Kaiju No. 8, Episode 5 recap and review – Kafka becomes a cadet and the team learns he’s Mina’s childhood friend

Detailed recap of Kaiju No. 8, Episode 5

The latest episode of Kaiju No. 8, titled “Joining Up!”, begins with Kafka berating Ichikawa for encouraging him to take the Defense Force exam as he is now being forced to wait for the results, and he can’t handle the stress.

Then their boss delivers the good news of their selection test results, and we watch Kafka open his envelope.

Now we switch to the Defense Force’s Induction Ceremony, where Ichikawa, Kikoru, and other successful candidates are exchange congratulations.

There is no sign of Kafka.

Iharu, one of the participants, inquires about Kafka’s whereabouts and results. But, before Ichikawa can respond, Captain Mina enters and proceeds to the podium. She asks Kikoru Shinomiya to speak on behalf of the new recruits.

Kikoru hesitates, knowing that Kafka was the true hero who defeated the honju in the previous episode. Her internal conflict is evident as she stands before her peers.

It is then that Kafka makes a dramatic entrance, interrupting the ceremony.

A flashback reveals a discussion among the Defense Force personnel about Kafka’s exam results. Despite failing the test, Hoshina steps in, advocating for Kafka and offering to take him under his wing. Not as a full officer, but as a cadet.

He also promises to personally oversee Kafka’s training.

Back in the present day, Mina is speaking to the new officers about the dangers ahead when Kafka interrupts promising to “Stay by your side, Mina”.

Kikoru is shocked Kafka just called Mina by her first name

This shocks the assembled officers, who have never heard anyone calling Captain Mina by her first name.

Mina responds by giving Kafka 100 push-ups for “disrespecting an officer”, and it all makes Hoshina dissolve into fits of laughter only to suddenly stop after he thinks he sees Mina smile as she walks away.

We then hear Hoshina talking to himself saying not only is he keeping Kafka around because “he’s funny”, but also because, when the kaiju came back to life during the Defense Force exam, while one kaiju’s fortitude was suddenly an unbelievable 9.8, Kafka’s vital signs disappeared.

Hoshina wants Kafka around so he can find out why.

After the ceremony, Kafka, Reno, and Kikoru gather at a restaurant.

They discuss Kafka’s kaiju origins and the need to keep his powers secret, with Kikoru telling him, “If you tell the Defense Force, they’ll experiment on you and you’ll never be able to join the force”.

Kikoru makes a solemn promise to keep Kafka’s secret but warns him of the consequences if he turns out to be a threat. She’ll kill him. No problem.

The episode progresses to show the new recruits, including Reno, Iharu, and Kikoru, participating in combat power training, and Ichikawa surpassing his previous scores.

Hoshina pushes them to their limits, concluding the day’s training with a demanding run around the perimeter.

In a lighter moment, the male recruits unwind in the bathhouse, showing off their muscles, and sharing their dreams and motivations for joining the Defense Force.

Kafka’s past connection with Mina becomes a topic of conversation, leading to a funny exchange when he reveals they were childhood friends.

Meanwhile, Kikoru and the female recruits encounter Mina in the locker room.

Kikoru, impressed by Mina’s physique, inquires about her training regimen. Mina agrees to share her secrets, hinting at a deeper bond between the two.

We then see the recruits lying exhausted on the floor after their bathhouse antics.

As the recruits start to train even harder, the focus shifts to Kafka’s unique situation.

Hoshina, now Kafka’s mentor, finds Kafka in the library studying late at night and expresses his curiosity about his potential while hinting at a rigorous training regime to come.

The episode ends with an alarm ringing, the new officers waking up realizing it’s not a drill, and Hoshina turning to Kafka to tell him “Let’s go. It’s time for your first mission”.

Review of Kaiju No. 8, Episode 5

What the episode did well

  • Character development: The episode excelled in deepening the relationships between characters, transitioning them from rivals to true comrades.
  • Pacing: It also provided a well-timed breather from the intense action of previous episodes, allowing for much more character and plot development.
  • Humor: The bathhouse scene added a touch of humor and camaraderie, showcasing the lighter side of the characters and making you like them even more.

Where the episode could have done better

  • Action balance: While the break from action was necessary, some viewers might have missed the high-energy kaiju battles typical of the series so far.
  • Kafka’s backstory: More insights into Kafka’s past and his connection with Mina could have been explored to add depth to his character.

Overall, though, Episode 5 of Kaiju No. 8 serves as a “calm before the storm” episode, focusing on character interactions and setting the stage for future events.s

It successfully builds on the anime’s narrative while providing moments of levity and introspection, as well as sets the stage for Kafka’s growth and the trials he will face now he is part of the Defense Force.

RELATED: You will find more Kaiju No. 8 recaps here on Anime Powered — Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3 and last week’s Episode 4.

About Michelle Topham

I'm a Brit-American journalist who spent a decade covering the anime and manga industries while living in Asia. Now based in Vienna, Austria and currently obsessed with Katsugeki Touken Ranbu, KONOSUBA, The Archdemon's Dilemma, Kaiju No. 8, and the Boys' Love danmei Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation.