86 – Eighty Six | Episode 1 and 2 Review
Episode One and Two Thoughts
Usually, I am not someone who tends to watch Mecha/Military style anime. It just hasn’t been a combination that I enjoy personally, however, there was something about 86 that pulled me to it and I am not sure what.
Something I immediately noticed right away is that everyone within this universe has white hair, not too sure why that’s the case however it’s kind of weird. Another thing I would like to mention is that the art style (excluding the one mecha fight at the start of the first episode), it’s alright. If I’m being honest, it sort of feels a little sloppy which is probably the biggest downside right now.
Apart from that however, 86 seems very ‘Hunger Games’-esk. For example, both have districts, which I assume are assigned to different aspects of life that overall benefit the state. The state being “Republic of San Magnolia”. However, instead of districts being forced to fight against each other, in 86, it seems as though this 86th ‘unofficial’ district are the ones being forced to fight a war for the other 85 districts. To me that’s quite interesting.
As for the main character Lena, who seems to be the only female ‘handler’ in the military she’s a highly regarded individual, being the youngest person to reach the rank of Major. She’s also someone who has a strong being towards duty, always willing to serve her country in whatever capacity, but also has a strong sense of humanity; for example, wanting to know everyone she’s commanding. Not wanting to disregard individuals of the 86th district as nobodies but as people who are forced to wage war for them. This is demonstrated by Lena always mentioning the number of deaths in her report, even when she’s told not to do that. I guess this has to do with propaganda within this ‘republic’. They do not want to acknowledge the 86th district as part of the republic and since they are not individuals of the state they shouldn’t be included as casualties of the state’s military. Which is messed up.
The fight scenes between these spider looking robots is fricken sick man. They’re also beautifully animated, everything about them feels extremely fluid and flows wonderfully. This is definitely where all the budget went, 100%. They look 100x better than the actual character design themselves which is both good and bad depending on what you consider important. As this anime is supposed to be an Action, Military, Sci-Fi, Drama, and Mecha. Putting everything into the fight scenes is definitely the way to go and for that it doesn’t both me, so long as the fighting is good.
What’s even more interesting is how each episode thus far (there’s only been two as of writing) have seemingly led into each other. Like for example, the latter half of episode one repeats itself at the start of episode two. I really like that. Not sure if that will be a regular thing, however, first impressions of an anime doing such a thing is overall pretty good.
Episode two provided a lot of information, which I thought was lovely. You can tell that a lot of the inspiration for this so-called ‘republic’ can be linked to real world moments in time. The revoking of rights for those who weren’t of a particular genre. In this case, if you didn’t have white hair you were stripped of rights, deemed as ‘not a person’ by the state and thrown into a camp for monitoring. Sounds oddly familiar and not for any good reason. That being said, you have the one outlier in this utopia the state is trying to create in Lena, who is the only one willing to understand and acknowledge that the individuals who are fighting a war for them are still human. As shown by her lecture to a class of military personnel and by her attempts to be personable with her command group.
We still don’t know much about this ‘Undertaker’ also known as Shin. However, since he’s one of the main characters I am sure we’ll learn more about him as the episodes go by. Overall episode two was a great episode. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds. A-