I remember seeing Kaiju No. 8 a year ago on Shonen Jump plus. Initially thinking it was going to be another “Godzilla knockoff”, I completely ignored it. I don’t know, back then I just wasn’t feeling like reading about humans fighting off giant knock-off Godzilla. However, after having nothing else to read, I decided to give it chance, and damm I am impressed.

Grotesque, Godzilla-like monsters called “kaijuu” have been appearing around Japan for many years. To combat these beasts, an elite military unit known as the Defense Corps risks their lives daily to protect civilians. Once a creature is killed, “sweepers”—working under the Professional Kaijuu Cleaner Corporation—are left to dispose of its remains.

Kafka Hibino, a 32-year-old man, is unsatisfied with his job as a sweeper. From a young age, he has aspired to join the Defense Corps and kill kaijuus for a living. After a few failed attempts, however, he gave up on his dreams and resigned himself to the mediocrity that provided a decent paycheck. Nevertheless, when an ambitious, 18-year-old recruit named Leno Ichikawa joins his cleaning team, Kafka is once again reminded of his desire to join the military.

Following a chain of unfortunate events and an interaction with the junior sweeper, Kafka encounters a parasite-type kaijuu that forces its way in through his mouth—turning him into a humanoid monster. With his newfound powers, Kafka aims to give his lifelong dream a final try.

As soon as I finished the first chapter of Kaiju No. 8, before I knew it, I was already all caught up with the 40 chapters available right now as of this writing. Kafka is an interesting character. I can relate to a guy near my age trying to still fulfill his dreams despite no longer be in the age group for it. It’s weird but refreshing, to say the least. And yes, the Kaiju transformation gimmick looks cool as hell and convinced me to keep reading.

I also take back the statement about fighting giant knock-off Godzillas, as there’s a lot more going on in this manga, and it’s unique enough to keep you hooked. It’s new and fresh in its own way and the idea of kaiju that can talk adds an unexpected element to it. The supporting casts are all likable, each with its own unique quirks. It’s worth checking out for sure if you’re looking for some epic monster battle action.

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