Kaiju No. 8 is The Revolution’s favorite new manga. Naoya Matsumoto continues to impress with each chapter. We got a wonderful hook ending to Chapter 7. I am sure that Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 8 will come through with an exciting 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 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. Kirkoru 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: This is a 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 all of the applicants running for the shelter. Kafka and Ichikawa hear that Kikoru is still back there trying to hold off the Honju. That Kikoru is all on her own and badly injured.
Ichikawa is about to turn around to ask Kafka if they should go help, but Kafka has already run off to help Kikoru. Ichikawa thinks that there is no way Kafka would risk transforming into a Kaiju. That it would get Kafka killed by the Defense Force. Ichikawa then says that he is wrong. That Kafka would absolutely turn into his Kaiju form without a second thought in a situation like this.
We shift to Kaiju No. 8 standing in between Kikoru and the Honju. Kikoru asks if Kaiju No. 8 is in league with the other Honju. Kafka begs for Kikoru to keep this a secret from the Defense Force. The Honju then powers up and fires an energy beam. Kaiju No. 8 easily deflects the energy beam with his arm.
Kaiju No. 8 then tells Kikoru to kick back and relax. That he needs just a second to take this thing down. Kaiju No. 8 powers up as energy crackles around him. We shift back to the command tower. A Defense Force member says that they are detecting abnormally high energy emission near the Honju. That it is a Kaiju with a fortitude rating of 9.8. (Damn! That is significantly higher than the Honju’s rating of 6.4! Kaiju No. 8 is a beast!)
Hoshina says that the computer must be malfunctioning. Hoshina says that a 9.8 rated Kaiju would go down in the history books as one of the greatest to ever exist. It would be a Daikaiju.
We hop back to Kaiju No. 8 growing support arms out of his right calf to anchor into the ground to give his right leg more support. Kaiju No. 8’s right elbow opens up to real a mini jet engine to give his punch more boost. Kaiju No. 8’s right fist then punches the Honju’s right fist. There is a massive explosion and all of the flesh on the Honju’s right arm is blown off. Then the bone in the Honju’s right arm shatter as the flesh on the rest of the Honju’s body begins to blow off. Then we see the entire Honju completely explode into pieces. All while Kaiju No. 8 stands there in his punching pose. (Love. It.)
Kikoru has a stunned and shocked look on her face. Kaiju No. 8 says let’s see the Honju come back after that. We then see the pieces of the Honju’s body trying to reform. Kaiju No. 8 yells that he was just kidding. He yells for the Honju to please not come back. The pieces of the Honju’s body then collapse to the ground in defeat.
Kikoru stares at Kaiju No. 8 and thinks that even if her body was perfect that she would never be able to beat him. Kaiju No. 8 then lunges at Kikoru like he is about to punch her face. Kaiju No. 8 grabs Kikoru with one arm and pulls her close as he punches a Yoju to pieces.
Kafka transforms back into his human form. Kafka says that Kikoru looks okay and he is glad she is safe. Kafka then tells Kikoru to make her own safety more of a priority. Ichikawa runs up on the scene and yells that he could say the same thing to Kafka. Ichikawa says that Kafka transformed into his Kaiju form and made a spectacle of himself.
Kafka replies that he was planning to just transform individual parts of his body, but once he saw the Honju he knew that was not going to be an option. Kikoru then passes out and hits the ground. Suddenly, Ashiro and Hoshina arrive on the scene. End of chapter.
The Good: Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 8 is another kickass read! Naoya Matsumoto can do no wrong on this manga. Every chapter exceeds expectations. The reader is always left with a big smile on their face. It is impressive how much fun every single chapter has been on this manga.
Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 8 is wonderfully plotted and paced. Matsumoto punches the gas with the first page and never lets up until the end. This chapter is an energetic read that has a pleasant and natural flow to the story. I appreciate how Matsumoto is carefully building up the main character in Kafka while gradually fleshing out this world. Everything happens for a purpose and Matsumoto does not waste any panels.
Of course, Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 8 is all about the action. And we get some seriously badass fighting in this chapter! Matsumoto clearly understands how to choreograph a dramatic fight scene. I love how Matsumoto employs three single page splash shots to deliver the one-punch fight between Kaiju No. 8 and the Honju. Having Kaiju No. 8 hold his same pose in all three pages while we get the Honju’s body exploding apart in different stages with each page is a brilliant decision by Matsumoto. This creative approach effectively demonstrated Kaiju No. 8’s power.
