This latest chapter of Spy x Family offers us a look into Loid’s own childhood. It’s not only something that Tatsuya Endo hasn’t depicted up until now, but it’s also the darkest Endo has gone in this otherwise light-hearted manga so far.
For background information: Spy x Family is an action-comedy spy manga taking place in an alternate Cold War. Tatsuya Endo is both the writer and artist for this manga and is a rather lighthearted deviation from his darker manga like TISTA and Gekka Bijin. Shueisha published the manga in Japan, with Viz Media publishing it in North America.
Spy x Family Ch. 62.1 launched on April 3, 2022. At the time of this writing, you can read it for free on Viz Media. The chapter will remain free for several weeks after its release. However, if it’s locked, then you can still sign up for a Shonen Jump membership to read not only that chapter but all previous chapters as well.
Warning: spoilers for Spy x Family Ch. 62.1 below. If you want to read about Loid’s past for yourself, stop here, and come back once the air raid sirens have sounded the “All Clear”.
Spy x Family Ch. 62.1: Plot Summary
Spy x Family Ch. 62.1 starts us off by introducing us to young Loid and his friends playing at being soldiers in an old warehouse serving as an army storage depot. Apparently, young Loid introduced it to his friends, and now they use it as a secret hideout. Thus, they tell no one of their hideout.
Eventually, though, young Loid returns home to his parents as all children do. Unfortunately, as it turns out, his father is physically abusive and slaps young Loid as punishment for minor offenses. Young Loid’s mother is not happy with this, and the 2 of them fight constantly, according to young Loid. This likely contributed to young Loid eventually lying to his father later in the chapter to obtain some money to buy a new toy gun to replace the one he’d accidentally squeezed to bits when his father struck him. Young Loid succeeds completely in this, lying so well that his father had no idea that was the case. However, Loid does feel extremely guilty for the lie and seems rather terrified of his own lying ability.
Young Loid and the Start of Darkness
Thus, even though young Loid does buy his toy gun with his falsely-obtained money, he decides not to play with his friends for the day. Instead, he tries to convince the local croquette shop owner to let him work so that he can repay his father for the money. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), it was at that moment an artillery shell lands in the town. Apparently, the army of the neighboring country of Ostania chose that day to invade their nation.
Worse, the artillery shell lands right in the army storage depot young Loid’s friends had been playing in. Tatsuya Endo doesn’t show any corpses or blood, but presumably, young Loid no longer has any friends left. What happens to young Loid afterward? Well, that’s what we’re going to find out in the next chapter of Spy x Family.
Spy x Family Ch. 62.1: Analysis
Honestly, this chapter of Spy x Family is the darkest Tatsuya Endo has gone in this manga series so far. Even the cruiser ship arc where Yor was slaughtering assassin after assassin doesn’t quite get to this level of dark. It’s very much reminiscent of Endo’s much darker earlier works. This is a rather interesting slice of darkness to add to a story that had, up until this point, been extremely lighthearted.
It’s not just the presumed deaths of young Loid’s friends in that artillery strike on their hideout, although that in of itself is pure nightmare fuel, especially given the current events with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Young Loid’s father’s abuse of him and the implied strife between his parents over it is its own brand of darkness. It shows and implies all at once that young Loid comes from a rather broken family.
Not only that, but this chapter of Spy x Family even delves a bit into racism/anti-nationalistic sentiment. Young Loid expresses his belief that the people in the neighboring country of Ostania are all “monster people with horns” who “eat other people” to that female croquette shop owner. That sentiment didn’t come out of nowhere. Children are quick to pick things up from the adults around them. Thus, it’s very likely that young Loid picked up that anti-Ostanian sentiment from the adults, and just translated it into something he could understand. I.e. the Ostanians are all evil, horned monsters.
Even more interesting though is that said croquette shop owner immediately refutes him by saying that she has cousins in Ostania, and that she clearly didn’t have horns, so it doesn’t make sense that they’re all monsters. It’s a clever bit of philosophy from the mangaka here, and it’s one I hope Endo repeats.
Source: Viz Media