caitlin Glass, Gallas Reid, Dani Chambers, Jordan Dash Crus, Macy Anne Johnson, Michelle Rojas, Morgan Garrett, Stephanie Young
World peace is at stake and secret agent Twilight must undergo his most difficult mission yet—pretend to be a family man. Posing as a loving husband and father, he’ll infiltrate an elite school to get close to a high-profile politician. He has the perfect cover, except his wife’s a deadly assassin and neither knows each other’s identity. But someone does, his adopted daughter who’s a telepath!
Have you already binged through Season 1 Part 1 of Spy x Family? How excited are you about Part 2? What do you think Crunchyroll will announce at Comic-Con? Let us know and be sure to share all your theories with us on Twitter.