As soon as the first episode of “Kaiju No. 8” was published on Shonen Jump +, it was viewed more than 1 million times in no time. Although it is a transformation hero work, it is a highlight of shonen manga with its royal development and exhilarating action. This article will provide an in-depth introduction to this work, the first volume of which is scheduled for release in December 2020, including a synopsis and a description of its charms. If this article has piqued your interest, be sure to purchase the actual book!
Kaiju No. 8″ is a boys’ manga by Naoya Matsumoto, distributed on the manga app Shonen Jump+ and other platforms, set in a fictional Japan where Kaiju exist on a daily basis, and is a transformational hero story about the battle between humans and monsters.
Serialization began in July 2020, and the number of views suddenly reached 1 million in the first episode. In just over four months, the total number of views exceeded 30 million, attracting attention mainly on the Internet as a monstrous work, especially because of its content featuring Kaiju. Many people say that it is so interesting that it could even be published in the main Weekly Shonen Jump magazine.
In this article, we will thoroughly introduce the recommended episodes of the series, as well as the fun and charm of the work.
Kaiju, a biological disaster, has been a threat beyond earthquakes and typhoons for some time and has caused unprecedented fear among mankind. With one of the highest rates of Kaiju occurrence in the world, Japan has come to be known as a Kaiju superpower.
The “Japan Defense Force,” whose members boast superhuman fighting skills, protects people from Kaiju. Kafka Hibino, the protagonist of the story, was once a victim of the Kaiju catastrophe, and together with his childhood friend who survived the disaster, he vowed to eradicate Kaiju …… and failed. The boy who dreamed of becoming a man has grown into a middle-aged man with no aspirations, hampered by the reality of his talents.
Kafka, despairing of his inability to join the defense force, continued to smoke half-heartedly until one day he was caught up in the Kaiju riot and injured. He himself was then parasitized by an unknown small Kaiju and transformed into a humanoid monster.
The dream-destroyed Alaska man is reborn with the power of Kaiju. While enjoying the science fiction elements, this manga can be read either as a classic boys’ manga or as a story of the struggles of the protagonist, who is in his twilight years.
While the activities of the Alaska protagonist, who maintains his boyish earnestness, are the highlight of “Kaiju No. 8,” there are other fascinating characters in the story. Here are some of the main characters involved in the story.
The protagonist of this title. He is an aspiring defender but lacks talent, and until the beginning of the story, he worked for a cleaning company specializing in Kaiju carcasses. By chance, he acquired the ability to transform, but he keeps it a secret from the public because if it were discovered, he could be killed in human experimentation. His name comes from Franz Kafka, the author of the novel “Metamorphosis,” in which the characters are transformed into insects.
A young man aspiring to become a member of the Defense Forces, he is Kafka’s junior colleague at the cleaning company. He is a good friend and collaborator of Kafka and is one of the few people who know about his ability to transform.
She is the same age as Kafka and Reno. She is the next ace of the Defense Forces, and despite being a rookie, she is already a major player. She learns Kafka’s secret when she is saved from a tight spot during an examination.
A childhood friend of Kafka’s who vowed to defeat Kaiju. A member of the Defense Forces who boasts of her out-of-the-box strength, she is a genius who was selected as one of the Defense Forces captains at the age of 27.
Kaiju No. 8″ has now published 15 stories (as of the end of October 2020). The stories so far can be roughly divided into three parts: the birth of Kaiju No. 8, the Defense Forces examination, and the practical training of new recruits. Here are some of the most memorable episodes from these three editions.
The first is the story of the birth of Kaiju No. 8.
Kafka protects Reno from the sudden appearance of Kaiju at a cleanup site. With the support of Leno’s words, Kafka decides to reapply for the entrance exam, which he had half-heartedly given up on. At that moment, Kafka is transformed into a deformed monster by a parasite called Kaiju.
In parallel with Kafka being chased by the defenders, a new Kaiju emerged. Although he should have fled in the confusion, Kafka chooses to fight Kaiju on the spur of the moment to save a mother and her child who had failed to escape.
The overwhelming speed and catharsis (and a few comedic elements) of this episode are unbelievable for an early episode. After this episode, the transformed Kafka is named “Kaiju No. 8” by the defense team. It is an episode that symbolizes this work in both name and reality.
Kafka and Reno took on the challenge of defeating Kaiju in a defense team practical test. The exam was supposed to be …… with most of the Kaiju destroyed due to the efforts of Kikolu Shinomiya. However, for some reason, the fallen Kaiju were revived one after another, powered up, and began attacking the examinees. Moreover, Kikolu was taken by surprise by a mysterious humanoid Kaiju that spoke a human language and was seriously wounded.
