Kaiju No. 8 episode 12: Conclusion of Kafka vs. Isao and a Life-Changing Decision

The release of Kaiju No. 8 episode 12 on Saturday, June 29, 2024, marked the end of both the first season and the uncertainty surrounding Kafka Hibino’s survival as the titular monster. Thankfully, the installment fully resolved this plotline before the conclusion of the first season.

Despite some moments of world building and lore, the true highlight of Kaiju No. 8 episode 12 was the demonstration of Kafka’s formidable combative abilities as a Kaiju. To add to the excitement, the episode and season concluded with a tantalizing hint at the return of Kaiju No. 9, setting the stage for the already confirmed second season to delve into their next plan.

Kaiju No. 8: Episode 12 Sets Up Exciting Season 2 Premiere

Brief Episode Recap

Kafka and Isao's fight rages on in Kaiju No. 8 episode 12's opening scenes (Image via Production I.G)
Kafka and Isao’s fight rages on in Kaiju No. 8 episode 12’s opening scenes (Image via Production I.G)

The twelfth episode of Kaiju No. 8 started with a spotlight on Reno Ichikawa and Iharu Furuhashi. They conversed about their worries for Kafka Hibino and the reason behind Reno’s desire to transfer to another division. Reno explained that he wanted to enhance his strength as soon as possible in order to be able to defend Kafka in the future. Iharu found it hard to believe that Reno was planning to return. Reno stood by his belief as the platoon leaders arrived and deliberated on Kafka’s potential outcome.

The revelation that Mina Ashiro had been called to take command caused the focus to shift towards her. She was instructed to wait in a meeting room until Director Isao Shinomiya finished testing the capabilities of No. 8. This then redirected attention to Kafka and Isao, as Isao noticed Kafka’s change in behavior to a more animalistic nature.

The twelfth episode of Kaiju No. 8 showcased this when an uncontrollable Kafka fought, causing damage to his body even though he had the ability to regenerate. Despite being trapped within himself, Kafka pleaded to stop as he relentlessly attacked Isao. Fortunately, the No. 2 weapon kept him alive and enabled him to deliver a counterattack, momentarily slowing down Kafka.

Kikoru is conflicted as she watches Kafka almost kill her father in front of her in Kaiju No. 8 episode 12 (Image via Production I.G)
Kikoru is conflicted as she watches Kafka almost kill her father in front of her in Kaiju No. 8 episode 12 (Image via Production I.G)

It was discovered that Kafka had separated his core from his physical form and was able to regenerate using it, leaving his original body as a decoy. As a result of their fierce clash, a shockwave with a combined fortitude of 10.0 was produced between Isao and Kafka. Kikoru Shinomiya, who was still watching, was impressed by the immense power displayed by both of them. Keiji Itami then remarked that Isao seemed to be intentionally pushing No. 8 to his limits, a move which Kikoru understood as giving Kafka a chance to survive.

In episode 12 of Kaiju No. 8, the story shifted back to Aoi Kaguragi and Haruichi Izumo. They talked about Kafka’s predicament, prompting Aoi to reach out to his father and make a request. Meanwhile, Isao suffered a devastating blow from Kafka, causing a significant injury to his stomach. Despite this, Isao persisted in battling the now monstrous Kafka, who had also increased in size during the intense fight.

Despite being trapped, Kafka desperately pleaded with his body to halt its attack on Isao, a move that he was all too familiar with. As he noticed Kikoru watching, he promised himself that he would not harm her father in her presence. However, his body continued to carry out the attack. Kikoru, aware of the situation, recalled her previous words to Kafka about killing him, but her faith in him remained unshaken as she called out to him.

Kafka almost gives up hope in Kaiju No. 8 episode 12 (Image via Production I.G)
Kafka almost gives up hope in Kaiju No. 8 episode 12 (Image via Production I.G)

In episode 12 of Kaiju No. 8, Kafka was given the strength he needed to break free from the control of the Kaiju. However, the Kaiju that had infected him appeared and appeared to swallow him, causing Kafka to lament his tendency to mess things up at crucial moments. Within his mindscape, he was indeed swallowed whole by the Kaiju. Meanwhile, in reality, Isao expressed hope but ultimately accepted that all was lost and Kafka’s death was inevitable.

As Kafka sank into the sea, he felt a sense of transformation overtaking him. Suddenly, a hand reached out and pulled him towards the surface, where he was met by Mina. She had prevented him from landing the killing blow on Isao, revealing herself to be the one who had grabbed him. It was then revealed that Kafka had purposely struck himself, regaining control of his body and proclaiming himself to be Kafka Hibino, not Kaiju No. 8.

