Release the Spyce – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Momo may be a quiet student at school, but she’s the newest recruit of the private intelligence agency, Tsukikage. Now she must survive both her training and missions to fight against a global crime organization. (Official HIDIVE Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Release the Spyce starts off with a crazy manic energy as it opens with our heroines breaking into some secure building to steal data. The girls are all dressed in matching uniforms and bite into spices to activate super powers and take down armies of androids and even actual bad guys. It’s all very random and action packed within the first few minutes and even throws in a little comedy to keep that bizarre energy going. Also, this might be me reading into things too much but did we just get a rather restrained and grown up depiction of a same sex couple as a quick blink and you miss it scene in this episode? What makes me question it is that this show is otherwise completely and utterly ridiculous with such unbelievable moments like our girls being able to scan and replicate someone’s iris based off what looks like a tiny profile image, or cutting a huge lumbering robot clean in half…or OUR HEROINE BEING ABLE TO READ PEOPLE BY LITERALLY LICKING THEM!!
Tom: Release the Spyce really nails its tone in the first five minutes. It’s a silly action comedy and that vibe sells you on this strange premise of girls using literal spices, like with which you’d use to inject flavor into your food, to power up. From there we meet our main character, Momo, a young girl struggling to find courage and confidence. Her struggle is well realized, and she’s adorable enough that you can’t help but root for her. The same can’t quite be said for the other girls. While we get a great sense of who Momo is, the other girls fall a little flat. No one feels like a drag on the premiere, and since it really is centered on Momo this is easy to forgive, but the Spyce Girls don’t hold enough immediately unique personality, beyond their colorful designs, to stand out in my mind. It’s one way in which this otherwise fun comedy doesn’t quite stick its landing.
Linny: Based off this first episode, Release the Spyce seems like it will be a mix of our vigilante super powered girls discovering, unravelling and taking down the big bad villain teased in this episode and their mega evil plan to destroy the city all while Momo learns to be a braver and better version of herself. On a minor note, the show is very women oriented with a large chunk of the cast being female. Even a crowd of thugs that our young heroines challenge consists solely of women of all shapes and sizes and our big bad villain is a woman and so is her deadly crew. What makes this worth mentioning is that while yes there is a fair number of the stereotypical fan service cute/sexy like body types in this show, there’s an equal number that aren’t, something that usually is uncommon in a largely female filled cast. I have tempered hopes for Release the Spyce and if you’ve got the time and curiosity to check out a bizarre action comedy with even more bizarre elements, I would suggest you pick this one up.
Tom: Release the Spyce opens strong, with a fun first five minutes, and a likable lead, but I found it started to drag in the middle as we tip-toed into Momo’s everyday life and struggle for courage. It picks up again, and the little scenes where Momo first meets her teammates-to-be keep it lively enough that I came out having fun in the end anyway. Assuming Spyce finds a better balance between Momo’s internal struggle, the comedy and the action I think it has the chops to be one of Fall’s more interesting offerings.
Release the Spyce is available for streaming via HIDIVE.