All is not well. Knowing that he can only buy time, Kikol uses himself as bait to confront the reanimated Kaiju, which could have wiped him out.
Ever since her first appearance, Kikolu has been portrayed as a high-flying young lady who puts her abilities on the line. The tragic determination and poignant figure she shows in such a desperate situation is heartbreaking.
Of course, this episode does not end sadly. It is always the hero who saves the day. Kafka’s bravery in breaking in, even if his true identity is revealed, is a must-see.
While Kikol passed the exam at the top of his class, Kafka almost passed as an alternate. Kafka spent his days in rigorous training with Reno, who had also passed the exam. And just as the new recruits were getting to grips with their individual characteristics and familiarizing themselves with their equipment, the Defense Force was called in.
The big guns are taken care of by the aces, led by Mina Subai, who wipes them out in no time. The other newcomers also achieve remarkable results against the smaller Kaiju, but only Kafka, who is only an ordinary person in human form, struggles.
Kafka, however, shows a surprising feat here. He examines the bodies of the Kaiju defeated by the other members of the team on the spot and notices the location of their weak points and the existence of a special organ that causes Kaiju to multiply.
Although not a flashy action, his analytical skills, based on his experience in the cleaning business, contributed to the improvement of safety at the site. The sober but solid portrayal is very realistic. This aspect of “Kaiju No. 8” is a gripping point for working people who work hard and steadily.
One of the major attractions of this work is the setting related to the worldview, including Kaiju and terminology.
Each Kaiju has a different shape and comes in a variety of sizes, from large to small. They are graded according to their strength, and their danger level is expressed as a “fortitude” value. Large Kaiju are called “main beasts” and the small to medium-sized Kaiju that are created from them are called “extra beasts. The mechanism by which extra beasts are created is not yet known in detail.
Particularly powerful kaiju are given code names, and Kafka’s transformed form was designated “Kaiju No. 8” because it was the eighth known kaiju to have been transformed.
The terminology and naming conventions seem to refer to real-life earthquakes (magnitude for scale) and typhoons.
The more detailed these terms are, the more depth they add to the worldview, but too much detail tends to make them cumbersome and impede understanding of the story. In this respect, “Kaiju No. 8” does a good job of linking real-life disasters with the Kaiju disaster, making it easy to understand even on first viewing.
Kaiju No. 8″ is a hot shonen manga with a royal development, and at the same time, it is a highly accomplished heroic work. The homages to existing works that can be seen throughout the work are also very appealing.
The first thing readers associate with this work is “My Hero Academia” (Hero Academia), which was also made into an anime. The story of a dropout who becomes a hero, the self-sacrifice in the examination episodes, and other similarities can be seen in this work.
Or some may feel a similarity to the “Kamen Rider” series, as the main character fights with the same power as a hostile monster. The part where he hides his deformity and fights in secret, called by number, is especially strong respect for “Kamen Rider Kuuga.
While following in the footsteps of these famous heroes, “Kaiju No. 8” also incorporates elements of Kaiju to showcase a detailed story and flashy, exhilarating action.
Kaiju No. 8″ is still being serialized, and in addition to the main story, there are some descriptions that seem to be foreshadowing. Let’s take a look at some of the foreshadowing in the story.
Perhaps the key to the future is the humanoid Kaiju that played a dark role in Kaiju’s appearance and seriously injured Kikol. Whether this Kaiju, which can also transform into a human, is merely an intelligent being or whether it is a former human who, like Kafka, has fused with Kaiju, changes the story dramatically. If it is a former human, then it was created by “someone” or “something. In other words, it is a biological weapon.
Perhaps in the future, as in the case of “Shinkage no Kyojin” and “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” the story will change from “mankind vs. Kaiju” to “mankind vs. mankind.
The above prediction is only possible because Kaiju’s purpose is unknown. Please understand that these are unofficial and the writer’s own predictions, so they may not be correct. Why don’t you read the book yourself and imagine what will happen in the future?
Kafka Hibino, 32, works for a cleaning company specializing in Kaiju. Under the influence of a new part-time worker, a young man named Reno Ichikawa, he tries again to pursue his dream of joining the Defense Forces, which he had almost given up. …… Kafka is parasitized by Kaiju, a super-small organism, and is himself transformed into Kaiju. He was supposed to join the Defense Forces to defeat Kaiju, but instead, he becomes a victim of Kaiju.
