Eighty Six
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - A1 Pictures
CHIBA Shouya
The Republic of San Magnolia has been attacked by its neighbor, the Empire. Outside the 85 districts of the Republic there is the 'non-existent 86th district,' where young men and women continue to fight. Sheen directs the actions of young suicide bombers, while Lena is a “curator” who commands a detachment from a remote rear.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

TV anime that premiered on April 10, 2021.
Animated by A-1 Pictures.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:4298#628]
(Three episodes watched):

As episode one of 86 progressed, I thought I saw where this was going: Major Lena Milize will be the human controller ('Handler') of a unit composed largely of drones driven by super sophisticated AI programs. And somehow these drones had become so intelligent and self-aware that they had begun playing with the minds of their previous Handlers, even driving some of them to commit suicide. Lena, no doubt, would investigate and get to the bottom of this, and it seemed intriguing. But then I realized that I was reading too much into this and it would not be nearly as ambitious and unconventional as I had hoped. This 'Spearhead' unit that Lena is taking command of isn't composed of robots at all, no, it has quite human mecha pilots. They seem resentful of their superiors, apparently because while they often get killed the general public is told that this war is being fought by robots and casualties are minimal. This realization was a major let-down. One reason why I was able to misunderstand things so badly is because episode one doesn't explain them very well. there was no mention of 'suicide bombers', as per the synopsis above, and this Sheen character has yet to appear. I really have little idea who the good and bad guys will be. If my initial interpretation of 86 had been correct I would have eagerly watched episode two, but now I'm not so sure.

The battles are wild and exciting, though it would be more fun if we knew whether the enemy really deserve to be killed. Who do the soldiers of Spearhead hate and fear the most: the enemy, or their own superiors? Why are they such an elite unit if they are fighting for a cause they hate? Lena attempts to earn the trust of her subordinates, who are generally considered inferior, even subhuman (and therefore expendable) by the aristocracy. It was hard to get excited by the argument she has with one of them in episode three when their own behavior makes so little sense. Maybe what these miserable soldiers should do is defect to the other side.

Last updated Friday, May 07 2021. Created Thursday, April 15 2021.

Other Sites
Official Japanese Series Web Site https://anime-86.com/

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