‘Spy x Family: Code White’ Is a Chaotic, but Action-Packed Adventure

The badass action saves the film from becoming the butt-end of jokes.

The wait is finally over. One of the biggest hits of 2022’s anime season has seen its popularity rise to the point of a feature film on the silver screen. Announced in 2023, Spy x Family: Code White, directed by Takashi Katagiri, is the first completely original story for the franchise outside of the manga.

Spy-by-trade Loid Forger (Alex Organ) is tasked with making sure his new young daughter, Anya (Bryn Apprill) does well enough in an elite school so he can get close to a political adversary to retain peace between two war-torn nations. All while putting on the image of a happy family for the public with his new wife Yor (Natalie Van Sistine). The twist is that only Anya knows the true lives of the whole family — with Loid being a spy, Yor being an assassin and Anya having telepathic abilities — but chooses to keep those secrets to herself to help the mission.

Like many anime shows that get a cinematic treatment, Spy x Family: Code White doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. While the film gets caught up in its vast world of characters, it still retains the charm and stellar action of the original.

‘Spy x Family: Code White’ Review: Great Action Sequences Saves Its Bloated Plot

Yor Forger dashes forward to attack in a fiery battle in Spy x Family: Code White | Agents of Fandom
Yor is treated to some of the best action sequences she’s ever had in Spy x Family: Code White. Image Credit: Crunchyroll.

Anya has a school project that requires her to cook something for her class. Loid, being the spy that he is, learns that the principal is judging the project and suggests a family trip to his hometown to learn the recipe for his favorite dish. Meanwhile, Yor constantly questions her ability as both a mother and wife. She even begins to worry about Loid possibly cheating on her because of her insecurities.

Katagiri’s story for Spy x Family: Code White is relatively familiar to longtime fans. Anya gets herself caught in some trouble, and Loid and Yor do their best to save her while trying to protect their own secrets. There are incredibly wholesome moments between each member of the family that draw plenty of “awws” and giggles throughout the film’s run.

As fun as this film is for fans, it comes with challenges nearly every TV series movie adaptation faces. With its wide array of characters in the show, it seems like the writers want to include everyone in the film — even if they don’t make sense. The added sub-plots that begin with Anya’s cooking class, Yor’s insecurities, and Loid’s issues with W.I.S.E. (Westalian Intelligence Services Eastern) potentially taking him off his main mission all are mixed with the drama Anya finds herself in.

If it seems like it is a lot, that is because it is. So many elements and plot devices are brought into the film unnaturally just so another character can make a quick appearance. The movie simply tries to cover too much from the show that isn’t even resolved by the end of the film because it’s part of the show’s ongoing story.

What saves Spy x Family: Code White from being a total mess is the action — this is a spy thriller, after all. The extra budget that comes with the movie is used very well in the major action scenes. Yor gets some incredible moments that rival some of her best scenes from the show. The fights she has throughout, especially at the film’s climax, are incredible.

Even Loid gets some proper, and somehow rare, spy treatments early in the film. There are some moments with Anya that become too silly, even for me; there is an ongoing gag created by the main plot device which results in a recurring joke that lasts too long.

Can You Watch ‘Spy x Family: Code White’ Without Seeing the Show?

Loid Forger hangs horizontally from a string while stealing bottles of wine in the Spy x Family movie | Agents of Fandom
Super Spy Loid will do anything for the right bottle of liquor. Image Credit: Crunchyroll.

Many anime movies struggle with what is “canon” or just audience expectations before heading in. Spy x Family: Code White is very welcoming to new audiences who just want to see what The Forgers are about. Being as over-stuffed as it is, newer viewers are acquainted with practically every aspect that the series has to offer. The main cast is introduced wonderfully, getting a fantastic 10-minute scene at the beginning reminiscent of the manga’s “catch-up” pages to start each volume. Even the smallest side characters get a moment to express who they are, albeit very quickly.

One of the many questions heading into this film was the story itself. This is the first time fans of the show will see a completely original script — that is, not taken directly from Tatsuya Endo‘s hit manga. Because of that, when the story takes place in the saga is a bit ambiguous. It is not a continuation of where the show left off in its recent Season 2 finale, however, the context clues of the film place it sometime during Season 1 before Episode 21. It is vague enough in the series’ overall story so that newer viewers won’t feel left out if they watch this movie first.

A Giggle-Inducing and Adorable Theater Experience

Anya Forger holds a knife and fork and lets out a gasp in the Spy x Family movie
Anya is ready to dig into a delicious meal. What can possibly go wrong? Image Credit: Crunchyroll.

One of the sillier things about this series is how it can be so grounded and then suddenly take a complete 180-degree turn to the ridiculous. A family vacation that takes a turn for the worse due to Anya’s overzealousness. Resulting in a sugar session taste contest, a mid-air dog fight and a one on one battle with a cyborg.

At face value, that is just like every other Spy x Family story told through Seasons 1 and 2. But there is something special about seeing Yor go full “Thorn Princess” mode on the silver screen. Even if there is a 20-minute-long bowel movement joke, the badass action outshines the butt-end of its humor.

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'Spy x Family: Code White' Review

'Spy x Family: Code White' Review
3 5 0 1
3.0 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • Yor shines in the film's amazing action sequences.
  • Adorable moments peppered throughout will keep the audience happy.

The Bad

  • The bloated plot tries to do too much.
  • Contains too much ;ow-brow humor that is even below this series.
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