MANGA REVIEW | "Kaiju No. 8" - Volume Seven
If there’s one thing that Kaiju No. 8 is great at doing, it’s creating an adrenaline rush. For the past couple of volumes, we’ve seen Kafka and the Defense Force dealing with Kaiju No. 9. As we see in the seventh volume, this monster doesn’t just showcase terrifying strength; it’s smart-as-hell too! And now, the enemy might now have the upper hand.
The battle between Kaiju No. 9 and Isao Shinomiya ends in tragedy, with the monster merging with the director general. It forces Kafka, Kikoru, and Narumi to go all in to attempt to save Shinomiya. Arms are sliced off, faces are punched, and fire & lasers spew all across the battlegrounds. Alas, Kaiju No. 9 runs away, but not without offering a grave warning: “The next time I make a move will mark the start of the Kaiju Era.”
What follows is a massive grieving process. Kikoru understandably doesn’t have it in her to attend her father’s funeral, and the rest of the Defense Force appears to be just as defeated. However, a fire burns in these solders’ souls, one that outright refuses to allow them to give up. The urge to grow stronger fills Kikoru’s belly, and decides to become a solider that would make her father proud.
Although Kaiju No. 8 has been practically a nonstop action thrill ride, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some heart. Kikoru dealing with her father’s demise is a simple scene, one that we’ve seen played out many times in shonen manga. However, there’s something about the look in her eyes as she utters, “I want to become stronger,” that just hits different. There’s emotional pain and anger flowing through her irises, as tears and snot drips down her face. In this particular moment, we see a character that’s just about to start her journey towards greatness.
But when Kaiju No. 10 reawakens, that’s when things get pretty interesting. A conversation between it and vice-captain Hoshina reveals some pretty terrifying things about it and Kaiju No. 9. Even more stunning is the fact that the creature wants to aid in the battle against other kaiju, which has everyone on their toes. However, after listening to what could be at stake, it would appear that working with Kaiju No. 10 would be super beneficial, especially when you factor in the power of Kafka.
Speaking of Kafka, it appears that there’s a chance his kaiju powers may overtake his body one day. Thankfully, he has a friend in Narumi, who has his back every step of the way. After all, they both have reasons to take on Kaiju No. 9, and until the day comes when Kafka can no longer turn back into a human, he’ll keep fighting for humanity. However, as Kaiju No. 10 hinted, the next fight may be a doozy!
For now, Kaiju No. 8 has readers playing the waiting game. There’s no telling when Kaiju No. 9 will strike next. Could it be days? Weeks? Years? Or could it launch its next attack at any second? There’s a good deal of action to behold and tragedy to unpack in Volume Seven, and perhaps the Defense Force will need a monster-less breather to prepare for what could be humanity’s toughest battle yet. But as we’ve seen in past volumes, danger can happen at any moment, and knowing Kaiju No. 8, that threat could just be lingering in the shadows, close enough to breathe down the readers’ necks.
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.