Spy x Family is one of those stand-out series that has really made a splash in the manga community. With its serialization in Shonen Jump, the manga has collected a vast number of fans very quickly, me being one of them. I didn’t start out reading it in Jump, but instead picked it up when the first volume was printed, but I was quickly pulled in and made the commitment to Jump to read more. Recently, Viz Media gave me the chance to check out the second volume in advance, and I absolutely jumped on reading it. It was just as good as the first with all the wackiness that I’ve come to love from the Forger family and then some. We meet some new characters, see some action packed scenes, and see the dysfunctional relationship between the Forgers grow. I also really loved watching Anya navigate family and school dynamics while being telepathic, I think it makes for some great comedy.
Volume two of Spy x Family sees Anya make it onto the waitlist for Eden Academy and then finally get into the prestigious school. In celebration, Twilight rents out a whole castle for her, even calling in his colleagues to let her play out all of her princess dreams of being rescued. But a new complication arises when Twilight is told that in order to complete his mission and gain access to his target, he must make Anya an honor student. Twilight embarks on the task of navigating parenthood in order to help Anya make her way to the top of the academy.
This review is going to be a bit shorter than normal, only because the volume isn’t out yet and I don’t want to spoil any of the content for you. The chapters are available via the Shonen Jump subscription, but to those who aren’t able to pay the monthly price, I’ll try and keep it as spoiler-free as possible.
I still love the art from Tatsuya Endo. Movement is a huge focus of the manga, with Twilight and Yor being secret agents and assassins, professions where fighting is a necessity. For the most part, we see them get into fights outside of their jobs/missions, but it winds up being still essential to the overall story. I particularly love seeing Yor in action. Her movements are always fluid, made all the more impactful by the line art from Endo. His movement lines help convey the swiftness and accuracy of her kicks and punches, her character design literally stretching to show the reader just how fast she can punch and kick when she needs to.
In the course of the story, I think we’re starting to see Yor use her abilities to protect more than kill over time. Anya is slowly becoming like a daughter to her and her maternal instincts have started to kick in that make her want to protect Anya more than anything. I loved particularly the point where the whole family is play-acting Anya’s rescue from the clutches of an evil villain with Yor playing an evil witch. She’s supposed to fight Twilight and just goes absolutely ham on him. The look on his face is hilarious, since it’s still a secret that she’s an assassin. Whenever Anya’s mentioned in the context of fighting or protecting, she really gets into it. There are a few more instances of these throughout this volume, as well as a moment where Anya is getting self-defense instruction from her. Little by little, I really do think they are becoming a true mother and daughter, if a dysfunctional one at that.
I think we are starting to see the same from Twilight as well. In the first volume, he was willing to do anything to get the job done, even faking a family and a marriage. But I think little by little, Anya’s bright, round eyes just sucked him in and he started to really consider what it means to be a father and a family. With the difficulties of getting Anya into the academy, I think it’s made him really consider the fact that his mission may fail, and whether or not he’s okay with that. I think it’s also so challenging for Twilight because he has such a calculating mind. With Anya introduced into the equation, his carefully laid plans just begin to take a spin in different directions. Anya becomes something of a wildcard for him, and there are various moments within this volume where Twilight has to make various back-up plans just to stay on track. However, there are also times where he seems fine with not completing the mission if it means that Anya is happy, and I’d love to see how far these growing emotions will take him into the realm of fatherhood.
Anya has quickly become one of my favorite characters in this series. The fact that she keeps both of her adopted parent’s secrets, not revealing them to each other, and yet doesn’t really seem to understand everything that’s going on is where the real comedy lies. She obviously has a need to make herself useful to her new parents because she doesn’t want to be sent back to the orphanage, but she’s also influenced a lot by her telepathy, so her actions are often out of sync with cultural norms. Putting her into an upper-class private school like the academy with all of this going on in the background, makes for some fantastic comedy. The normal troubles of making friends and getting settled at school becomes twice as hard when she has to deal with stuck-up rich kids and the fact that she can tell what everyone is thinking at all times.
The combination of family drama, school drama, and intrigue makes for a really interesting combination. The whole feel of Spy x Family becomes one twist after another, with this second volume adding in a surprise visit from a new character and Anya’s efforts to make a place for herself at school. I’m certainly rooting for her to do well and get into the honors program, but I have a feeling there will be some other twist coming in the next volume that forces Twilight to consider an alternate path to his goal.
Volume Two comes out on September 1st! Let me know what you think in the comments if you wind up picking up this volume or if you’ve read ahead one Shonen Jump.
~~Thanks for Reading!~~
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