This review of Kaiju Girl Caramelise by author Spica Aoki contains volumes 1 and 2.
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Kaiju Girl Caramelise Volume 1
Kaiju Girl Caramelise is a manga about a young girl with a rare condition that is apparently incurable and unknown by modern doctors. She sprouts grotesque monster parts throughout her body that deform and embarrass her.
These monster parts have always been temporary but she is of course concerned that one day it will be permanent. The concern grows when one day she doesn’t only grow monster parts she grows to be a complete monster, or kaiju. Head to toe she is basically Godzilla.
This always happens at the most inopportune times, like when she’s talking to the most popular boy in school who, it would seem, is actually interested in her! YA graphic novels and manga are a great way to explore these themes in a more lighthearted way. I like when teens are able to be teens without the heaviness of sex and fully adult drama.
At its heart this is a story about dealing with puberty and first loves. That awkwardness that we’ve all been through and even sometimes feel as adults. The embarrassment that is simply part of being a teenager or young adult who has no idea how to interpret their hormone signals.
How do your emotions change you? Do they make you an uncontrollable monster? Does that feel humiliating or empowering? Maybe it’s even possible to take what humiliates you and use it to your advantage.
Kaiju Girl Caramelise vol 1 is an adorable and relatable story that I will definitely continue through the next volumes.
I really like the way it is drawn. She is just so darned cute, especially the way her eyes are drawn with hearts in them even when she’s a monster. And whether she’s in love with boys or with sweets! She’s so excitable it’s contagious.
I also am interested to see how the relationships develop in the next volume. Volume 1 is a good introduction to the characters but there is definitely more depth to come. It is also very likely to go deeper into the whole “love someone for who they are” kind of story and I like it’s original take on that trope.
We have her love interest who is your basic pretty boy but hopefully he proves himself worthy of our protagonist. Her new friend, who is helplessly in love with the monster that she becomes but doesn’t know it’s her. And her mother, who is supportive but in very strange ways.
It will be interesting to see where this story goes and if nothing else it is cute, light, and different.
4/5 kaiju 🦖🦖🦖🦖
Kaiju Girl Volume 2
Volume 2 picks up right where volume 1 left off. We have our young heroine who turns into a giant monster whenever her emotions get out of control.
Her emotions are very focused right now on an attractive popular boy at her school who she cannot believe even talks to her. He asks her out on a real date to go to a Disney Land type amusement park, for legal purposes this is not actually Disney Land and that’s not actually Mickey Mouse.
She’s so nervous that she maps out the park and finds places she can easily run away to if her monsterism starts to show. She has contingency plans for every possible occurrence but forgets that she should probably try and enjoy herself as well.
Due to her nervousness she acts strange and aloof around the boy and he starts to feel like he’s not wanted. The poor guy is trying so hard to impress her and she’s just trying to not scare him to death.
When she realizes she may have just ruined her shot by being nervous she goes half monster right in front of him. Luckily, everyone thinks it’s cosplay and she’s able to relax a little bit and have a great time with him.
This series continues to be a cute metaphor about puberty and early love. It’s still relatable and still incredibly adorable. I really like this awkward girl and her attempts to balance human interaction with being afraid of her own true self.
I’m curious to see where the next volume takes it since the second was quite similar to the first. I hope it does gain some more depth.
I am hoping to see some more development with her weird friend who worships the monster that she becomes but doesn’t know it’s her. The love story is cute but that story is way weirder and way more interesting to me.
There are more relationships in this book that just the basic love story but I know that many readers will just be in it for the hopefully happy ending. It is nice to find a romantic interest who will accept you with all of your flaws, no matter how great.
Overall, I recommend the Kaiju Girl Caramelise series for a nice quick read when you want something light. It’s perfect for when you have an hour at the end of a long day and just want to get lost in a cute love story with a little bonus destruction.
3/5 kaijus 🦖🦖🦖
For more cute romance manga check out Our Dining Table.