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SPY X FAMILY

spy_x_family_vol_1 spy_x_family_vol_5 spy_x_family_vol_2 spy_x_family_vol_3 spy_x_family_vol_8 spy_x_family_vol_7 spy_x_family_vol_6 spy_x_family_vol_4
 
Full Name: Twilight and Thorn Princess
Nationality: Westalian, Ostralian
Organization: Westalian Intelligence
Occupation Agent

Creator: Tatsuya Endo
Time Span: 2020 - 2020

ABOUT THE SERIES

Spy x Family is a 'normal' family; Dad and Mom and little daughter Anya.

The setting for the activity of this interesting trio is a region of the world (unspecified) in which two fairly good sized countries share a long and historic border, Westalis and Ostania. The two nations have apparently a rivalry that has lasted for some time with the competition breaking out in battle on occasion. The current state of affairs is one of a tenuous peace but there are many in the Westerian government who are very nervous of a major political figure in Ostania, Donovan Desmond who heads the National Unity Party. Monitoring his activities to be ready for any major shift in policy has become a prime objective.

Enter one of the very best agents in Westalis' intelligence community, a man known only as Twilight. In our introduction to him, we are told he "was a veteran of the battlefield, employing a hundred different faces to survive". Twilight is a master of disguise so he can appear as just about anyone if he put his mind to it. When not in makeup, he is a very handsome youngish-looking man with short blond hair, blue eyes, and pale white skin. While his exact age is not known, based on his looks and his superb athletic build, it is reasonable to place him in his late 20s (he claims early on that he has been an agent for "10-odd years"). His lack of real name is indicative of his nature to shed himself of anything of his past so he can devote himself to serving his country.

The instructions for Twilight to accomplish the mission of monitoring Desmond is to create an identity and get enroll that fake person's pretend child in an elite private school Desmond's son attends, thereby making opportunities to mingle with Desmond and his associates.

Twilight immediately comes up with, using Westalian Intelligence assets, the new identity of Loid Forger, psychiatrist, getting a nice apartment in the capital city of Berlint. For the requisite child Twilight visited several less-than-reputable orphanages in that city knowing that with the right amount of money, questions would not be asked and documentation would not be necessary. Wanting a child who could already read and write so as to fit in at the private school, Twilight decided on the young Anya.

This little girl is roughly five years of age. Short in stature with fair skin, light pink hair, and green eyes, Anya is very shy around strangers but immediately takes to Twilight and he, to a lesser degree, to her. What Twilight does not know and Anya is not at all willing to tell him is that she is only recently arrived at the orphanage having been born and partially raised in a secret facility run by a mysterious and unknown organization. Her big secret is that she is a telepath, which allows her to probe the minds of those close to her. This is how she was able to know that Twilight was a spy who needed her but had no bad plans for her. She also saw her opportunity to get out of a very unpleasant group home.

Filling out this 'family' to meet his bosses' instructions and the private school's requirement, Twilight made use of a list of all age-appropriate single women in Berlint. While out buying clothes for Anya, he encounters the beautiful but extremely shy Yor Briar. That woman is in an uncomfortable situation of having lied to her brother and only relative that she was seeing someone and was expected to produce pictures of him. When Twilight makes his bizarre pitch of her taking the role of his wife and mother to Anya, she sees a solution to her problem.

Yor is 27 years old. Her day job is that of an ordinary clerk at Berlint's city hall. She is a very attractive, fairly tall woman with fair skin, long black hair and "upturned red eyes". She comes across as a woman terribly lacking in social skills which makes her seem extremely shy to some people and coolly aloof to others. These traits are not fake; she really is shy and aloof and in many ways very naive and gullible. She does, however, have one impressive secret. She lives a secret life as highly trained and extremely deadly assassin known as the Thorn Princess working for a secret Ostanian organization. Her list of accomplishments (i.e., kills) is remarkable.

