in ,

Kaiju No. 8: “Sagamihara Neutralization Operation at Daybreak” (S1E6) Gets the Series Back on Track

© JAKDF 3rd Division © Naoya Matsumoto/SHUEISHA

It’s hard to keep a good TV show down, and if you don’t believe me, look no further than the latest episode of Kaiju No. 8 “Sagamihara Neutralization Operation at Daybreak.” Last week’s installment, “Joining Up!”, was the series’ first real misfire, but as I said at the end of my review, I still had faith in this show. I was confident that the next episode would get it back on track. After viewing “Sagamihara Neutralization Operation at Daybreak,” I’m happy to report that my admittedly not-so-bold prediction was 100% correct.

“Joining Up!” ends with the new Anti-Kaiju Defense Force recruits gearing up for their first real-world mission, and this week’s episode shows us exactly what they’re up against. The city is under attack by a giant mushroom-esque creature called a Honju. To make matters worse, the monster is accompanied by several smaller creatures called Yoju. The sheer quantity of kaiju makes this a real test of the new recruits’ skills, but it also gives Kafka a chance to show just how valuable he is to the Defense Force.

As you can probably tell already, “Sagamihara Neutralization Operation at Daybreak” makes up for one of the previous episode’s biggest problems: the lack of action. “Joining Up!” was surprisingly light on the monster fights, but this week’s installment is pretty much all action all the time.

Sure, it gives us a few moments to breathe now and then, but this is hands down the most action-heavy Kaiju No. 8 episode so far. And let me tell you, it’s awesome. The creature designs are pretty cool, and seeing the Defense Force use their sci-fi weaponry to take these kaiju down is a thing of horrific beauty.

Kafka looking excited
© JAKDF 3rd Division © Naoya Matsumoto/SHUEISHA

That being said, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. “Sagamihara Neutralization Operation at Daybreak” isn’t just about mindless firefights and explosions. Much like the third episode, “Revenge Match,” this one also gives Kafka a chance to make up for his lack of combat prowess, and he uses his experience on the cleanup crew to do it.

This guy knows kaiju physiology inside and out, so he can provide his teammates with some key insights to help them defeat the Yoju much more easily. That small victory provides him with a sense of validation for all the hardships he’s endured to make it onto the Defense Force, and he even garners a few words of praise from one of his superiors. It’s rather touching, and if you’ve followed Kaiju No. 8 from the beginning, you can’t help but feel a swell of pride for the guy.

On top of all that cool fighting, “Sagamihara Neutralization Operation at Daybreak” also features some excellent humor. Granted, it doesn’t have quite as many gags as the other episodes, but the few we do get are pretty hilarious. Most notably, there’s a moment when Kafka and his teammates have to climb down a wall, and without spoiling anything, let’s just say that the scene plays out in the most knee-slapping way possible.

Last but not least, we have to talk about some of the intriguing ways this episode of Kaiju No. 8 hints at what’s to come in the show’s future. For starters, Kafka’s sidekick, Ichikawa, showcases some impressive combat skills, so I’m really curious to see how he progresses through the Defense Force ranks.

A man in a gas mask
© JAKDF 3rd Division © Naoya Matsumoto/SHUEISHA

We know that Kafka wants to fight side-by-side with his childhood friend Mina, but is Ichikawa going to get there first? And if so, is that going to create a rift between these two characters? Or maybe Ichikawa’s skills will put him on a different track and cause him and Kafka to just drift apart. Either way, it seems like we have some juicy storytelling ahead of us, and I absolutely can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Then, at the end of “Sagamihara Neutralization Operation at Daybreak,” Kaiju No. 8 brings back the villainous character it introduced in its fourth episode, “Fortitude 9.8,” and I’m super excited to learn more about him. We only get him for a single scene, but it just about guarantees that he’ll have more of a presence moving forward.

And if you remember his introduction, that’s a very promising development. It’s not entirely clear what this guy is capable of, but as I’ve said before, I think he has the potential to be a match for Kafka’s kaiju alter ego. At the very least, he can be a Lex Luthor-type nemesis to Kafka’s Superman, so I’m just about chomping at the bit to see what he does as the series goes on.

Pretty much everything about this episode of Kaiju No. 8 has me excited to see more. The jokes are hilarious, the action is incredibly fun, and the character work lays some intriguing groundwork for what’s to come. Sagamihara Neutralization Operation at Daybreak” is basically everything “Joining Up!” wasn’t. It might even be the show’s best episode to date. Despite a small hiccup last week, the overall trajectory of this series is definitely headed in the right direction.

Kaiju No. 8 premiered its first episode on Crunchyroll on April 13, and the streaming service is set to roll out new episodes every Saturday.

Written by JP Nunez

JP Nunez is a lifelong movie fan, and his favorite genres are horror, superheroes, and giant monsters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Two kids watching TV

I Saw the TV Glow Is a Beautiful Exploration of Melancholy and Identity

A woman looking out a window

House of Screaming Glass Is the Slowest of Slow Burns