What happens when a spy needs to assemble a family unit for a mission, and the child he adopts and lady he marries are respectively a telepath and assassin, except none of them quite know what the rest of them are? A lot of fun is what. I saw a teaser excerpt of Spy X Family in a magazine, and I guess it worked since I bought the first volume about as soon as it was out.
Twilight is a master spy, unfeeling and professional, who is given the mission of getting close to a recluse who might be up to no good, and the only way to do this is by infiltrating the school which said recluse’s son attends. He has one week before the admission application is due to the school to assemble a family unit, because this particular private school likes family values. So first he adopts Anya, who happens to be a telepath so she can read some things on Twilight’s mind, but she’s young enough (probably 4ish although she claims to be 6) to not quite understand the adults thoughts. Next Twilight encounters Yor, who is a single civil servant who just so happens to be an assassin. They agree to help each other, Twilight will pretend to be Yor’s boyfriend at a party, and Yor will pretend to be Anya’s mother at the admissions interview, assuming Anya passes the entrance exam. After the party, Twilight and Yor run into trouble, in the middle of which Yor and Twilight agree to marry for convenience. The adventure continues with the admissions process, and the volume concludes with suggesting that the next one will let us know if the family passed or not.
The thing that I really liked here is that everyone has some genuine personality, and that even though they all have big secrets, all three seem to fit well together as a potential family unit. Yor for example decides that Loid (Twilight’s current undercover identity) might actually be able to accept her for who she is because he doesn’t react badly to seeing her use some of her skills although she lies about where she learned them, and Twilight notices that Yor is either smart enough to not ask about the strange things she’s encountered around him or that she’s not smart enough to notice. They’re both right and both wrong about each other, and I love that, and I really want to see what happens when they figure each other out. Anya being a telepath means that she knows what her new parents are, but it’s still perfect because she’s too young to quite grasp the situations and thoughts she connects with and experiences. At one point when Loid says she’s so intuitive it’s like she can read his mind, she internally freaks out a moment, and again, I can’t wait to see how that all unfolds.
Naturally, cold unfeeling Twilight thinks things like he’ll give Anya back to the orphanage and break up with Yor after the mission, but obviously he’s getting attached to them and they to him.
As it currently is, this series has a lot of promise, just as long as it manages to keep the balance between adventure and fun and the emotional side. I could see things getting pretty dark, especially with Twilight and Yor’s jobs, but again, as the series is so far, it’s actually leaning more towards the sweet but not too sappy thawing and growing of characters who start out faking the family for personal reasons but end up really becoming a family. I hope that keeps up.