Thus we have the Forger family. Husband and father Loid who is really a famous foreign spy but his 'wife' has no inkling of that part of him. Wife and mother Yor who is really a highly skilled and fierce assassin but her 'husband' has no clue about that extracurricular occupation. And Daughter Anya whose telepathic abilities lets her know the truth about both her 'parents' but who knows a good thing when she sees it so not only does not snitch, she helps keep the covers intact.

And while this deception goes on and the monitoring of Desmond takes place, many side missions for both Twilight and the Thorn Princess keep their lives exciting and interesting.

COMIC BOOKS, GRAPHIC NOVELS, AND MANGA

Number of Stories:8
First Appearance:2020
Last Appearance:2020

1 Spy x Family Vol. 1 Spy x Family Vol. 1
Published by Viz Media
Contributors: Tatsuya Endo (writer and artist), Colin Milliken (translator)
Copyright: 2020

Contains Missions 1-5:
Mission 1: Twilight is sent to the Berlint, Ostania, to spy on a major political leader, Donovan Desmond. He creates a false identity of Loid Forger, psychiatrist. He adopts a small child, Anya. As he prepares to try and enroll her in an elite school, she accidentally lets an old enemy know where Twilight is and that man and his gang comes calling.
Mission 2: Twilight learns he must come up with a fake wife for an interview at the school. He meets Yor at a clothing shop and the two work out a one-time deal. A sudden extra mission pops up where he must stop a smuggling ring.
Mission 3: Welcome to the family! Forger and Twilight and Anya move into their new home and the Forgers begin the process of learning to be a 'real' family.
Mission 4: The open house at the school for all perspective applicants and their family has come and the Forger family is one of many put through some interesting paces to weed out undesirables.
Mission 5: The actual interview in which one of the interviewees goes way, way too far with embarrassing and provocative questions, prompting Forger to storm out of the room with his family, knowing it was the end of the whole assignment.

2 Spy x Family Vol. 2 Spy x Family Vol. 2
Published by Viz Media
Contributors: Tatsuya Endo (writer and artist), Colin Milliken (translator)
Copyright: 2020

Contains Missions 6-11 and Extra Mission 1:

Mission 6: Stunned to be placed on the waiting list and then told Anya was accepted, Loid Folger follows through on his promise to give her whatever she wants - which is to be a princess rescued from a castle.
Mission 7: Folger is called in to a meeting his Handler, his handler, who gives him a dressing down for his expenses. She then explains in details some mysterious underpinnings of the Eden Academy, and an elite group of students called the Imperial Scholars. Meanwhile, while grocery shopping, Anya gets snatched by a gang seeing $ signs and quick cash. Yor/Thorn shows them otherwise.
Mission 8: Welcoming ceremonies at the school. Anya finds out the hard way that the school has its share of bullies; one of them finds that Anya has been training the Yor and has a pretty good punch.
Mission 9: When Anya punched the brat at school, she did not know it was vital for Forger's plan that she befriend him. Now she must apologize or ruin everything.
Mission 10: Since Anya'a apology went nowhere, Forger must go back to Plan A and make sure Anya gets superb grades in school. She, though, has trouble with math and trying to read Forger or Yor's minds gets her even more confused.
Mission 11: Anya is slowly learning math by counting bullets! Yuri, Yor's brother, learns she is married and prepares to visit even as he has to interrogate a man arrested for treason in the hopes the man will know about the West spy Twilight.
Extra Mission 1: HQ wants Forger to shop a shipment of chemical weapons whole Folger wants to take his fake family on a trip to the aquarium to appear normal to suspicious neighbors.

