HomeComics/MangaMANGA REVIEW | "Mission: Yozakura Family" - Volume Five

MANGA REVIEW | "Mission: Yozakura Family" - Volume Five

MANGA REVIEW | "Mission: Yozakura Family" - Volume Five

Mission: Yozakura Family has gone to great lengths to show how much Taiyo has grown as a spy in its first four volumes. But when it comes to his marriage to Mutsumi, there’s only been a sprinkling of romantic progress on display. You can’t blame the two though, as they’ve spent much of this story avoiding death and trying to find out who killed Taiyo’s family. Certainly, that’s enough of an excuse to keep this marriage goi—

…perhaps I spoke too soon.

The truth of the matter is, it’s because of Taiyo’s interactions with Mutsumi that his family was snuffed out. After dealing with a scary sound-hater at the Library of the Dead, the culprits behind the Taiyo’s suffering is revealed: Tanpopo. As they’re one of the organizations that’s trying to kill off the Yozakura family, it’s natural that they want to off anyone even remotely associated with them. Naturally, such a thing causes both panic and anger in Taiyo and Mutsumi, who decide to infiltrate a hospital that Tanpopo uses as a front.

And there, with beaming smile and nary a feeling of death lingering through his essence, is the culprit. It’s a meeting that confuses Taiyo, who expected something a lot more gruff and intimidating. However, that side of the killer is revealed when Taiyo attempts to hack into the hospital database and steal some Tanpopo intel. At that very moment, Taiyo realizes that he’s dealing with a very dangerous individual.

Alas, Mission: Yozakura Family then takes a break from the main storyline to give us something more in the vein of comedy. The good news is, these stories are very funny! An extreme walk in the park with the family dog, a clown with a love for explosions, and even a tough-as-nails training session disguised as a fishing trip between brothers-in-law go full extreme both in the visual department and in the art of humor. But it’s the appearance of rival spy Sosuke Michibata where the silliness goes into full gear.

Ever-so wanting to be the protagonist of this manga, Sosuke is just a grade-A loser through and through. He sneaks pics of cute classmates, cyber-stalks his classmates, and even is petty with revenge. Thankfully, Taiyo and Mutsumi do their best to put him on a better path in life, even if he doesn’t deserve it. Yes, no amount of free aquarium tickets — a chapter too funny to spoil here — can save him from being a lifelong jackass.

Volume Five ends with the story getting back on track, as Taiyo sneaks into a prison to gather some more intel on Tanpopo. There’s a good deal of humor on display, especially when he and Mutsumi sweet-talk to one another in Morse Code as they pretend to argue. But the icing is in the final pages of the volume, where the next batch of Tanpopo intel can be found. And trust me: Taiyo should be a little worried.

At this point, Mission: Yozakura Family feels like it’s no longer a clone copy or imitation of spy & family-based manga. There’s deep lore now, and the more that’s unveiled has helped to make the narrative even more interesting. It also knows how to be funny when the time calls for it, on top of showcase the sweetness of Taiyo and Mutsumi’s relationship. Here’s hoping the two of them can retire and die peacefully in the future, that is if Tanpopo doesn’t have their way first. Maybe a little extra training will help them achieve that goal.


Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)