Buddy Daddies Review

Buddy Daddies

Buddy Daddies is not a Spy x Family ripoff. Let’s get that out there right now. Two parent figures immersed in a seedy criminal underworld? Check. Both of them are taking care of a young girl? Check.

Despite the glaring similarities this isn’t a ripoff, though you’d be forgiven for thinking that at a glance. I was the same way. I’ll at least admit it’s probably inspired by it.

Where Spy x Family relies on over the top plots, Buddy Daddies leans into being SLIGHTLY more grounded in reality; but is it a better show for it?

Buddy Daddies
Studios: P.A. Works
Producers: Aniplex, Movic, Tokyo MX
Director: Yoshiyuki Asai
Translation: Crunchyroll
Premiere: January 7, 2023

Buddy Daddies

With the obvious Spy x Family comparison out of the way we can finally discuss Buddy Daddies by itself. The series follows Rei and Kazuki two assassins for hire that live together in a large penthouse.

They’re good at their job… usually, while they’re not top of the line assassins they’re good enough to be counted on; but their credibility takes a hit after one mission goes awry.

The source of the problem? The four-year old girl Rei interrupts their mission while she’s searching for her real father, who happens to be the target of their current assassination.

After killing her father right in front of her (you heard me) Miri is now their problem after Kazuki takes her in despite Rei’s contempt for the idea.

Buddy Daddies

Buddy Daddies is not afraid to get gritty, it takes place in modern day Japan and bad guys are dispatched with merciless and bloody headshots and hands on violence. Because despite the Three Men and a Baby style humor there’s still undertones of a criminal thriller taking place at the same time.

Rei was seemingly raised by a family of criminal assassins and has a hard time opening himself up, while Kazuki doesn’t really remember his parents but we see bits and pieces of flashback throughout.

Miri exists as a source of healing for both of them, one man who rejects the idea of family, and another who doesn’t remember his and hides his own worries with his happy-go-lucky attitude.

Buddy Daddies

Buddy Daddies has so far excelled in bundling the tone of comedy and thriller with an overarching theme of family.

As for the characters, Miri is cute but almost a little too hyper. I understand that her tantrums and hyperactivity are the biggest sources of comedy in the series, but she can be a little too grating sometimes.

Meanwhile Kazuki and Rei represent the tried and true combo of blonde playboy and black-haired sourpuss. I think it’s neat that these two guys are just best friends instead of taking the obvious yaoi/shonen ai path. It could still happen and it will still be a good show if it does, but in the meantime: shippers? You do you.

Buddy Daddies

Visually the series deserves credit for its minimal use of 3D animation. As of the third episode only vehicle exteriors in motion have been animated this way and everything else looks more traditional.

There’s a few action scenes where the animators get to show off, but it happens only about once an episode. The real place Buddy Daddies shines is in its use of saturated colors and thick lines.

Since Buddy Daddies is an original show, it doesn’t have a manga to base its art style off of. It’s good to see that P.A. Works avoided using too many pastels and thin lines; instead the show has an almost comic book like feel that’s easy on the eyes.

Buddy Daddies

So fans of action scenes and fluid animation will be disappointed, but the real emphasis of the show is on the story and not showing off with flashy combat scenes.

With the music, it’s hard to deny that Buddy Daddies is at least inspired by Spy x Family. Heavy use of jazz and saxophones during high-action scenes is plenty and the songs are so good I actually wouldn’t mind listening to the insert tracks.

The opening “SHOCK!” by Ayase and the ending “My Plan” by DURDN are more of a subdued pop than the jazz present in the show itself. The songs are overall cute and the artwork during the ending is especially cute, with each episode ending on a montage of Miri being cute in watercolor.

The voice work by Hina Kino as Miri is unimpeachable, she manages to pull off the kind of whine-infused tantrum you’d expect from a child. Kino is relatively new to the industry with one of her earliest major roles being Hanako Honda from Asobi Asobase.

She’s also doing more work this season as the childish slime Sui in Campfire Cooking in Another World with My Absurd Skill.

We also have Toshiyuki Toyonaga as the happy-go-lucky Kazuki. Toyonaga is known for his recent work as Poppuko in Pop Team Epic but he has a long industry history before that spanning back to 2001.

Last of the main cast is Kouki Uchiyama as Rei. He’s got his niche down pat and has done work as kuudere bishonen characters like Izumi Miyamura from Horimiya and Chise’s familiar Ruth from The Ancient Magus Bride.

Buddy Daddies

Ultimately, I think Buddy Daddies sets itself apart by taking the kind of plot we got from Spy x Family and bringing it back down to Earth. It has just the right amount amount of crime thriller, silly comedy, and cute parenting moments to give it a wide appeal.

Despite my initial instinct that this show was just a ripoff, I was pleasantly surprised and between us? I think I like this more.

Buddy Daddies was watched on a personal Crunchyroll account. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Buddy Daddies is available to watch now on Crunchyroll.


The Verdict: 8

The Good

  • Cute character design and distinct art style
  • Relationship between the two guys is platonic but gives enough ambiguity for shippers
  • Hina Kino as Miri is absolutely fantastic
  • Is not a SPY x FAMILY ripoff

The Bad

  • Due to when it came out, it's hard not to think of it as a derivative of SPY x FAMILY
  • The plot is a bit hard to follow at first


A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.

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