SPY×FAMILY is a Japanese manga and anime series that premiered in 2019, with the anime series debuting in 2022. The story follows a spy who has to “make a family” to execute a mission, not realizing that the girl he adopts as a daughter and the woman he agrees to be in a fake marriage with are a mind reader and an assassin, which causes trouble for him. The anime series is currently airing in Japan and while you’re waiting for the new episode, we are going to tell you whether the manga is completed or still ongoing.
The SPY×FAMILY manga has been published since March 25, 2019 in the Shōnen Jump+ magazine in Japan; Viz Media has been publishing the manga in English since 2020. At this moment, SPY×FAMILY is still ongoing with a total of nine volumes published, but with more on the way. Tetsuya Endo has, so far, not indicated when the manga might end.
In the rest of this article, we are going to tell you everything we know about the publication of the SPY×FAMILY manga. You’re going to find out about its creation, its publication, the plot and the setting, as well as the reception of the manga in the West. This article is going to be your go-to guide for all information concerning the SPY×FAMILY manga.
Is the SPY×FAMILY manga completed or is it still ongoing?
Before we tell you a bit about the publication history of SPY×FAMILY, we are briefly going to tell you one thing – SPY×FAMILY is still ongoing and as things stand now, it is going to be around for some time in the foreseeable future. Now, let us find out a bit more about the publication of the manga.
SPY×FAMILY has been released bi-monthly on the online service Shōnen Jump+ since March 25, 2019. The chapters are collected and edited in tankōbon format by Shūeisha, with the first volume published in July 2019; the series currently has nine tankōbon volumes (as of April 2022). Shūeisha is also simultaneously releasing the series in English and Spanish on the Manga Plus online service.
In North America, the manga has been published digitally by the publishing house VIZ Media on its site since September 22, 2019; the American publishing house has also been publishing a physical version since June 2020. In June 2020, Kurokawa announced the acquisition of the manga license for a French version with a translation by Satoko Fujimoto, the first volume of which was released in September 2020. Editorial Ivrea has been publishing a Spanish version which has been published in Spain and Argentina since 2020.
A Polish version has been published by Studio JG since April 2020. Kazé Deutschland has been publishing a German version of the manga since October 2020. The label Planet Manga has been publishing the manga in Italian since November 2020. The Panini Group has also been publishing two editions of the series in South America: a version in Brazilian Portuguese since September 2020, and another version in Spanish for Mexico since February 2021. Tong Li Publishing has been publishing the series in Traditional Chinese since December 2019; In China, the series is published digitally by bilibili.
As you can see, SPY×FAMILY is doing quite well and what started off as an online manga has managed to become a global phenomenon that is being published on practically every continent in the world.
What is SPY×FAMILY all about?
The plot is set in a time similar to the 1960s or 1970s in a country called Ostania with a vague resemblance to Berlin on the brink of a cold war. The main family is made up of different common figures from action stories (such as Loid, who is a spy, and his wife Yor, who is a hired assassin) and science fiction such as Anya, who is a telepath girl, and Bond, a seer dog.
Despite the premise of the series, the main genre of the series is comedy, with several of the plots closely following the protagonists’ efforts to build their reputation as an ordinary family and how, while trying to hide their respective secrets, they end up falling apart, complicate their initial goal and create compromising situations.
Each member of the Folger family has their own motivations for becoming part of the family: Loid to fulfill his mission to infiltrate the Republic of Ostania, Yor to create a perfect alibi in her job as a hired assassin, and Anya, who yearns to belong to a family that accepts and raises her as a normal girl. Thanks to her telepathic powers, Anya is not only aware of her parents’ secrets but also intervenes to ensure that their true identities are not exposed.
The Forgers spend time together and eventually develop affection for each other mostly unconsciously and as they face typical family difficulties the mission of infiltration slowly drags on and on. When Westallia’s top agent “Twilight” is assigned to infiltrate a rival continent to gather intelligence on his agency’s latest target, the spy finds himself with the most challenging mission of his career as he is forced to father a student at a prestigious private academy.
To achieve this he assumes the false alias of Loid Forger, adopts an orphaned girl named Anya, and eventually marries Yor Briar, a lonely and withdrawn young woman.
What Loid ignores is that both Anya and Yor are not what they seem and have their own secrets to keep from their family; on the one hand, Yor is a deadly assassin known as the “Thorn Princess”, who hopes to use her fake family as an alibi to avoid suspicion as a single adult woman while on the other hand, Anya is an orphan girl gifted with the gift of reading the thoughts of the people around her, so when she learns of Loid’s mission, she does her best to meet their expectations and does her best to prevent her parents from discovering her secret in order to finally live next to a family. So the three of them now have to live as an ordinary functional family as well as ensure that Loid’s mission is accomplished as soon as possible.
How was the SPY×FAMILY manga created?
Tatsuya Endō and his editor Shihei Lin have known each other for more than ten years; Lin served as his first editor on his first Tista series in 2007. When Lin was transferred from Jump Square‘s editorial department to that of Shōnen Jump+, Endō willingly followed him and began developing new work.
As Endō liked “secret identity” situations, he decided to make the main character of this work a spy. SPY×FAMILY also uses elements from three one-shots he published in Jump Square: “Rengoku no Ashe”, “Ishi ni usubeni, tetsu ni hoshi” and “I Spy”. Lin said his editorial reception was so good that its serialization was practically decided before the official meeting even took place.
Lin had Endō worked as assistants on Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Fire Punch to gain experience. With both Tista and The Moon Sword having a dark tone, Lin asked Endō to give SPY×FAMILY a more positive and cheerful tone. The initial project received a working title, which was Spy Family. When deciding on the final name, Endō came up with over 100 options, but they ultimately decided to use the same title but in English and with a “cross” between the two words, the latter being influenced by Hunter × Hunter.
The editor said he and Endō were always mindful of the line where violence, which is necessary for a spy manga, is a pass in the interests of comedy. Anya was inspired by the main character of “Rengoku no Ashe”. Her supernatural ability was decided early on, and Lin cited its use for comic effect as one of the show’s strengths.
Lin said the series has a wide following among all ages and genders. He also cited Endō’s own drawings and his ability to convey emotions as part of his manga’s points of interest. Lin feels that the world and characters were firmly established from the second book onwards, and as such revealed that he and Endō would begin to include longer storylines in the series.
Is the SPY×FAMILY manga well-received?
SPY×FAMILY has been positively received by critics, also obtaining a great response in terms of sales; over 300,000 copies of the manga were sold in the first month of publication, and after four months, that figure exceeded one million units. At the beginning of July 2020, the manga reached four million copies in circulation (including those in digital format), and to celebrate the event Tatsuya Endo has created an original illustration regarding the work. Two months later, Shueisha announced that the manga has nearly reached six million copies in print.
At the end of December 2020, the manga exceeds eight million printed copies compared to five published volumes. Six months later, in June 2021, the official Twitter account of Shōnen Jump+ announced that the manga, compared to seven volumes published, has reached 11.7 million printed copies. The series was ranked fifth in a poll conducted by AnimeJapan called “Most Wanted Anime Adaptation”, which is the most desired anime adaptation.