Before we begin the review, I would like to thank Viz Media and Net Galley for the opportunity to review this Manga.
Today we’re getting a chance to review one of the hottest titles from Shueisha’s Shonen Jump Plus, Viz Media’s Shonen Jump, and finally, Manga Plus Apps, Naoya Matsumoto’s KAIJU NO.8. The story begins in Japan, regularly this island nation is attacked by Giant Monsters called Kaiju, and it’s up to Japan’s Task Force to take care of them. One day, two young children made a pact where they would join Japan’s Defense Task Force and fight side by side, which takes us to today, where Kafka Hibino works for Monster Sweeper Inc, a company that is tasked with disposing of dead kaiju that the Japanese Defense Task Force takes care of, and his childhood friend, Mina Ashiro is the Third Division’s Captain.
When a sudden rule change makes Kafka eligible for the Defense Force, he decides to try out for the squad once more. After a small talking monster flew into his mouth, causing him to monster himself. Now There’s just one problem—he’s made the Defense Force’s neutralization list under the code name Kaiju No. 8.
This story has a great premise, it does an excellent job of introducing the world of Kaiju to the reader, as a fan of Tokusatsu and Kaiju this was an interesting twist to have a Shonen Main Character in his mid-thirties when most Shonen Protagonists are either kids or in their teens. Kafka might be an “Old Guy” but it is great to see him having dreams and aspirations, and can be childish at times. The Mangaka put a lot of thought into these characters, not being one-dimensional in a sense and providing character arcs early on makes me curious to see how far this series will go. His banter with Ichikawa is GOLD, humor done right, these two are exact opposites of each other but they share a common interest. But, strangely, their roles are reversed in some ways because Ichikawa always gets onto Kafka.
Kaiju No.8 introduces something you wouldn’t usually expect to find in a book about fighting monsters, and that is the Cleaning Service in charge of taking care of the Kaiju dead bodies “Monster Sweeper Inc.” With Kafka being put to the test in the Task Force Exams early on, along with his newfound powers, not to mention if he plays his cards right the detail in Kaiju anatomy from his work in disposing of kaiju. This volume contains Chapters One Through Seven, it is clear to see why people have been raving about this series and surely find its way on your Pick-Up List soon.
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