Kaiju No. 8 episode 2 review: tests, of the new kaiju body and kaiju defense force variety

Our Kaiju No. 8 episode 2 review looks at Kafka’s new transformation and the ensuing hilarity and awesomeness that comes with it.

kaiju no. 8 episode 2 review

The Kaiju No. 8 episode 2 review

Kaiju no 8 manga Plus

Kaiju No. 8 episode 2 wastes no time showing us the problems that come with being a human/kaiju hybrid, as well as the benefits of it.

The episode begins right where the last one left off, where Kafka transforms into a kaiju at the hospital before an elderly patient spots him and (understandably) freaks out, calling the Anti-Kaiju Defense Force to the hospital. With no other option, kaiju Kafka and Ichikawa are forced to get the hell out of dodge, resulting in a bit of property damage to the hospital along the way.

After their escape, Kafka detects another kaiju thanks to his new powers. Instead of hiding as Ichikawa suggests, he instead runs over and eliminates the threat with two punches, saving a mother and her young daughter in the process. Afterward, the Defense Force shows up and Mina is both shocked and confused when the child requests her to not kill the good kaiju that saved her today.

A time skip of three months occurs and Kafka’s been labeled as ‘Kaiju No. 8’ by the Defense Force. In that time, both Ichikawa and his senpai passed the first entrance exam necessary to become a Defense Force soldier, and the pair decide to become each other’s rivals. The episode ends with the two going to the Defense Force exam center and encountering Kikoru Shinomiya, a girl with a suit that endows her with super strength. She’s also able to detect that Kafka smells like a kaiju before the credits roll.

Funny to us, scary to them

Just like the last episode, there’s a good amount of the WTF factor and hilarity, with the kaiju killing part taking a back seat in this installment. The funny moments originate with Kafka having trouble controlling his powers and kaiju form, as well as calming people who believe he’s going to kill them. This leads to two moments where the leading man tries to reassure civilians by smiling at them, only for the face he makes to look menacing/creepy to them, resulting in said civilians panicking even more.

Kafka’s poor control over his kaiju form combined with Ichikawa also leads to the opposite of a dull moment, where the latter dropkicks the former for having lunch out in broad daylight while sitting on top of a recently deceased behemoth and yelling at him for being a dolt. His anger returns when Kafka breaks his water bottle using his new strength and his friend yells at him to not take the exam, leading to Kafka begging Ichikawa not to abandon him.

Their dynamic is still nice to see since they already seem like good friends who respect one another despite not knowing each other for long. Couple this with Ichikawa either freaking out or admonishing his senpai for doing stupid things and Kafka being Kafka and you’ve got a relationship that (probably) won’t get boring. Overall, the humor works just as well as it did in the first installment.

The pros and cons of being a kaiju

What is the story of Kaiju No. 8?

The WTF factor is only present at the beginning of the episode, but that doesn’t mean the moment it’s involved in is forgettable. After the duo escape the hospital, Kafka turns into this nightmare abomination, complete with tentacles sprouting out of the lower half of his body and what seems to be a small tree trunk with various faces disappearing and reappearing. As if that wasn’t enough, Kafka takes a page out of the xenomorph playbook and sprouts a second mouth from his first mouth before outright consuming a crow.

And it doesn’t stop there, as Kafka then announces that he needs to relieve himself, before doing so through his nipples (It was at this point I began questioning what the hell I was watching and if I had a terrible sense of humor because I genuinely thought this was funny.). Never have I been so flabbergasted in my life.

There’s not much kaiju killing here, but it does tease how strong the protagonist has become. One punch from kaiju Kafka can knock a monster a few houses back, before he powers up and delivers a second blow that leads to the monster exploding, its blood pouring down from the sky like red rain. This is the best moment in the episode since we get to see Kafka generate electricity as he charges up his final punch before doing so. The show pauses for a second to let us see the impact before the monster recoils upwards. Its body balloons as it gets shocked by the electricity the main character generates before the bloody explosion occurs.

Why is Kaiju No. 8 so popular?

The animation is smooth and impactful, letting us get a decent sense of how strong Kafka is now while still not showing us what he’s capable of. The sound effects of both the lighting he generates as well as the impact of his punch show how powerful the protagonist is. Kafka also loses himself in his memories for a moment, remembering his childhood with Mina and thinking about the two of them fighting side by side. The music and visuals here really sell the dreamlike trip down memory Kafka goes on before returning to reality. Along with the earlier WTF transformation scene, this and Kafka’s first kill are the most memorable parts of episode 2.

Besides Kafka and Ichikawa, there’s not much screen time given to other characters, though that doesn’t matter much since focusing on the duo, seeing how they escaped, and how Kafka reacted to his new transformation were what we all wanted to see since the end of episode 1. Kikora does manage to come off as a spoiled, rich brat in the two minutes she’s in, so I already dislike her a bit.

In the end, the WTF factor and the funny moments are the main pillars that hold this episode up and though there’s only one (very short) fight, it’s forgivable since the rest of the episode is entertaining because of the aforementioned pillars.

Final score: 8/10

Kaiju No. 8 can be streamed through Crunchyroll.

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