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A family of three stand against a blue background, including a man holding a gun, a woman holding a knife and a pink haired girl looking cautiously at both of them Image: Viz Media/Shonen Jump

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Expert criminals must pretend to be a normal family in one of the year’s best comics

What happens when you put a spy, an assassin, and a telepath together?

Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Shonen Jump’s prize series from 2019, Spy x Family, is finally hitting shelves in a paperback that compiles the first few chapters of the series. If you haven’t already manically consumed all of Spy x Family online, you need to.

Who makes Spy x Family?

Spy x Family is written and drawn by Tatsuya Endo. Endo has published several one-shot comics and series like Gekka Bijin, but none of his works have picked up the following that Spy x Family has. He also worked as an assistant for Kazue Kato on Shonen Jump’s Blue Exorcist.

Who is Spy x Family about?

Twilight, or Loid Folger, is a spy and a very good one. He’s a master of disguise, he’s excellent at planning ahead, and he’s just unmatched when it comes to espionage. He’s charming, but he doesn’t know the first thing about forming relationships with other people.

What is Spy x Family about?

In the series, Twilight is tasked with sniffing out info on an enemy of his country. The best way to do this is through the target’s son, who attends a prestigious school. Realizing he won’t be able to infiltrate the school and complete the task on his own, he finds a fake wife, Yor, and a fake daughter, Anya, to make a special, fake family.

Unknown to him, Yor is an expert assassin known as the Thorn Princess, and Anya is a telepath. All three have to figure out how to keep their secrets from each other while playing along as the happy Folger family. And, of course, young Anya knows exactly what’s going on behind her fake parents’ facade.

Is there any required reading?

Nope! It’s a fun twist on a secret agent series, but you don’t need to read anything beforehand.

Is Spy x Family good?

The Folger family recieves praise from a woman in Spy x Family chapter 3 Image: Viz Media/Shonen Jump

Yes! There’s a reason why this series managed to become one of Shonen Jump’s most popular properties in just a year. Endo has a knack for drawing action scenes, as well as illustrating expressive panels that really show you how the characters are feeling.

The subject matter can be bleak, as Loid is often fighting against terrorists, but the family comes together again and again and uses their abilities to secretly help each other out, creating a wholesome ending.

In the first volume, Loid tries to bring together a presentable family so Anya will be accepted to the prestigious academy, but the rest of the manga — which is available to read with Shonen Jump’s subscription service — focuses on raising Anya and working together as a family to achieve their goals.

The combination of a spy and and assassin secretly wedding may give off Mr. and Mrs. Smith vibes, but Yor and Loid aren’t enemies. Once you add a mind-reading child who lacks social tact into the mix, it creates the perfect formula for hilarity and good feelings.

Endo takes a premise that can be used to make a typical, corny, action manga and uses it to make some of the funniest series out right now.

One panel that popped

A sophisticated man talks about how his family must learn about fine art, while his adopted daughter yells about seeing bare boobs in a painting in Spy x Family chapter 3 Image: Viz Media/Shonen Jump