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  • [Spring 2021] 86 Discussion Thread

    Widgets Magazine
    86―エイティシックス―

    A military show set in a time and place where wars are fought between drones and not humans, at least on the surface. But in truth, they are piloted by people residing in a secret area who have been stripped of their humanity and only live to fight.

    Airs: Saturday, April 10, 2021

    Studio: A-1 Pictures

    ANN Entry
    My Anime List
    Official Site
    Crunchyroll

    The Republic of San Magnolia.

    For a long time, this country has been besieged by its neighbor, the Giadian Empire, which created a series of unmanned drones called the Legion. After years of painstaking research, the Republic finally developed autonomous drones of their own, turning the one-sided struggle into a war without casualties—or at least, that's what the government claims.

    In truth, there is no such thing as a bloodless war. Beyond the fortified walls protecting the eighty-five Republic territories lies the "nonexistent" Eighty-Sixth Sector. The young men and women of this forsaken land are branded the Eighty-Six and, stripped of their humanity, pilot the "unmanned" weapons into battle...

    Shinn directs the actions of a detachment of young Eighty-Sixers while on the battlefield. Lena is a "handler" who commands the detachment from the remote rear with the help of special communication.

    The farewell story of the severe and sad struggle of these two begins!


    Notes
    As usual, please try to follow these two easy forum courtesy habits when replying:
    1) If you're the first person to post about an episode in any given week, please indicate in the first line which episode you're posting about.
    2) If someone has already posted about an episode before you, please quote that post (or a relevant reply to that post), or include the episode title in the first line. ("Re: Episode 1") Just make sure the episode is indicated.

    For more guidelines please refer to this thread.
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    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

  • #2
    Episode 1

    Fuckin' glory to the Spearhead Squadron!!!

    And so the show starts with some explanation about the world in that there are 85 officially recognized territories of the Empire, but there's an unrecognized 86th territories where soldiers are stripped of their humanity and are forced to become soldiers to pilot the drones that to the public, are unmanned. One such commander of these 86ers is Lena, who unlike the other handlers is actually looking out for their well-being. Pretty interesting start there as Lena shows that she's not like the others in the empire, and the show does a nice job in setting its foundation. It helps that the battles are nicely animated as well.

    As usual, the trial period rules are in effect.
    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Futaba Igarashi, My Senpai is Annoying
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    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

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    • #3
      Episode 2

      Woe, the humanity.

      So after the first episode mostly focused on Lena, this one focuses on the Spearhead Squadron that Lena is responsible for leading. Unlike the other Handlers, she treats these guys as people rather than tools of war as she's out to get the truth about the war out to the public that humans are fighting the wars, but with what the empire is telling them, they have been stripped of their humanity, and not they aren't even recognized as being people. For what defines a human in this world, it's all those with silver hair. Pretty twisted world that is, but Lena and the Spearhead Squadron are out to change that. The battle is nicely animated, all while Hiroyuki Sawano does an excellent job with the soundtrack once again.
      MyAnimeList | Avatar: Futaba Igarashi, My Senpai is Annoying
      Watching: School-Live!, Hanako-kun, Vanguard Link Joker, Kingdom
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      The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

      Comment


      • #4
        Episode 3

        Have fun while it lasts.

        For the most part, this was a lighthearted episode as despite being nothing more than tools of war and being invisible to the public eye, the Spearhead Squadron is really enjoying themselves. But then that ending goes to show that a war is happening, and Kaie ends up being killed, and Lena just feels so hopeless as to what just went down. That was just cruel what happened there, but nevertheless that goes to show that these soldiers are just there to fight with their humanity stripped away.
        MyAnimeList | Avatar: Futaba Igarashi, My Senpai is Annoying
        Watching: School-Live!, Hanako-kun, Vanguard Link Joker, Kingdom
        Simulcasts: MHA, TYE, TRN, TSL, HIG, IMH, PMM, KMD, OGF, AQT, VTS, FPP, REM, ROL, DDM, GRO, JHY, HRH, PBR, SGK, SON
        The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Buckeye View Post
          Episode 3

          Have fun while it lasts.

