Kaiju No. 8 has been taking the manga world by storm! Consider this a warm introduction if you’ve yet to hear of the popular series. With 10 million copies of the manga in circulation as of December 2022, Kaiju No. 8 is already on track to be one of the most popular manga series of the decade.
Kaiju No. 8, is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Naoya Matsumoto. It has been published in eight Tankobon volumes since October 2022 and is available for free on Shueisha’s Shonen Jump+ app and website. The series has officially been licensed for North American release by Viz Media, and the highly anticipated anime television series by Production I.G will premiere sometime in 2024. Without further delay, let’s look into what the Hype around Kaiju No. 8 is truly about!
What is Kaiju No. 8 about?
In Japan, monsters known as kaiju regularly assault the populace, and the Japanese Defence Force’s job is to kill them. As a result of their city’s destruction when they were kids, Kafka Hibino and Mina Ashiro both want to be part of the Defence Force. Mina eventually becomes commander of the Defence Force’s Third Unit and gains much popularity. However, Kafka has repeatedly failed the Defence Force’s entrance exam and works with the Monster Sweeper Company, a cleanup crew tasked with disposing of the monster carcasses after battles. As a result of his occupation, a tiny monster flies into his throat, which turns Kafka into a monster himself. While in monster form, Kafka gains superhuman power. Ultimately, Kafka decides to fight by Mina’s side and joins the Defence Force. Thus, he became known as “Kaiju No. 8”.
Does Kaiju No. 8 have a good story?
The manga has struck a nice balance between the kaiju/alien/monster stories and the shonen feel. Kaiju No. 8 is 2 years in and continues to improve. There is little to discuss without dropping massive spoilers, but the story is both promising and rewarding. At first, the main character is O.P. and still is, but others eventually rival his power and even exceed it. I also appreciate how the humor is woven creatively in the story at unexpected and emotional moments, and not only is the humor well delivered, but it gives me One Punch Man vibes, which to me is a major plus. Overall the story is intriguing and captivating. More than anything else, the premise keeps me coming back.
Kaiju No. 8 Characters
There are a lot of intriguing personalities in this story. The female characters are exceptionally well-written. They wear the same armor as everyone else and are just as strong as the males (except for that bathing scene…*Wink Wink). I like the character interactions, even though there were few initially. Although, from what we see, you can tell why Kafka and Mina are friends. As the series progresses, Kafka’s character development is fun to watch. And some of the characters in the later chapters add a nice flavor to the melting pot of personalities. If I had to choose a favorite Character, I would say Mina has grown me. She is strong, determined, and focused. But what I appreciate most is that under her tough exterior is a gentle and caring person. It’s hard not to admire a character who prioritizes the safety of those around them in the face of death. Otherwise, Kafka is a great main character with his ability to keep the series inspirational with his determination, and lighthearted with his quirky personality.
Kaiju No. 8 Artwork and Anime Trailer
The art in the manga is exquisite. I like that they only sometimes place the color spread at the beginning of a chapter; sometimes, it is located in the middle or toward the end. The character designs are acceptable, and it’s interesting to see a character like Kafka depicted as old and shabby, despite being the main character. I especially like the monster designs thus far, particularly Kaiju no. 9, who looks like something straight out of a nightmare. However, it is obvious at times that the manga has been drawn digitally, which is somewhat off-putting but nothing major. From the looks of the Kaiju No. 8 Trailer, the anime visuals are also on point. Not UFO Table quality per se, but strong enough that the show can be enjoyable.
Final Thoughts: Kaiju No. 8
Overall I’m looking forward to the release of the Kaiju No. 8 anime! If you’re a fan of Chainsaw Man, there’s a high likelihood that Kaju No. 8 is right up your alley. As mentioned, the manga is free on Shueisha’s Shonen Jump+ app and website. Head over there if you’re a manga reader and want to join the hype train early. If you’re not the manga type, then rest assured that 2024 has at least one monster-mashing, ass-kicking anime to look forward to.