The highlight of the first volume is, without a doubt, the battle of the man who became Kaiju. As mentioned in the recommended episodes, Kafka, who has been transformed into Kaiju with a human heart, is busy saving people without regard for the dangers that befall him.
He risks his life to defeat Kaiju, who are supposed to be his allies in terms of classification, while escaping from the defense force, even though his position is on the side of humanity. The way he fights while hiding his true identity is heartbreaking.
This is a target-oriented main beast that was deployed for the Defense Forces selection test. It was good until Kikolu Shinomiya killed it, but it was revived by a humanoid Kaiju that suddenly appeared and spoke the language, causing a panic in the hall.
Kikolu is in a desperate situation with injured limbs. Her pinch was saved by Kafka, who was participating in the screening test. Without hesitation, Kafka transformed into Kaiju No. 8 and crushed the giant Honju with a single blow.
Volume 2 describes how the newcomers, including Kafka, joined the Defense Forces. Although Kafka was able to fulfill his wish and enlist, he is not a regular member but only a candidate, as his examination results were not satisfactory. However, although his evaluation on paper is at the lowest rank, he is looked up to by several people, including Soshiro Hoshina, deputy commander of Unit 3, because of his knowledge based on practical experience that he showed in the examination.
In contrast to the defense team, the humanoid Kaiju quietly and darkly acts as the source of previously unobserved anomalies, such as the revival and power-up of target Kaiju and the proliferation of extra beasts.
It will be interesting to see how the actions of the humanoid Kaiju will relate to the whereabouts of Kaiju No. 8, Kafka, and the activities of the defense team.
Defeat of this beast that appeared in Sagamihara. Then the humanoid Kaiju intervened and quarantined the new members, Reno and Isaru Furuhashi, from the outside to capture them.
Kafka rushes in just in time and overwhelms the humanoid Kaiju with the power of No. 8, but just as he is about to finish it off, the quarantine space is broken and the defenders discover him. The humanoid Kaiju takes advantage of this opportunity and escapes. Vice Captain Hoshina, who has replaced Kafka on the scene, attacks No. 8, unaware that he is Kafka.
Kafka acts as a human member of the defense force, but is treated as a Kaiju. The agony caused by being caught between the boards is likely to continue for a while longer.
The dynamic No. 8 is impressive, but what is noteworthy is Hoshina’s fighting ability. Even though No. 8 is not so strong as he is against an ally, he is still a captain.
The Defense Forces have deemed the mysterious humanoid Kaiju, which not only controls Kaiju but also speaks human language and can transform into human form, to be an extremely dangerous threat and have given it the code name “Kaiju No. 9.
The Defense Forces have named him “Kaiju No. 9,” a code name for an extremely dangerous threat, and we cannot take our eyes off of the growing conflict with Kaiju No. 9.
A direct attack by a herd of Kaiju on a Defense Force base. It was an unprecedented event, but thanks to the efforts of the team members, the response to the extra beasts was somehow being completed.
In the meantime, a new humanoid Kaiju appeared, and its gigantic size put Deputy Captain Hoshina in a tight corner. The joint attack of Mina and Kikolu was able to defeat it, but the dying humanoid Kaiju summoned the extra beasts and created a huge bio-bomb in the sky above the base.
If it explodes, total annihilation is inevitable. To protect his friends, Kafka transforms in front of them and tries to intercept the bomb.
Volume 4 depicts the clear malice of the Kaiju side. The scale of the battles has been increased, giving the impression that this is more like a Kaiju story than a tokusatsu hero story.
The tension in the scene where Hoshina struggles against the giant humanoid Kaiju and the reversal of the situation triggered by Mina’s covering fire is very exhilarating.
However, things take a turn for the worse from there. The fast-paced development of the story is a pleasant experience.
And then, the shocking development after the middle stage. Faced with damage estimates unparalleled in the past, Kafka finally reveals his true identity – that of Kaiju No. 8 – to the Defense Forces. What will be the Defense Force’s response and Kafka’s fate?
Kafka was detained by the Defense Forces, and in order to prove that he was human, he was confronted by the current director, Isao Shinomiya, who was once touted as the strongest in the history of the Defense Forces.
Kafka tries to stand his ground without transforming into Kaiju No. 8, but the difference in power between him and Isao is obvious. Even though he tried to restrain himself with reason, the damage caused him to instinctively transform.
