About Manga Book Reviews

Manga Review: Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo (Volume 1)

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Comedy, Graphic Novel
Series: Spy x Family
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Master spy Twilight is the best at what he does when it comes to going undercover on dangerous missions in the name of a better world. But when he receives the ultimate impossible assignment—get married and have a kid—he may finally be in over his head!

Not one to depend on others, Twilight has his work cut out for him procuring both a wife and a child for his mission to infiltrate an elite private school. What he doesn’t know is that the wife he’s chosen is an assassin and the child he’s adopted is a telepath!


My Review: Oh my goodness, why in the world was I so hesitant to read this?! Spy x Family volume 1 was so much fun and super funny! A spy, an assassin, and a telepath make for great main characters. You really get to know who these characters are and their struggles.

Twilight is a master of disguise and confident in his abilities as a spy. Yet he finds himself hilariously floundering with his current mission of securing a wife and child in order to take down a criminal. I adore his character.

Yor, our deadly assassin, is a kind person who has never quite fit in. She appears to want more from life and to not let her little brother – who she loves – worry too much about her. She’s so wonderful.

Anya is so precious and deserves the world! All she wants is a family. It’s so cute how she tries to help Twilight with his mission so the three of them can remain a family (fake as it is).

I adore all three of them and love how well they fit together. They seem to unknowingly fill the void within each other. My deepest hope of hopes is that they stay a family regardless of what happens next.

I’m so glad I picked up this volume. There was humor, action, blood, sadness, and very wholesome moments between the characters. I’m really looking forward to the next volume. Spy x Family is comedy gold and sure to become my new favorite series.

Songs of the Day

Song of the Day: “Everyday (Family Reunion)” – Madea’s Family Reunion

Everyday (Family Reunion)
performed by Chaka Khan, Gerald Levert, Yolanda Adams, Carl Thomas
from Madea’s Family Reunion soundtrack

About Books About Manga Bookish Lists Spotlight

Reading 2018: Best of Manga

Today’s the final day spotlighting my favorite books of 2018.

A large portion of the books I read this year were of this genre. But the titles below have had a big impact on me and my reading experience. I feel like the world of books just got ten times bigger.

It behooved me to pick just one as the best. I loved them all so I picked them all as the best.


BLACK BUTLER (Volumes 1-26) by Yana Toboso
Series Review (so far)

FRUITS BASKET (Volumes 1-23) by Natsuki Takaya
Series Review

S●A – SPECIAL A (Volumes 1-17) by Maki Minami
Series Review

THE BETRAYAL KNOWS MY NAME (Volumes 1-8) by Hotaru Odagiri
Series Review


See Which Books Took Home The Gold Last Year In 2017

Reading 2017: Best of Picture Books
Reading 2017: Best of Young Adult & Young Adult Fantasy
Reading 2017: Best of Fantasy
Reading 2017: Best of Romance
Reading 2017: Best of Middle Grade & My Favorite Book of the Year
Bookish Lists TBR Lists

TBR At A Glance – 11/25/18

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay | Edited in Paint

Currently Reading

  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • The Betrayal Knows My Name by Hotaru Odagiri (Vol. 1-8)


Reading Next

*TBR for the rest of 2018

  • Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown
  • Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (The Hungry City Chronicles, book 1)
  • Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino (Vol. 2-4)


Recent Reviews


Reviews Coming Soon

  • TOMORROW – Matilda by Roald Dahl, Illustrated by Quentin Blake
About Writing

Comedians & Writers: A Parallel

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay

Here’s a recent thought I had recently: Comedians and Writers have a lot in common. I’ve never noticed much parallel between the two before until I really thought about it. When you watch a comedian (or a show that is comedy in genre) you can see in the preparation and execution common threads writers must keep in mind (and demonstrate) when going about their own work. Here’s what I’ve noticed:

Tough Skin Is Your Best Defense

Writers (and Comedians) must know (or will come to know) that not everyone is going to like what you write (say)…and that’s okay. You won’t win everyone over whether the story is good or bad. It’s impossible to do so. You’re likely to fail several times, get your submission rejected several times, before you lock into your own groove. And that’s okay. Actually, that’s life. You’ll stumble, you’ll fall. It’s how you pick yourself back up that matters. Keep going. If becoming a writer (or comedian) is what you really wish to pursue, then you gotta cloak yourself in tough skin and keep moving forward.

Storytelling That Hooks

Jokes come with a story. And you have to weave and guide your audience through it. It’s never a straightforward path. Body language (your character’s actions), diction (the right words in the right order), tone (how characters express themselves or react to things; individual voices), and action (what is going on) all move the joke/story towards the punchline/climax. What you mean to achieve needs to hook your audience and be compelling enough to hold their attention for an entirety story. Kevin Hart’s stand-up comedy is a good example of captivating storytelling.

Memorable Lines and Scenes

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay

From comedy, a writer may learn in turn how to craft comedic scenes and dialogue. Whether it is to provide comic relief or make a character more endearing, being able to insert humor into your fiction is a good skill to have. Sketch comedy (like SNL or In Living Color) or comedy based television shows/movies (like The Office or The Big Bang Theory) are great places to learn how to write and execute comedic scenes and dialogue. Furthermore, The Office offers up good examples of memorable lines (i.e. the famous “that’s what she said” line) and of course there’s The Big Bang Theory‘s well-placed “bazinga.” Writers should strive to give readers lines and scenes worth remembering.

“Confident” Is Your Middle Name

Being a comedian requires confidence. Being a writer requires confidence. Likes and dislikes are always in the eye of the beholder. You must be bold and convincing to win your audience over to your side. Persuasion is the name of the dance. Take the improve comedy show Impractical Jokers. More often than not you’ll see those four guys (Joe, Murr, Sal, and Q) have the guts and confidence to convince strangers of the ridiculous things they do and say. It’s astonishingly hilarious and the improv is on point. A writer needs to have confidence in their words and use the active voice. Persuade the reader that yes this world you’ve created does exist and they’re just temporarily vacationing in it.

A Reflection of the Self

Comedy and Fiction are often a reflection of the self, wherein all that we are and all that we were and all that we hope to be are layered in what we try to convey. Any comic will tell you that comedy tends to comes from a place of pain, and how they have dealt with that pain is through laughter. In writing, we express ourselves or try to make sense of the world we live in.

What are your thoughts on the similarities (or differences) between comics and writers? These were just thoughts I’d been tossing around recently so I’m curious as to what you all think. Let me know in the comment section below.


Other Funny Shows I Recommend:
Key & Peele
The Mayor
Family Guy
Parks and Recreation
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (also with Trevor Noah)
Whose Line Is It Anyway?