At first glance, Buddy Daddies bears an uncanny resemblance to the popular manga and anime Spy x Family, but the similarities between the two may be more superficial than fans first suspected. Buddy Daddies, like Spy x Family, revolves around an unusual family of three. When assassins Kazuki and Rei find themselves in the unusual position of caring for Miri, the young daughter of one of their targets, hilarity ensues as the pair tries to balance work and parenting.
With Spy x Family centred on a family forged to carry out superspy Twilight's top secret mission, the differences between the two found families are critical in distinguishing the series from one another. While the similarities are undeniable, Buddy Daddies, which is currently airing on Crunchyroll, has the potential to demonstrate to sceptics that when it comes to family, no two stories are truly the same.
Buddy Daddies and Spy x Family
The story of Spy x Family features a longtime spy named Twilight whose target involves a bit more finesse than usual. In order to take down his mark, he has to enroll a child in the same school that the target's sons attend. To this end, he takes on a new persona, adopting a child and marrying a strange woman to complete the image of a wholesome family. Unbeknownst to him, however, his new wife is a trained assassin, while their child has telepathic abilities.
Buddy Daddies, on the other hand, involves two best friends named Rei and Kazuki, a criminal contractor and a contract killer respectively. Their time together is completely upended when a little girl toddles her way into their lives. This child is the daughter of a local mob boss, and when she wanders into a firefight looking for her dad, Rei and Kazuki decide to take her in. The plot and the fact that the child in question is a girl feels rather familiar, with the popularity of Spy x Family making the new series seem like a pure ripoff. This might not actually be the case, however, even if it's because of how generic the setup is.
Buddy Daddies: A Relationship Similar to Spy x Family?
The trope of "unlikely parents raising a child together" is quite old, with the archetypical plot best exemplified in the film Three Men and a Baby. That film was released in 1987, demonstrating that it has long been a basic story structure in film and television. The proximity of Buddy Daddies' release to the anime adaptation of Spy x Family has sparked the ire of some anime fans, who see it as a Johnny-come-lately of a series.
Another possible link is that the relationship between the two buddy daddies could be compared to Twilight and his assassin wife. This has made some suspect that Buddy Daddies may have some soft boy's love or yaoi elements. While Kazuki has been described as a ladies' man, early story threads surrounding the pair seeking a daycare for Miri alluded to the general-public within the story that Rei and Kazuki were a same-sex couple. As the story progresses, there are bound to be moments that mimic a romantic couple's shared duties when it comes to family responsibilities and raising a child, which could lean a little too close to Spy x Family for some viewers' tastes.
Buddy Daddy's first trailer depicted the two attempting to balance their criminal endeavours with the task of raising a child, whereas the series it is said to be based on instead dives headfirst into the family aspect. Hopefully, these disparate ambitions will be enough for Buddy Daddies to transcend its odd name and "knockoff" status, allowing the series to live or die on its own terms rather than being unfairly compared to another show.
Buddy Daddies and Spy x Family are both available to stream on Crunchyroll.