Kaiju No. 8 episode 5 review: rivalries, an observant superior and the life of a Anti-Kaiju Defense Force officer

Kafka gets interrogated by his fellow soldiers regarding Captain Mina and Vice-Captain Hoshina shows that he can tell when something isn’t quite right with someone. Read more in our Kaiju No. 8 episode 5 review.

kaiju no 8 mina during ceremony

The Kaiju No. 8 episode 5 review

kaiju no 8 ichikawa test result

It was inevitable that Kafka would get accepted into the Defense Force because things wouldn’t be as dramatic (or amusing) if he wasn’t. Kaiju No. 8 episode 5 gives us a glimpse of what it’s like being a Defense Force officer and that someone is aware that something’s off with the human/kaiju hybrid.

After taking the Defense Force entrance exam in the last two episodes, Ichikawa and Kafka have both been accepted. However, the latter ended up failing both tests but managed to get noticed by Vice-Captain Hoshina because instead of bolstering his kaiju kill count, he helped support his fellow examinees.

Thus, Kafka is accepted as a cadet and brought into Hoshina’s platoon for additional training (also because Kafka gave him a good laugh). This isn’t the only reason, as Hoshina noticed that when Kafka’s vital signs went offline during episode 4, a new kaiju power level popped up (i.e., Kafka’s kaiju form), so he plans on keeping a close eye on him moving forward and figure out what he’s hiding.

kaiju no 8 kafka smiling

Following a ceremony where the examinees are inducted into the Defense Force (and Kafka being punished by Mina for speaking out of line), Kikoru, Ichikawa, and Kafka have a chat where they brief her on how the hybrid came to be. The rest of the runtime is dedicated to showing the average day of a Defense Force soldier (minus the kaiju killing) and showing that rivalries have already formed between some of the characters.

The episode ends with Kafka’s study time being interrupted by Hoshina and the cadet confirming that he wants to fight by Mina’s sight by taking his superior’s spot. The Vice-Captain says he’s not just going to hand it over to the hybrid and that he shouldn’t get close to the others since they might die while on the job. Speaking of which, a kaiju alarm sounds off just as the episode ends.

The everyday life of a kaiju-killing soldier

kaiju no 8 aoi and izumo

This episode skimps out on the action and shows how things usually are for the Defense Force (for now, at least). The closest thing to an action scene is when the new soldiers are improving their aim through a training exercise. That’s it. It’s also used to show that some rivalries are present between characters, namely Iharu and Ichikawa as well as Aoi and Izumo. There’s also a training montage towards the end illustrating just how exhausting this job can be when it comes to keeping yourself in shape to kill kaiju.

It’s okay, but I’d prefer something akin to what happened during the part where the soldiers had to kill kaiju during their exam. It’d would’ve been better seeing them improve their skills that way.

There is a decent amount of comedy, though. Kafka freaking out about not knowing his exam results is understandable, funny, and completely relatable and his question about Kikoru wanting to speak to him in private being similar to a high school love confession also elicited a hearty laugh out of me. More amusement comes when Kafka tries to show off his “muscles,” which aren’t actually muscles, but rather his body fat, and when he reveals that he’s Mina’s childhood friend, prompting his fellow soldiers to interrogate him regarding her, since she’s their idol. These moments are the highest points of the episode, without a doubt.

Observations and a threat

kaiju no 8 kafka lecturing kikoru

The relationship between Kikoru and the leading man also gets a bit of development, too. After Kafka and Ichikawa spill the beans on what the former is and how he came to be, she agrees to keep his secret since he saved her hide during the exam and because he’s earned a bit of her respect. She also issues a threat to Kafka, saying that if he harms humans, she’ll put him down, to which Kafka agrees with a smile. It’s clear that he already trusts her to do the right thing if he goes haywire, which makes sense given that he’s already rather powerful.

It’s also nice to see another side of Hoshina. In the prior episodes, he laughed at Kafka (hey, who wouldn’t?) and showed concern when the examinees were in danger. Here, it’s shown that although others may not have noticed when Kafka’s vital signs dropped when the second major kaiju signal popped up, he did. He knows there’s more to the cadet than meets the eye, which is why he’s keeping a close eye on him.

kaiju no 8 hoshina laughing

Hoshina’s serious tone of voice when he vows to keep Kafka close and discover what secret he’s hiding, paired with his equally serious expression and the somewhat sinister score that plays during this scene is excellent. His serious side also resurfaces during the final scene where Kafka says he wants to become Vice-Captain and Hoshina replying that he won’t give it up so easily also reinforces that the man is no-nonsense when it comes to his job. It hammers home that he’s astute and knows when something’s wrong with someone and that he doesn’t mess around when it comes to putting down kaiju.

If it wasn’t for the humor and Hoshina, this episode wouldn’t be fun to watch. The absence of the WTF factor and the major lack of action also don’t do Kaiju No. 8 episode 5 any favors. I’m still sticking around for the kaiju fight in episode 6 and for the mysterious human/kaiju hybrid that popped up in episode 4. Hopefully, that enigma of a character will reappear soon.

Final score: 6/10

Kaiju No. 8 can be streamed through Crunchyroll.

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