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Kaiju No. 8
Episode 12

by Grant Jones,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Kaiju No. 8 ?
Community score: 4.1


Episode 12 concludes the season and sets the stage for big events in season two.

Kafka and Isao's fight from last week concludes with a bang. This fight was intense and kinetic in the best way. The technicality of the back and forth felt pretty standard for the high-action shonen-fighting fare. You've got two super-powered warriors blasting away at each other with huge attacks and earth-shaking energy blasts. Despite Kaiju No. 8's larger size, he spends most of the fight in not-quite-giant-monster form, making this fight feel like a pretty standard big guy versus little guy conflicts. That said, there is the artistic flourish of adding the shape or spirit of Kaiju No. 2 in the background in many of Isao's attacks. It reinforces that Isao is wielding kaiju power to fight and gives the impression of a more titanic struggle, even if he is physically much smaller in stature. It's very effective and paced brilliantly.

The emotional dimension here is front and center, too. You get a really strong sense of Kafka's ambitions and motivation on a greater level than before. The tension between Kafka trying not to die, trying to maintain his sense of self, and trying not to disappoint Kikoru is great thematic material. The decision to make Kafka's time within the monster form less of a suit or more of a dream logic scenario is really engaging, too, as it lets the creative team display his emotional reality rather than his physical one.

That said, I think the setting isn't doing the fight scene any favors. Making this final battle be in a barren underground facility is a letdown. It makes sense, but it robs the conflict of one of the most important qualities in kaiju works: a sense of scale. Seeing giant monsters barrel into one another while surrounded by smaller structures/objects is always a hoot. While not necessary, I think it helps underline what separates these battles from more typical superheroic or monster fare. This underground facility has no real important terrain to speak of at all, except “walls,” which is… not that engaging even for a superhero fight, much less a kaiju battle.

That aside, it's a strong cliffhanger, and I think we're on our way to good things coming next season.


Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.

Kaiju No. 8 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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