Graphic Novel Review: Kaiju No. 8 Volume 1 story and art by Naoya Matsumoto

Kaiju No. 8 Volume 1 story and art by Naoya Matsumoto. Translation by David Evelyn. Viz, 2021. 9781974725984. Publisher’s Rating: T / Teen.

Members of the Third Division kill a giant kaiju attacking Yokohama. Their leader, Mina Ashiro (27), is celebrated by the media. Kafka Hibino (32) is part of a crew that has the thankless task that follows a kaiju kill: cleaning up the giant corpse. (In fact in this particular instance Kafka has the most thankless assignment of all, taking care of the intestines.) Once upon a time, after their homes were destroyed, Kafka and Mina vowed to join the Japan Defense Force and fight kaiju together. Kafka couldn’t pass the entrance exams. But now the maximum age for new recruits has been raised, and he decides to make one more attempt. The problem: he’s keeps transforming into a kaiju himself, and everyone is trying to hunt that monster down. Will he be able to use his new monstrous strength to join the Defense Force? Or will they find out what he is and put an end to him?

Giant monster fights, scatological humor, and pitch-perfect art that works for both make this one of the most entertaining manga I’ve read in a while. I’ve already put volumes 2 and 3 on hold at my local library.


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