Spy x Family Volume 11: Make With The Cake



Well, in contrast to my recent review of Blade of The Moon Princess, Spy x Family‘s latest volume does a lot to excite readers and get a good few laughs out of them. To that end, this will obviously be a short review. Everyone understands that Spy x Family is good, everyone knows how fun it is and whatnot. There’s not exactly any new ground to break.

So instead, I wanted to take the opportunity to chat about the sort of unspoken quality that exists with Spy x Family and is displayed in this volume. I think a lot of readers tend to take advantage of what Tatsuya Endo’s done with this record breaking manga. That’s not all that surprising, nor is it that terrible, but I just think it’s very interesting because of how far they’ve come as a mangaka. They’re now eleven volumes deep into something that has less passion in it than Blade of The Moon Princess or Tista, but that’s arguably been their greatest boon. Their isolation from being neck-deep in the manga has allowed them to approach with a more level head and find ways to continue to make things interesting and enjoyable.

For example, our cast of characters continues to be cycled through rather nicely, as they find a solid rhythm with their appearances in the manga. Nobody really gets left in the dust in terms of cast, but the idea of a spotlight doesn’t quite exist either. It’s a very smooth gradient that shifts with the the context of the chapters, and is truly key to providing fresh humor. Without access to the wide range of characters, alongside the various combinations they can form, it’s relatively certain that the comedy of the manga wouldn’t land the same as it does now that we’re into the double-digits.

Similarly, the situations that Endo cooks up with Spy x Family are really out of this world. When you compare it to the much more contextually restricted Tista, or sort of loose cannon Blade of The Moon Princess, Spy x Family‘s situational awareness and ability to relate to previous events reigns supreme. The various callbacks made in this volume alone are a perfect example of that. The whole idea of terrorism and the sort of cold war going on really lends itself to finding cycles and repetition, which Endo certainly takes advantage of.

Speaking more on subjects that pertain to the series as a whole though, I do like how resolute Endo is in portraying both extremes with a slight humanizing light. Of course that varies from character to character based on motivation, but they do a lot of work to make sure that characters aren’t evil purely for the sake of being evil. It’s something really important when building a series like Spy x Family, and oddly enough you can see almost the exact inverse in Blade of The Moon Princess. Regardless, one area where Spy x Family is beginning to resemble its elder siblings more and more in is the violence. It’s not necessarily gore-filled displays like Endo’s previous works would show off, but as of the last few volumes Endo has really been dipping their toes into steering gently into those sorts of ideas. Character deaths, blood and violence, quite a bit has been “properly” shown without much censorship, and this volume really is a prime example of that (though not in any off-putting manner).

Overall, there’s really nothing new to talk about with Spy x Family volume 11. It’s a really fun volume that sees Endo continue to push the limits of this work and find new ways to keep the humor and energy alive while slowly progressing the story. The only thing to truly say is that with the long term success of the series secured, Endo (and their editor) are becoming more and more confident at letting the truer pieces of Endo’s creativity shine through in the manga. It does make me sort of hopeful that we’ll see that small tonal shift continue through to future volumes, as I think it’s really important for setting up some of the major milestones in the Forger family. Though, only time will tell, and as of right now it’s just saying that Spy x Family will remain a wildly popular manga (and anime) for the time being.

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