Kaiju No. 8: Vol. 1

Viz Media. (Kaiju No. 8). Nov. 2021. 192p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781974725984.
Gr 9 Up–At the age of 32, Kafka is resigned to the fact that in a world where kaijus (or monsters, in the vein of Godzilla and Mothra) exist and wreak havoc, he’ll never be one of the ballyhooed members of the kaiju neutralization defense force, the Third Division. Instead, he’s working in a field that while still important is far less appreciated: kaiju cleanup. When the Third Division raises the maximum age for new recruits to 33, and a chance encounter with a kaiju gives Kafka the ability to transform some of his body parts into kaiju ones (and, in turn, gain their strength and speed), he receives a second lease on life. This title follows the typical shonen hero formula, where an lead ordinary lead becomes extraordinary. However, that doesn’t make it any less exciting. Peeks into the character’s backstories give them and the narrative some depth. All female leads pack just as much of a punch as their male counterparts, if not more so. The pacing is quick and fun, and the artwork is sharp and detailed, particularly when it comes to the kaiju illustrations.
VERDICT Absolutely worth the read. The anime is planned for 2023.

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