Home Kaiju No. 8 Brings the Emotions in Episode 11 Ahead of Season Finale

Kaiju No. 8 Brings the Emotions in Episode 11 Ahead of Season Finale

Kaiju No. 8 episode 11 was a change of pace compared to the previous 10. Moving on from action-dominated moments to a more story-progression spot, the series still managed to deliver what some could consider the best episode of the season so far. Sometimes, but not always, an action series is at its best when we get into the aftermath of destruction. Could that be the case for episode 11?

The Emotional Support

In a story that takes place in the overwhelming majority of a military setting, emotional support may not always be the easiest to find. Luckily, this is a shonen anime and the main character will always have at least one or two people close to them that always have their back. That being said, the Third Division’s outright support for Kafka after recent events makes it hard not to get a little emotional myself.

We’ve seen the trope before in plenty of anime. The main character is clumsy, goofy, and almost the laughingstock of whatever group he’s surrounded by. Yet, little by little, he garners their support with each conflict that arises as they are the ones to save the day. But having an entire division salute you as you’re on a shady path that none of them knows where it leads was some damn good writing.

Hoshina lying to his superior officer about them saluting Mina instead of Kafka to avoid any repercussions just goes to show how quickly Kafka won the hearts of everyone around him. They were all worried he wouldn’t become an official officer then celebrated when he did. And now, with him gone, it’s almost like the life has been sucked out of the Third Division and episode 11 wasn’t shy at hammering that nail.

But what I love most about this unwavering support of Kafka is that when he questioned if everyone hated now, they all started to show their own support of Kafka in their own ways. Ichikawa stepping out of turn to let Kafka know that he’ll always be by his side in front of everyone. Mina reassuring Kafka that she’ll be waiting for him. Kikoru protesting to her own father, the director general, to lighten the sentence on Kafka. Kaguragi trying to use his connections to help Kafka. And hell, Hoshina was even the one who gave Kafka the chance to get to this point in the first place.

I’ve said many times that an anime can live or die by the supporting cast. While I wouldn’t say that Kaiju No. 8‘s supporting cast isn’t on the level of, say, Black Clover‘s, it’s still pretty good in its own right and it showed off big time in episode 11. Even more so, it was the perfect time to do so.

This episode showed what the others near the start of the series failed to do so—Kikoru is a great person and a good friend. The anime original material and some questionable translation decisions that made her look like some spoiled brat have now gone back to source material showcasing her true caring nature for Kafka. Supporting him over her own father in their fight together just goes to show how much Kafka is starting to mean to her, not just as a comrade of the Third Division, but as a friend.

Isao Shinomiya vs Kafka

Isao’s presence is almost stereotypical of what you would expect as the head of a military branch. He himself being a prodigy who ended up being the only one to resonate with the gloves made of Kaiju No. 2 just adds to the story of how much of a tank he really is, muscles and knife-sharp beard aside. As cruddy as he treats Kikoru, his character still plays a major role. If he wavered at Kafka’s human side then this would all feel pointless.

Isao threatening Kafka’s life brings about a unique character progression moment right before the end of the season as the story hits a new turning point. Beautiful animation aside, especially the impact frames, the writing is where this part of the series shines the most.

Kafka started out this episode worried, depressed, anxious, and left in tears in front of his childhood friend. Halfway through he becomes more relaxed knowing he has everyone in the Third Division knowing they’re doing everything they can, and will, do for his sake, even cracking a joke about wanting to sleep on a futon reminding me of something Deadpool would say. Then towards the end of his fight against Isao, he panics as he starts to lose control of his kaiju form, entering a new conflict development.

So not only was this episode a progression of the storyline, but it was also a development episode for Kafka and the entirety of the Third Division too. As for Isao, well, let’s just say that I’m not particularly fond of anything that may or may not happen to him in his battle with Kafka. Someone who refuses to see the humanity in someone who saved his own daughter is also someone who’s hard to root for. In other words, whatever Kafka manages to do to him in the next episode he may have coming to him.

Kaiju No. 8 Episode 11 Wrap-Up

Just one more episode until one of the best new anime of the year comes to an end. It’s bittersweet but given its massive popularity, and the money pumped into marketing it, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of Kaiju No. 8 soon enough. That being said, was episode 11 the best episode so far? That’s up for debate. But for being one driven by dialogue, emotion, and conflict development, it crossed practically all of the t’s and dotted all of the i’s.

Episode 11 rating: 9/10

If you enjoyed Kaiju No. 8 episode 11, vote for it in our weekly poll! The season finale (episode 12) of Kaiju No. 8 will be released on Saturday, June 29. The series is streaming weekly on Crunchyroll and X.

Screenshots via Crunchyroll
© JAKDF 3rd Division © Naoya Matsumoto/SHUEISHA

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