MANGA REVIEW | "Spy × Family" - Volume Nine
Even when the Forgers go on vacation, trouble is somewhere close behind. Of course, knowing Twilight and Yor’s job, they’re rather run towards the danger for the sake of humankind. Volume Eight of Spy × Family did a phenomenal job at showcasing why Yor is such a big asset to the series. Its ninth volume concludes the cruise ship arc, and then proceeds to reward the readers with some of the funniest bits Tatsuya Endo has penned for the series.
Yor is still in the midst of a deadly battle, while Twilight seeks out the bombs planted within the cruise ship. Anya does her best to assist both, and succeeds in her own unique way. On top of using her mind-reading skills to find the bombs and culprits, the young lady also finds a way to give Yor the upper hand in her fight to survive. All of this is greatly rewarded with a day on a resort island, with the Forgers acting like a real family enjoying a vacation for once.
The rest of the Spy × Family cast gets to shine throughout the rest of this volume, many of whom deliver their best chops yet. Bond attempts to show how good of a dog he is to Twilight, with the big borfer using his psychic powers to assist bystanders. Although he does more (unintentional) bad than good, it’s when a fire breaks out when Bond demonstrates his skills as a top-rate pet. (Twilight nearly breaking into a laugh when he sees how skinny Bond really is was just icing on the cake.)
Becky takes the reins with the funniest chapter in the volume, and quite possibly one of the funniest moments in the entire series. Her swooning over Twilight during her first visit to Anya’s leads to one hilarious joke after another. When Twilight wants to know more about Becky’s family for intel purposes, Becky reads it as something more romantic, with Anya watching in the background for entertainment purposes. Only when Yor returns does Becky realize why she’s Anya’s mom, and that she’s got a long, long, LONG way to go before she can compete with her.
Franky and Nightfall get a moment to work with one another, as they doll up for a meeting with a top-tier forger. The afro-haired assistance takes every moment he can to be a dork, whereas Nightfall constantly reminds him that she can kill him in a flash. However, when under attack, the duo make for a hell of a team! One hopes that Endo writes more stories with these two together, as their banter and skills somehow come together like chocolate & peanut butter.
It’s in the final chapter of Volume Nine where Spy × Family blends tension and comedy into a perfect concoction. I really don’t want to give away what might be the greatest villain to Twilight’s plan, but her skills at Eden Academy are downright terrifying! As someone who read many a Roald Dahl novel as a kid, this kind of baddie is one that knows how to make me both laugh and shake with fear. (Honestly, not even Matilda could go toe-to-toe with this one!)
Nine volumes in, and Spy × Family keeps getting stronger and stronger. The action in the final cruise ship chapters delivers with impressive visuals, and the writing in the follow-up chapters showcases Endo’s strengths as a comedic writer. The tale of the Forgers hasn’t always been a perfect one, but they do have flawless moments here and there. Consider Volume Nine of Spy × Family as one of those moments of perfection.
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.