An anime about lesbian ninja spies. What more needs to be said to get readers’ attention? This is Release the Spyce.
Genres: Action, Yuri
Themes: Kunoichi, Ninjas, Spies
Number of Episodes: 12
Plot Summary: A lone high school girl named Momo attends a high school in the city of Sorasaki. Unbeknownst to everyone, Momo is an agent who works for the private intelligence agency Tsukikage, that protects the city and its people. Under the tutelage of her senior Yuki, and her other friends, they keep the peace in the city.
As I said in the introduction this is a show about badass lesbian spies who act more like kunoichi than what Western audiences are used to when talking about spy fiction. More familiar spy traits and tropes quickly appear on the show, such as elegant dresses, clever disguises, cool gadgets etc. There are even goons in suits though early on there are street gangs. The show pays homage to Western spy series such as James Bond, The Avengers (Not the Marvel one) and Kingsman. Sadly no Get Smart homages that I am aware of. The main plot is that or Tsukikage defending the city of Sorasaki against the evil organization of Mouryou and their affiliates from committing heinous crimes such as drug smuggling and more inhumane ones. It features twists and turns one would expect from a spy flick. Do keep in mind that one of the writers was involved with Yuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru, meaning that although the show is mostly action packed cute and sexy fun…expect some pretty rough scenes and moments such as the aforementioned inhumane crimes. This would be a PG-13 show unlike Namori’s crown franchise Yuru Yuri. While Momo and the rest of Tsukikage’s journey is badass it is also one full of danger and some suffering. The longest running subplot is about a potential shocker that would shake the team to their core.
As I already mentioned our heroines do lots of cool spy stuff and engage in some kickass battles. Just do not expect them to go past five minutes. Think of the ones from the Akuma no Riddle: not super long but still pretty cool. There are also vehicle chases/battles, stealth missions, gunfights and of course “socializing”. More on that in a bit.
The presentation is something else. What do I mean? The animation has Namori written all over it. However, while most of the girls are drawn in the vintage Namori style there are also a select few women of varying shapes and sizes from the large to the muscular. Very much appreciated. While these ladies are only present early on the variety is still appreciated. The action is also very fluid. Not super flashy but it gets the point across no problem. The crashes, explosions, smashes, cuts and slashes are felt from the other side of the screen. Then there is the soundtrack…I have no words. It is one of those “GET IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!” soundtracks. Yup. That good. OP reminds me of that of a certain “unlucky” anime, which is a great thing. The ED is good too.
Next up is the “socializing”. Yeah, it is romancing. So the main couples are the three Master/Apprentice duos.
-The first one of course is Momo and Master Yuki. Momo is the up and comer with great potential whereas Yuki is the stern ice princess leader with a caring heart deep down. Also Momo has a very…interesting ability. Oh yes indeed.
-Next up are Fu and Master Mei. Fu is the token tsundere and Mei is a free spirited senior. Not much else to say about the two…
-Third is Goemon and Master Hatsume. Goemon is a gentle giant (readers can guess why I described her as such) and Hatsume serves the role of “Agent Q” (The inventor) on the team. She is very friendly but far from gullible.
There are other noteworthy side-characters. One duo in particular is especially worth mentioning…
One group also worth talking about are the Mouryou Agents and their voluptuous leader. One of them is sadly underutilized whereas the other three serve more notable roles. I will not much else but the two agents who get more screen time are interesting lassies and the leader is one of my favorite villains of 2018, and also one of the sexiest anime babes of the year.
Overall Release the Spyce is a cool, sexy and kickass fun time. Most of the cast is cool and interesting, the action is badass, the homages to familiar spy series are nice, the presentation is noteworthy, the serious scenes/moments are effective and the yuri is lovely. Definitely worth checking out. Just be careful of those more intense scenes.
PS: The Spyce in the title is explained in the first couple of minutes of the show. It also has an origin story.
PPS: Highly recommended reading the official post-episode 4-Koma that were released weekly on the Spyce Twitter page and then translated HERE.