We also got the classic swerve moment where Kikoru thinks Kaiju No. 8 is about to attack her only to protect her while blasting a Yoju. Again, this is a good fight choreography. The entire battle had a good flow and delivered several satisfying moments.
Matsumoto’s fight psychology continues to impress. Now, I was clear in my belief that Kikoru’s character was more effective dead than alive in my review of Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 7. However, Matsumoto proved me wrong with how he expertly utilized Kikoru’s character in Chapter 8. Matsumoto invested several chapters in building Kikoru up as perfection. Kikoru symbolizes the pinnacle of a human in a Kaiju power suit. Matsumoto also smartly has Kikoru highly aware of her perfection and also being both obnoxious and prideful.
Looking back, this was a brilliant decision. This made Kikoru’s realization that she is not perfect and nothing even close to the power of Kaiju No. 8 that much more impactful on the reader. The reader now has a clear sense of how much more powerful Kaiju No. 8 is compared to even the best human fighter in a Kaiju power suit.
I also like Matsumoto’s decision to have Kaiju No. 8 defeat the Honju with one punch. I know some readers may argue that a longer fight would be more entertaining and get the reader more involved in the story. I disagree. At this point, it is more important for Matsumoto to effectively convey to the reader Kaiju No. 8’s power levels and abilities. The one-punch defeat of the Honju clearly establishes Kaiju No. 8 as a Kaiju of a level that has not been seen on Earth before. It is more appropriate to have the difficult long battle against a powerful opponent at a later date in this manga.
I continue to enjoy how Matsumoto can seamlessly blend action and comedy. In fact, Kaiju No. 8 reminds me of Kinnikuman in this aspect. Yeah, I know, I am always able to link everything back to Kinnikuman. It’s a problem. I am trying to get help with it. But, seriously, Matsumoto deftly shifts between a panel of silly comedy to a panel with some “cool guy” posing or action. This is so much harder than it sounds. Matsumoto is able to create such jarring tonal changes without ever disrupting the flow of the story or compromising the core traits of the characters.
I dig that Matsumoto gave the reader Kaiju No. 8’s power rating. You cannot have a quality Shonen manga without some sort of power rating system for the various characters! Matsumoto reveals that Kaiju No. 8’s fortitude rating is a whopping 9.8 which makes him a Daikaiju. Damn. We knew that Kaiju No. 8 was strong, but I was not expecting Matsumoto to drop this type of power level on us!
In addition to quality action, Matsumoto continues to deliver good character work. Kafka is a character that just keeps getting better and better with each chapter. Matsumoto continues to imbue Kafka with that Peter Parker magic. I love how Kafka is being written as a straight-up good guy. It was also important how Matsumoto has Ichikawa point out to the reader how Kafka is the type of guy who will willingly risk his own life to save others. Matsumoto continues to firmly establish Kafka’s character and the type of hero he will be on this manga.
Matsumoto also does a nice job with Ichikawa’s character. Ichikawa is an excellent sidekick who adds to Kafka’s character. I remain impressed with the excellent chemistry that Matsumoto has created between Kafka and Ichikawa. I love these two as a buddy team.
Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 8 ends with a good hook ending. Will Kikoru remember Kafka transforming into Kaiju No. 8? Or will Kikoru remember but decide to keep Kafka’s secret? It is going to be interesting to see what direction Matsumoto goes from here. We do know that Hoshina already believes that the Defense Force computer was malfunctioning when it read Kaju No. 8’s 9.8 fortitude rating. If Hoshina is already skeptical then it would provide Kikoru a plausible story to say that there was no other Kaiju in the area other than the Honju she was fighting.
Of course, Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 8 provides the reader with much more than just a good story. We also get some phenomenal artwork. Seriously, Matsumoto dials it up a notch and delivers action scenes that completely blow the reader away. I love the three full-page splash shots of Kaju No. 8 battling the Honju. I also love all the panels of Kaiju No. 8 powering up. These panels crackle with energy. Matsumoto’s amazing artwork helps pull the reader deeply into the story.
The Bad: I have no criticisms of this chapter.
Overall: Kaiju No. 8 Chapter 8 is another gem of a read. Seriously, if you still have not tried Kaiju No. 8 then you need to do so now. This is a fantastic manga that deserves plenty of love.
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