Spy×Family Manga Volume 10 Review

Secret agent×Circle of relatives Manga Quantity 10 Overview

Although SPY FAMILY has consistently done an excellent job of camouflaging its more somber aspects, this volume really touched home for me in terms of the generational trauma. Instead of following its more conventional “banter with a dose of emotional heft” approach, the first part of this novel reveals Loid’s backstory. The lengthy first chapter reveals what has already been hinted at—that he was profoundly impacted by the real-world WWII, maybe inspiring him to pursue a career in espionage. However, some readers may find this difficult or distressing. The only child of what appears to be an upper-middle-class couple, Loid (whose real name is always hidden behind a black bar) probably worked as a diplomat or in intelligence himself. Little Loid is more worried that his father won’t let him play “war” with his three pals than he is about knowing or caring. In a clever bit of foreshadowing, Loid ends up taking on the position of “advisor” because he doesn’t have the necessary gadgets.

Bombs swarm Loid’s town, bringing an unexpected end to his idyllic existence. Before now, “war” had only ever been in his mind as a hypothetical game to play with his friends. When the elders assured him that war rumors were much overblown, he had accepted them, and when the bombs dropped, his confidence in them and the environment around him was replaced with rage. In the end, he adopts his first fictitious identity as “Roland Spoofy” (Endo frequently uses pseudonyms) in order to enlist in the army, which ultimately leads him to WISE.

Even if it’s a clumsy literary ploy to show that this flashback is Loid having a nightmare about his past, understanding what led him to the moment when we first encountered him is crucial. Knowing his past helps us understand him in a more realistic light as the “Loid Forger,” a role he is still unsure of, as evidenced by the telling moment he wakes up and believes he is in “Loid’s house.” As a father, Loid finds it difficult to balance his instincts as an orphan raised in unimaginable conditions with what he feels must be done. He’s not even aware of the extent to which he understands Anya; even while her anxieties of abandonment aren’t always spoken to him, he instinctively tries to allay them. Even their connection is influenced by his history with Yor. He’s thinking about how great Yor’s unexpected new buddy might be for Operation Strix, but his first thought is still what will make Yor more comfortable. Unbeknownst to him, Loid is exploiting the trauma he experienced as a child to stop his new family from experiencing the same trauma.

The way his early life experiences are portrayed is excellent and adds depth to the entire book. The war plot may seem too important, but Anya and the master of elegance have a pleasant chapter, and Yor’s role continues to gain attention as she takes up a complete chapter as the primary character. This could be because my grandparents came of age during World War II; Loid’s history could be described in their words, and I’m sure Endo is attempting to arouse that feeling in his readers. However, it also demonstrates to us how crucial the series’ main plot is. Loid’s early years were tranquil until they suddenly weren’t, and Anya’s fixation on the fictional Spy Wars program can be interpreted as her generation’s take on Loid’s war games. Anya, perhaps more than he did when he was her age, recognizes the significance of Loid’s work in her own unique way. Though it’s done for laughs, Endo seems to be trying to convey to us that there’s something real hiding beneath the surface.

It’s unclear how much of that is related to the Desmond family, but Yor’s chapter in this volume helps get us thinking about it. When she saves a woman from falling down the stairs, her cake mission takes a different turn. The woman promptly turns back and offers her admission to a unique group of what may be called lady patriots. The group has an unsettling vibe, reminiscent of the Junior League of the early 1900s (Anzia Yezierska’s short tale “The Free Vacation House” is a suitable example). Additionally, one of the speech bubbles has clear consequences for Damian, Anya’s mission’s goal. Though Loid’s past compels us to consider the somewhat melancholic undertones, if not the truly evil ones, this is still a lighthearted chapter.

Thankfully, there are still some good giggles to be had here. As usual, Loid is overanalyzing everything and Anya is listening in, but Bond also gets another chance to prove why he’s the best boy in manga as he tries to be Franky’s sidekick at a dog park. How do I put it? The comeback of “Wet Bond” is sure to make you laugh, and the backstory exchange between Franky and his love interest is a great one-liner. Henderson’s attempt to comfort Anya after her most recent tantrum also goes hilariously wrong in a way that anyone who has ever worked with children can easily relate to. Even though Sylvia may not understand the sentiment as a spymaster, it’s still excellent to get her in the spotlight occasionally. Her chapter isn’t as hilarious as the others and is more conceptually connected to Loid’s background.

Spy Family has always been great at subtly incorporating emotional intelligence into its caper elements. This volume goes a little further with it, and although it’s not nearly as enjoyable as earlier entries, it’s still really well done and significant to Loid’s character development. Making sure that what he went through doesn’t need to happen to any other youngster, and maybe that’s what motivates him.

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