3 Spy x Family Vol. 3 Spy x Family Vol. 3
Published by Viz Media
Contributors: Tatsuya Endo (writer and artist), Colin Milliken (translator), Casey Loe (translator)
Copyright: 2020

Contains Missions 12-17 and Extra Mission 2:

Mission 12: Yor's brother, Yuri, visits to really scope out her husband, suspicious and jealous. The more wine consumed, the greater the anger and the easier for Forger to realize Yuri is really a spy.
Mission 13: Yuri's jealousy over Yor's marriage to Loid Forger, coupled with his excessive drinking, causes the get-together to really spiral out of control but all barely manage to hold it together though this does force Yor and Loid to kiss - sort of.
Mission 14: A bit concerned that Yor might actually have know Yuri was an SSS agent, he decides to put her to a test by going in disguise as a government agent and threatening to arrest her, knowing if she knew she had a brother in the SSS she would use that to get out of trouble. She passed and Loid felt guilty over the ruse.
Mission 15: Anya learns that the MVP in a dodge ball match gets a stella star so she is out to earn that spot. So, unfortunately, is Damian, the boy she had a run in with and whom she is supposed to get close to.
Mission 16: Getting a bit desperate to come up with a way to get Anya into the elite group Forger needs her in, he starts looking for other ways for her to earn a stella star. This includes helping at the community service. That is where Anya picks up a telepathic cry for help from a boy drowning in a pool. She races to rescue him.
Mission 17: Having gotten her first stella star, Anya tries to make friends again with Damian but fails. Her one friend at school convinces her she should ask for something special for her achievement and she decides on a dog because Damian has a dog.
Extra Mission 2: Loid worries that his cover identity as a husband and father might need some work so he asks Yor out on a date. She readily accepts even though she is suffering from a gunshot wound to the butt while taking out a terrorist cell as the Thorn Queen.

4 Spy x Family Vol. 4 Spy x Family Vol. 4
Published by Viz Media
Contributors: Tatsuya Endo (writer and artist)
Copyright: 2020

Contains Missions 18-23 and Short Missions 1-2:

Mission 18:
Mission 19:
Mission 20:
Mission 21:
Mission 22:
Mission 23:
Short Mission 1:
Short Mission 2:

5 Spy x Family Vol. 5 Spy x Family Vol. 5
Published by Viz Media
Contributors: Tatsuya Endo (writer and artist)
Copyright: 2020

Contains Missions 24-30 and Short Mission 3:

Mission 24:
Mission 25:
Mission 26:
Mission 27:
Mission 28:
Mission 29:
Mission 30:
Short Mission 3:

6 Spy x Family Vol. 6 Spy x Family Vol. 6
Published by Viz Media
Contributors: Tatsuya Endo (writer and artist)
Copyright: 2020

Contains Missions 31-37 and Short Mission 4:

Mission 31:
Mission 32:
Mission 33:
Mission 34:
Mission 35:
Mission 36:
Mission 37:
Short Mission 4:

7 Spy x Family Vol. 7 Spy x Family Vol. 7
Published by Viz Media
Contributors: Tatsuya Endo (writer and artist)
Copyright: 2020

Contains Missions 38-44 and Short Mission 5:

Mission 38:
Mission 39:
Mission 40:
Mission 41:
Mission 42:
Mission 43:
Mission 44:
Short Mission 5:

8 Spy x Family Vol. 8 Spy x Family Vol. 8
Published by Viz Media
Contributors: Tatsuya Endo (writer and artist)
Copyright: 2020

Contains Missions 45-53 and Short Mission 6:

Mission 45:
Mission 46:
Mission 47:
Mission 48:
Mission 49:
Mission 50:
Mission 51:
Mission 52:
Mission 53:
Short Mission 6:

MY COMMENTS

Going into this series knowing just the basics - that the best spy of one country must get close to a presidential candidate of a neighboring country to spy on his actions. That sounded promising, especially when he needed to set up a fake family, wife and daugther, to seal the deal.

But then I also learned from the blurbs that fake wife had a secret in that she was also an infamous assassin! And fake daughter had a secret in that she was an orphan with psychic skills like mind reading.

So was I turned off on the series? Not in the least - I was intrigued.

Of course I was concerned with it being a translation manga from Japan - but only because I would have to read it from back to front, right to left. The back to front was not hard but right to left was a challenge. Okay - still is!

But only part way through the first of many missions, I was hooked and stayed that way.

Genius writing and pacing for a series meant to be way out there. I loved it.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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