          For the most part, this was a lighthearted episode as despite being nothing more than tools of war and being invisible to the public eye, the Spearhead Squadron is really enjoying themselves. But then that ending goes to show that a war is happening, and Kaie ends up being killed, and Lena just feels so hopeless as to what just went down. That was just cruel what happened there, but nevertheless that goes to show that these soldiers are just there to fight with their humanity stripped away.
          Re: Episode 3

          Say my name....but you can't, since you never asked what it is.

          We see back and forth as the unit is having some downtime, with the girls bathing, guys peeking...(although since the girls are just splashing, fully clothed in the water, what's the point?) The rapport between Lena and the Spearhead unit is going along well, but when Kaie asks about why Lena's how Lena is, she tells them about how a processor (an 86) had saved her on the battlefield and how she's trying to live up to his ideals. To which Kaie blurts out "You're a virgin, right", causing everyone to burst out in laughter and Lena to panic. When it calms down, Kaie, also embarrassed says that what she meant is that Lena is pure, an idealist, and that's not good for Lena, that Lena's not suited for this job, because if she stays, she's going to get badly hurt.

          Which she does. Lena goes looking with her friend and they find a map of that region, the better to be able to fight and guide Spearhead. Which proves itself by her locating high ground for Spearhead to use. But then Kaie goes to take out a single enemy, all of this action takes place from Lena's screen, meaning she can't see the action taking place, and Lena tries to warn her not to go there, but it's too late, Kaie is trapped in wetlands, and killed.

          The action ends in victory, and she conveys her sorrow for Kirshblute's death, but gets blasted at by one of the guys, who thinks this is all a game to Lena. He completely misunderstands Lena, but at the end, he makes a crucial hit: Lena never even asked what their real names were.

          And with that we see this series summed up in a nutshell: Misunderstandings on both sides. The members of Spearhead don't understand how good Lena is, but she also doesn't understand them. She's noble, but naive. She's far better than any of her peers, but she also doesn't realize how far she still needs to step up her own game.

          This is a good series, and one well worth watching. I suspect it's going to be better to binge than on a weekly basis, but I'll be watching weekly. This week's title is Kaie's last words.
          Last edited by General Hentai; 04-25-2021, 07:09 PM.
          My Avatar: The lovely Mikuru Asahina from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Why do I stick with her in a world of constantly changing avatars? Because:
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          • #6
            Episode 4

            Say their names.

            This episode is all about names as thanks to the Republic's dehumanization movement, those 86ers are simply known by their codenames to the Handlers. But Lena is not that kind of Handler as she takes the extra effort to get to know those brave men and women who are forced into this mess thanks to the Republic's discrimination. It wasn't easy, but thanks to Shin that Lena got their names and learned that Kaie is the one who was KIA'd. That was a heartfelt moment there as Lena is out to become the champion of justice that his late father was.
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            The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Buckeye View Post
              Episode 4

              Say their names.

              This episode is all about names as thanks to the Republic's dehumanization movement, those 86ers are simply known by their codenames to the Handlers. But Lena is not that kind of Handler as she takes the extra effort to get to know those brave men and women who are forced into this mess thanks to the Republic's discrimination. It wasn't easy, but thanks to Shin that Lena got their names and learned that Kaie is the one who was KIA'd. That was a heartfelt moment there as Lena is out to become the champion of justice that his late father was.
              Re: Episode 4

              Minds meet.

              Laughing Fox, aka Theo blasted Lena, but everyone thinks he went too far, especially himself, feeling that he acted just like the "white pigs". Lena, of course, is devastated, but ironically, her "uncle" who's a bigot, puts things in perspective, pointing out the blindness both she and her father possessed; that her father, who was noble in his desire for equality for the 86s, was so blind to the possibility of anyone other than an 86 dying that he took Lena with him on a battlefield trip.

              Lena, in the memorial cemetery where her father is the last name that is listed puts in a call to Undertaker gets the names o all the group, and then, before she's ready, he puts her on group. Apologies are made and a meeting of the minds takes place. They'll agree to let Lena talk, but she'll understand that they don't consider her one of them as long as she's safe behind the walls. She also asks for their names, then, at the end, she gets Undertaker's name: Shin Nouzen. Shocked, Lena asks him if he knew a Shourei Nouzen. It was his brother.

