top of page

Spy x Family: An incredible genre-blending love story

Sean Cabot

Staff Writer

When I decided to read Tatsuya Endo’s “Spy x Family” on a friend’s recommendation, I was intrigued. But in spite of high expectations set by the unique premise and crisp art, that intrigue quickly turned to adoration.

Now “Spy x Family,” is the only ongoing comic that I make an eFort to read as it releases. It is a well-rounded, heartwarming, and gut-busting joy of a comic that deserves the attention it has so rightfully received.

The worst thing I can say about it is I don’t get why there’s an “x” in the title when it isn’t even


Taking place in a fictionalized version of Cold War Europe, the series centers around Agent Twilight, an expert spy working for the government of Westalia. Stationed in their neighbor Ostania, he is given a mission to track down a dangerous extremist.

The problem is that said extremist is a hermit who only makes appearances at his son’s highly exclusive school functions. And because of the school’s rigid expectations of family structure and class, he is forced to recruit two unlikely allies.

The first is Anya, a little girl who he sends to attend the school. The second is Yor Briar, a civil servant who agrees to pose as his upper-class wife so that she can avoid the stigma faced by single women suspected of espionage.

While Twilight poses as a psychiatrist named Loid Forger to keep his identity a secret, Yor and Anya have secrets of their own. Yor is a prolific assassin, while Anya is a psychic who can read the minds of everyone around her.

In spite of their grim nature, Anya is childishly thrilled about her parents’ exciting lifestyles. As Loid tries to instruct her to the point where she can attend the private functions, he Jnds that his feigned feelings towards her and Yor may no longer be feigned.

These relationships are what make the entire comic.

While there are excellent moments of comedy, action, and drama, where “Spy x Family” truly shines is in its expert handling of the family dynamic.

Loid and Yor are mutually aware of their marriage’s false nature – which gives them room to grow attached over time while keeping them on friendly terms throughout. Rather than bickering and bantering, the relationship develops from the two confiding in each other over their self-doubts, leading to a refreshingly healthy romantic dynamic.

However, Anya is the true lynchpin of the series. I’ll put it bluntly – I haven’t seen any child characters that are this infectiously likeable in a long time.

Anya’s behavior and expressions are exaggerated, but they still reflect a believable sense of childish impulsiveness and naïveté. And her psychic abilities allow her to subtly aid in the information war the characters are engaged in.

This allows her to contribute to both the comedy and the drama of the story. Her attempts to keep her new family together are both endearing and heartfelt.

All of this is conveyed through basic-but-polished aesthetics. Though simply shaded, the character art is raised up by expertly conveyed motion.

Despite its focus on comedy, that the series has demonstrated such a strong thematic identity and likeable cast, this quickly speaks greatly to Endo’s talent.

This is by no means a comic anyone should miss.

“Spy x Family” is a dark horse in the world of comics. Its readership has reached remarkable levels for a relatively new series, and its sales have been consistently strong. Hopefully a television adaptation is not far behind.

A, the best espionage-romance I’ve ever read


Commenting has been turned off.
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
bottom of page