I never thought that I’d be reviewing manga. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve done a few mini-reviews for manga I’ve gotten on NetGalley but they were only on NetGalley.
I’m moving into the big time by reviewing one on my actual blog! Yeah, okay, no, I’m not. But I am most definitely going to be talking about manga a lot more on here. And what best to start with then a manga book I acquired for Christmas and was super excited to read?
Spy x Family is a shonen comedy series by Tatsuya Endo. It follows a master spy known as Twilight in a country very reminiscent of Germany during the Cold War. Being a spy series, this makes perfect sense and you definitely get a feel for that sort of time period with how people dress and behave. Twilight has been given a new mission but the only way to complete it is if he gets married and has a school-age kid. Sounds like a mess, right?
I absolutely adored this first volume. I picked it up after seeing fanart of the series as well as fanart for other fandoms based off the series. It looked a lot of fun and I’m a sucker for a found family. I hoped this series would give me some inspiration for other fandom stuff based off this too…and it did. Excuse me while I giggle over the thought of my OTP as a spy, assassin and their naughty ass children. It’s hilarious.
Story-wise this was pretty simple and very ridiculous. You have a man adopting a child, meeting a woman and wanting to marry her and then them wanting to get their kid in an elite school. On its own, that could be sweet and funny but with the spy elements thrown in it just reaches new levels of weird. Anya, the kid is telekinetic. She uses her powers to try and get herself adopted, and to do what she needs too to keep it. She’s adorable and silly and was my favourite part about this. But because no one knew she was telekinetic, she can seem a little weird, but I loved it.
I said previously that some of the aspects of this book felt a little historical and though that works, it did mean I had a little bit of an issue with the way Yor was treated. She got married because people were questioning her for being single. This does feel very Soviet. A single woman of a certain age being suspicious though I’m not sure if that’s something that actually happened. It felt very dated and Yor’s naivety didn’t help there. But I thought she was very pretty, very caring and I love that she can kick total ass. She wasn’t my favourite, but I look forward to seeing her grow.
The art is very interesting. It’s not a style I’d claim to love but Twilight with his messy hair is very handsome, and both Anya and Yor are completely adorable looking. The characters are all very expressive and that definitely adds to the humour. Aside from the many dead-eyed looking characters, I’d say the art is probably a lot cuter looking than a lot of shonen manga and it works for this very comedic series. That being said, if I hadn’t have seen people talking about it, I don’t think I’d have looked at the first volume and picked it up.
This was a great first volume and I really enjoyed it. I have plans to pick up the next volume as soon as possible, and I’m glad the series is still going in Japan because it means I’ll have volumes to pick up for a while yet!
Spy x Family is a bi-weekly serialization on the Shonen Jump+ app and website and has been since March 2019. It’s published in tankobon volumes in Japan by Shueisha and is translated by Viz Media.