REVIEW: ‘Spy X Family,’ Volume 1

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Spy X Family

An assassin, a spy, and a telepath start a fake family, is by far my favorite premise from any Shonen Jump action-comedy. And that’s Spy X Family in a nutshell. Published in English by VIZ Media from mangaka Tatsuya Endo, the story follows a spy who has to “build a family” in order to execute a mission, not realizing that the girl he adopts as a daughter and the woman he agrees to be in a fake marriage with is a mind reader and an assassin respectively.

Spy X Family Volume 1 covers the first five chapters, that Endo calls Missions, showing Loid, the spy part of the title, getting his mission to establish a family to infiltrate a prestigious school and get intel on a target. First, he adopts Anya, a telepath who just doesn’t want to be rehomed again and may be just a little scared that her new dad is a spy. Next is his fake-wife, Yor, an unassuming shy woman with a night job filled with assassin gigs.

Despite Loid being the center of much of the chapters, Endo crafts backgrounds and dynamic personalities for Anya and Yor. For Anya, her background is shrouded in mystery before the orphanage but her telepathic abilities have allowed her to excel in testing areas. That said, when Loid begins to worry about enemies finding him, Anya can hear it all and finds herself at the center of attacks on him. For Yor, she’s awkward to put it simply. She’s an assassin to make money and survive and the fake-marriage is just what she needs as well. Over the course of five chapters, Endo showcases how quickly this fake-family unit begins to bond with each other and stick up for one another in their own quirky ways.

While this is an action-comedy and not a romantic one, there are elements of Loid and Yor’s relationship that fit the romance bill. When the two go on their first date, they end up being chased by one of Loid’s enemies. Yor is capable and takes care of herself and Loid when the time calls for it and Loid lies as much as he can to hide the spy truth behind the chase. It’s an adorable sequence that was exciting in an action sense and the perfect fuel for shippers everywhere.

Additionally, as the fake family gets ready to enroll Anya in her school, they all work together to get her in. But it isn’t just surface level. Over the few chapters in this volume we get to see how quickly Yor becomes attached to Anya and how Loid begins to care for them both. In the closing chapter, the family attends the school interview and while it ends in disaster, it’s filled with love.

Overall, Spy X Family Volume 1 is adorable, action-packed, and focused on three dynamic characters. Both Endo’s writing and illustrations make for a series that is perfect for fans of the iconic Lupin III. If you’re looking for a Shonen Jump title that isn’t just a guy who is imbued with great power and then he and friends go to save the world from an even greater power, this is just the series for you.

Spy X Family Volume 1 will be available from book sellers June 2, 2020.

Spy X Family Volume 1
5

TL;DR

Spy X Family Volume 1 is adorable, action-packed, and focused on three dynamic characters. Both Endo’s writing and illustrations make for a series that is perfect for fans of the iconic Lupin III.