              -We learn that Undertaker's 1st unit, everyone vowed to remember everyone else who died, and Shin has always been the last survivor, hence the name Undertaker, or at least part of it.

              This is a very good episode.
              My Avatar: The lovely Mikuru Asahina from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Why do I stick with her in a world of constantly changing avatars? Because:
              1) Her friendly, playful attitude in that picture, (despite being forced unwillingly into cosplay), reflects my own friendly, playful personality;
              2) Mikuru-chan is an excellent combo of smoking hot and super sweet cuteness; and
              3) It makes it easiier for me to find my own posts in threads.

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              • #8
                Episode 5

                Dead men do tell tales.

                Lena's history is explained as she was saved by Shin's late older brother Rei during an ambush that killed her father. So she saw firsthand how rotten to the core the Republic is long before becoming a handler. To stir things up, Lena is hearing the voices of the dead through her link, starting with Kaie's last words due to what is called the Black Sheep, which are the brains of soldiers KIA'd that are are copied to create machines that are super-strong. And it also turns out that Shin's scar came from his big brother when he tried to strangle him. This goes to show just how rotten the Legion is, all while this notion of the dead people powering these units just makes things even more twisted.
                MyAnimeList | Avatar: Futaba Igarashi, My Senpai is Annoying
                Watching: School-Live!, Hanako-kun, Vanguard Link Joker, Kingdom
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                The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Buckeye View Post
                  Episode 5

                  Dead men do tell tales.

                  Lena's history is explained as she was saved by Shin's late older brother Rei during an ambush that killed her father. So she saw firsthand how rotten to the core the Republic is long before becoming a handler. To stir things up, Lena is hearing the voices of the dead through her link, starting with Kaie's last words due to what is called the Black Sheep, which are the brains of soldiers KIA'd that are are copied to create machines that are super-strong. And it also turns out that Shin's scar came from his big brother when he tried to strangle him. This goes to show just how rotten the Legion is, all while this notion of the dead people powering these units just makes things even more twisted.
                  Re: Episode 5

                  Waiter, about this extra-large platter of foreshadowing? It's free? Nevermind.

                  So, we get a whole lot of exposition and a whole LOT of foreshadowing.

                  We end up meeting Rei, Shin's brother, who saved Lena when her father's frontline tour ended in disaster.

                  And then we get some foreshadowing about how Lena's been using the Para-raid link too much. Sure enough, she suddenly hears voices, shockingly including Kaie's plea of not wanting to die. Lena has a major breakdown.

                  As we see this, has happened before, and it's how Shin was able to know the Legion's going to attack: He hears the "ghosts" of the dead. Something that hasn't happened before happens: Lena becomes the first handler to come back online after hearing the voices of the dead.

                  Here's where things get serious: We've been hearing all along that the Legion is on borrowed time, that they'll turn off in 2 years, due to decay of their processing units. Shin tells Lena that's not going to happen. He explains about hearing the ghosts. It turns out, that after a near-death experience, he's been able to hear them, with it heavily implied that the near death experience was due to nearly being strangled by his brother, the nice guy we saw save Lena at the start of the episode. What's happened is that the Legion has found a work-around for the decay process; they take dead human brains from the 86s, copy them and put them into new units. Most of these brains are damaged and there are multiple copies of some brains. But if they take an intact head, they use these to become the commanders of the Legion, called Shepherds, and there's one running operations against Shin and Spearhead, with about as much foreshadowing as you can get that this Shepherd was Shin's older brother, Rei.

                  Shin also tells Lena that the reduced numbers of the Legion that have been seen by the Alba is a lie. After all, he can sense where they are. Legion has been holding forces back, building up its strength. And Shin puts it to Lena: They're going to lose. The 86s are getting low in numbers, and how willing to fight will the Alba be, who've worked so hard at getting others to fight for them? Lena's solution is to beat the Legion before that happens, but it's whistling in the dark.

