Kaiju No. 8 is a fantastic new manga. Naoya Matsumoto has created an exciting shonen manga that delivers kick-ass action and wonderful comedy through some instantly likable characters. I immediately fell in love with this manga after Chapter 1. I am excited about Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 6 and fully expect another fun read. Let’s go ahead and hit this review!
Words: Naoya Matsumoto
Art: Naoya Matsumoto
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Cast: Kafka Hibino aka Kaiju No. 8: A 32-year-old member of the Professional Kaiju Cleanup Corp. His job as a Monster Sweeper is to chop up and dispose of Kaiju killed by the Defense Force. Kafka was childhood friends with Mina Ashiro. The two made a vow to join the Defense Force and protect Japan from Kaiju. However, Kafka failed the entrance exam and then quit on his dreams of being a member of the Defense Force.
Kafka was then merged with a Kaiju who had been “looking for him.” The result is that Kafka can now transform into Kaiju No.8 and possesses superpowers.
Mina Ashiro: The 27-year-old star of the Defense Force’s 3rd Division. Many see Mina as the eventual Commander of the Defense Force. Mina was a childhood friend of Kafka. The two made a promise to join the Defense Force and protect Japan from Kaiju. Mina has not spoken with Kafka since he quit on his dream of being a member of the Defense Force.
Reno Ichikawa: An ambitious 18-year-old member of the Professional Kaiju Cleanup Corp. Ichikawa is assigned to work with Kafka. Ichikawa has plans to take the exam to become a member of the Defense Force.
Kikoru Shinomiya: Kikoru is the daughter of Defense Force Commander Shinomiya. Kikoru’s Combat Power is greater than any of the other applicants. Kikoru is viewed as the hope for Japan and the future leader of the Defense Force.
Hoshina: The Defense Force Captain who is running the entrance exam.
Kaiju: This the general term for a creature. Kaiju can be either Honju and Yoju.
Honju: These are Kaiju that are the main beasts. They emerge more prominently and consistently.
Yoju: These are the Kaiju that accompany the Honju when they emerge. The Yoju are the residual beasts. Yoju come in many varieties. Some appear by traveling routes made by Honju or but leeching onto Honju. Some Yoju are created by Honju.
Synopsis: We begin with a Yoju grabbing Kafka. The crew motoring the test prep the remote shield to protect Kafka. Kafka thinks how if they activate his remote shield then he automatically fails the exam. Kafka forces himself to try and stand up, so he can avoid looking anymore pathetic in front of Mina.
The Yoju goes to attack Kafka again and suddenly, someone shoots the Yoju and kills it. We see that Kikoru has come back on the scene and killed the Yoju. Kikoru says this is the third time that she has made a fool of Kafka. Kikoru says that there will be no causalities or dropouts allowed while she is on the battlefield. Kikoru tells Kafka to lay there disgracefully while she goes to bring this test to an end.
The other test applicants marvel at the force of Kikoru’s shots. The applicants talk about how their combat power affects the force of their shots. Since Kikoru has the highest Combat Power her shots are the most devastating.
Hishino from the control tower radios Kafka and tells him that his vitals are reading abnormal and that he could be suffering from multiple injuries. Hishino recommends that Kafka drops out of the exam.
Kafka stands back up and says that he is going to keep going. Kafka says that his entire future is riding on this and that this time he is not giving up. Kafka tells Ichikawa to go on without him. Ichikawa holds out his hand and says that he will back up Kafka. Kafka is impressed and thankful.
We then see Ichikawa carrying Kafka on his shoulders. Kafka says that he will leave the movement to Ichikawa. That they will combine their powers. Ichikawa is a bit embarrassed about how the other applicants are staring at them. Up in the control tower, Hishino uncontrollably laughs at the two men.
Kafka tells Ichikawa to find Kikoru. Ichikawa races off at top speed. We shift to Kikoru killing another Yoju. Kikoru shows off her speed and dexterity. None of the other applicants can keep pace with Kikoru as she races toward the Honju which is the final creature left.
Kikoru nails the Honju with a grenade. Kikoru then jumps high into the air. The Honju opens its mouth to swallow Kikoru. Kikoru then fires a ton of rifle blasts into the mouth of the Honju. The Honju suffers a massive internal explosion and collapses to the ground and dies.
In the control tower, Hishino smiles at Kikoru’s victory. The final test is officially over. We see Kafka and Ichikawa collapsing to the ground in exhaustion. Hishino thinks how the exam did not last nearly long enough. Hishino says that Kikoru is impressive. That they projected at least 30 dropouts, but as it stands they have zero dropouts with minimal injured. Hishino says that this is all a direct result of Kikoru’s presence. That Kikoru is Commander Shinomiya’s daughter, and she will be the linchpin of the Defense Force in the future.
