Home Kaiju No. 8 Episode 4 Review - A Flawless Adaptation, Easy 10/10

Kaiju No. 8 Episode 4 Review - A Flawless Adaptation, Easy 10/10

Kaiju No. 8 episode 4 aired on Saturday giving us a perfect example of what an anime adaptation can do, and should do, for its source material. After what I considered a hiccup in the anime after last week’s episode of questionable decisions, Kaiju No. 8 hit a home run this week by uplifting the source material with high-quality animation, stellar voice acting work, and adding some originality to its biggest moment.

Kafka and Kikoru

Yes, we get it. Dimming can be a pain for us viewers in any action-packed episode in anime. We saw it with Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2 many times and it happened again in this episode with Kaiju No. 8. But did it really deter the moment when Kafka saved Kikoru? Absolutely not. In fact, some of the creativity involved in the scene made it even better than how it was in the manga.

For one, the entire scene, and everything leading up to it, painted Kikoru in the right light, which last week’s episode failed to do. She was determined to kill the honju simply to prevent any casualties from happening. She didn’t want to beat it for her pride, not to be praised, but to save everyone else and live up to the unrealistic standards her own father forcefully placed on her.

Some of the original content added here was all from creative perspectives. The 360 camera rotation around Kafka in his kaiju form, the build-up with the soundtrack leading to his transformation saving Kikoru in the nick of time, and even the extremely wide shot of how far he redirected the blast with his fist and how big it was — all original content.

But the original content didn’t stop there. Kikoru’s entire time in the recovery room at the facility was completely original. While the previous scenes I mentioned were in the manga but with their own, stellar touch to make them even better, Kikoru’s moment in the recovery unit talking to Hoshina was 100% original and it made her look more of a leader than she already displayed in this first place — and damn I loved every minute of it.

Again, coming from last week where she seemed to be this bratty, rich girl who looked down on Kafka the entire way proved that she really cares about him, his secret, and everyone else that’s on the battlefield with her. She’s not simply a Defense Force prodigy because of her skills and lineage — she’s one because she will, and can, do whatever it takes to protect everyone around her, even if it means giving her own life.

I almost leaped out of my seat the moment Kafka showed up to save Kikoru because it was just so well done I couldn’t believe it at first. I haven’t felt this way about an episode’s adaptation in a while — it was that perfect to me.

Kikoru’s reaction. Kafka’s kaiju design being more “angry” than in the manga. The music. The animation. The color design and color setting. The camera shot. This is my favorite moment of the Kaiju No. 8 manga and they freaking nailed it.

Ichikawa Deserves Some Love

It’s easy for Ichikawa to get lost in everything that’s occurring despite having solid screen time up until this point. Kafka and Kikoru have undoubtedly stolen the show a couple of weeks but Ichikawa deserves some praise as well.

Ichikawa was the only one to visit and stay with Kafka in the hospital, which is more than Kikoru had. She didn’t even have someone there by her side, only Hoshina to talk to her about the incident. Everyone needs a friend like Ichikawa. Someone who can tell us when we’re out of line but also someone who will be there no matter what and will never judge us.

Ichikawa may not seem like the almighty best friend that other shonen series have who is a strong rival of the main character. In fact, he’s sort of plain but in the good sense. He provides some humor to the series and gives our goofy kaiju hero someone to always lean on. Kafka has already shown at times that he has his moments of being down and what failing the exam entails and that’s where Ichikawa shines.

Carrying Kafka, who must be heavy as can be, on his shoulders so he can continue to partake in the exam is something only a best friend would do. Even though Kafka is his “senpai”, the relationship never felt like such. They’re two best friends who will do whatever it takes to help each other get to where they strive to be.

While Mina did show up to thank Kafka at the hospital, it was short-lived. It was a nice “first step” in Kafka gaining her respect and recognition and I’m glad Kafka never took her short-lived and formal thank you too close to heart. It showed, as an adult, even Kafka has a level of maturity that a teenaged shonen MC probably wouldn’t show in the first place.

Going Forward

There are now only two people who know Kafka’s gigantic secret. Kikoru had the opportune moment to spill the beans to Hoshina and out Kafka as Kaiju No. 8, but she didn’t. We already know that Ichikawa would never do such, but that anime original moment of Kikoru lying to Hoshina to protect Kafka was glorious for every possible reason.

We get a little hint of mystery to see who will be the next person to catch on to the secret. With Hoshina and Mina both keeping their eyes out, the intensity of the secret being revealed publicly at some point is only going to keep growing from here on out.

With Kaiju No. 9 showing himself for the first time in this episode, unfortunately to Kikoru’s (almost) demise, the plot thickens that much more now that a high-class threat is living among the clean-up crew posing as a regular person. And after seeing what he did to Kikoru, it should be telling what he’s only capable of going forward.

Kaiju No. 8 Episode 4 Wrap-Up

The best episode of Kaiju No. 8 so far has undoubtedly been episode 4. It did everything perfectly and then some. It’s what an anime adaptation is supposed to do for a source material that’s already high quality on its own. The production staff and voice cast deserve a round of applause, some flowers, and a round of drinks.

Episode 4 rating: 10/10

If you enjoyed Kaiju No. 8 episode 4, vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 5 of Kaiju No. 8 will be released on Saturday, May 11. The series is streaming weekly on Crunchyroll and X.

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

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