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SPY×FAMILY Manga Editor Shihei Lin

by Kim Morrissy,

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 Endo, and how they worked together to bring this manga to the world.

SPY×FAMILY © 2019 by Tatsuya Endo

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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