Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!” gives us an episode that looks pretty familiar to anyone who has consumed any media about the military and shonen anime alike. All because of a very familiar trope that you can see right there in the title. Yes, that’s right. This entire episode is just a big training montage for the cast of rookies, including our main character: Kafka Hibino.

Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!”: Details

Kaiju No. 8 NA key visual.
Alas, no appearance of this guy yet, aside from during a brief flashback.

Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!” is the fifth episode (you can read reviews for Ep. 1Ep. 2Ep. 3, and Ep. 4 here) of this first (and hopefully not the only) season of this anime series. Said anime is the anime adaptation of the military science fantasy adventure manga of the same name by Naoya MatsumotoProduction I.G (Ghost in the ShellPsycho-PassHaikyu!!) is the studio behind this anime. Crunchyroll is licensing this anime for its NA debut.

Kōji Komurakata is the director behind Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!”, with Ichirō Ōkouchi as the writer, and Yôjirô Arai doing the storyboard. As for the Kaiju No. 8 anime as a whole, Shigeyuki Miya and Tomomi Kamiya are co-directing this anime. Ichirō Ōkouchi is the overall writer of the anime, while Yuta Bando composed the music for the same.

Speaking of music, this anime’s opening theme music is “Abyss” by Yungblud (AKA Dominic Richard Harrison). Meanwhile, “Nobody” by OneRepublic is the ending theme music.

Voice Cast

Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!” features the voices of Masaya Fukunishi (Nazeeh Tarsha in English dub) as Kafka Hibino, Asami Seto (Katelyn Barr in English dub) as Mina Ashiro, Wataru Kato (Adam McArthur in English dub) as Reno Ichikawa, Fairouz Ai (Abigail Blythe in English dub) as Kikoru Shinomiya, and Kengo Kawanishi (Landon McDonald in English dub) as Soshiro Hoshina. Other notable voice roles in this episode include Yūki Shin (Ben Stegmair in English dub) as Iharu Furuhashi, Keisuke Koumoto (Howard Wang in English dub) as Haruichi Izumo, Shunsuke Takeuchi (Jonah Scott in English dub) as Aoi Kaguragi, and Sayaka Senbongi (Celeste Perez in English dub) as Konomi Okonogi.

When and Where to Watch

Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!” made its airing and streaming (aka. simulcast) debut on May 11, 2024. You can watch this episode only on Crunchyroll. In fact, you can watch this anime as a whole only on Crunchyroll at the moment.

Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!”: Synopsis

And now for the man behind the kaiju. The very silly man, that is.

Alas, Kaiju No. 8 is an ongoing anime series. In fact, Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!” only just premiered three days ago at the time of this writing. Thus, you will all get the official synopsis for this episode from Crunchyroll instead of a spoiler-filled plot summary. You can check out that synopsis below:

Kafka is now a member of the Defense Force, if not a full-fledged one. But Hoshina tells him he has three months to prove himself before he’s fired…

Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!”: The Good

Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 "Joining Up!" screenshot showing Mina Ashiro standing at a podium, delivering a speech.
The big good is in the house!

The best part of Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!” is definitely the story. Naoya Matsumoto is definitely a big part of why that is. After all, he did create the Shonen Jump manga that resulted in the birth of this anime. The story of this episode is just as much his baby as it is Production I.G’s. With said story basically being one long training montage befitting a military sci-fi story. Basically, the point of this training episode is to introduce us to the other members of the cast of recruits, and to explore their characters, developing them more as people. Fortunately, this episode accomplishes that more or less fine. With some hiccups, I’ll admit, but that will be for the next section of my review.

The other part of why this episode is great though is the animation quality. Production I.G are making sure that this anime has a pretty high production quality, especially during the action sequences. Granted, there are no action sequences in this episode, but it seems that they strive for pretty high quality nonetheless. After all, it’s these quiet moments that are the best ways to explore your characters. You can tell by just how animated silliness Kafka gets into, complete with some appropriately chibified art style to complement that silliness.

Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!”: The Bad

Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 "Joining Up!" screenshot showing a nervous Kafka in the baths.
Yes, Kafka, it’s as bad as it looks.

Honestly, I do have a big complaint about Kaiju No. 8 Ep. 5 “Joining Up!” is about the same story I’d just been praising. Specifically: in regards to the character exploration of the female characters. Yes, there is character exploration of said female characters (specifically Kikoru and Mina), and it’s pretty good. However, I do notice that there is significantly and noticeably more exploration of the male characters than there is of the female characters. It feels kind of imbalanced that way, especially since the anime goes out of the way to emphasize the themes of both men and women standing together against the darkness of the kaiju. To have that kind of imbalance exist in the character exploration undermines those themes. Hopefully, this is something that’s corrected later in the anime.

Oh, and if you’re a fan of action and action only, then this episode is probably not for you. You know, since there is no action in this episode. Perhaps an anime like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba or Jujutsu Kaisen might tide you over until this anime gets back to the action?

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