With all the Defense Force recruits recovered and gathered, a celebration is held in light of their accomplishments achieved during their first mission. A mission that ended in success and discovery. The celebration gathers all the Defense Force rookies together which on deeper inspections is a moment none of the members will get to experience again as some will inevitable fall before the next gathering. Deep down, the Defense Force rookies are aware of this. And through that introspection of ones own self and abilities, certain characters lost in the background become more prominent and noticeable.
It may not have gone as each of the Defense Force rookies had hoped but the situation could have spiraled down into one dyed in death and despair. The recruits may not be aware of how much danger they were potentially in but they at the very least recognise some of the weaknesses they possess and have the desire to ensure such gaps in their training are remedied before it becomes a regrettable burden for them. The reflection Leno has upon noticing this not only adds to his characters but slowly builds intrigue around the others Defense Force members who have yet to have their characters fleshed out. Through Leno and the struggles he endured in the past mission, we understand how on edge each member would have been and the levels of efforts each would have put forward to perform their duty. Now whenever a member of the Defense Force falls, it won’t completely be a moment void of emotion.
The banter exchanged between the characters establishes how close they have gotten with each other. The time and circumstances they have spent with one another have made them friends and through those bonds, we get to see a state of interaction where the characters are truly able to let go of their stress and relax. Sure the alcohol helped but it was the company they were in that led to the characters letting down their walls and speaking their mind unfiltered. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was half expecting Kakfa to transform fully or partly into his Kaiju form for a few seconds while drunk. It is a bittersweet moment because you know there are some characters who won’t survive the next mission.
With the celebration in full force, Soshiro adds to the good news by announcing that the efforts Kafka had made during the past mission were integral in reducing the damage caused by the Kaiju and as such, Kafka has been promoted to an official troop member. Along with the success of their first mission, the third unit of the Defense Force has something else to celebrate.
As for Kafka, he is one step closely to his dream of standing side-by-side with Mina. Unfortunately for Kafka, the very nature of his current biology makes it tricky to achieve such a dream when Mina is bound by the duty of exterminating any and all Kaiju. Something drastic needs to happen to shift her perception of the nature of Kaiju. Despite having approached all interactions with Kaiju as antagonistic, Mina will need to have an experience that helps break her mind free from the “reality” built up over her experience and pain. Will Mina meet a faction of allied Kaiju? Or will a moment arrive where Kafka enters his Kaiju form and saves Mina who would have no choice but to challenge her perception of reality to make sense of what is taking place. Soshiro himself is aware of something stranger in play with the Humanoid Kaiju, so he could have some hand in helping Mina see the picture for what is it rather than what she had been conditioned to see. Looking forward to the next chapter.