Spy x Family: What Is Operation Strix?

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Spy x Family

Spy x Family is about a found family of a spy, an assassin, a psychic child, and a precognitive dog that is so funny and heartfelt that it’s easy for viewers to forget that the series has an end goal in mind. The Forger family exists for only one purpose, to fulfill Operation Strix. But what is the clandestine operation really about, and who is involved in making sure it succeeds?

Introduced in the first episode, the spy organization WISE (Westalian Intelligence Services’ Eastern-Focused Division) attempts to keep the peace between Westalis and Ostania. Agent Twilight, already a legend in WISE at the start of Spy x Family, is a master of disguise skilled enough to enter the Turtle Club, which is why he’s assigned as the lead agent on Operation Strix.

Operation Strix – The Target

Donovan Desmond

The goal of Operation Strix is to acquire long-term information from Donovan Desmond, Chairman of the National Unity Party of Ostania, following the murder of a Westalian diplomat. In his position as the leader of Ostania, Desmond is believed by WISE to be planning further acts of aggression, maybe even outright war. The problem is that he’s a recluse.

When Spy x Family starts, Handler (the red-haired woman acting as Twilgiht’s point of contact) explains that Donovan Desmond only goes into public to attend events at his children’s school, Eden Academy, an elite institution for the scions of the wealthy and powerful families of Ostania.

Operation Strix – Plan A: The Imperial Scholar

Anya Forger

Twilight adopts the name “Loid Forger” and sets out to find a child at an orphanage, coming across Anya, who, unknown to him, is able to read minds. Anya endears herself to the spy and willingly goes along with his mission, even if Twilight doesn’t know that she knows what he’s really up to. Not only is Anya Spy x Family’s best character, but she’s WISE’s best chance to complete Operation Strix.

If Anya can become an Imperial Scholar, she’ll be invited to attend Eden Academy events that Desmond Donovan will be present for, giving Twilight the best chance at establishing contact. It sounds simple, but despite being a psychic, Anya is only 6, and there are limits to reading minds, so…a Plan B is very quickly needed when her schoolwork barely meets the grade.

Operation Strix – Plan B: The Friendship Scheme

Damian Desmond

Spy x Family is delightfully predictable, but at the same time, seemingly nothing goes according to plan. Hence why Twilight has to develop Plan B, getting Anya to become friends with Damian Desmond (the Chairman’s “second son,” as Anya always says) and secure an invite to the family estate that way. The two mix like oil and water, following a fateful punch on the first day of orientation, but over time, it’s clear that they each have the most adorable crush on the other.

By the time Season 1 comes to a close, the Friendship Scheme is in full effect, but even working together on an arts and crafts project hasn’t earned Anya an invite to the Desmond estate. After all, Operation Strix is simply about securing information, the exact details of achieving that end are mostly up to Twilight’s discretion, and his fake family does include one more member.

Operation Strix – Plan C: The Mommy Friends Scheme

Yor and Lloyd Forger

Plan C will likely be part of Spy x Family Season 2, but it’s already well underway in the manga. After Twilight discovers that Yor saved Melinda Desmond, Donovan’s wife, from falling down stairs and was invited to join her friends, the “Mommy-Friend Gambit” was launched. The difference is Anya knows she has a part to play, while Yor is seemingly unaware that the fake family exists for any reason other than allowing Anya to attend Eden Academy.

While this plan hasn’t progressed far yet, it’s already gone beyond the control of WISE, since Yor is, after all, an assassin and asked permission from Shopkeeper (her version of Handler, except older and male) to pursue a friendship. In doing so, she revealed that Loid/Twilight was interested in Donovan’s political views….the consequences of that seemingly innocuous statement have yet to reveal themselves.

Operation Strix – The Support

WISE may have made Twilight the lead agent for Operation Strix, but he’s not the only agent. Introduced late in Spy x Family Season 2, Nightfall (aka Fiona Frost) was assigned by Handler to assist with Operation Strix, which is immediately difficult given her smoldering feelings for Twilight. The pair make perfect doubles partners in tennis during Season 1, and later on in the manga, Nightfall works counter-intelligence to defend WISE.

Intelligent, capable, and deadly, Nightfall is an incredible asset for Twilight to complete his mission, but she’s not alone. Franky Franklin, Twlight’s informant in Ostania, helps provide Eden Academy’s entrance exam, fake paperwork for the Forgers, and even acts like an uncle for Anya.

In fact, at one point, all of WISE comes out to support Twilight in Spy x Family Episode 5, “Will They Pass or Fail?” when Anya wants to live out an episode of her favorite show, Bondman. A very top-secret mission is launched with spies from all levels engaged as Franky’s henchmen in a play scenario that has Twilight trying to rescue the captured Anya. It’s incredibly adorable and perfectly capped off with Handler showing an expense report to her superior for the over-the-top LARP session.

Operation Strix – Where It Stands Now

Spy x Family Season 1 ended with Twilight making his initial contact with Donovan Desmond, achieving the first goal of Operation Strix. Now the challenge is acquiring information on a regular basis, and that’s proving to be more difficult, but at the same time, the series hasn’t done much to show how Desmond is a real threat.

That said, given that Twilight is down to “Plan C,” there’s a chance he even resorts to “Plan D” and finds a way to get Bond involved.

Spy x Family Season 1 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll, while Season 2 will be out later this Fall.