Hishino says that Kikoru will be the light of hope this country needs. We cut to Kikoru looking up to the sky and says, “I did it all perfectly…right, Daddy?” Kikoru says that she should go back and revel in Kafka’s foolishness once again.
Suddenly, we see a Kaiju standing behind Kikoru. The Kaiju then shoots a hole through Kikoru’s chest. End of chapter.
The Good: Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 6 is a fantastic read! What a kick-ass chapter! Kaiju No. 8 has been a fun read from the very beginning. Naoya Matsumoto has moved each prior chapter at a brisk pace and brimming with excellent action and good comedy. Chapter 6 is more of the same.
Let’s get straight to the meat of Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 6: The awesome action! Matsumoto loads up Chapter 6 with plenty of cool fighting. The action scenes are all perfectly choreographed and well delivered. Matsumoto knows how to deliver dramatic moments that get the reader cheering during the fighting.
The other core traits of Kaiju No. 8 are the themes of friendship and heart. We get plenty more of that with the strong character work in Chapter 6. Kafka definitely hits those adult Peter Parker vibes. This is what makes him such a likable character. Matsumoto continues to make Kafka a compelling character that is easy for the reader to identify with and root for. Kafka displays his heart in refusing to give up despite his injuries. The reader gets a good sense of Kafka’s heart of a hero and fighting spirit. These are absolute must-have qualities for a shonen manga hero.
Matsumoto also does a nice job continuing Ichikawa’s character growth since we first met him in Chapter 1. Ichikawa displays a strong level of loyalty and friendship that the reader would have thought impossible based on his frosty attitude toward Kafka when they first met. Again, the hero of a shonen manga needs a strong and loyal friend to support him on his hero’s journey. Ichikawa is shaping up to fill that role perfectly.
We also got some great character work on Kikoru in this chapter. Matsumoto presents the classic unstoppable alpha leader in Kikoru. This is the type of character that is usually the star of a manga series. Kikoru has a Combat Power that dwarfs all the other applicants. Kikoru has unrivaled skills and the ego commensurate with a traditional lead hero. Further, Kikoru also has the proper pedigree as the daughter of the former Commander of the Defense Force. Matsumoto is sure to make the reader respect Kikoru’s skill while still finding her personality less than appealing.
Kaiju No. 8 Chapter is impeccably paced and plotted. The story moves at a quick pace with a clear point and purpose in mind. There is never a dull moment. Chapter 6 never meanders or loses focus. The story is well-plotted and it is obvious that Matsumoto has multiple short-range and long-range plot lines in mind.
Matsumoto also shows off his impressive skill in constructing a chapter. I love how Matsumoto establishes Kikoru as the alpha hero and the hope for the future of the Defense Force. This allows Matsumoto to effectively convince that Kikoru is important and will be a crucial aspect of the Defense Force moving forward. Matsumoto wisely contrasts Kikoru’s pedigree, talent, and impressive success with Kafka’s lack of a pedigree and utter inability to do anything correctly.
With the classic manga hero in Kikoru established and the unlikely hero in Kafka both in place, Matsumoto then pulls off a brilliant plot twist with the shocking hook ending. Killing Kikoru absolutely stunned me. I will admit it. Matsumoto got me with that ending. My mouth was hanging open! Matsumoto takes the common manga trope of the talented young hero who is ordained to be the savior for the world and breaks it in half. By killing off Kikoru, Matsumoto clears the way for his story that it is the accidental hero in Kafka that is going to have to save the day. Kafka’s everyman character who has lived a resolutely mediocre life is now set up as a most unexpected hero.
Of course, in addition to the excellent action, good plotting and pacing, and quality character work, Matsumoto also delivers some wonderful comedy. The buddy team of Kafka and Ichikawa supply the comedy in Chapter 6. Matsumoto has managed to whip up some excellent chemistry between Kafka and Ichikawa in such short order. Ichikawa being embarrassed as he carries Kafka on his shoulders was a great moment. The dialogue for both Kafka and Ichikawa is hilarious. Matsumoto certainly has a good sense of comedy and it shows through in each chapter. The comedy also keeps Kaiju No. 8 from every become too dark or too bleak and gives this manga a fun vibe.
Matsumoto also delivers tons of gorgeous artwork. Kajiu No. 8 Chapter 6 is flat out wonderful to look at. All the panels are meticulously drawn. The action is kinetic and leaps off the page. Matsumoto draws excellent facial expressions for all the characters which pumps so much emotion into the story. Also, Matsumoto’s Kaiju designs continue to be visually interesting.
The Bad: I have no criticisms of this chapter.
Overall: Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 6 is a brilliant read that delivers a stunning ending that gets the reader immediately excited for the next chapter. Naoya Matsumoto has an absolute hit on his hands with this new manga. I highly recommend checking out Kaiju No. 8. You will not be disappointed.
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