The upcoming Spy x Family musical has been generating a lot of hype in Japan, with fans desperately waiting for more information to be revealed. Franchise creator Tatsuya Endō recently debuted a new promotional image that will feature on much of the show’s exclusive merchandise. This image has Anya Forger dressed up as Eliza Doolittle from the legendary musical My Fair Lady, specifically the version of the character portrayed by Audrey Hepburn in the 1964 film adaptation.
While on the surface, this looks like a simple nod to one of the world’s most beloved musicals and stage productions, Anya and Eliza are surprisingly similar characters. Likewise, My Fair Lady’s story could actually hint toward future Spy x Family manga plot developments.
Similarities Between Spy x Family’s Anya and My Fair Lady’s Eliza
Anya Forger heh
One of the most noticeable parallels between Spy x Family’s Anya and My Fair Lady’s Eliza is their general situation, with both girls infiltrating another stratum of society after meeting an expert in their field. Eliza, a working-class girl with a strong cockney accent, is selected by phonics professor Henry Higgins as he believes he can teach her to pass as a member of high society. Eliza is suddenly thrust into the world of the upper class, having to quickly learn and adapt to its rituals and culture. Anya is initially an orphan living a sad life but once Loid adopts her, she is thrust into the world of spies and espionage, forcing her to quickly adapt and learn about its rules and structure.
It should also be noted that both Loid and Higgins take these girls under their wing for selfish reasons. Higgins only takes Eliza on as a client because he wants to win a bet with another professor, and Loid picks up Anya because he needs a child for his mission known as Operation Strix. Despite these selfish starts, both men become closer to their young charge than they initially intended — leading to emotional complications down the line.
Likewise, neither Eliza nor Anya get credited for their role in the story’s events. Eliza’s hard work is totally overlooked by Higgins, who takes all the credit for her transformation. In Spy x Family, Anya’s psychic powers have allowed her to help Loid and Yor with their missions, but she opts to keep this ability secret in fear of Loid abandoning her. This decision robs her of the credit and praise she often deserves for her efforts.
The general theme of My Fair Lady is also present in Spy x Family. Both stories focus on people who are made to live a false life, only for the blurring of the mask and reality to cause problems for them as they struggle to work out what the authentic them actually looks like — while also dealing with the expectations placed upon them by others. All three of the Forgers keep their true selves a secret while slowly discovering they like their fake family life more than their old one.
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Could My Fair Lady Foreshadow Future Events in Spy x Family?
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Eliza’s story arc in My Fair Lady could provide hints at future events in Spy x Family. After spending time in high society, Eliza has a crisis and opts to leave Higgins. She tries to return to her old life but it doesn’t go well, as she realizes she has become estranged from her community and can’t go back to the way things were before.
It’s also revealed that Eliza’s father, the lazy and morally lacking Alfred, is having issues due to his interactions with Higgins. After Alfred attempts to blackmail Higgins for money, Higgins tricks him into becoming an unwilling heir to an American scientist, who bequeaths Alfred a large but public fortune. This leaves Alfred trapped in what he calls “middle-class morality,” separating him from his former community and destroying his old lifestyle. It is easy to imagine Anya ending up in a similar position, leaving Loid and Yor in an attempt to connect with her biological parents, only to find they were victims of the same experiments as she was. Perhaps the project that gave Anya her powers has also left lasting scars on her parents, leaving them as isolated as she was before her adoption.
The decision to depict Anya as Eliza Doolittle is fascinating and raises many questions about Tatsuya Endō’s plans for the future of Spy x Family. While it could merely be a shout-out to a famous musical or an excuse to draw Anya in an unusual outfit, the similarities between Anya and Eliza are unmistakable. The fact that Spy x Family touches on some similar themes to My Fair Lady suggests Endō chose this outfit for a specific reason, one that will make more sense as the story progresses.