Spy x Family Volume Seven is the first volume, as of this writing, that includes material that has not been adapted for the anime. If you’ve only been watching the anime adaptation, you may want to stop reading this review in order to avoid getting potential spoilers for the forthcoming second season of the anime.

Spy x Family Volume Seven
Written by: Tatsuya Endo
Publisher: Shueisha, Inc.
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: April 5, 2022

The first chapter of Volume Seven concludes the story of Loid having his first contact with Donovan Desmond at Eden Academy. What’s just as important here is Loid, as well as the reader, truly seeing Donovan and his interactions with Damian. You really have to feel sorry for Damian here, because you can see how much he wants his father to be proud of him, but Donovan spends a lot of his time being practically cold and dismissive of his son. The reader can tell that Loid feels for Damian, but he can’t afford to say anything that could rock the boat. In the end, Loid accepts that while he didn’t get as much intel as he would have liked from this encounter, he at least has more to go on than just the research he had done prior to this moment.

Most of the rest of the volume focuses on stand alone stories. The first one has a focus on Damian, Emile, and Ewen. It’s a holiday, so only the students who live in the dorms are on campus. Damian, who is intent on studying to become a star scholar, oversleeps because his studies kept him up late. He misses morning muster, so Damian is expected to do chores as punishment instead of going on a trip with the other students. Emile and Ewen decide to “get in trouble” so they can stay with Damian. Housemaster Henderson decides to have a staff member take them on a “field research trip” after seeing them goof off while doing chores. Housemaster Henderson has an ulterior motive in mind, as he wants to make a point to Damian that there’s more to life than studying. Mister Green, the staff member, is an interesting addition, and it was kind of neat seeing the three boys acting more like regular kids during their “field research trip” than what we normally see of them at school. I also appreciated getting a story with these three that didn’t require Anya to be around. I thought this served as some nice development for Damian, and it also gave Emile and Ewen a little more of a spotlight than what they normally get.

The next story is a Bond-centered one, and he becomes confused by something he sees when he looks into the future. He seems to have decided that this means he’s going to die, and this sentiment is reinforced when Yor offers to prepare something for Bond because they’re out of dog food. Bond makes a run for it in order to find Loid, since he knows Loid can cook. Bond does find Loid, but it’s not an ideal time because of what Loid is trying to do. However, this encounter leads to an interesting coincidence which causes Loid to misunderstand Bond’s intentions. But this ended up being a great story that shows Loid and Bond getting to have a moment together, even if it was made possible by a misunderstanding.

This is followed by a story focusing on Yuri and on his activities working for the State Security Service. We see him tailing an Ostanian man who has been writing pieces critical of the country and having them published in the West. During his investigation, Yuri also gets to know more about the man’s situation. While Yuri does feel some sympathy for the man, he still does the job of capturing the dissident. But we see that Yuri makes sure that the man’s family is taken care of while he’s in custody. While we have seen Yuri doing some work for the SSS in the past, this is really the first time we see him taking on his own mission and not picking up someone else’s slack. This story also shows that Yuri does have some kindness under that cold exterior that he normally shows.

Next is a humorous story that takes place at Eden Academy, which is about special pastries that are occasionally served at the school that can supposedly make students smarter. It looks like before long, Anya’s current class will be split by abilities, and Anya fears that she and Becky will be separated. They hear about the pastry, which is currently on sale, and the two girls decide to take a chance on this legend. Damian, Emile, and Ewan also want the pastry. But both groups are beaten by George Glooman, who gets the last one. The pastry is macarons, and George has five… but there a total of six kids. They decide to play Old Maid to decide who doesn’t get one. I’m glad to see that George has another appearance, because I was starting to think that his big storyline earlier in the series was going to be his main appearance, and then we really wouldn’t see him playing any real role again. I also liked seeing how references to George’s previous storyline were incorporated into this story.

The final two chapters of the volume begin a new story arc for Spy x Family. At first, we see Franky trying to find a lost cat that belongs to a woman that he’s interested in. Yor runs into him and tries to help him find the cat. In the end, in a humorous twist, Yor is able to help Franky catch the cat. But, as usual, things don’t go the way Franky thinks when he returns the cat. What’s more important here is that the final panels of this chapter show Yor getting a phone call from “the shopkeeper,” the person who gives her assignments as the Thorn Princess.

This leads into the final chapter, where Yor goes to see “the shopkeeper.” The reader finally gets to see what this individual looks like, and for me, at least, he wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It turns out that Yor’s new assignment is to protect someone instead of assassinating them, which will require her to travel on a boat. “The shopkeeper” has already had his people come up with plausible cover stories for both her boss at city hall and for Yor’s family. As she gets ready to do this assignment, Yor finds herself wondering if perhaps she should get out of the assassination business after completing this mission.

Meanwhile, through her telepathic power, Anya wins a pair of tickets for a trip on a luxury cruise ship. It just so happens that this is the same ship that Yor will be on for her mission. Loid and Anya think she’s doing an assignment for city hall, which of course makes things more difficult for Yor. She has to somehow hide her Thorn Princess identity while on the ship in order to keep her family from finding out the truth.

This is where Volume Seven ends, so it appears that at least part of Volume Eight will be focusing on this trip. I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen on the ship, especially how Yor will balance her assassin duties with her family on board. The storytelling possibilities are almost endless.

There’s also a bonus story at the end of Volume Seven, and it’s actually something that was adapted for the second cour of the anime’s first season. It’s a story focusing on Handler and how she throws off pursuers as she goes to meet Loid to brief him and to ask how Operation Strix is going. It’s a nice little story, and the ending is rather amusing.

Now that I’ve read Volume Seven of Spy x Family, it seems I also have an idea of how the upcoming second season of the anime adaptation will begin. Some viewers might be disappointed that it’s going to start out with the more “slice of life” leaning stories, but it looks like the arc on the ship, which will have a direct impact on the Forgers and their “found family,” could be interesting to see in an animated format.

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