Mission: Yozakura Family, the review of the first volume

Mission: Yozakura Family, the review of the first volume


It was the end of August 2019 when Mission: Yozakura Family by Hitsuji Gondaira debuted in the well-known Weekly Shone Jump. The period was anything but casual and fortunate since, a few months earlier, SPY x FAMILY by Tatsuya Endo had been released which dealt with similar themes and topics. For this reason, Gondaira's work was not appreciated by the public and was hastily defined as a derivative series (although in 2020 it was nominated for the Tsugi ni Kuru Manga Taisho Awards). Now the manga series finally arrives in Italy thanks to J-Pop and we had the opportunity to read the first issue in a special limited edition with the First Mission Box which, in addition to the manga, contains three illustrated cards, a sticker and a coaster. Let's find out more about Mission: Yozakura Family with this review of the first volume.

Mission: Yozakura Family, a pink spy story

The story of Mission: Yozakura Family follows the extravagant adventures of a certain Taiyo Asano, an extremely shy high school student who can only talk to his childhood friend Mitsumi Yozakura. The latter comes from a large and weird family of famous spies and her older brother is so overprotective that he wants to kill Taiyo. The two boys get married, as happens in the most classic romantic stories of world literature, but when the boy is inserted into the Yozakura family, the first bad moods begin to arise. The girl's older brother is just the tip of the iceberg of a complex system that wants to kill him, so Taiyo will have to devise countless plans to save himself as well as Mitsumi herself.

It is immediately clear how Mission: Yozakura Family bases the characterization of the characters and their interpersonal dynamics on romanticism. In fact, not only is there a troubled love story between the two main characters that develops progressively throughout the first volume (and certainly it will do so for the other upcoming chapters as well), but many of the antagonists of the series are also motivated by a sort of overprotective love for Mitsumi: elder brother Kyoichiro is just one example, because there are also secret admirers and distant envious relatives. Of course, focusing only on this aspect would mean ignoring the larger family unit that surrounds Taiyo and Mitsumi. Gondaira, in fact, has created a large family (the brothers and sisters of the protagonist are six and there is also a far from useless dog) that is explored in every detail starting from the relationships up to the different abilities of each individual. member facing different types of missions.

The narrative and artistic style of the manga

This aspect is reinforced by the narrative that Mission: Yozakura Family has applied since the very first chapter. By virtue of the fact that it originates, mostly, as an episodic manga, it often takes a traditional spy mission as its basis, but explores the tension within it and Taiyo's relationship with his partner along the way. This is a really interesting feature because, although it has a somewhat derivative approach within the espionage genre, the addition of the psychological and romantic description of the characters makes each story even more engaging and exciting. The influence, for example, of great classics such as James Bond or Metal Gear Solid is very noticeable, however the slightly pink vision of events creates that small, but perceptible flicker of innovation that does not hurt at all.

The style Gondaira is also very marked by almost satirical irony, but above all by action scenes. The latter, in fact, have greater weight also in terms of plot to balance the great romanticism of the couple that combines the peculiarities in a modern key of the two most famous literary couples, namely Renzo and Lucia and Romeo and Juliet. This aspect can also be glimpsed in the drawings that take some aspects already observed in another successful manga series, namely The Promised Neverland by Posuka Demisu. The Gondaira manga trait, however, is much cleaner and more proportionate, adapting more formally to the spy genre. The expressiveness of the characters is very accurate as well as the settings that present numerous details table after table.

The editorial component

J-Pop's editorial choice to sell the first volume of Mission : Yozakura Family in a special limited edition packed with additional content can only be praised. At the price of only 5.90 euros, or the price list of each single volume, it is possible to have a collector's copy with a cardboard packaging with a variant cover inside which there are, in addition to the excellent volume with a laminated dust jacket in color, three beautiful color illustrations on card the size of a postcard, a fun sticker and a handy coaster with the symbol of the Yozakura family on one side and the whole family on the other, always in color.

These are contents that will make collectors especially happy, but considering that to have them you don't have to spend an exorbitant amount or in any case higher than the price list of the volume, they could also please the more casual readers.


The first volume of Mission: Yozakura Family was, therefore, a nice surprise that we absolutely recommend reading, in view of the arrival of the other chapters (in total they should still be ten volumes). The story is intriguing because it welcomes numerous genres, even very varied between them, managing to blend them perfectly with a wealth of details and numerous details especially on the Yozakura family and its strange members. In short, if you are looking for a sort of pink manga enlivened by numerous heart-pounding fights and thrilling James Bond stories, Mission: Yozakura Family is definitely for you.

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