The anime season kickoff may have missed the mark


Wikimedia Commons

Wholesome “Spy x Family” starts off with a sweet but rushed beginning.

The first episode of “My Hero Academia,” Season 6, sets a mediocre tone for a highly anticipated arc of the series. (Wikimedia Commons)

On Oct. 1, the anime world was hit with two of the most anticipated returns to streaming. “Spy x Family” and “My Hero Academia” are very different stories but have big fan bases in the anime community. These two shows are the first in a long list of upcoming anime releases this fall, and they may set the tone for what’s to come…which I hope they don’t.

The wholesome yet thrilling “Spy x Family” is the story of a young orphan telepath named Anya. She is adopted by the calm, cool and collected undercover spy Loid. Loid’s mission was to make a family, so he adopted the adorable, excitable Anya and married the polite and protective hidden assassin Yor.

“Spy x Family” returned this fall for the second part of the first episode, so let’s start with the opening. The beginning, as expected, was gorgeous animation-wise, and the thought that went into it was evident. It held a lot of autumnal imagery, as it depicts Anya and Yor in fall jackets and falling leaves throughout the majority of the intro. What’s interesting is that we don’t see a lot of Loid; I interpret this as us seeing the family throug hhis point of view.

The rest of the episode follows Loid on a mission to uncover an attack with the threat of bombing a populated area. On the other side, we watch as Anya and Yor try to find a dog for Anya as a reward for getting what she knows as a Stella star earlier in season one. 

Now, it can’t be that easy. Shenanigans ensue as one dog catches Anya’s eye. Unfortunately, it’s not your average dog at an adoption fair. Instead, a bomb dog catches her eye, luring her away from Yor, who panics upon seeing the girl missing. The bomb dog is not only part of the previously mentioned attack that Loid was discovering. The dog is also clairvoyant, meaning…the dog can see the future, and since Anya can read minds, she can read the dog’s mind and, in turn, see the future.

Overall the episode is exactly why I love “Spy x Family.” It’s fun and wholesome, the animation is beautiful and the characters are lovable. However, the episode, in my opinion, was okay. Not great, but okay. It felt like a straightforward concept that is suitable for a single episode, but it still felt very rushed. But overall, I thought it was a good enough episode. 

I wish I could say the same for the newest “My Hero Academia” episode. Unfortunately, I cannot. “My Hero Academia,” for those that don’t know, is a basic hero story. This episode feels so flat that when it finished, I was disappointed to say the least.

This anime is entering its sixth season and the most significant and anticipated arc of the series. The War Arc, It is the arc that most, if not all, of the fandom is terrified and most excited about. 

Again, we’ll start with the opening, which I loved. It had an old classic comic book animation style, which  was new and was executed perfectly. It also included some new highlighted characters, but lost the focus of the students of class 1-A, which contains our main characters. Now we get into the real meat and potatoes of the episode.

We start with the leader of the League of Villains, Tomura Shigaraki, giving his declaration of war, which was a surprise that I loved. I enjoyed the animation in this scene and was fully engaged, though I often find it hard to listen to long villain monologues, especially while reading subtitles.

The episode took us straight into a flashback with the hero, Hawks, which provided a lot of context but was boring and hard to focus on. 

This is the beginning of a war in a hero story, so you’d expect a lot of action, right? Well, you’d think so. However, this was not the case because of a choppy structure that tries to follow multiple characters, like Hawks, Endeavor and the Villains. Anytime we got some real action, it was immediately cut to somewhere else. 

However, what I find the most unforgivable is the fact we see our main character, Deku, for the first time halfway through the episode for less than 30 seconds, and then we only see him one other time. The main character! 

The few good things, such as the moments highlighting Mirko and the fan favorite character, class 1-A teacher Aizawa, made the lack of appearances from our main characters even more noticeable.

So, overall, the series are off to a rough start. With new episodes releasing every Saturday, I hope to be proven wrong and stand corrected in another article. Until then, I will remain hopeful and look forward to what comes next for the anime community. Despite the uneven beginning, this anime fan is looking forward to what’s to come.