Kaiju Girl Caramelise Graphic Novel Volume 3 cover image
Rated “T” for “Teen”
Kaiju Girl Caramelise focuses on an outcast girl named Kuroe Akaishi. She is suffering from a rare, incurable illness that causes frightening changes to her body, and she spends her high school days avoiding all her classmates. Then, she draws the attention of class idol, Arata Minami, so now, Kuroe questions the weird feelings she has when she is around this popular boy. But Kuroe's mother, Yuriko Akaishi knows the truth. Her daughter is the Godzilla-like kaiju known as “Harugon!”
Kaiju Girl Caramelise, Vol. 3 (Chapters 11 to 16) opens shortly after Harugon's latest appearance. But Kuroe's real problem is that the new school semester is beginning. Despite her best efforts to keep her budding relationship with Insta-famous classmate, Arata Minami, a secret from her classmates, Kuroe is thrust into the spotlight. [“Insta” is this series' Instagram-like social media app.]
Now, the socially awkward girl finds herself attracting unwanted attention from girls who are jealous of her relationship with Minami. Luckily, she meets a new friend, a gorgeous classmate named Raimu Kouno a.k.a. “Rairi.” But this uber-attractive girl who has a knack for make-up hides her own dark secret regarding physical transformations.
[This volume includes an “Afterword” in comics form.]
THE LOWDOWN: The Kaiju Girl Caramelise manga is another new title to me. My Yen Press rep included it in a batch of titles for review.
Kaiju Girl Caramelise Graphic Novel Volume 3 won't confuse you, dear readers, if it is your first encounter with the series. It is too damn good to be confusing. Creator Spica Aoki hits upon themes and plots that are timeless and familiar in juvenile fiction. Self-confidence, self-hate, the fear of unwanted attention, acceptance of peers, young love, teen angst, friendship, physical appearance, having a secret side, and more are all there in Vol. 3.
Also Aoki has created such a lovable cast of characters. Kuroe is endearing, and her friends, classmates, and contemporaries (even the jerks) are engaging characters. It is just a blast to read their adventures, especially because of Taylor Engel's adaptation, which captures the narrative's serious moments and its comic and sugary side. Lys Blakeslee's lettering also goes a long way in giving each moment its correct tone.
From what I gather via my research, Vol. 3 may be the final volume of the series... for the time being. This volume ends with a “to be continued.” I hope so; this is the best Yen Press manga that I have read to date.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of supernatural romance and of kaiju will want to try the Yen Press title, Kaiju Girl Caramelise.
9 out of 10