Kaiju No. 8 – Season 1 Episode 12 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Kafka Hibino

Episode 12 of Kaiju No. 8 begins with Reno and Iharu at their base’s gym. Reno tells Iharu he wants to get stronger so he can protect Kafka. He knows Kafka will return and this encourages Iharu to train harder. Then, the platoon leaders arrive and inform Iharu and Reno that the higher-ups will determine Kafka’s fate today. Moreover, they report Mina was summoned to the Ariake Maritime Base and may return with splendid news.

What happens when Mina arrives at the Ariake Maritime Base? Why didn’t Isao kill Kafka on the spot?

Mina arrives in a conference room. Someone tells her that Isao is examining Kafka in a different area. This individual wants Mina to remain in this conference room until Isao finishes his duty. This person also reminds Mina she’s only here as an observer. Then, we return to observing the fight between Kafka and Isao. Kafka tries calming Kaiju No. 8 (the mini kaiju) down because Kaiju No. 8 has control of their body.

He performs some new feats to hold his own against Isao, who is still using weapons made from Kaiju No. 2 to fight Kafka. Keiji informs Kikoru that Isao could’ve easily killed Kafka during their initial meeting. However, Keiji argues Isao chose not to kill Kafka on the spot because he wanted to test Kafka and Kaiju No, 8. 

What happens between Aoi and Isao on the rooftop? 

Next, we return to following Aoi and Haruichi on the rooftop. Aoi tells Haruichi he joined the Defence Force to save lives and didn’t expect Kafka to save his life. Haruichi is hesitant to look at Kafka the same way as before. Aoi tells Haruichi he should judge people based on their actions. Haruichi looks at his phone and notices his father’s number.

Haruichi yields and agrees with Aoi’s stance on Kafka. 

How does Kafka and Isao’s battle end?

Meanwhile, Kafka and Isao continue their brawl and Kafka severely injures Isao. Keiji says Kaiju No. 8’s fortitude level is slowly increasing. Kafka is concerned that he may kill Isao in front of Kikoru. As Kaiju No. 8 continues to beat Isao down, Kikoru reflects on her promise to kill Kafka if she sees him harming humanity. Kikoru calls out to Kafka, begging him to fight Kaiju No. 8’s control. 

Before Kafka tries, Kaiju No. 8 appears in front of Kafka and swallows him. While swimming inside Kaiju No. 8’s stomach, Kafka sees a mirage of Mina. Mina tells him she’ll always be waiting for him. This encourages Kafka to regain control over his body, seconds before Kaiju No. 8 murders Isao. Kafka strikes himself in the body and tells Isao that he’s Kafka Hibino, not Kaiju No. 8. 

Kafka plummets to the ground. Before Isao’s ally Narumi kills Kafka, Isao stops Narumi. Isao calls the medics and asks them to take Kaiju No. 8’s remnants. He tells the medics that Kaiju No. 8’s core is mildly damaged. He doesn’t elaborate on what they should do with Kafka. 

What happens during Mina’s meeting with Isao, Keiji, and the others?

Isao, Keiji, and Mina meet at the base’s conference room. Mina confirms she’s known Kafka long before he joined the Defence Force. However, Mina promises she didn’t give Kafka special treatment while he was a Defence Force member. The higher-ups inform Mina they’ve made their decision. They state their testimony won’t change Kaiju No. 8’s fate. Mina says she wants to leave it to the specialists to determine if Kafka is a human or a kaiju. 

Nonetheless, Mina informs the higher-ups about her experience with Kafka as a Defence Force officer. She relays details of Kafka’s achievements during the Kaiju No. 9 and 10 fights. Mina also delves into Kafka’s failures. She argues Kafka’s determination and motive to save people makes him a worthwhile officer. After Mina recalls a moment between her and Kafka in the past, she tells the higher-ups that Kafka has a huge heart. 

