First Impression: Spy Classroom

Lily is excited to finally graduate from spy academy and move on to a real mission. Having been hand-selected for one, she assumes that this is a big step toward her dream of becoming a great spy. But when she arrives at her destination, Lily runs into six other girls who all have this in common: they are spy school “washouts.” And it gets worse than that—they’ve been selected for an “impossible mission,” one in which the success rate is “under ten percent, and failure means death.” But Klaus, their teacher, guarantees success since he’ll teach them the skills necessary to accomplish the mission, though therein lies another problem: he doesn’t know how to teach. Will the girls be sacrificial pawns in this spy game? Not if Lily has anything to say about it…

Crazy eyepatch spy expresses her alarm next to short-haired spy and ojou-sama spy.

The anime adaptation of this popular light novel series has finally arrived, and the first episode was quite good! While I expect the show to lean more into humor in future episodes (the manga, which I’ve been reviewing, generally has a funnier tone than the anime so far), the opening one is fairly serious. The danger of the girls’ mission is emphasized from the opening scenes, and the muted colors, dramatic music, and flashbacks to “The Great War” set a tone somewhat similar to another series also set in post-WWI Europe (or this world’s equivalent), Violet Evergarden. Spy Classroom won’t be nearly as heavy as that show (rule: missing limbs are not funny, but an eyepatch covering a supposedly missing eye is), but it has a similar historic atmosphere and muted color palette that will help anchor the anime. I also expect a reasonable level of action and suspense in the series, demonstrated by a twist in this episode that was fun if not predictable. I have one concern, though, and that’s the girls themselves. The series will hinge on how much we care for all seven of them. I care for Lily already, but what of the other six? That’s a large cast to learn about. And if we don’t want to see every single one protected from harm, the whole series will unravel. Future episodes will tell if that important piece comes into place.

Spy Classroom is streaming on HiDIVE.

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