The first volume of Viz Media's Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo established the premise and tone of the series. A spy forms a fake family as cover for his new mission, unaware that his fake daughter is a telepath, and his fake wife is an assassin, and only the little girl knows all their secrets. The series is a comedy about how this fake family navigates their pretense while becoming a genuine family-of-choice despite themselves. Volume 2 proves that Endo can sustain his story and his tone of chaotic farce.
In the second volume, master spy Twilight and his fake wife Yor just barely get their adopted daughter Anya enrolled in the elite Eden Academy. Twilight needs Anya to become friends with Damian, the spoiled and obnoxious son of the man he's been tasked to spy on. Twilight and Yor do everything right to set it up, except he failed to account for children being mean and cruel just because they can. Anya becomes the instrument for a cascade of chaos that just snowballs as things go on. The ability to read minds is hell for a kid in school when everybody there is a meanie. She asks Yor to teach her how to fight for self-defense, which leads to her punching out Damian for bullying her.
Why Spies Hate Working with Kids
There's a lot of fun in watching Twilight's cool façade melt into quivering frustration every time Anya and children simply do not do what he wants them to do to fulfill his mission. Twilight turns, making Anya apologize for punching Damian into a full-time mission. It's not that Anya is unwilling – in fact, she's desperate to do that to help daddy out and stay in school. It's the sheer unpredictability of the other children that thwarts her. The master spy's best-laid plan for manipulation and success comes messily undone when everything falls at the feet of little kids. They're little balls of total chaos and symbolize the very thing Twilight is afraid of losing control. There's also Yor's ability to bust out her insane reflexes and assassin skills at the drop of a hat, which Twilight keeps missing. The master spy and expert observer fail to notice his fake wife is the deadliest thing in the room.
Underneath Endo's meticulous plotting, where each element just adds to a funny and chaotic payoff later, is a sentimental celebration of parenting and fatherhood. Everyone keeps complimenting Twilight for being a good dad. Endo gives Twilight, Yor, and Anya equal importance in the story and how the three of them make up a complete unit. How their skills, quirks, and flaws all complement each other with Anya's ability to read minds the secret trump card that Twilight doesn't even know he has up his sleeve. Spy x Family is that rare high-concept series that has comedy, thrills, and heart, the latter still wrapped up in laughs.