The second volume of Naoya Matsumoto’s Kaiju No. 8 continues the story of Kafka Hibino as he attempts to join his childhood friend in the Japanese Defence Force. The first volume ends with Kafka and his new friend Leno Ichikawa in the middle of their test to join the Force. Kafka has a secret, he can transform into a Kaiju, which he does to save one of the other people at the test.
After the first volume, that really felt like the start of something great, this volume is a massive let down. Kafka is rejected after the trial, but is then given the opportunity to enter the Force as a cadet instead, with a three month window where he needs to prove himself or he’s out. Even early on it seems pretty obvious what will happen now.
There are quite a few characters in the story, but they’re not really that unique of memorable. A lot of them are just the standard characters that you need to be there. The odd and quirky teacher, the overachiever who the main character will need to outdo at some point, the side-kick, they’re all there. There are a few other characters in the mix as well, but it’s really the main two characters and Kafka’s childhood friend, Mina Ashiro that stand out so far. Some of the characters look similar as well, so sometimes it makes you double take to make sure you know who said what.
The story so far, throughout the first two volumes, has been good but there hasn’t been anything that mind-blowing just yet. It’s a pretty standard story of someone following their dreams and follows a few school tropes. It reminds me a little of Attack on Titan at points, for obvious reasons, but I’m still waiting for the big moment that’s going to make me want to jump into the next chapter straight away.
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