                  So, intensity gets ratcheted up even more.

                  We also learn that Shin and family originally lived in the capital district. The way this show's been going, that likely will come back later.
                  Last edited by General Hentai; 05-09-2021, 02:14 AM.
                  My Avatar: The lovely Mikuru Asahina from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Why do I stick with her in a world of constantly changing avatars? Because:
                  1) Her friendly, playful attitude in that picture, (despite being forced unwillingly into cosplay), reflects my own friendly, playful personality;
                  2) Mikuru-chan is an excellent combo of smoking hot and super sweet cuteness; and
                  3) It makes it easiier for me to find my own posts in threads.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Episode 6

                    Looking to get a head.

                    It's hard to believe that cherry blossom trees grow in htis place, and that the soldiers can have a good time. But the reality is they are combatants and losing Daiya and Lecca in battle are just a painful reminder that they are fighting somebody else's war. For the past four years, Shin had been looking for his big brother's head and he's being blamed for the deaths of his parents by Shourei. So it's onto the next mission despite Lena's uncle not accommodating her with units to replace Daiya and Lecca, and she realizes that it is likely a trap. And then that conversation there at the end goes to show that Shin and Lena are getting all lovey-dovey. The laundry is definitely piling up here on the Legion as they are harvesting brains for their wars and using their dead souls to create new weapons, but Lena is not having any of that.
                    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Futaba Igarashi, My Senpai is Annoying
                    Watching: School-Live!, Hanako-kun, Vanguard Link Joker, Kingdom
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                    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Episode 7

                      Til death do they reinforce.

                      Lena is treated to a fancy party and a fireworks show to celebrate the Revolution Festival, something she hopes she can one day celebrate together with Shin and the others in the Spearhead Squadron, and as such she's smuggling fireworks to them. But as great as the party is, she would rather spend time with Spearhead instead, especially with the truth coming out from Shin that those who are at the end of their term are killed off, and because they aren't considered human anymore that it's not murder according to Republic's law. And it's only until they are all killed off when their squadron gets replenished. That was quite a depressing episode there with these poor soldiers relegated to fighting somebody else's war, with only death awaiting for them and replacements to take their place. Lena is out to put an end to this injustice, but she has her work cut out.
                      MyAnimeList | Avatar: Futaba Igarashi, My Senpai is Annoying
                      Watching: School-Live!, Hanako-kun, Vanguard Link Joker, Kingdom
                      Simulcasts: MHA, TYE, TRN, TSL, HIG, IMH, PMM, KMD, OGF, AQT, VTS, FPP, REM, ROL, DDM, GRO, JHY, HRH, PBR, SGK, SON
                      The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Episode 8

                        So long, Spearhead Squadron.

                        The time has come for the Spearhead Squadron's final mission, which is by design a suicide mission, but not if Lena can do anything about it. Annette has turned her back on Lena, while Karlstahl won't call it off as he's fully behind the Republic's philosophy that 86ers must die to maintain the Republic's success. And while that's going on, the Spearhead Squadron is moving out of their base and doing what they can so that the next unit that moves into it will remember them even if the Republic except for Lena doesn't. This is pretty much a buildup episode and making sure that everybody can find as much peace as they possibly can before going off into battle. And then that post-credits scene there is an ominous sign as Shin will be taking on his big brother in necromanced machine form, and that brings up some really painful memories.
                        MyAnimeList | Avatar: Futaba Igarashi, My Senpai is Annoying
                        Watching: School-Live!, Hanako-kun, Vanguard Link Joker, Kingdom
                        Simulcasts: MHA, TYE, TRN, TSL, HIG, IMH, PMM, KMD, OGF, AQT, VTS, FPP, REM, ROL, DDM, GRO, JHY, HRH, PBR, SGK, SON
                        The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Episode 9

                          Time to move on.

