Bound To Stay Bound

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 Kaiju no. 8, 1 (Kaiju No. 8 (Manga))
 Author: Matsumoto, Naoya

 Publisher:  VIZ Media (2021)

 Dewey: 741.5
 Classification: Nonfiction
 Physical Description: 204 p., ill., 19 cm

 BTSB No: 612664 ISBN: 9781974725984
 Ages: 12-16 Grades: 7-11

 Imaginary wars and battles -- Fiction
 Sea monsters -- Fiction
 Metamorphosis -- Fiction
 Graphic novels

Price: $8.19

Kafka hopes to one day keep his pact with his childhood friend Mina to join the Japan Defense Force and fight by her side. But while she's out neutralizing kaiju as Third Division captain, Kafka is stuck cleaning up the aftermath of her battles. When a sudden rule change makes Kafka eligible for the Defense Force, he decides to try out for the squad once more. There's just one problem. He's made the Defense Force's neutralization list under code name Kaiju No. 8. In manga graphic novel format.

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 11/01/2021 *Starred Review* This hilarious, action-packed story starts at the moment the general public stops taking notice—after the giant monster has already been slain. Kafka’s unit is part of the clean-up crew responsible for taking apart giant dead monsters so that rebuilding can happen. But this isn’t the life Kafka dreamed for himself; he’s already failed the test to become part of the famed Japanese Defense force once and is too old to try again. But with the addition of a new clean-up recruit, a rule change, and an ill-fated nighttime visit, Kafka gets one final crack at his dreams. Kafka and his friend Leno work together admirably, along with some other incredibly strong recruits, to pass the test and achieve their life-long aspirations. Matsumoto masterfully portrays his characters despite the overall artistic style being more of the unpolished, rough look readers have come to enjoy from series like Demon Slayer. Kafka is enjoyably emotive in his facial expressions and colorful dialogue, while Leno is his perfect foil—cool, collected, and calm. There are plenty of humorous moments sprinkled throughout this propulsive title to keep readers devouring the story. Readers who enjoy the humor and serious moments of Spy x Family or the off-the-wall story lines of Chainsaw Man will likely be drawn to Kaiju No. 8, as well. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 02/01/2022 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. - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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