Image via Production I.G.

Kaiju No 8 Retreads Overused Tropes and Ideas in Its First Episode

Tokyo Ghoul, Attack on Titan, Jujutsu Kaisen, and many other action anime series follow a similar trope (you know the one if you’ve watched them), and it works. But too many series lean into this realm, sometimes not handling the concept as well, and it is beginning to show. Such is the case with the latest Spring 2024 anime series Kaiju No 8.

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The first episode of Kaiju No 8 honestly gripped me from the beginning to almost the end of the premiere. This was largely due to the main character Kafka Hibino. In his version of modern-day Earth, kaiju (large monsters like Godzilla) attack on the regular. He is part of the unfortunate clean-up crew who doesn’t fight these monsters, but rather takes care of the mess left behind by the Defense Force team that does.

As you can imagine, this leads to some gruesome and disgusting sequences as Hibino cleans up intestines, brains, and other disturbing matter after the Defense Force takes out a kaiju. This actually intrigued me, as it was so funny and engrossing (or rather, gross-ing in some cases). I enjoyed the idea of a show focusing on someone who was essentially this janitor for the Anti-Kaiju Defense Force.

However, it didn’t stop there. The end of the show made it clear this was never going to be what the series is about. Instead, it is indeed about high octane action as soldiers try to defeat these kaiju. Without spoiling too much, it certainly ends in a ridiculous manner that doesn’t land as well as some of the other iterations of this idea in the past.

To Kaiju No 8’s credit, the anime remained funny even after the yawn-inducing trope, which gives me some hope. After all, it still seems like Hibino will be at the center of the series and is the same goofy, lackadaisical guy as before. In addition, I am curious to see more about his backstory. The first episode hints at some connections between Hibino and a certain other star who is an established member of the team tackling kaiju. I look forward to see where that heads down the line.

My only concern is how Kaiju No 8 anime will handle the final twist from the premiere. So many of these series go down the same route of character dealing with this unfortunate incident and the response of everyone against them. I have already seen that so many times now. It would be best if this series just made the twist a natural thing and everyone got to business.

For now, we will have to wait and see on that front. At least the animation quality seems promise. This series has solid, modern designs, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously here, either. The characters are a bit off and goofy, which help lend to the tone. But the animation studio Production I.G. knows when to show off in the action sequences. Even the 3D of the kaiju, which I don’t always love in anime, doesn’t look too noticeable or bad here.

I look forward to watching more of the Kaiju No 8 anime, but I hope it doesn’t lean too much into the idea of trying to replace the greats that are ending soon like Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer, and My Hero Academia. It works best when it leans into its own humorous identity.

Kaiju No. 8 is streaming right now on Crunchyroll.


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Author
Cody Perez
Cody is a writer who has been sharing his love for video games and anime since his high school days in 2012. When he isn’t writing about the latest JRPGs and anime series, he can be found in Final Fantasy XIV, occasionally playing some Call of Duty, or lurking on Twitter @SoulcapCody.