                          Thanks to Lena breaking the rules and going against what the Republic permits her to do, the five remaining soldiers of the Spearhead Squadron survived their final mission. It wasn't easy, and Shin looked like a goner when he had to face his older brother who has a lot of animosity towards him and whose soul was taken to power that Legion unit, but in the end Shin found the strength needed to move on and build a new future for himself and the remaining comrades. But while Lena led them to victory, she's concerned about what they did afterwards as they headed towards the border, and there they lost contact. That was quite the cliffhanger there at the end as Lena was desperately running out, but in the end they went MIA.
                          MyAnimeList | Avatar: Futaba Igarashi, My Senpai is Annoying
                          Watching: School-Live!, Hanako-kun, Vanguard Link Joker, Kingdom
                          Simulcasts: MHA, TYE, TRN, TSL, HIG, IMH, PMM, KMD, OGF, AQT, VTS, FPP, REM, ROL, DDM, GRO, JHY, HRH, PBR, SGK, SON
                          The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Episode 10

                            Thanks for the memories.

                            This episode has a much different feel to it than the previous ones as now the Spearhead Squadron is finished with their duty, and the last five members have managed to live through it all. So now that they don't need to fight in somebody else's war anymore, they go exploring the old Empire territory and live a more relaxed life as long as they stay hidden from the Legions. A Black Sheep follows them, but they just wanted to be put out of their misery, so they were no threat. And that ending is just sad there with Fido blowing up as while he was just a robot, he meant quite a lot to this team. One more episode left before the show goes on break.
                            MyAnimeList | Avatar: Futaba Igarashi, My Senpai is Annoying
                            Watching: School-Live!, Hanako-kun, Vanguard Link Joker, Kingdom
                            Simulcasts: MHA, TYE, TRN, TSL, HIG, IMH, PMM, KMD, OGF, AQT, VTS, FPP, REM, ROL, DDM, GRO, JHY, HRH, PBR, SGK, SON
                            The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Buckeye View Post
                              Episode 10

                              Thanks for the memories.

                              This episode has a much different feel to it than the previous ones as now the Spearhead Squadron is finished with their duty, and the last five members have managed to live through it all. So now that they don't need to fight in somebody else's war anymore, they go exploring the old Empire territory and live a more relaxed life as long as they stay hidden from the Legions. A Black Sheep follows them, but they just wanted to be put out of their misery, so they were no threat. And that ending is just sad there with Fido blowing up as while he was just a robot, he meant quite a lot to this team. One more episode left before the show goes on break.
                              Re: Episodes 6-10

                              So, my plans to watch this weekly and not binge fell through, with life happening and all that, but upon binging all I can say is:

                              NOT FIDO, TOO!!!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Okay, this show is just a masterpiece, from the ED showing the 5 birds flying free at the end of ep. 9, to the twist that "well, that makes sense" in seeing how shitty is this country betrayal of Spearhead, with it being the place where survivors end up being sent to die in combat, to the ending of ep. 10, showing all of Fido's memories, which are heartbreaking and have more depth than you might realize I reveal behind this spoiler what you will see if you correctly freeze your frame at 23:12 of ep. 10:

                              Spoiler ->23:12 shows Shun directly in Fido's camera/face as we see Annette and Rei, Shin's older brother....meaning Fido was likely a creation of Annette's father. Whoa.



                              And then we see Fido on fire and burning up, several days after the ending of this episode. But so many heartbreaking and fun memories, many with links back to the earlier episodes. Fido's been there the whole time, and quietly watching everything, with people often effectively treating the robot as a confessor. And of course, we get to see so many of the dead.

                              But, wow: I was right when I predicted Shun living in district 1 would matter, and boy did it! Connecting back to Annette as the childhood friend who betrayed him, that he and his brother's ability led to the Para-Raid...and so on.

                              The good news, is I get the 11th episode next week. The bad news, I'll have to wait another week for ep. 12. Which is cool.

                              Just an outstanding show.
                              My Avatar: The lovely Mikuru Asahina from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Why do I stick with her in a world of constantly changing avatars? Because:
                              1) Her friendly, playful attitude in that picture, (despite being forced unwillingly into cosplay), reflects my own friendly, playful personality;
                              2) Mikuru-chan is an excellent combo of smoking hot and super sweet cuteness; and
                              3) It makes it easiier for me to find my own posts in threads.

                              Comment

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