Kaiju No. 8, Vol. 1 (2021) by Naoya Matsumoto

Synopsis

Kafka hopes to one day keep his pact with his childhood friend Mina to join the Japan Defense Force and fight by her side. But while she’s out neutralizing kaiju as Third Division captain, Kafka is stuck cleaning up the aftermath of her battles. When a sudden rule change makes Kafka eligible for the Defense Force, he decides to try out for the squad once more. There’s just one problem—he’s made the Defense Force’s neutralization list under the code name Kaiju No. 8.


My Review

This was a recommendation from Ola over at Re-enchantment of the World. I’m really glad I ordered a copy because this manga was so much fun to read. Remember fun? Well, this book is filled with it. It also has some great kaiju art and some kinetic action scenes.

I like the fact that the main character Kafka Hibino is a guy in his early thirties, not the usual teenage protagonist. He has a very unpleasant job cleaning up the disgusting mess of splattered kaiju body parts after they have been defeated by the “Defense Force”. Like Tony Soprano always answered, he works in “waste management.” But Kafka still dreams of getting accepted into the Defense Force and teaming up with his childhood friend Mina.

Joining Kafka on his journey is Reno Ichikawa, who is also determined to work for the Defense Force. The banter that develops between Kafka and Reno is one of the highlights of this book. Their back-and-forth is really funny at times and had me laughing out loud. A third character is Kikoru Shinomiya, a young woman with a lot of confidence in her abilities who comes over as pretty arrogant in this first volume. It will be interesting to see how she develops.

“No casualties or dropouts allowed. At least, not on any battlefield where I set foot!”

-Kikoru Shinomiya

I had a great time reading this first volume. It was fun, funny, exciting, with some great art and well-written characters. Yeah, I know it’s manga, but I had a better time reading this than most of the recent DC or Marvel output. I only buy indie comics or manga now. I never thought I’d be saying this five years ago! I’m looking forward to the English translation of Volume 2 which is scheduled for April 2022. Why so late?

17 thoughts on “Kaiju No. 8, Vol. 1 (2021) by Naoya Matsumoto

  1. Yay!!! Happy to be of service, as always 😉 So glad you’re enjoying it so much, Wakizashi! The second volume is even better, I think, as the action and plot thickens 😀

    Fortunately, nipple pissing happened only this one time 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That page you showed was just too funny! 🙂 I love how different so much manga is from the typical DC or Marvel titles. Granted, they’re not all something I’d want to read, but there’s so much interesting and entertaining stuff out there. Glad to see you’re enjoying this one. I’d not been aware of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Todd. It’s strange but I was never into manga when I was younger, even when I was getting interested in Japanese culture. Part of this was the fact that it was difficult to find English manga in comic shops back then. Oh how things have changed! Now there are so many that it’s kind of intimidating.

      This one is a nice mix of bonkers humour, cool kaiju action and solid characters. As I wrote in my review, it’s fun. But American comics will always be my first and main passion. 👺👍

      Like

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