I didn’t want to break up this blog into two segments where I gave my thoughts on each episode. Instead I thought I would do something a little different and just discuss both episodes as a whole. Overall episodes three and four were okay episodes. In terms of action, nothing actually happened.
Both episodes played into the inhumane side of forcing people who you have deemed as ‘non-humans’ to fight a war for the country that exiled them. The toll it takes on the ’86’ knowing that they’re seen by others as non-humans and replaceable. Both episodes cover the ongoing neglect by The Republic of San Magnolia and the ongoing mistreatment of the 86. One thing I did like though is that while the country continues to operate as if those fighting the war are not humans and that there haven’t been any casualties, that there are still individuals who know the truth. In this case, it’s Lena and Jerome.
Jerome is an interesting character, he understands why Lena is passionate about the 86. He also understands that this was something instilled within Lena by her father, who like Lena, acknowledges the 86 as humans. Jerome seems to be a character who understands the human element but is also an example of someone who would but duty and country above all else. It is because of this sense of serving the state that he’s willing to turn a blind eye to the republics flaws. Something that Lena and her father refuse to do. Could there be consequences to acknowledging the ongoing oppression of the 86? Probably. I’m sure there’s an element of fear. This is something very relatable in our real life too. Anything that tarnishes the image of the state or undermines the regime’s authority will often be met with harsh punishment. That’s also why I think that Lena and her burning desire to seek justice and acknowledgement for the 86 will be her downfall, should it get out of hand.
What both episodes did was each one provided a human element. That part I liked, however, it’s also something I didn’t like because there wasn’t anything to go with it. We have all this dialogue but no action, we have all this information but no animations depicting these injustices or oppression by the state on the 86. There wasn’t anything immersive about it and that goes for both episodes, there wasn’t anything happening on the screen that pulled the viewer in, heck, if you were someone who understood Japanese fluently, you could literally have each episode on in the background while you did other stuff. That’s how it felt and is the one major flaw for both episodes. You just cannot have heavy dialogue episodes without anything happening on screen. I already have a short attention span, if there isn’t happening and it’s just conversation that I am not interested.
Overall both episodes are worth of a C+. Both episodes three and four left me wanting something more, in this case it happened to be points of interest.