Feature

Interview: SPY×FAMILY Manga Editor Shihei Lin

SPY×FAMILY‘s goofy and heartwarming tale of found family has captured hearts the world
over. We spoke to the manga’s editor Shihei Lin about his collaboration with manga creator
Tatsuya Endō, and how they worked together to bring this manga to the world.


SPY×FAMILY © 2019 by Tatsuya Endō

Because SPY×FAMILY was translated into multiple languages from the very
beginning of its serialization, were you conscious of its overseas appeal?

SHIHEI LIN: There are people who enjoy spy films all over the world, so I imagined that
overseas readers would also find it appealing as a theme and project.

What are some of the biggest differences between drawing for a physical
magazine and for Shonen Jump+? Does the format influence the way you work?

LIN: The biggest difference is twofold: the freedom that comes with the pace of online
release, and the freedom of page counts. Both these elements allow us to prioritize the
creator and the creative work. Depending on the work, we choose to serialize it once a
week, once every two weeks, or once a month. Also, we can tailor the breaks
according to the creator’s situation, so I feel that it’s easy to create good conditions. As
far as the format goes, our goal is to make it possible to read on both paper and
smartphones, so I don’t feel it’s much different in that regard.

Why did you decide to focus more on comedy than on action for this work?

LIN: Endo-sensei’s previous two works have been battle action stories, so we had a
meeting where we decided to draw a comedy manga based on the oneshot that
preceded SPY×FAMILY‘s serialization.

Do you think that what audiences look for in comedy manga has changed over
time? What sort of things do you find appealing in a comedy?

LIN: In many different ways, I think comedy is something you can read with peace of
mind.

What are your favorite spy films? Was such information shared with Endo-
sensei to give some feedback to the idea with which he originally came up
during the development?

LIN: Bridge of Spies, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mission Impossible, The Spy Gone
North,
and Infernal Affairs. We often talk about interesting movies or novels we saw at our
meetings, not just spy films.

Where did the idea come from to feature designer chairs on the tankobon
covers?

LIN: That was Endo-sensei’s choice. He proposed from quite an early stage to draw
famous chairs for the covers.

What was your reaction when you heard that the anime would be produced at
CloverWorks and Wit Studio?

LIN: I thought that it was a very luxurious, lavish, and ambitious combination. There
aren’t too many precedents for powerful studios teaming up to make anime, so I was
very excited. (Waku waku.)

Do you have any messages for your overseas fans?

LIN: The voices of support from fans overseas reaches both myself and Endo-sensei. I
am so glad that you have been enjoying the anime and manga. SPY×FAMILY‘s
serialization will keep continuing, so I hope you will check it out. Please continue
lending us your support!

The SPY×FAMILY manga series is available in English through Viz Media.

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