[Review] Spy Family – A Hilarious Story About An Esper, a Spy, and an Assasin by Tatsuya Endo

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I finally did it! I was avoiding Spy Family for so long and I guess you could say I still am in some regards, but I finally am in the loop. At least on the manga side. After very pointedly lying to everyone around me IRL, telling them that OF COURSE I knew Spy Family, no I didn’t watch the anime, I read the manga because #intellectual and haha, yes, Anya is hilarious, Yor hm, yeah Yor (WHO?!), and Loid is my favorite. Obviously, he’s a spy and therefore cool. What’s this? Twilight?? Yeahhh *holds awkward smile*

I finally did actually read it so it’s no longer a lie

Spy Family is set in what looks like Cold War Germany. Twilight is a meticulous spy who has never failed a mission, and he isn’t about to start now. His next target is Donovon Desmond, the leader of the National Unity Party, however, the only way to get close to him is through his youngest son’s very elite and special school, which means that within the next week, Twilight must get married and have a child old enough to enroll at this school. And all of this must be done under the guise of a loving father and husband.

What he doesn’t realize is that he isn’t the only one keeping a secret identity

I feel like that summary makes it seem like it’s a story mainly focusing on Loid but honestly, I feel like a lot of the shenanigans that happens, especially after he finds Anya, is sort of propelled by her (thanks to her mind-reading powers!). Also, I finally understand why everyone kept saying that Anya was their precious child because wow, she’s so adorable

I’ve always liked school so I can’t really relate to the “I hate studying” but you bet I eat up the mess she makes out of everything. I LOVE how she’s so single-mindedly devoted to the thrills of spies, their gadgets, and, well, anything of entertainment…which just happens to involve a lot of violence. And the fake scenarios in her head are Gold!

I would say something like “If only she didn’t mess things up all the time” but honestly, I’m glad she’s the complete opposite of what Loid (Twilight) was expecting to pick up

And finally, I know who Yor is! When I couldn’t place the name, I sort of assumed it might be the wife and, again, I understand why people love her. I kind of love her now too. I love how airheaded she is, which is sort of the reason she ends up even approaching Loid in the first place. Apparently being unmarried at age 27 is reason enough to become suspect and you don’t want your neighbors denouncing you to the Secret Police, right?

Well, Yor is teetering on that possibility and ends up telling a white lie that begins to spiral out of control.

But this is nothing compared to her own secret identity because Yor is an assassin and a pretty great one. Great enough that Loid is started by the way a common woman could sneak up on him.

There are a lot of fun moments throughout the manga and I have to say that my favorites are usually when we follow Loid, Yor, and/or involve a family outing. I just am not a fan of the school setting and especially not when I’m following, what, first graders? I mean, there are nice moments but I just don’t find them very exciting and humor only goes so far in keeping me entertained, which brings me to my only complaint about the manga

I feel like it’s been losing a bit of steam in some volumes, which is what I was afraid of because even though there’s an actual plot in this (vs. other comedy manga), a big appeal is still the humor

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good points later on. What I’ve been enjoying is the character development. From the very beginning, we know that Loid is going to take this mission seriously and he very clearly cares about the citizens of his country, especially children. He even tries to send Anya away early on because he thinks his lifestyle is too dangerous and he doesn’t want to endanger her, and throughout the manga, we see him always calculating all of his moves and how he (and his family) are seen by his neighbors

Personally, these are usually some of my favorite moments because it always leads to some hilarious family outings (or dates).

But it’s only until more recent chapters that we start to see, maybe, some more genuine concern for Yor and Anya. I’m both excited and dreading it. I want this guy for myself but I have to concede that Yor is a great match!

And Yor! She’s one-upped him on the character development. I was very worried about her character since, after the first few chapters, we didn’t really see her doing much assassaning. It felt like she’d been thrown into the mother role exclusively, even though we did get glimpses of her job every now and then. I’m glad we got a more dedicated mini-arc for her.

I think these three work best as a trio. I love getting to see them on their adventures but also being struggling (but dedicated in their own way) parents. The cast in Spy Family does grow. We get to meet a few people from both Yor and Loid’s secret lives. Most of them I like and even find cute, others…well, let’s just say I wouldn’t miss them if they didn’t make a reappearance.

I will probably continue to not watch the anime (LOL) but will continue, at a leisurely pace, following the manga because yes, I do want to know how the mission will conclude. And their family. I mean, how do you dismantle something like this? Will Loid be able to? Will Anya and Yor let him? Also, if anyone is curious, I did review the individual volumes over on Goodreads

Who is your favorite? I think before I read the manga I would have undoubtedly said Loid but now it’s like a tug of war with him and Yor. I really like them both!

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