Kafka Hibino had his biggest hero moment in the most recent chapter of Kaiju No. 8 as he transformed into his humanoid Kaiju form to save the Third Division from a Yoju-Bomb killing everyone. There wasn’t much time to celebrate his hero moment as in order to save the day Kafka had to reveal his humanoid Kaiju form in front of everyone in the Third Division. While most of the Third Division members where shocked by Kafka’s form Mina Ashiro was quick to place Kafka under arrest. What will happen now that our lead heroes secret has been revealed? Let’s find out with chapter 33 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: Government official talk about Kaiju No. 8 (Kafka Hibino) being one of the members of the Third Division of the Defense Force. The officials talk about hiding this like they did with Kaiju No. 9 as other countries have been rumored to be experimenting with Kaiju-To-Human Tissue. Isao Shinomiya (Director General and Commander of the Defense Force and Kikoru Shinomiya’s father) orders the Third Division to hand over Kaiju No. 8 to them.
Elsewhere Kafka Hibino is in a prison cell being monitored by scientist and Soshiro Hoshina. As this goes on Kafka remembers how Kikoru Shinomiya told him that powerful Kaijus are used as parts for special weapons. He then wonders if Mina Ashiro is mad at him.
Just then Mina enters Kafka’s prison cell and says that he is being transferred to the Defense Force headquarters. Mina then leads Kafka to the transport truck.
On the way Kafka sees the rest of the Third Division. Noticing Leno Ichikawa and Kikoru there Kafka reflects on his time with everyone and internally apologizes to them. As Kafka gets on the transport truck Leno says he is confident Kafka will return.
With the doors shut and now alone Mina tells Kafka that Leno will likely be punished for speaking without authorization. Mina then says that when she saw Kafka rushing in and turning into a Kaiju all she could think is “This is such a Kafka move.” She goes on to reveal that there is footage of Kafka transforming and everyone in the Third Division will be vouching for Kafka being on their side. She then says that no one in the Third Division considers Kafka a Kaiju threat.
Hearing this Kafka is completely stunned. Seeing this Mina reads Kafka the official statement about his transportation to the Defense Force headquarters.
Kafka finally breaks his silence by asking if there is still a chance he can be by Mina’s side. Mina says there is and she will be waiting.
Over at the Defense Force Ariake Maritime Base in the Koto Ward of Tokyo, Kafka is placed in a highly secure prison cell. It is then announced that “KAIJU NO. 8 IS NOW CONTAINED.” End of chapter.
The Good: With Kafka Hibino’s big secret of being the designated Kaiju No. 8 now revealed to everyone on the Third Division and officials in the Defense Force the fallout was highly important to see play out. Especially with how we are only 32 chapters into Kaiju No. 8 it needed to be shown that this was the start of a bigger story rather than an ending of one of the biggest hooks of this series. Naoya Matsumoto showed that he understood this with how he crafted chapter 33 of Kaiju No. 8.
Starting Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 33 with the meeting between the higher ups in the Defense Force was a tone setter. There wasn’t a lot of time wasted in the conversation between Isao Shinomiya and the rest of the Defense Force higher ups. We had one and half pages of conversations with everyone in the room and then got right into the decision that Director General of the Defense Force Isao Shinomiya made. It effectively showed us what the structure is of the Defense Force and how Isao Shinomiya orders will not be questioned.
At the same time, in these three pages we also learned quite a bit in how the Defense Force operates. In particular, we learned that the Defense Force is hiding what happened with Kaiju No. 9 before this incident with Kafka being revealed to be Kaiju No. 8. The way this was casually brought up in the conversation in what to do with Kafka shows there is much more to what the Defense Force than anyone knows. How exactly that comes into play given that they aren’t shown setting Kafka up for execution at the end of chapter 33 of Kaiju No. 8 will be very interesting to see play out.
All of this created greater concern for the spot Kafka Hibino finds himself as he no longer can hide his secret of being Kaiju No. 8 from his friends. Matsumoto does a great job using this tough spot Kafka is in to dive deeper into how heavy of a burden this has been on him. After having spent much of his life not being able to achieve his dream we see that Kafka feels that he not only failed himself but those he has considers friends in the Third Division.
The way that Matsumoto wrote Kafka was also a reminder that he isn’t the typical pre-teen or teenage protagonist we get in most shonen manga. Kafka is afterall a guy in his early 30s when we first see him. While we do see him have some reactions that are typical to young shonen protagonist there is more of adult tone to the way Matsumoto writes Kafka’s inner monologue. Keeping him silent, save for two words when he first sees Mina, until after he is loaded up in the transport truck is a strong example of this. So even if he may internally be freaking out he knows that he can’t just have outbursts as it would only make things harder on not just him but those around him. That is something Matsumoto is able to do because we do have an adult character as the lead protagonist.
Keeping Kafka silent also made Leno Ichikawa speaking up in support to his friend even more impactful. Leno’s words set-up how things won’t be looking completely dire for Kafka even though he is being sent to the Defense Force headquarters. And that is because not only do we as readers know Kafka is not a bad guy but so does everyone in the Third Division. That is all communicated with what Leno says, as his words come across as saying what everyone in the Third Division was thinking even if they had to remain in formation.
Mina Ashiro being the one to confirm this during her conversation with Kafka while alone in the back of the transport truck was handled well. Even though Mina is doing her job as the Captain of the Third Division she knows Kafka isn’t a threat. Seeing this confirmed made everyone in the Third Division characters you get even more behind as we learn how deep their bond is with not just Kafka but everyone in the group.
Everything Mina tells Kafka also spoke to how the bond they had as kids is still strong. It was an interaction we haven’t gotten since there has been such a big gap between Mina as a Captain and Kafka as a grunt up to this point. That separation made it tough for there to be a conversation along together. Which does make it even more meaningful when Mina provides a confidence boost to Kafka by saying that she does still believe he can fulfill his half of the promise they made to one another.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Chapter 33 of Kaiju No. 8 is exactly the chapter that needed to follow-up on how Kafka Hibino’s big secret as humanoid Kaiju was revealed to everyone. The actions taken by the higher ups at the Defense Force drove home how big of a deal Kafka being the Kaiju No. 8 no longer being a secret is for the future of this series. That made the dialogue from Leno Ichikawa and Mina Ashiro in this chapter standout even more as strong scenes that create even greater intrigue for what happens next in this series.
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