Anya’s English Dub Actress For Spy X Family Spoke About Why She Loves Voicing Anya So Much, And Her Reasoning Why Makes Me Want To Read The Manga More

 Anya in Spy x Family Code: White.
Anya in Spy x Family Code: White.

In 2021, a new anime emerged, leaving a mark on the world of animation. While I could delve into the realm of 2023's best anime, the epic saga of Attack on Titan or even recommend the intense Chainsaw Man, we're steering clear of those. Instead, let's focus on the captivating Spy x Family, a unique blend of espionage, family dynamics and a dash of supernatural intrigue.

I got the chance to sit down and talk with Megan Shipman, the English voice actress behind Anya, one of the lead characters in both the anime and the film tie-in, and she told me the reason why she loves voicing the little girl so much. Her answer was simple: it's a combination of the writing from the manga, the original translation from Japan, and Anya being the most well-written "childlike" child ever:

I think a lot of it is just the really great writing just overall from Japan, and then our translators and our script writers are able to be very true to that, and also be true to what's in the manga, along with what the show does. So a lot of just what I do is really based on the really great writing that we have and then also the performances from Japan, because we watch every line before we record our own. And so a lot of it is just me going, "oh wow, that's so funny." And then I go, "oh no, I have to be that funny." So no, I have to do that. But yeah, it's really good. I feel like I just have such a good basis to base everything on. And also just, she's such a well-written child, which seems so simple because again, she's just a child and they write her so childlike. She's not like some – even though she has a superhuman ability, she is still just a child. She doesn't get any perks other than, "Wow, I can hear thoughts, but I'm still a five-year-old." She's just written so well and it's easy to just embody the childlike nature of her just because that writing is so good.

When Spy x Family debuted in 2021, the escapades of the Forger family resonated with viewers across the globe. The tale of a spy, an assassin, and a child mind reader (Lloyd, Yor and Anya) struck a chord, catapulting the heartwarming and wholesome Spy x Family to stardom. As is tradition with many giant anime, Spy x Family expanded its impact into the theatrical industry with the release of Spy x Family Code: White in Japan in late 2023, and now it's coming out in theaters in the United States on April 19 as part of the 2024 movie schedule.

Shipman's comment referring to the fact that often in anime, even though a child is still very young, they might act older than they actually are if they have some superpower or ability. You can see that even with grownups in shows like Solo Leveling and Sung Jin-Woo, who feels like he acts years above his age.

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Loid and Anya in Spy x Family.
Loid and Anya in Spy x Family.

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But Anya has never been that in the show nor in the movie, where she's genuinely just a child – she says funny things, thinks of the most outrageous situation that could happen and responds in the bluntest way that you can't help but laugh at the honesty of a child.

Truthfully, this just makes me want to read the manga more to learn and see all of Anya’s hilarities from the very beginning. Because if the writing is this good, hopefully it’ll hold me over until we get to see more on the TV or big screen.

Even so, I'm still waiting for the next season of Spy x Family. While Season 3 is not the next anime you should look forward to in 2024, I'll see the film to fill the Anya-shaped hole in my heart – and listen to Megan Shipman kill it once again as this hilarious child. Spy x Family Code: White opens in theaters on April 19, 2024.