Spy ¡Á Family has infiltrated the world of anime fandom. With an English dub, a guidebook, and even a musical adaptation on the way, the second season¡¯s premiere this October is sure to earn some major attention from fans everywhere. Fandom sat down with Natalie Van Sistine and Megan Shipman¡ªthe voices of Yor Forger and Anya Forger, respectively¡ªto talk about their roles in the hilarious franchise.
Keeping Up with the Forgers
Van Sistine, who plays the oblivious killer Yor, thinks her character is more relatable than she might seem while she¡¯s casually kicking bad guys through walls. ¡°I really like that Yor, as much as she¡¯s this very intense assassin character, she has this very relatable, constant anxiety of ¡®Am I doing life right? Is anything I¡¯m doing normal?¡¯¡± she says. ¡°I relate to that so much.¡±
Yor (alias Thorn Princess) certainly fits in with the show¡¯s themes of duality and duplicity. When it comes to murking political targets, she¡¯s the best of the best, but she¡¯s not quite in her element when it comes to social situations, a paradox that has endeared her to audiences. To really dial into that element of her, Van Sistine had to go to the source material.
¡°For me, it was definitely reading the manga,¡± she says. ¡°That really made a difference. As soon as I opened up the audition, and they had, like, one assassin line, I was like ¡®Okay, I know what assassin mode¡¯s probably going to sound like.¡¯ But reading the manga really helped inform me about that anxiety, and her nervousness. Her everyday persona helped me zero in, like, okay, this is just someone who¡¯s good at one thing. She¡¯s very, very good at it, but she¡¯s totally clueless when it comes to everything else.¡±
Yor¡¯s difficulty with picking up on subtlety contrasts well with that of her character¡¯s adopted daughter, Anya, a tiny telepath with plenty of personality.
¡°I just like the fact that Anya is a child, like an actual child,¡± says Shipman. ¡°And she¡¯s written so simply. It seems like such a no-brainer when you¡¯re making a child character, but I feel like most people don¡¯t think about how half of her charm is that she is a child. I think that¡¯s my favorite part.¡±
But conveying her youthful innocence is only half the battle. Shipman found that she needed to pull back a bit on Anya¡¯s affectation for fear of portraying her as a little too young. ¡°What was fun was when we were in the booth, because it¡¯s a child¡¯s voice, so you want to understand what she¡¯s saying, but she can¡¯t sound too much like a baby. Because she¡¯s not that baby. She¡¯s baby, but she¡¯s not baby baby.¡±
When asked what their favorite line reads were for their characters in the first season, both actors have plenty to choose from. ¡°I mean, anytime drunk Yor is on-screen is pretty great,¡± says Van Sistine. ¡°Also, the number of times I get to scream ¡®Don¡¯t touch my daughter!¡¯¡±
Shipman says, ¡°There¡¯s ¡®Peanuts¡ peanuts¡¡¯ And my other favorite one is ¡ when they¡¯re in the museum and she¡¯s looking at fine art. [Twilight] is like, ¡®Don¡¯t yell,¡¯ and she¡¯s like ¡®I can see her boobies!¡¯ It¡¯s so great.¡±
International Manga of Mystery
Speaking of Agent Twilight¡ªthe show¡¯s buttoned-up protagonist and spy extraordinaire¡ªthe actors have some strong opinions about how to tell if your significant other is leading a double life as a secret agent.
¡°I feel like random, unaccountable periods of time seems to be Twilight¡¯s big one,¡± says Van Sistine. ¡°I love that he explains it with like, IBS or something like that ¡ That¡¯s where you have to be like, ¡®that¡¯s sus.¡¯¡±
¡°You heard it here first, folks,¡± says interviewer Bailey Meyers. ¡°If someone says they have IBS, they¡¯re actually a spy.¡±
(This article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to the Espionage Act of 1917 for further reading.)
For a true test of character likeness, the actors are asked which of the main trio¡¯s powers they would rather have: Loid¡¯s penchant for disguise, Yor¡¯s ability to kick serious ass, or Anya¡¯s oft-misread telepathy.
¡°I¡¯d want Yor¡¯s,¡± says Van Sistine, ¡°because I really, really would like to be that in shape. Just¡ goals.¡±
¡°Probably master of disguise,¡± says Shipman, departing from her own character¡¯s power set. She explains: ¡°If only because, while telepathy is cool as a ¡®six¡¯-year-old, it would probably get old really fast.¡±
When they¡¯re not in the booth, do they, like their characters, live secret lives of their own?
Van Sistine comes clean: ¡°I¡¯m actually a 70-year-old woman. I like crafting. I knit, I crochet, I cross-stitch. That¡¯s my decompression.¡±
¡°You¡¯re actually my grandma,¡± says Shipman.
But she¡¯s not without her own covert activities: ¡°Natalie knows, because we¡¯ve been traveling a lot together ¡ I¡¯m a huge nerd about whatever my brain decides to hyperfixate on at the moment. I love going to conventions ¡®cause I usually try to sneak out and walk around the floor. I¡¯ll spend my own chunk of change on things.¡±
We’re sure some of our readers can relate.
The second season of Spy ¡Á Family drops this October on Crunchyroll and other streaming services worldwide.