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Character Height Differences In Spy X Family Create Quite A Challenge For Animators

Without a doubt, "Spy x Family" is one of the most beloved anime to have come out in 2022. It's not difficult to fathom why that is. Tatsuya Endo's manga series has the perfect blend of humor, action, and wholesomeness. With the adaptation done by Wit Studio and CloverWorks, "Spy x Family" reached new heights as the studios' smooth and vibrant animation gave the lovable characters and the riveting story a new and exciting life on screen.

Some fans were already aware of Wit Studios' great work in adapting other popular manga — like the first few seasons of "Attack on Titan" and the first season of "Vinland Saga" – and some were also familiar with CloverWorks' incredible, vibrant animation in series like "Darling in the Franxx," "Horimiya," and "My Dress-Up Darling." Like some of their previous anime, the studios' work on "Spy x Family" seems to be effortless and seamless.

Of course, the process of adapting a story from the page to the screen always has challenges ahead of it. In an interview with Anime News Network at Anime Expo 2022 in Los Angeles, Wit Studio's animation producers Kazuki Yamanaka and Kazue Hayashi talked about some of the most relevant decisions made in the process of adapting Endo's manga, which included how they faced some of the challenges that surfaced during production.

The Forgers' height difference posed a challenge to the animators

One thing that becomes clear in the interview is that the animators worked closely with the creator in order to produce the adaptation. This shows the studios' respect and willingness to be faithful to the source material. However, some aspects that were not necessarily challenges in the manga were challenges when it came to the animation. During the interview, Yamanaka and Hayashi were outspoken about some of the difficulties the team faced in the process of adapting "Spy x Family."

The interviewer asked the duo if they found animating children to be a "unique challenge." Yamanaka and Hayashi worked on anime adaptations of Sōsuke Tōka's "Ousama Ranking" and "Spy x Family," which both feature young and short protagonists. 

Yamanaka began his answer by referring to the fact that Japanese animators are far more used to animating adults and older characters than they are small children. The fact that there's a huge height difference between Anya and her adoptive parents, Loid and Yor Forger, made creating the layout design a difficult task. Hayashi then said, "All the scenes where you'd see the height difference between Anya, Loid, and Yor ... those layouts were the hardest."  Yamanaka added, "We'd often have to zoom out the perspective to fit everyone. If we'd done the show without that, I think the finished anime wouldn't look as good."

"Spy x Family" is currently airing the second half of its first season, with a new episode coming out every Saturday. It can be watched on streaming services like Crunchyroll and Hulu.