Kaiju No. 8: Playing A Support Character



Despite his best efforts, Kafka Hibino couldn’t match up to the demands of Defense Force Officer standards. He came in last on the physical tests, his combat power output was a dismal less than 1%. Compared to the peers in his testing batch, he was wholly unfit to even join their ranks. Yet, he rose to become a valuable member in their team. How did he do this?


While Kafka dedicated his time to catching up on training, he pivoted to contribute to his team by using his keen observation skills and prior experience cleaning up kaiju guts. He alerted his teammates to the weaknesses of the kaiju they were facing, leading to more efficient and effective kills, and significantly less casualties.



Kafka’s contributions to his team shows us that not all of us need to be frontrunners and leaders. In a world so focused on only the best and the brightest, it’s easy to believe that we have no value unless we come out on top. Being part of a team means that our strengths are valuable even if they are more of a supportive nature.


Here are some things you can do to enrich yourself as a supportive team member:

  1. Hone what you are good at

While striving to be the best is an admirable goal, trying to be the best in everything leads us to put great amounts of pressure on ourselves. This may lead to it backfiring and us burning out. Instead, slow down and take time to assess your strengths and what is essential that you improve on. Focusing on these would yield greater results than spreading yourself too thin.


  1. Identify the needs of the team

During the final round of their test, Kafka realised that while his team members were physically fitter than he was, their practical experience with kaiju was very limited. He then supplemented their strength with his vast knowledge of kaiju anatomy, helping his team target the kaiju’s weaknesses. A team isn’t necessarily stronger with every member vying for a lead role. Rather, identifying blind spots and filling the gaps are crucial actions that are often neglected. You can even take the initiative to head team discussions on what may be needed for the team to function better.


  1. Remember your value

It can be difficult seeing those in a leadership position basking in the spotlight. It is times like these where you need to remember that they would not have a team to lead without you; that you were chosen to be in this team for a reason. Take pride in your role and set of strengths that enable your team to flourish. Don’t be afraid to ask your team members to tell you what you are doing well and where you can improve.


  1. Show others that they are valued

Impostor syndrome gets to us all and we can sometimes feel unworthy or even discredit our own efforts. Being a supportive team member also involves lifting others up and showing appreciation for what they do. Seek to affirm your team members whenever you can. A simple “good job today!” or “nice!” can go a long way in keeping your teammates motivated and morale high.


Here are some Shadee.Care article on related topics:

The Marvels: Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

The Marvels: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work


The Rising Of The Shield Hero: Building Resilience By Levelling Up Together

The Rising Of The Shield Hero: Building Resilience By Leveling Up Together

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