Spy x Family Volume Two begins to expand the cast of characters in the series.

Spy x Family Volume Two
Written by: Tatsuya Endo
Publisher: Shueisha Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: September 1, 2020

Volume Two opens with the Forgers going to Eden College and seeing that Anya’s number isn’t on the list of students accepted for admittance. However, Housemaster Henderson pulls the Forgers aside and shows them that Anya is at the top of the waiting list. Loid is surprised after what happened at the interview, but Housemaster Henderson brushes off his concerns. Housemaster Henderson also tells them to wait for the call for Anya’s admittance, since there’s a good chance that at least one student who was accepted to Eden College will decide not to attend. Three days later, the Forgers get the call from Eden College with Anya’s acceptance.

Franky Franklin, Loid’s informant, arrives to congratulate Anya and provides a celebratory meal. This includes alcohol for the adults, and we see that Yor can’t hold her liquor. Anya tells Loid that as a reward for getting into Eden College, she wants to be rescued from a castle by a spy. Loid is initially against this, but when Franky tells him about a castle they can rent, and how they can justify this as an expense for Operation Strix, Loid decides to go along with it.

Since I read this volume after watching the anime adaptation, I can say that the anime took the scene at the castle and extended it out. For viewers who were already familiar with the manga before watching the anime, this must have been quite the treat to see this section expanded out. The manga version of this part of the story is fine, but reading it after watching the anime adaptation, it felt a little more “bare bones” to me than it likely would have if I had read the manga first before watching the anime.

Before Anya heads off to Eden College, though, she gets her new uniform and wears it on her way home from the tailor shop. When Yor goes to the grocery store to buy ingredients for whatever she thought she’d be making for dinner, she lets Anya go outside to wait for her. A group of thugs sees Anya’s Eden College uniform and try to kidnap her, but Yor saves the day by using her superhuman strength to protect Anya and force the would-be kidnappers to run away. Anya is so impressed by what she witnessed that she asks Yor to train her in self-defense.

We then see the Forgers going to the Eden College entrance ceremony, and Anya finds herself in the same class as Damian Desmond (the second son of Loid’s target, Donovan Desmond), and Becky Blackbell, the daughter of a military contractor. Since Loid knows that Anya will never be an imperial scholar, he hopes that by arranging to have Anya and Damian in the same class, that they’ll become friends. Anya becomes friends with Becky, but after Damian learns that Loid is a psychologist, he looks down on Anya and starts bullying her. Unfortunately, Anya decides to use what Yor taught her and punches Damian in the face. This causes her to get her first demerit, much to Loid’s chagrin. Any student that gets eight demerits is expelled, so Loid has to try to make sure that she doesn’t make any more missteps.

Loid encourages Anya to apologize to Damian on the first day of school, but Becky keeps dragging her away before she can. Loid, who is watching what happens, disguises as a member of the cafeteria staff and manages to get Becky away. Anya makes the apology, but Damian’s reaction isn’t what Loid expected. So now he feels he’s back to square one.

Volume Two also establishes Yor’s younger brother, Yuri Briar, as a character. While he was referenced in Volume One, this is the first volume to truly show Yuri and develop him as a character. Unknown to Yor, Yuri is working for the State Security Service, the secret police of Ostania. Yuri learns about Yor’s marriage from his friend, Dominic, and decides he’s going to visit his sister and meet her husband. Among all of this, it’s also established that Yuri has a sister complex regarding Yor. The volume ends just as Yuri arrives at the Forger’s residence, so the next volume should be focusing on the meeting between Loid and Yuri.

I already knew what plot beats to expect in this volume, since I’ve already watched the first season of the Spy x Family anime. However, what was surprising was seeing just how much the anime fleshed out the celebration for Anya’s acceptance into Eden College. But the thing is, the fleshing out that the anime did for this section of the story worked. Like I said earlier, the version of the celebration that appears in Volume Two is fine, but the anime found a way to take this section of the manga and make it even stronger.

One of the bonus items in Spy x Family Volume Two is a one shot story about the Forgers taking a family trip to the aquarium and the hijinks that happen there. Anime viewers will recognize this story, because it was adapted for the 12th episode of the anime’s first season. Obviously, this story is set later than where Volume Two ends, so it made sense for it to be a story to finish the first cour of the anime adaptation. I was kind of surprised to see that this one shot was included at the end of Volume Two, though. My only guess is that they needed to include it here to help with the volume’s page count. Of the bonuses included in this volume, this one shot story was the strongest.

In addition to the one shot, there’s another “Franky’s Secret Files” that shows more early designs for the series (with these designs focusing on Anya and the students at Eden College). There’s also a two-page extra showing Loid, Yor, and Anya out and about together, and it’s set while they’re still learning to be together as a family. The main focus of these two pages is on how Loid still doesn’t understand kids at this point. This was OK, but it pales in comparison with the one shot.

When all is said and done, though, Volume Two is a strong continuation for the Spy x Family manga. After how the first volume ends, the reader is quickly rewarded by learning about Anya’s chances for getting into Eden College. And thanks to Anya making it into the school, the cast of characters begins to expand with the introduction of Becky Blackbell, Damian Desmond, and Damian’s two lackeys. This volume also introduces Yuri Briar, and the potential complications he could bring into Loid and Yor’s “marriage.”

If you’ve already read the first volume of Spy x Family and enjoyed it, Volume Two should be a satisfying continuation of the story. Fans of the anime should also enjoy reading the Spy x Family manga, since the anime did a great job of capturing the story and the feel of the series.

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