Unless you’ve completely avoided anime social media or forums for the last year, you’ve probably encountered the enormous hype surrounding Spy x Family. This comedy series is not just one of the biggest anime in Spring 2022, but it’s arguably the biggest new series coming out this year! So, just why is Spy x Family so popular?
What is Spy x Family About?
Spy x Family is a comedy series following a spy that has to create a fake family for a mission and inadvertently ends up with a secret assassin wife and psychic daughter.
The story centres on Twilight, a successful government spy whose latest mission requires him to infiltrate a prestigious school. To succeed, he needs a child and a wife, as ‘both parents need to be present’.
Twilight, now using the name Loid Forger, adopts an orphan named Anya. However, it turns out that Anya can read people’s thoughts. As a result, she’s fully aware of the situation, but tags along as she likes spy stuff.
With a daughter, Loid then finds a seemingly ordinary person, office-worker Yor, to agree to a fake marriage. However, Yor has a secret of her own – she’s actually a professional assassin known as the Thorn Princess.
Spy x Family follows the misfit family’s adventures as both Loid and Yor try to balance their double lives, while Anya watches everything unfold!
Spy x Family Manga Sales and Awards
The Spy x Family manga by Tatsuya Endo was first released in 2019 and has gone on to publish over 60 chapters and nine tankobon volumes.
In its first year, the manga won the Next Manga Award in Japan for Best Web Manga. In 2020, the popular domestic manga guide ‘Kono Manga ga Sugoi!’ named Spy x Family the best manga for male readers. In 2021, Spy x Family was nominated for both the Eisner and Harvey Awards in the USA.
When volume 6 was released in 2020, it was given an initial print run of 1 million copies, a record for any Shonen Jump + manga. Just ahead of the anime’s premiere, it was reported that Spy x Family had achieved 15 million copies in circulation in Japan.
Why is Spy x Family So Popular?
Tatsuya Endo’s Spy x Family has won a lot of praise for its fantastic comedy, but also for some wholesome moments and great art.
The main thing that makes Spy x Family so popular is its comedy. Spy x Family is a comedy series before anything else, with a lot of jokes surrounding the weird family trying to cope in normal situations. Twilight is often seen as a straight-laced character, with Yor being more expressive and less smart. Anya, meanwhile, sees everything unfold and is a fan favourite thanks to her cute reactions.
A notable point of praise for the manga, beyond the comedy, is the art style. Despite being a comedy series, the action scenes in Spy x Family are excellently portrayed.
Tatsuya Endo is also commended for a huge range of facial expressions which give the series an extra layer of depth compared to most comedy manga. It will be interesting to see if the anime can get the elegance of the manga across.