Kaiju No 8 is easily one of the top manga out right now, and soon, it’ll be adapted into an anime. Last volume, we saw the existence of other humanoid kaiju and watch Kafka on the ropes as he manages to survive his interaction with one such kaiju and save his teammates Reno and Iharu. That said, he’s unable to leave quick enough and finds himself stuck fighting his Vice-Captain, Hoshina. Narrowly escaping with his identity intact, Kaiju No 8 Volume 4 puts Kafka in a catch-22, save people or save himself, only this time, he won’t be able to do both.
Kaiju No 8 Volume 4 is written and illustrated by mangaka Naoya Matsumoto. This volume is published and localized in English by VIZ Media through its Shonen Jump imprint, translated by David Evelyn, and lettered by Brandon Bovia. Here, the raid on the Kaiju Defense Force’s Tachikawa base continues as the officers expend their efforts to fend off the yoju. Meanwhile, Hoshina unleashes his full combat power to take on the daikaiju—the mightiest kaiju of the group. This makes the volume a standout for Hoshina. We see his strength, his resiliency, and exactly how he got into the Defense Force with swords when everyone around him is using guns —for obvious size-differential reasons. But just when the battle seems to be over, the daikaiju transforms and Kafka’s detection ability reacts to it. Focused on saving his team and specifically Hoshina, Kafka throws it all on the line and effectively throws away his career in the Defense Force.
This volume is an interesting one. Stacked with action in the front half of chapters, Kaju No 8 Volume 4 also manages to get into the question of morality. Where does a man who saved lives fall when he’s part kaiju? Can he still be seen as a man? Does the kaiju in him undo his heroic deeds? Here, we get the chance to explore those questions. We see it from Kafka’s perspective as the person stuck in the chair and trying to comply while knowing that it will lead him to be killed by the very people he wanted so desperately to join. And we also see these questions explored through his teammates who serve as his advocates.
Up until this point, Kaiju No 8 as a series has been action-packed and more focused on the theme of aging out of your dreams. Yes, that still remains some of what makes me love the series, this volume manages to explore something bigger. As an audience, we have known that Kafka’s number was going to get punched. I mean, he’s a golden retriever who absolutely puts other people over his own safety in every way. I mean, his entire team at this point was in on the secret, so there is no real surprise that he was found out this fast. However, Matsumoto manages to handle this expected part of the story in an unexpected way.
Matsumoto puts Kafka through violence and pain and shows us that even with that, he won’t waiver when it comes to his dedication to humanity and protecting it. This is his training, the thing the shonen protagonist goes through to come out stronger on the other end, and man does it work. Kaiju No 8 Volume 4 continues to prove the strength of this story, this art, and Kafka as a shonen hero. The perfect score streak continues.
Kaiju No. 8 volume 4
Kaiju No 8 Volume 4 continues to prove the strength of this story, this art, and Kafka as a shonen hero. The perfect score streak continues.