Buddy Daddies Season 1 Review – A heartwarming and tragic family outing!

Season 1

Episode Guide

Piece of Cake -| Review Score – 4/5
The Kiss of Death -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Spice of Life -| Review Score – 4/5
What Will Be, Will Be -| Review Score – 4/5
Crunch Time -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Love Is Blind -| Review Score – 4/5
After Rain Comes Fair Weather -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Nothing Seek, Nothing Find -| Review Score – 4/5
No Sweet Without Sweat -| Review Score – 4/5
Lost At Sea -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Everyone Will Be Hypocrites -| Review Score – 4/5
Daughter Daddies -| Review Score – 4/5


After Wit Studio and Cloverworks wrapped up Spy X Family during the holidays, many fans desired another show to take its place. Fortunately, another studio came to their beck and call and delivered another show about deceptive families. Buddy Daddies was written off by many folks for being a clone of Spy X Family due to both anime having similar premises, casts, and themes.

Directed by Yoshiyuki Asai, with its animation handled by P.A. Works., Anime originals tend to be hit or miss. Some can turn out fantastic like Studio Sunrise’s Code Geass or become disappointing like Cloverworks’s Wonder Egg Priority. Coming off of Spy X Family’s promotion cycle, Buddy Daddies had a lot to prove to folks. While there were some aspects that’ll push people away from it, Buddy Daddies provides material that’s on par if not better than what we received in Spy X Family’s first season.

Buddy Daddies is set on Christmas Eve. It follows two assassins named Kazuki Kurusu and Rei Suwa. Both men live with each other in an apartment and spend their lives accomplishing missions for money. They’re assigned to murder a mafia boss and proceed to his hotel event to slay him. Both men accomplish their task but wind up bringing their target’s daughter, Miri, home with them. When returning Miri to her mother doesn’t turn out well, the two men keep Miri under their care to give her a better and more normal childhood.

As one can expect, this story is about found families and delves into the challenging aspects of raising a child. It offers great slice-of-life components, intense drama, and deep themes that will keep viewers invested in its plot. The comedy is cheerful and relatable. You’ll giggle seeing Kazuki act like an overprotective father toward Miri and seeing Rei assume a lackadaisical parenting role. It’s this trio’s dynamic that will keep people invested in their journey to becoming a well-established family.

Buddy Daddies knows how to balance its lighthearted and dark plot points well, too. Each time an episode shifts its tone, it handles it naturally and never feels forced. The dark plot segments are equally as intriguing as its wholesome content. Furthermore, many of its dark subplots tie to its cast’s horrid backstories in ways. From Kazuki overcoming a companion’s death to Rei handling his problematic relationship with his father, Buddy Daddies offers chilling and exciting lore to keep viewers hooked.

Despite having an enjoyable plot, Buddy Daddies’ narrative runs into a few issues. For example, many cast members escape death in unnatural and convenient ways. Some instances include Kazuki using a plate to block bullets and Miri avoiding damage from a deadly shootout. It makes these many deadly bouts feel laughable and less dangerous. Furthermore, the anime’s handling of Kazuki and Rei’s gloomy issues felt somewhat rushed.

More time should’ve been spent exploring each protagonist’s problems. This would allow their victories over those scenarios to feel satisfying and natural. Buddy Daddies also runs into a similar issue Spy X Family season one had – it doesn’t show our characters tackling many assassin assignments.

The anime mostly has Rei and Kazuki participating in mundane family activities with Miri. They complete some dangerous tasks sometimes, but their assassin lifestyles don’t intertwine with their caregiver positions as much as they should. The story also falls victim to the “tell and not show” approach and kills off characters way too soon. This shatters the suspense and weight behind scenes like Rei’s fight with his former mentor and the demise of a person with close ties to Miri’s character. Although the story offers a nice balance of light and darkness, the gloomy content isn’t as perfect.

Story aside, Buddy Daddies offered a compelling cast of characters that many fans will love following. Kazuki and Rei have defined backstories, personalities, and skills that set them apart from each other. Kazuki feels more like a mother in this family while Rei comes across as the lazy father figure. Both manage to overcome their obstacles and receive wonderful development. However, Rei caught my attention the most since he had more to prove in their family dynamic than Kazuki.

Where Kazuki felt more grown up, Rei felt like Miri’s elder brother. It wasn’t until Kazuki exited the picture that Rei evolved past his inattentive habits and started acting his age. From helping Miki overcome her sickness to cheering her on during her daycare’s track and field event, Rei feels much more fleshed out and developed compared to Kazuki.

Miri is Buddy Daddies’ wild card character. She inhabits the characteristics and mindset of a realistic toddler. She’s not the most likable character at first due to her childish habits and attitude.

However, viewers will grow fond of Miri’s compassionate and selfless side she displays midway through the narrative. From her fabulous leadership skills during the zoo trip to the trust and love she has for Kazuki and Rei, Miri is not your typical whiny child. Although I have issues with how the story handles Kazuki and Rei’s triumph over their past grievances, these three never disappoint. The side characters are sufficient. Anna, Rei’s father, and Kyutaro are great standouts. However, the story never delves too deep into their lives, so they feel one-dimensional, unlike our protagonists.

P.A. Works may be an old animation studio, but they prove they’ve still got it with Buddy Daddies’s animation and visuals. While there were minor instances where the CGI looked off-putting, the animation never looks poor in its combat scenes. Seeing Rei shoot at foes with his trademark sniper rifle always got me excited. The same can be said during the anime’s martial arts scenarios involving Rei, Kazuki, and their enemies. Viewers will feel the weight of each character’s strike and dodge.

Additionally, Buddy Daddies’ soundtrack was as enjoyable as its animation. From its background music to its opening and ending themes, everything sounded catchy and fit with the series’s different tones well. I watched this anime with its Japanese dubbing and everyone sounded great. While Kouki Uchiyama and Toshiyuki Toyonaga handle their roles of Rei and Kazuki effectively, Kina Hino’s take on Miri was spot on and deserves equal praise.

For an anime that many people wrote off as a rip-off of Spy X Family, Buddy Daddies had a lot going against it. Against all the odds, the anime crafts a unique identity for itself. It may not be perfect, but it left an impression on those who tuned in to watch it every week. Even if this family isn’t as unique as the Forgers, these fatherly companions and their daughter are worth cherishing for years to come.

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  • Verdict - - 8/10

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