Tatsuya Endo seems to be taking another kind of break with Spy x Family Ch. 78.1, what with this being the 10th short mission and all. But fear not. Even though we’re not getting anywhere near a full chapter of the manga, at least we what got is pretty entertaining. Especially since it involves Anya fighting aliens from outer space.
Spy x Family Ch. 78.1: Details
Spy x Family Ch. 78.1 is the latest…chapter of the manga by Tatsuya Endo. Or rather, it’s the 10th and latest “Short Mission” mini-chapter he puts out when he wants to take a break. Casey Loe returns as the translator of this mini-chapter, with John Bae being the letterer this time. It seems Rina Mapa (the usual letterer) is also taking a break for this mini-chapter. Shueisha is the original publisher of this manga in Japan under their Jump Comics+ imprint in their magazine Shōnen Jump+. Viz Media is the company publishing manga in the NA region.
Spy x Family Ch. 78.1 was released on April 16, 2023. You can read this mini-chapter for free on Shonen Jump at the official Viz Media website. Note that this mini-chapter will remain free for 2 chapter releases after this one. Upon the release of the 3rd chapter, Ch. 78.1 will go into the Shonen Jump vault. Once there, you’ll need a paid Shonen Jump subscription in order to read it and all previous chapters, mini and full.
On a side note: an anime adaptation of Spy x Family premiered on April 9, 2022, and is currently ongoing as of this writing. In fact, season 2 of the anime will premiere sometime in October 2023. You can watch all currently available episodes of the anime on Crunchyroll or Hulu.
Warning: spoilers for Spy x Family Ch. 78.1 (Short Mission 10) below. If you want to read about Anya’s space adventures for yourself, then stop here and come back once you too have shot all of those space aliens with your Buck Rogers-esque raygun.
Spy x Family Ch. 78.1: Plot Summary
Spy x Family Ch. 78.1 doesn’t actually start us off with Anya, as the title of this review implies. Instead, this mini-chapter starts with Ewen Egeburg: one of Damian’s friends. You know, the one with the tall egg-shaped head? As it turns out, Ewen is a space nerd. A big space nerd. He eagerly watches any news programs about Ostania’s (and likely Westalis’s as well) space program and remembers every detail about every different class of rocket. Really, you can tell that this is a kid who wants to become an astronaut when he grows up.
Unfortunately, Damien throws the verbal equivalent of a tub of ice-cold water on Ewen’s space hype. As it turns out, Damian’s position as the son of Ostania’s prime minister gives him access to some very confidential information. This includes information about the nation’s space program, which as it turns out, is rushing the development of their new Orthos 7 rocket to avoid falling behind in the space race against Westalis. Thus, Damian is incredibly pessimistic about the rocket’s development. Meanwhile, their other friend Emile just doesn’t care about space because there’s no air and no food up there. Especially not the sweets he so enjoys. Thus, Ewen is the sole space fan among his friends and is destined for eternal isolation.
Or maybe not. At school, Anya is playing around with a little paper origami rocket, pretending that she’s landing on the Moon. Apparently, the news about the new rocket has “tickled Anya’s sense of adventure”, according to Becky. Thus, Ewen finds an unexpected kindred spirit in Anya and starts to play space games with her too. Hilariously, Damian gets jealous and counters that he will make it so that everyone can visit the Moon when he’s a politician. Alas, Anya doesn’t hear him over the sounds of her space adventure with Ewen. Thus ends this mini-chapter of Spy x Family.
Spy x Family Ch. 78.1: The Good
Amazingly, despite this mini-chapter being only two pages long, Spy x Family Ch. 78.1 manages to be better than most manga’s entire full chapters. Especially since this is the first time Anya and Ewen have ever gotten along. It seems that their mutual love of space overcame any lingering animosity between them. Well, so long as Anya’s space interest persists. The moment Anya moves on to another interest, well, there goes a beautiful friendship. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
The other good thing about Spy x Family Ch. 78.1 is the special illustration after the mini-chapter was over. Seeing the Forger family in a fun 1950s-flavored space adventure is a nice treat. Everything from Anya about to open fire with her raygun to Yor spinning helplessly in microgravity to Loid calling for a parley just fits all of their respective personalities. If Tatsuya Endo ever writes a spinoff chapter about that, I would be more than happy to read it.
Spy x Family Ch. 78.1: The Bad
The very short length of this mini-chapter is why it gets “only” a 90/100 from me. Still, it’s a much better score than I’d give even full chapters of other manga series. Plus, Tatsuya Endo deserves the break. He’s already had a month-long hiatus for unknown reasons, but likely due to poor health. Mangaka is some of the most overworked in the comic industry. Endo-sensei deserves as long of a break as he needs. After all, we want Spy x Family to continue to be the high-quality manga it’s always been.