At last, Kaiju No. 8 transforms completely and goes berserk. On the verge of killing Isao, Kafka attacked him and forcibly stopped the outburst.
The story told in Volume 5 is the episode in which Kafka’s fate is decided after his true identity is revealed.
While we shudder at the horror of the uncontrollable No. 8, key figures on the defense force side appear, including Isao, who was once the strongest, and Narumi Gen, the current strongest force in the world.
The impact of Isao in particular is enormous. Although he is a human, he skillfully uses his special equipment, which is made from the body of Kaiju No. 2, to hunt down No. 8, and his performance is a masterpiece. The scene in which Kafka, who managed to stay on his feet, is bought to some extent and is told to show his strength as a member of the defense force is somewhat moving.
I look forward to seeing how Kafka’s presence will grow once he officially becomes a member of the defense team.
Kaiju No. 9, leading a swarm of Kaiju, once again attacked the defenders. Kafka was unable to transform into Kaiju No. 8 due to a mysterious malfunction, and Kikol had to hold on until he recovered.
In fact, the cause of the malfunction was Kafka himself. He unconsciously harbored a fear of hurting his friends, which prevented him from using the power of No. 8. Kikol’s blackmail caused Kafka to cast away his fears, and he fought a more than even battle with the even stronger No. 9.
The eerie presence of No. 9 becomes stronger in this sixth volume. We cannot see the reason why it is relentlessly targeting the defenders, but between battles, we discover that the real purpose of No. 9 is in Kafka’s midst, No. 8.
No. 9 was trying to take No. 8 and gain more power. At this point, No. 9 has the ability to alter itself, and the two alter egos in the play are at a level where they can go toe-to-toe with No. 8 and Deputy Captain Hoshina on their own. The possibility of becoming even stronger is frightening.
Moreover, they have a purpose other than absorbing No. 8. …… No. 9 has made a spectacular move, and all eyes are on the outcome of the battle between the defense team and No. 9!
Kaiju No. 9’s goal was to absorb Kaiju No. 8, but if that failed, it had a better plan. To take Kaiju No. 2, which had been stolen by humans, and the human body that conformed to it – in other words, to take Isao Shinomiya.
The defense force, which had allocated its strength to the two No. 9 minute bodies, was unable to cope with the sudden appearance of the main body of No. 9 at the command center; No. 9 was driven to the brink of death by Gong’s deadly interception, but by a narrow margin he took over the body, and he disappeared after saying this.
The next time I move, the era of Kaiju will begin.From Kaiju No. 8, Vol. 7
The loss of Secretary Isao Shinomiya. It was not just a reduction in force; it meant that the defense force had lost a spiritual pillar. Especially, the degree of the emaciation of Kikol, his own daughter, is painful just to read about.
But we cannot wallow in sentimentality forever; the threat of Kaiju is still alive and well, and No. 9, which absorbed Gong, remains missing. Kafka, Kikol, Hoshina, and Narumi renew their determination to defeat Kaiju.
Meanwhile, the Defense Forces begin to select suitable candidates for the frozen Kaiju No. 6 equipment in order to make up for the lost forces. Reno’s name comes up as a candidate for the next generation.
Will Kafka and his team be able to break the negative cycle and overcome the hopeless battle?
As of August 2022, the manga “Kaiju No. 8” has been viewed more than 300 million times on the Shonen Jump+ app, and the total number of copies of the seven volumes already published has exceeded 8 million.
The long-awaited anime adaptation of “Kaiju No. 8” was officially announced on August 5, 2022. Prior to the announcement, the official “Kaiju No. 8” Twitter account (@KaijuNo8_O) had been counting down the days with mysterious images, leading fans to believe that there would be some kind of movement, including an anime adaptation.
Although it is known from the special trailer that TOHO animation is the distributor, detailed air date, cast, and staff for the “Kaiju No. 8” anime have not yet been announced at this stage. The scope of the anime is also unknown, but the most likely time frame for the story would be around the time No. 8 is revealed (volume 4) or No. 9 attacks Isao Shinomiya (volumes 6-7).
It is no exaggeration to say that “Shonen Jump+” is the most popular manga app right now. The “Harlem of the End” and “SPY x FAMILY” anime have been hits, and the popular “Chainsaw Man” is scheduled to air in October 2022.
Thus, “Shonen Jump+” is focusing its efforts on anime adaptations of its signature works, and without a doubt, the anime “Kaiju No. 8” will also be produced with great effort. Fans can now look forward to more news on the anime and its air date, while enjoying the manga series “Kaiju No. 8”.