Spy x Family Volume 4 promotional art (VIZ Media)

VIZ Media’s First ‘Spy x Family’ Guide Is Packed With Art & Commentary

Whether you’ve read the manga by Tatsuya Endo, devoured the first season of the anime adaptation, or stumbled upon it on social media, Spy x Family has likely touched your life in some way. And no matter how much you know about its characters and world, there’s a lot more to learn! To coincide with the premiere of Spy x Family Season 2, VIZ Media published Spy x Family: The Official Guide—Eyes Only, a “confidential” guide to the characters and world-building.

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This teen magazine-style guide breaks down every single character seen so far in the anime, as well as the history of the war between Westalis and Ostania. It also spotlights scene backgrounds, creator commentary, and character design sketches.

In addition to a double-sided foldout poster (one side depicting the book cover, seen below, and one side depicting Anya in a rocker outfit with a peanut-shaped guitar and the slogan “Peanuts is freedom”), Eyes Only features color illustrations from the publishing history of the Spy x Family manga, which debuted in 2019. There are official images from VIZ Media, as well as fanart sent in by other manga creators to celebrate various milestones.

Spy x Family: The Official Guide—Eyes Only (VIZ Media)
(VIZ Media)

The most interesting aspect of Spy x Family: The Official Guide—Eyes Only is Endo’s commentary. For example, he reveals that Twilight’s trusty confidante Franky is based on the character Mozzie (played by Willie Garson) in White Collar. Bond is inspired by the Great Pyrenees, but Endo added black feet to give him “reverse socks” because otherwise the art was too out of balance. Yuri is drawn to look like a male version of Yor.

As for Anya, Endo says he “mixed Ashe from Rengoku no Ashe and Misha from Ishi ni Usubeni, Tetsu ni Hoshi, and this is how she turned out. … The more I draw Anya, the more cartoonish she becomes.”

Like the original manga, this guide is primarily black-and-white, and each page is packed to the brim with information. In addition to a “mission guide” that breaks down the manga’s chapters and the anime adaptation’s episodes, readers can explore individual story arcs and learn about characters who exist primarily in the background but may or may not have a major impact on the plot.

That said, Endo doesn’t reveal every secret from Spy x Family. He hints at things that have been revealed in the manga (which is currently up to 88 chapters) but not the anime series, and even things that haven’t been explained yet in either medium of the story. Fans who are eager to learn more about the conflict between Westalis and Ostania, Twilight’s mysterious background, or the institution that experimented on Anya, will find snippets throughout Eyes Only that may bolster current theories or spawn new ones—or both!

Although Spy x Family: The Official Guide—Eyes Only isn’t a traditional manga, per se, it follows in the footsteps of many other guides produced by VIZ Media for multimedia properties, and it alternates between serious commentary and unique facts to goofy, full-page or even double-page spreads from character’s individual points of view about their likes and dislikes.

The weirdest (read: creepiest) page in the entire book is definitely Yuri’s collage of photos of his older sister, Yor, which he puts together with Anya’s help. Anya has her own commentary on the page as well, noting which photos she couldn’t show her uncle because they reveal Yor’s murderous side … and he only sees her as a perfect, indefatigable angel. (Sometimes, Anya’s telepathy exposes her to things no one should ever have to know.)

Whether you’re a Spy x Family superfan or you’re new to the story altogether, this guide has a little something for everyone. The Official Guide—Eyes Only is available everywhere books are sold.

(featured: VIZ Media)

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Samantha Puc
Samantha Puc (she/they) is a fat, disabled, lesbian writer and editor who has been working in digital and print media since 2010. Their work focuses primarily on LGBTQ+ and fat representation in pop culture and their writing has been featured on Refinery29, Bitch Media, them., and elsewhere. Samantha is the co-creator of Fatventure Mag and she contributed to the award-winning Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives. They are an original cast member of Death2Divinity, and they are currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction at The New School. When Samantha is not working or writing, she loves spending time with her cats, reading, and perfecting her grilled cheese recipe.