Crunchyroll is kicking off the perfect anime if you love Godzilla x Kong

Anthony McGlynn
Kaiju No 8

Godzilla and King Kong are back on the big screen for Godzilla x Kong: the New Empire, where they tag team against another common enemy. The blockbuster slobberknocker has them doing what they do best, and if you want more of the same, a new anime is just the ticket.

Godzilla x Kong continues the MonsterVerse’s trend of having our favorite mutant lizard and ape punch and atomic breath whatever’s in front of them. Last time, that meant each other until MechaGodzilla was deployed, and now that means each other again, before another uneasy alliance in the face of a more insidious challenger.

Adam Wingard has proven pretty adept at handling Hollywood’s kaiju, given he directed the championship bout in 2021’s Godzilla Vs Kong, and has since returned for their new tag team run.

The New Empire offers a hearty portion of cinematic punches and atomic breath, with another sliver of human-sized mundanity.

Kaiju are taking over

To complement catching the spectacle in theaters, Crunchyroll is about to premiere the ideal anime show, Kaiju No 8. More psychological and human-focused than the MonsterVerse, the series is a prime gateway if you want to go deeper into the mythos while providing a lot of large-scale mayhem to boot.

I should be clear: Kaiju No 8 contains neither Godzilla nor King Kong. Although they’re synonymous with the term, ‘kaiju’ refers to the broad idea of gigantic creatures. In Japan, it’s a whole subgenre with numerous franchises and a huge roster of intertwined characters and monsters.

The equivalents to the Big G and Daddy K are horrific monstrosities that humanity is learning to handle. In this universe, we have a Defense Force that kills kaiju as they invade cities. Their methods are imperfect, and casualties still happen, but such is life when you’re essentially ants trying to figure out how to stop humans from stomping on your colony.

Kaiju No 8

Kaiju clean-up on every aisle

Society has become a dystopian wasteland that’s ever-reliant on some specific roles to ensure our survival. You have the Defence Force and then the clean-up crew that do their best to mop up whatever damage is done when a creature is defeated.

Both are crucial jobs, but one offers slightly more glory and reward than the other. The protagonist, Kafka Hibino, is stuck as a cleaner despite repeatedly trying to join the front line of defense.

His wish comes true more than he’d like when he gets powers to become a kaiju, thus able to wrestle down beasts with his bare hands. A pretty decent asset, except he’s seen as a target in monster form and knows he can’t let the secret get out; otherwise, he’ll be poked and prodded (and worse) by the government.

Kaiju No 8 presents a body horror anime that contorts Godzilla as a nuclear weapons allegory into an analogy for the military-industrial complex. Kafka wants to be a hero so bad, he becomes a one-man army who could cause incredible damage if he so chose.

From the studio behind Haikyuu!! and Psycho-Pass

The supporting cast, ranging from his best friend Mina to squadmate Reno Ichikawa, contrasts his powers with their mech suits, containing parts of killed kaiju. You can find shades of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam, and Soul Eater among Kaiju No 8’s dreary worldview.

Coming from Production IG, though, you can bet it looks gorgeous. A slightly neon-tinted dullness permeates the cities, showing our gradual decline toward becoming more machine-like.

I’m not sure it’s fair to call Kaiju No 8 nihilistic, even if the hero’s name directly references Franz Kafka. It’s funnier and more chipper than what you’d think something about Earth getting pummeled by otherworldly threats would be.

Kaiju No 8

Monsters of all shapes and sizes

Even if none of the musings on the human condition appeal to you, Kaiju No 8 contains a weird, wild smorgasbord of monsters, the likes of which would make Egon Spengler and the Extreme Ghostbusters worry. Gigantic insects and plants arrive in later episodes, and since Naoya Matsumoto hasn’t finished the manga, who knows what’ll show up.

Kaiju No 8 premieres on Crunchyroll on April 13. After five MonsterVerse movies, the timing couldn’t be better. If you want more monster action, better human heroes, or a production that’s just a little more twisted, this covers all bases.

Or, and perhaps most perfect of all, if you’d like to imagine what you’d do if you could become Godzilla, it answers that question for you. Honestly, it’s a good thing we have Crunchyroll subscriptions instead of a monkey’s paw.

We have a handy list of the best anime on Crunchyroll for more viewing options, and our guides for Tower of God Season 2 and My Hero Academia You’re Next will make for handy reading as well.