IMPRESSIONS: Buddy Daddies Has Brought Us Anime's New Perfect Man
New year new perfect anime man
On January 6, 2023, a mere six days into the new year, anime fans got the chance to meet a perfect specimen of fictional man. While there had been glimpses of his spectacularness in the trailers, nothing could have fully prepared me or anyone else for Rei Suwa of Buddy Daddies.
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After the charming romp of SPY x FAMILY, this anime slid right in to fill the peanut-sized gap in my heart. With vibes that feel like a blend of Tiger & Bunny, The Millionaire Detective - Balance: UNLIMITED and Three Men and a Baby (only it’s two men, a baby and maybe a cat) I had a feeling that I would enjoy this series.
I didn’t realize the vice grip it would have on me after one episode, especially when it comes to Rei. But what, exactly, makes him so special?
Professional Hitman Rei Suwa
Buddy Daddies is the story of Kazuki Kurusu and Rei Suwa, two hitmen who work together, live together and, after one holiday-themed mission, end up co-parenting a little girl named Miri. Kazuki is the friendlier of the two, his smile as bright as his sunshine demeanor — something he uses to his advantage during missions. In this first episode, we see him slip into enemy territory with disguises and just the right words, focusing on deception to take his targets off guard.
Then there’s Rei, his polar opposite.
From his pristine black suit and shaved sides of his hair, Rei is, for lack of better words, really effing cool. His reflexes in battle are a sight to behold as he outmaneuvers his enemies and ends their lives with well-placed shots. He’s quiet, efficient and has no problem taking part in a motorcycle chase or dodging rapid gunfire. Rei’s the one getting all the smooth action sequences in the first episode, proving that no one is safe even if they’re standing behind a completely solid door.
This alone is reason to fawn over Rei, but it’s his demeanor at home that really drew my attention.
Professional Dungeon Crawler Rei Suwa
Early on in the episode, we see Kazuki yelling at Rei because someone forgot to mention that their child had a runny nose before they left for their mission. This is the first sign of the kind of character Rei’s going to be, but it’s made all the better when we see him at home.
Rei is a disheveled, cigarette-smoking shut-in who makes a mess of their house — though he does call Kazuki a couch-crasher, so maybe it’s Rei’s house? Whatever the case, we find out that Kazuki is the one who cooks and cleans while Rei plays video games and orders things online so he can attempt to properly take care of whatever stray cat he’s brought home (apparently this isn’t the first cat he’s picked up).
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Okay, first of all, it looks like Rei has a PS5 so, clearly, he has good taste in gaming consoles. He’s probably got all the trophies in God of War Ragnarok. He seems capable of handling Kratos.
Secondly? Rei doesn’t bother reheating the meal Kazuki made which… valid. That might be an unpopular opinion, but some days warming up whatever’s in the fridge is too much effort or you look at it and realize you want something completely different. Have I ordered pizza when there are perfectly good leftovers in the fridge that can be reheated faster than delivery? Yes. Yes, I have.
Third, and more importantly? Rei likes cats. I’d venture to guess he likes cats more than he likes people.
This is the correct answer.
Rei Suwa, the Most Relatable Man of 2023
This comedic reveal of “badass hitman spends his time off in sweatpants while dungeon crawling” has made Rei a more appealing character to me. After zipping past bullets and scaling down the side of a building he basically activates “Do Not Disturb” mode. He’s finished all major responsibilities for the day and has taken off that handsome suit to switch into something more comfortable. Everything he needs is within reach as he tunes out the rest of the world — except for his gaming headset.
At the same time, Rei’s able to turn back into a competent hitman at a moment’s notice. As soon as he has a mission he’s got the suit and tie back on. He’s rearmed with his weapon of choice and looks like a calm, deadly killer who can end a target’s life before they get the chance to reconsider their actions.
As a working adult, I'm a lot like Rei. Once the day is done I want to be left alone with my relaxation method of choice. Sometimes it’s anime, sometimes it’s Abbott Elementary, lately it’s been more Hades runs or judging the design choices in house renovation shows. The point is that when work is over I’m in pajamas petting one of my cats. Even my phone turns off notifications at a set time.
Rei Suwa absolutely has the right idea. After maximum work input should come maximum unwinding. He deserves video games and he especially deserves a cat. Honestly, this is the energy I wish to maintain for myself for the rest of the year and beyond... though I will crack the window open every now and then.
Briana Lawrence is the Senior EN Features Editor here at Crunchyroll. When she’s not writing she’s taking care of her three butthead cats and playing Hades for the 100th time. You can check out her writings and her book series over at her website and give her a shout over on Twitter.