Story & Art by Spica Aoki
Translated by Taylor Engel
Lettering by Lys Blakeslee
Kaiju Girl Caramelise Volume 2 continues the series’ crazy romance story, while also breaking from typical genre conventions. As Arata and Kuroe’s feelings for each other grow, Kuroe’s ability to control her kaiju powers are put to the test. Pressured, Kuroe must decide whether she can truly be in a relationship.
While the previous volume maintained a status quo, Volume 2 throws away that standing from the outset. Kuroe realizes that she loves Arata, and now wants to find a way to be with him despite her fears of transforming into a kaiju. Conversely, Arata wants to progress his relationship with Kuroe, but fears Kuroe avoids him because she’s disinterested. This conflict effectively stimulates and develops their romance, crafting a new source of tension within the narrative. Koutarou, a biologist seeking Harugon and a father figure for Kuroe, becomes another obstacle for them to overcome. While Kuroe’s powers aren’t instigated in Koutarou’s presence, he makes Arata insecure, worried whether Kuroe has feelings for him. That said, the story doesn’t try to prolong this conflict. Rather, the characters make an effort to communicate their feelings and clear any misunderstandings between them. It’s a realistic resolution rarely seen in other romance stories, and makes Kaiju Girl Caramelise all the more refreshing. By the end of the volume, the entire dynamic between Arata and Kuroe has changed, making it clear that the series wishes to take its story beyond the restrictive boundaries of the romance genre.
As usual, Spica Aoki’s artwork continues to be equally distinct and beautiful. The soft visuals allow for the romance elements to thrive, but Aoki also manages to make Kuroe’s kaiju transformation feel congruous to the world. The series achieves a delicate balance that’s hard to rival, and makes Aoki’s talent as an artist incredibly apparent.
Kaiju Girl Caramelise Volume 2 establishes a story that is uniquely genuine. By breaking from the common tropes of romance manga, its cast has been able to realistically flesh out. This is not a series to sleep on, and the next volume will surely be an exciting read.