In the 12th episode of Kaiju No. 8, Kafka lost consciousness after uttering these words and reverted to his original form as First Division Commander Gen Narumi approached with a blade at his neck. Despite Narumi’s mocking and Isao’s reluctance to call for backup, Isao eventually acknowledged that Kafka was a formidable opponent and ordered medics to take him away.

First Division Commander Gen Narumi is finally introduced in Kaiju No. 8 episode 12 (Image via Production I.G)
First Division Commander Gen Narumi is finally introduced in Kaiju No. 8 episode 12 (Image via Production I.G)

The attention then turned to a board meeting attended by Isao and other senior officials, during which they sought Mina Ashiro’s perspective on Kafka as his superior officer. Mina shared her past experiences with Kafka with Isao and the others, despite some suggesting that her account would have no bearing on Kafka’s fate and that she should not feel accountable. Nonetheless, Mina did commend him for his service as a Defense Force officer, highlighting his accomplishments thus far.

Kaiju No. 8 episode 12 revealed that the others believed Kafka’s actions were a result of his Kaiju powers, which Mina also acknowledged. However, she made it clear that his determination and compassion towards saving people were what truly stood out, as he cared for others more than anyone she had ever known. This brought back a memory of their childhood, where Mina grieved over the loss of her cat and Kafka silently comforted her by holding her hand and shedding tears together, showing his humanity even in the present.

While some officers appeared to be influenced by this, others criticized her for expressing her personal views and attempting to protect her subordinate. Isao then dismissed her and proceeded to announce Kafka’s fate. However, the attention soon turned to Kafka, who was inside a healing tank, recalling the same memory and contemplating his decision to remain human despite his transformation into a Kaiju hybrid.

In episode 12 of Kaiju No. 8, Kafka woke up in a hospital bed with Isao sitting in a nearby chair. At first, Isao thought Kafka was worried, but Kafka reassured him that he was relieved to be okay. He then asked what his survival meant, to which Isao pointed out that Kafka now has a core instead of a heart, solidifying his status as a Kaiju. Isao confirmed this and mentioned that they would discuss what to do with Kafka at a later time.

Despite objections from many of the others, Isao remained resolute in his plan to use Kafka as a living Kaiju weapon in combat. He justified his decision by citing the recent Daikaiju sightings, the uncertainty surrounding Kafka’s conversion to a weapon, and the necessity for a strengthened Defense Force.

During episode 12 of Kaiju No. 8, it was revealed that Isao’s wife and Kikoru’s mother had passed away in the No. 6 attack a decade ago, which greatly impacted his choices. In the present, Isao addressed Kafka by his full name and challenged him to prove his value if he wanted to live. Undeterred, Kafka declared that he would show Isao and the rest of the group that he was worthy of being considered human. Meanwhile, Mina received a message informing her that Kafka had been spared.

Kikoru also received this text and understood that it also required her to become stronger in case she ever needed to confront him. Aoi and Izumo also received similar texts, acknowledging that Kafka had earned his survival through his own efforts. Similarly, Reno Ichikawa, Iharu, and the platoon leaders received the same texts and joined in the celebration.

In episode 12 of Kaiju No. 8, the news reached the members of the Third Division and they all expressed their determination to improve. The scene then shifted to Kafka, who collapsed from exhaustion, while the focus turned to his former Kaiju cleanup team.

One of his coworkers expressed frustration about a renowned chess player, known as No. 9, dominating the rankings. It was later revealed that the player was actually a Kaiju named Kaiju No. 9, who was using the game to assess humanity’s intelligence. The individual then announced their intention to move forward with the next phase of their plan: reclaiming the Kaiju’s power from human control, as the first season came to a close.

In review

Despite being the 12th episode, Kaiju No. 8 still manages to excite viewers with its clear hints at what is to come in the second season. The introduction of fresh characters, additional lore, and deeper motivations only adds to the anticipation for the future of the series’ main characters, promising even more exciting plotlines to be explored in the next season.

In addition, episode 12 effectively portrays Kafka’s character and sets expectations for his role as the protagonist in the future. This is achieved through Kikoru and Mina’s perspectives and opinions of him. Despite some limitations, the finale of the highly successful first season is both captivating and thrilling.

In summation

With Kafka’s visit to Mina’s side coming to an end, fans are understandably uncertain about what to anticipate in the second season. Many aspects of Kafka’s return to the Defense Force were left unresolved by the end of the episode. However, with No. 9’s comeback already established, fans can anticipate seeing Kafka back in action with the Third Division in the near future.

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