Kaiju No. 8 has been hitting its stride as Mina Ashido has led the Third Division of the Defense Force to take on the Second Humanoid Kaiju. In the process we have seen Soshiro Hoshina, the Vice-Captain of the Third Division, backstory explored while he has shown why he is second-in-command. Along with a timely appearance by Kikoru Shinomiya it looks like Mina was able to deal the killing blow on the Second Humanoid Kaiju that has appeared. What will happen next after this major battle for the Third Division of the Defense Force? Let’s find out with chapter 31 of Kaiju No. 8
Writer & Artist: Naoya Matsumoto
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: What remains of the Second Humanoid Kaiju body collapses. Okonogi excitedly announces to the rest of the Third Division of the Defense Force that Captain Mina Ashido, Vice-Captain Soshiro Hoshina, and Private Kikoru Shimomiya have successfully taken down the Honju (the classification given to the Second Humanoid Kaiju).
As everyone celebrates Kafka Hibino looks at Mina, Soshiro, and Kikoru and reflects on how they are what he has always dreamed of being since he was a kid. Kafka tears up as he wants to be part of that circle one day.
Leno Ichikawa calls Kafka and tells him to stop crying as they have a long way to go and their journeys as members of the Defense Force have just begun. Kafka takes this to heart and shows greater determination to reach his goals.
Nearby Soshiro tells Kikoru to go get some rest. Mina hits Soshiro in the head for trying to act tough as it is clear he is also worn out with some injuries that need to be treated.
Suddenly a super-giant Yoju Bomb appears in the sky starting to fall. Soshiro realizes the screech from the Second Humanoid Kaiju was not a death scream but creating the Yoju Bomb.
Mina tells Okonogi to order the Third Division to fall back to Gate 83.
As that goes on the head of the Second Humanoid Kaiju taunts Soshiro by saying it looks like their game turned out to be a draw.
Suddenly Kafka runs past Mina, Soshiro, and Kikoru at a speed that surprises the trio. Soshiro is stunned that Kafka with only 1% unleashed combat power can move that fast.
As Kafka jumps off a building he apologizes to Soshiro. When he lands on the ground Kafka immediately transforms into his Humanoid Kaiju form.
While Mina, Soshiro, and Leno are stunned by what they see Okonogi announces that she is getting a supergiant Kaiju reading with a fortitude level of 9.8. Okonogi realizes that this reading is from Kaiju No. 8.
We the see Kafka in his Humanoid Kaiju (Kaiju No. 8) form getting ready to deal with the Yoju Bomb. End of chapter.
The Good: Leave it to Naoya Matsumoto to throw some surprises in the aftermath of the biggest battle in Kaiju No. 8 thus far. Chapter 31 takes its time to let our heroes take in the victory over the Second Humanoid Kaiju before turning everyone on its head. The way we go from relief and celebration to dread was incredibly well executed.
As the reader with how everything played out in chapter 31 of Kaiju No. 8 you share the celebratory mood that the Third Division have after Mina Ashido landed the killing blow on the Second Humanoid Kaiju. From the moment Okonogi announces their win you get how tough of a fight this was and how everyone in the Third Division fought incredibly hard to take down this major Kaiju threat. This entire opening shows how united the Third Division is when all is said and done.
It also further elevates how Mina Ashido, Soshiro Hoshina, and Kikoru Shimomiya can be viewed as the Trinity of the Third Division. They are the ones that did the heavy lifting in the conclusion of the fight. And while we only get to see how Kafka Hibino viewed Mina, Soshiro, and Kikoru as extremely cool and the level he hopes to reach Matsumoto gets over the idea that is how the entire Third Division feels.
It’s a good way to establish how our lead protagonist Kafka does have this ultimate goal but is not jealous of those at that level. This in turn further elevates how Mina, Soshiro, and Kikoru can be viewed as the elite fighters that Kafka wants to be eventually seen as an equal to. Which is backed up with how Leno Ichikawa tells Kafka that they still have work ahead of them to reach their desired goals.
It was also good to see that Matsumoto constantly portrayed Mina as the ultimate military Captain. Even when Soshiro was trying to be tough in front of Kikoru, as she is still a Private, to get some rest Mina knew her Vice-Captain also needed to get patched up. Mina not being afraid to call out her Vice-Captain on this shows that she is always looking out for everyone in the Third Division no matter their level.
All these scenes worked well to make the appearance a super-giant Yoju Bomb in the sky about to fall hit as a major surprise. You felt how all the sense of victory washed away and turned into dread by everyone that was there. Mina wasting no time in getting orders out to get the Third Division to safety showed how she is able to remain calm and know what the next steps should be for her team.
At the same time, we are once again shown how Soshiro is also able to quickly analyze a situation as he realizes that the Second Humanoid Kaiju previous screech was to summon this Yoju Bomb. This made you hate the Second Humanoid Kaiju more as it talked smack as he taunted Soshiro how their fight is going to be a draw. It also added to how quickly things turned personal between Soshiro and the Second Humanoid Kaiju as they built up a rivalry during this fight.
Which led to making the big hero move of Kafka not thinking twice to spring into action come across as a major moment in Kaiju No. 8’s young life. We see through the artwork by Matsumoto that Kafka only cared about how he could save his friends and allies. Even if it meant that he would have to reveal himself as the Kaiju No. 8 it did not matter. In this situation becoming the Kaiju No. 8 was necessary to make sure no one dies from the impact of the Yoju Bomb. The shock in Mina, Soshiro, and Leno’s faces when Kafka transformed and Okonogi announced the appearance of Kaiju No. 8 made this a great way to build hype for the next chapter.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Chapter 31 of Kaiju No. 8 does a great job subverting your expectations that we were getting an aftermath chapter after the major battle that went down with the Second Humanoid Kaiju. Naoya Matsumoto does a great job continuing the character arcs as we go from a celebratory mood turning into one of dread and horror. The way that all leads to Kafka Hibino stepping up creates many questions of not only how things will go in the next Kaiju No. 8 chapter but also what it will mean when the dust settles on this story arc.
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