Although some higher-ups aren’t willing to accept that answer, Isao thanks Mina and asks her to return to her post.

What does Kafka reflect on in the water tube? What does Isao tell Kafka in the hospital room?

Before Isao informs the others of Kaiju No. 8’s fate, we see Kafka floating inside a water-like tube. He reflects on his mission to make kaijus pay for causing Mina pain. Moreover, Kafka says he’d rather die as a human if he ever turned into a kaiju. Kafka wakes up in a hospital bed and Isao’s sitting next to him via a chair. Isao says he doesn’t plan to hurt Kafka. 

Kafka’s glad Isao’s alive. He asks Isao if he and the others plan to reinstate him as a Defence Force officer. Isao tells Kafka that the council argues he is a kaiju. However, Isao says he and the others will decide if he’s a threatening kaiju later. Isao says he convinced the council to let Kafka fight by their side as Kaiju No. 8. We cut away to Isao’s meeting with the others.

Although the others aren’t thrilled, Isao says he knows they can control Kafka (aka Kaiju No. 8). Isao argues that it’s possible a Kaiju No. 8 weapon won’t be as useful as the kaiju itself. He shares more credible evidence to let Kafka fight alongside the humans.

In the present, Isao asks Kafka to prove his worth to ensure his survival. Kafka’s not happy that the council views him as a weapon. He vows to convince Isao and the others that he’s a Defence Force officer like them. 

How does Kaiju No. 8 Season 1 end?

Meanwhile, Mina looks at her phone, smiles, and departs from the Ariake Maritime Base. Kikoru sits in an undisclosed room and receives a text from Mina informing Kikoru that Kafka will be okay. Kikoru vows to get stronger just in case Kafka loses control again. Aoi, Iharu, Reno, and the others receive the same text about Kafka. 

Reno reminds Iharu that he knew Kafka would pull through. Hoshina and Okonogi discuss this new intel about Kafka. Hoshina argues they’ll need to keep Kafka’s kaiju essence under wraps because it’ll be bad if outside forces discover they’re withholding a kaiju. While Kafka naps, we cut away to the Monster Sweeper Inc. building. 

A few workers are upset because someone named No. 9 is defeating them at chess. We cut away to Kaiju No. 9 reflecting on his victories over the humans at chess. Kaiju No. 9 says he’s close to reaching humanity on an intellectual level. Also, he’s discovered the increments surrounding the Defence Force’s main base. He wants to move forward with his and another ally’s plan’s next phase. 

Kaiju No. 9 wants to retrieve Kaiju No. 8 from the humans because he says this kaiju belongs to “them.” The season closes with a shot of Kaiju No. 9. 

The Episode Review

As many predicted, Kafka found a way around his situation. Although it wasn’t the outcome he was hoping for, it’s great that he’ll reunite with his friends again in Season 2. On that note, based on the show’s official Japanese Twitter/X account’s post here, it appears another season will happen. Hopefully, Season 2 will explore Kaiju No. 8 more since this episode leaves fans with an interesting cliffhanger connecting it with Kaiju No. 9 and others. 

Nevertheless, this episode contained nice drama and action. From Mina’s chat with the council to Kafka’s battle with Isao, fans will enjoy the material presented in this season’s finale.

Additionally, it’s great that everyone isn’t on board with Kafka fighting alongside them. Having all the council unanimously agree with Isao would’ve been boring and uneventful. This will allow Season 2 to introduce tension among the higher-ups, giving viewers reasons to grow attached to those who believe in Kafka’s “heart” as Mina claimed.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t receive a scene or two of Kafka chatting with Mina again. While the flashback sequence served its purpose well, a small reunion scene would’ve been the icing on the cake. 

All in all, this was an enjoyable way to close the book on Kaiju No. 8’s first season. Hopefully, the next season can expand upon the intriguing concepts introduced near this season’s latter half.  

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You can read our Season 1 Review of Kaiju No. 8 here!
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