Score: A-

If a person randomly put on this show I wonder if they’d be keen on seeing the initial premise play out a bit more? Kaiju No. 8 does a nice job dropping us into the setting. In some ways I truly liked the look of life on the ground level within this society. They’ve clearly been dealing with kaiju attacks for decades and it is just part of daily life. Their defense forces are well trained and can respond swiftly to various incidents. And naturally there would be people that have to deal with the messes left behind. The actual combat troops are too valuable so someone else must specialize with cleanup. If the show was just following these guys around, dealing with their group drama and how they clean up different types of kaiju…that wouldn’t have been bad. But I’m not turning down what we did get here!

Kafka is certainly an unique main character. You really don’t get many protagonists in their early 30s. There’s no doubt that Kafka has tried to fulfill the promise he made as a child. But it’s also obvious that whatever barrier has gotten in his way has been too high to climb. Not a question of willpower anyway. But maybe because of that strong determination it only hit harder when he kept failing. Sometimes wanting to do something won’t be enough and eventually he passed the age restriction that existed at the time. Not much to do at that point besides give up.

Thankfully he’s (probably) going to get a second chance at this. The age limit has been raised so he’s at least got a chance to go for it. He doesn’t have to give up quite yet. And it shows true quality that when he heard about it that he seemed willing to try. Maybe it’s partly because he had to step back and deal with the frustrations of falling short. He knows what it is like to live with regrets. No reason to keep doing that if he doesn’t have to anymore.

Just carving up that turkey!

One element of this episode I enjoyed was the willingness to get messy. Just the whole breaking down of kaijus felt very legitimate. They were working away at thick slabs of meat and even needing specific gear to get through it. These things so darn dangerous that even as corpses they are hazards. While breaking down the kaiju’s digestive track was thoroughly disgusting it just shows how that world needs to be. They need people to truly take on the dirty jobs so life can resume.

But the show was willing to get messy even with life-or-death situations. Kafka himself ends up with a busted leg and was severely beaten down by that thing. That just helped hammer home how far Kafka and Mina are right now. Saving him in that moment was utterly casual and minor. It was just one quick moment and then she could move right on. If he wants to fulfill his promises he’ll really need to step up.

That is one ugly mosquito!

It is fair enough to go “what the heck!?” with the way that episode ended. Kafka was finding his resolve, and all was good. Then he suddenly is turned into a kaiju himself! A little monster shows up, dives into his mouth, and suddenly life will never be the same! It does make me wonder about the kaiju. Just what are they really? Is a human being turned into a kaiju something that’s happened before? I guess not but I doubt they’d announce that sort of thing anyways. It still makes me wonder a little bit. The worst part of all of this is that he’ll have his old childhood friend in Mina after him! If he can’t dodge her then he won’t have to worry about fighting at her side ever again. He’ll just end up a corpse!

He’s got guts!

Ichikawa seems like a good kid. He’s a bit naive and full of energy. It’s easy to say at that point that he won’t give up. But Kafka knows what it is like to have life basically throw up roadblocks. But it is his focus that helped pull Kafka out of his funk and let him aim for the future again. And I think it says a lot about Ichikawa. If really says a lot anyways about Ichikawa that he both called for help and charge in. He couldn’t just abandon someone he now had real respect for. And it’s true that he’d have a tough time aiming to become a member of the defense force if he left someone to die. There are lines he won’t cross and that did help give Kafka a second wind.

I feel a bit for Mina in all this

Establishing the connection/past between Kafka and Mina early was good. It shows how far these two have come from where they started and the discomfort with their realities. Kafka promised Mina that he’d be there with her and that probably helped keep her focused on chasing the goal. Then Kafka failed and she kept on going anyways. But even now you can feel the sense of frustration over him not being there. Mina’s fears likely haven’t been permanently dealt with either. She’s risen so high, but she would prefer to have him with her.

Let the fun begin!

I’m feeling good about this show. My schedule is too packed to pick it up, but I’ll be watching. We haven’t yet seen what the new Kafka can do, but I suspect it will be awesome. Whether they were breaking down monsters or downright breaking them, it was a good time. The animation looked good to me and I think they’ll bring it with the action scenes going forward! Did a solid job with having Kafka run for his life this episode at least.

I’m also all for getting on this ride with a main character that is closer to my age than many other protagonists! Can’t wait to see things get even crazier from here on out. This is a world I’ll enjoy spending some more time within.

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About

An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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