What’s so great about 86?

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  • Post last modified:February 23, 2022
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What’s so great about 86?

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  • December 16, 2021

TAGS: 2021, 86, ANIME, MECH, SCI-FI

86

Genre: Mech, Military, Sci-fi, Drama

Theme: Discrimination, War

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Disclaimer: mild spoilers ahead (I’ve tried not to reveal anything that wasn’t needed)

2021 has gifted us with many anime adaptations and continuations with more still to come. Some of the spring season anime that have aired have shown some great potential and one that shined the brightest for me was 86.

The first thing that had caught my attention was the very minimal yet effective title, a lot of anime recently have birthed the longest and most bizarre titles I’ve ever seen, I mean “I’ve been killing slimes for 300 years and maxed out my level” It’s pretty self explanatory and already tells you what the anime is going to include. But that’s an extreme case and the point I’m trying to make is that anime titles don’t often hold much mystery around them. When you see the title “86” It leaves you out in the open, no context whatsoever, thus you start asking questions about whether 86 is the name of a character or the significant number that corelates to the plot. This is the first thing that got me intrigued and hooked enough to give it a go.

(Excuse my shitty summarisation)

The anime is of an alternative reality set around 2148, the Republic of San Magnolia, which consists of 86 districts in a hierarchal rank, has been at war with the Gladian empire for 9 years. The country has had heavy casualty counts but have made progress to winning the war. From episode 1 the military have proclaimed to a 0 causality battle via their innovation of the “Juggernauts” The appearance of these mech’s are similar to a tank with one main heavy shooting cannon and supporting machine guns allocated at each side of the cockpit. The catch is that these tanks walk on legs instead of its standard tracks. But it seems these ‘innovations’  has a secret which lies within the military, shielded away from the public.

The main character, who shares the personality of a pure hearted princess which has a strong sense of justice, hopes to abolish the propaganda the 86 are cursed with. Major Vladilena “Lena” Milizé’s most noticeable feature is her silver hair which is shared among the 85 districts. While the silver-haired Alba of the Republic’s eighty-five sectors live safely behind protective walls, those of different appearances are interned in a secret eighty-sixth faction. Known within the military as the Eighty-Six, they are forced to fight against the Empire’s autonomous Legion under the command of the Republican “Handlers.” We meet the rest of the crew when the major intends to be the handler for the 86’s spearhead squadron. The rest of the spear squad in have their own unique personalities and hold important roles within the story. The Shepherd of the group that holds the saddening task of collecting the scraps of metal left behind by fallen 86 comrades  to commemorate them is infamous for being the sole survivor of the squad and is the co-main character if you will. He serves as the leader of the squadron, and has been serving the military for the longest out of the rest. The 86 would call it a pleasure to fight and die in battle along side him. Shinei ‘undertaker’ Nouzen is a very earnest and peculiar character who hides emotion on the surface but regardless of the strong front, he hides his past and terrors and still fights onward acknowledging that he will perish in the battlefield. The story progresses as these 2 souls collide and the Princess like major swallows the hard pills of truth.

The main aspects of the story that distinguish it from other mech/military is how the anime is viewed from 2 very different perspectives, alternating between the point of view of the major and the squadron leader. The heavy hearted drama with anticipating action lightly touched with ,what may be considered, a hint of romance, combine and create a piece of art worthy of praise. As the story reaches its first climax, you find yourself strongly attached to the remains of the spearhead squadron, the hurtful truths of their fate kicks in and you grip onto the little hope that better days arrive.

This anime isn’t diluted by comedy or unnecessary romance so if you like an anime that shoves the reality into your face, you got a good recommendation here. You still have time to watch this 11 episode season until season 2 is expected in October of this year, So why not start now.

  1. Have you watched 86 if not then would you?
  2. What’s your favourite aspect of 86?
  3. what do you dislike about 86?
  4. What gets you hooked to watch an anime?
  5. What has been your favourite anime of spring 2021 and why?
  6. What do you think of mech/military genre on a whole?
  7. Do you have a favourite mech anime?