Author of Kaiju No. 8 Admits He Was The Blueprint For Kafka

Kaiju No. 8 has recently become the new SHOUNEN sensation. The animation is top-notch, and the humor is great. The main character, Kafka, is very well-developed and has a relatable personality to most of us. 

While many fans are keen to know about the character’s inspiration, others think it is similar to the author, Naoya Matsumoto. Well, the author himself answered the questions in a recent interview.

Kafka’s Character Development is Based on Matsumoto Sensei

The main character, Kafka Hibino, is 32 years old, older than most other main characters. But how does he seem relatable to the YOUNGER AUDIENCE? 

Kafka Hibino
Kafka Hibino | Source: X

In a recent interview with Bunshun Japan, Kaiju No. 8 author Naoya Matsumoto disclosed that Kafka reflects on himself. Frustrated by his lack of success in creating a popular manga while witnessing his mangaka friends thrive, he channeled this frustration into Kafka’s character.

Kafka’s inability to fulfill his aspirations of becoming a natural leader and joining the Japan Defense Force despite seeing his close friend succeed mirrors the author’s struggles. 

These thoughts are more common in YOUNGER AUDIENCES, who fear missing out or think they are a failure while others are succeeding. 

There is a large part where I project myself into the story. At the time, I couldn’t make a living from my own manga either, so I was earning my living in a place close to but far away from my dream. Whenever I saw my manga artist friends working in magazines, I had mixed feelings about why I was on this side of the world. I think Kafka Hibino was naturally born out of me like that.”

Kafka’s Kaiju Form is Inspired by Tron

Kafka (Kaiju Form)
Kafka (Kaiju Form) | Source: YouTube

By now, we all know how Kafka gained his powers to become a monster (kaiju). You might have also noticed the blue light effects shining from the muscles of the kaiju. This is the most iconic effect of the series.

TRON | Source: IMDb

Matsumoto sensei stated that the shining blue effects were actually inspired by the TRON movie. In the 1982 film TRON and its 2010 sequel TRON Legacy, characters known as programs wore special suits. These suits looked like motorcycle gear but with bright, glowing lines. These suits inspired the kaiju in Kaiju No. 8

What Inspired Matsumoto to Create Kaiju No. 8 Manga?

The author revealed that he was inspired to create the manga after watching Shin Godzilla by Hideaki Anno. He liked the story development of the movie and the destruction caused by the monster. 

I watched the movie ‘Shin Godzilla’ and was reminded of how interesting the ‘disaster aspect’ of monsters is. From there, we expanded the settings to make the world of manga more interesting.

Shin Godzilla
Shin Godzilla | Source: IMDb

Godzilla, famous for causing massive destruction in Japan, has inspired countless media and manga. It’s hard to find something that hasn’t been influenced by Godzilla in some way. 

One of his senior colleagues recommended that he use the code “No.” to label the monsters, similar to how typhoons are categorized.

The code names for the identifying monsters (written as ‘No.’) came about because a senior colleague looked at the prototype names and gave me advice: “If you want to compare it to a disaster, wouldn’t it be interesting to call the monsters ‘No.~’ like typhoons?”

Mastsumoto-sensei was quite taken aback when Kaiju No. 8 became a huge success and received an anime adaptation within just a year of being serialized. He once jokingly told a friend who was an anime enthusiast, 

“If Production I.G or Studio Khara were to animate my manga, I’d accept it even if I had to commit seppuku after watching the preview of the first episode!!”

It’s really satisfying to witness the mangaka and anime’s success. I hope the series continues to thrive and becomes a long-lasting hit.

About Kaiju No.8

Kaiju No. 8 or Monster #8 is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Naoya Matsumoto. It has been serialized for free on Shueisha’s Shōnen Jump+ from July 2020.

In Japan, creatures are known as kaiju frequently attack the nation with the Japanese Defense Force in charge of dealing with and killing them.

Childhood friends Kafka Hibino and Mina Ashiro vow to become members of the Defense Force after a kaiju destroys their home. Mina becomes a famous commander of the Force while Kafka fails the exam multiple times and becomes a monster sweeper, those in charge of cleaning up a monster’s dead body.

One day a small talking kaiju enters his body through his mouth and he can now turn into a Kaiju himself. This is dubbed “Kaiju No. 8” by the Defense Force.


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