Content Warning: Blood
What’s it about? Assassination partners (and roommates) Kurusu Kazuki and Suwa Rei suddenly find themselves with the most difficult mission of them all: caring for a four-year-old child. Can they balance on the knife’s edge of childcare and bringing home the bacon, or will the happiness they might find as a hodgepodge family completely out of reach?
Growing up, cop procedurals were a personal favorite of mine. I’m talking about things like Monk, Law and Order: SVU, In the Heat of the Night and NCIS: New Orleans–especially Monk, though it’s…quite fraught. I can’t explain why, especially given the nature of their topics, the American policing system, and my Blackness, but if I had to pin down one thought in terms of what appeals, it’s just that these shows are kind of cool and represent good guys getting bad guys in a very appealing, binary way.
And in a way, that’s why I was drawn to Buddy Daddies, though it stars assassins versus cops or even detectives. I like the thrill of shows like this, and I like how realistically unrealistic they can be. Plus, something about this was giving me big Tiger & Bunny vibes, though that may be because I just like MLM content. And while I can’t give Buddy Daddies my “BL Stamp of Approval” quite yet, I can say that it’s got a lot of appeal right from jump, whether you’re putting the “buddy” in Buddy Daddies or curious about this happless twosome becoming a bit more.
Episode `1, “Piece of Cake,” starts off with a hit, as it should. It’s a fantastic way to immediately set characterization for our leads Kazuki and Rei, two young men who have no qualms about their less than savory day jobs. It all seems to go well, too…that is until Kazuki gets a call from a daycare center asking them to pick up their daughter.
Immediately, things go hilariously downhill as Kazuki and Rei argue, pop a cap in their victim, steal a briefcase of luxurious gems and jewels and accessories, and race to pick up their daughter Miri before it’s too late. It’s funny, it’s engaging, and best of all, it immediately telegraphs exactly who Kazuki and Rei are.
Hard cut to the past and the leadup for Kazuki, Rei, and Miri’s union, which takes place during the season with a reason… and amidst some murder because assassins, y’know?
The easiest title to compare this to, in terms of relevance, is Spy x Family, though I’m happy to say these are two very different shows that stand out on their own. Sure, you could draw easy connections, but Buddy Daddies is a tone-setter from jump, and it makes it clear that it’s doing its own thing. I really like that because while another Spy x Family-esque series would have been fine, seeing Buddy Daddies give us something more akin to a Great Pretender than anything else is exciting. And even then, I sense that Buddy Daddies is going to be much more satisfying for viewers than that series ended up being.
The music for this premiere is equally as fantastic: a lot of the riffs and runs reminded me instantly of Cowboy Bebop’s track, enough that in the opening sequence, I expected to hear a “Okay, three, two, one, let’s jam!”. It’s good stuff, adding to the overall flavor of Buddy Daddy’s debut
There’s something so utterly enjoyable about how realistic–and lowkey shitty–our leads are, especially in tandem with them having to provide childcare to what might possible be one of many of Kazuki’s ill-begotten children from his many nights warming beds. It’s hard to limit my gushing to just a few hundred words: I feel like I could go on and on and on about just how much I really liked this intro to what is sure to be quite a hilarious–and even heartfelt–romp with two assassins turned Daddy Daycare on us.
In the end, Buddy Daddies is an easy recommend, especially if you’re looking for something to feed your hunger for more espionage and fill that hole that Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop left in you when it just didn’t match the OG series in terms of action. Folks who are fans of Baccano! and The Great Pretender, will also likely find this show to be quite enjoyable, especially if you’re into unlikely characters who maybe shouldn’t be parents.
Ultimately, This premiere is a happy marriage of so many good tropes that I’m sure it’ll be at the top of most people’s watchlists this season, no doubt.